Gustavo De Paiva, a senior Dual Degree student majoring in mechanical engineering and co-president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at Washington University in St. Louis, recently attended the SHPE 2022 National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this blog post, he shares his experience and the value he thinks these opportunities offer students.

With around 10,000 attendees, the SHPE National Convention is the largest gathering of Hispanic and Latinx people in STEM. This year, students and professionals attended educational workshops and inspiring keynote speeches, competitions, networking events and the popular Career Fair and Graduate School Expo that had more than 170 exhibitors.

As the co-president of the WashU SHPE chapter, I am extremely grateful for the support we received from the McKelvey School of Engineering in getting 17 students to the convention — six more than last year. This allowed more students to reap the opportunities of such an invaluable convention. It allowed us to take more first- and second-year students and prepare them for future conventions, which is something we were not able to do the previous year. Including first- and second-year students allows them to see the value of SHPE and increase their commitment to the organization. Last year’s trip did just that for me, and that is why I decided to run for leadership this year.

Our students left with several internship, job and co-op offers. We're already looking forward to representing Washington University in St. Louis and SHPE Region 6 at next year's convention.

Thank you to Senior Associate Dean Nick Benassi and his team, Tammy Haney and Jenn Clemons, for giving us the tools to make this happen. It was a blast planning the trip with our dedicated executive board, and I'm excited for what events we will host for students on campus this year.


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