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The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis sent 24 students to the National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) 2023 National Conference in Kansas City this past April. The annual event attracts more than 10,000 STEM students and professionals from around the world for networking and development opportunities.

"NSBE provides an opportunity for our Black Engineering students to connect with others at every stage of the engineering career life cycle,” said LaVeasey Carter, assistant dean of advising and student support and co-adviser of the WashU chapter of NSBE. “There is comfort in knowing that there are others like you on a similar career path.”

During the national conference, NSBE members elect national and regional leaders, take part in professional development events and participate in STEM competitions, including a hack-a-thon, elevator pitch competition and a Jeopardy-style academic bowl. The highlight of the weekend is the two-day career fair where attendees can network and interview with representatives from more than 300 companies, including Google, Proctor & Gamble and Boeing. A number of NSBE students ended the weekend with offers for internships and full-time positions.

Clinton Sabah, a master’s student studying energy, environmental & chemical engineering, was offered a job as a manufacturing, science and technology (MSAT) process engineer with Pfizer in North Carolina.

“I'm excited to gain new experiences and see how the things I've learned in school apply in the real world,” Sabah said.

The Society of Black Engineers was founded at WashU in 1975 to support Black students in Engineering and to encourage students to stay in the field. The society joined similar organizations at other universities to become the National Society of Black Engineers, which now has more than 24,000 members worldwide in 600 active student and professional chapters.

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