Author: Daniel Joseph, senior
With the help of the Honors Program Ambassadorial Grant, I was lucky enough to attend the national conference of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers last October, along with 8,000 other undergraduates from around the country. While I was there, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend talks and workshops by industry professionals and leaders, network directly with hiring managers and engineers, and meet other incredibly bright students. To cap it off, the career fair featured almost 300 companies from around the country seeking to snap up young and developing talent for both internships and new-graduate positions.
To be honest, I was a bit intimidated. The students I talked to were aiming at aeronautics internships at Boeing and SpaceX, or software engineering positions at Google and Microsoft. I began to think that knowing I’d want to pursue Computer Science, choosing a liberal arts school like Fordham might have been a mistake.
However, my anxieties were unfounded. In an impromptu interview with a hiring manager, it was my time and experience in the Honors Program that differentiated me from the thousands of other qualified candidates at the conference. My interviewer had also attended a university with a Great Books program (they began with The Iliad, too) and we mostly talked about everything other than software engineering. Even Larry Stempel’s music history class came in handy — as he always promised us it would. She expressed that she was thrilled to have found a candidate that both knew what they were talking about technically, but could also hold a conversation and was obviously excited about continual learning and approaching situations from a variety of perspectives. I cannot help but credit the Honors Program for honing those latter aspects.
I am incredibly grateful to the Honors Program both for helping me to get to the conference all the way across the country, and for helping mold me into a person that could stand out from the crowd.