At this year’s IEEE Region 8 Student and Young Professionals Congress, to be held from 25 to 29 July, participants will learn more about IEEE programs, get career advice, and hear about some of today’s hot technologies. The biennial event is being hosted by the IEEE Portugal Section and held at the University of Porto. The congress provides an opportunity for ongoing collaboration between students and young professionals through networking and social events.
About 300 people from 40 countries are expected to attend, including some of IEEE’s top leaders.
Shashank Gaur, member of The Institute’s editorial advisory board, interviewed IEEE Member José Pinto, the event’s chair, and Student Member Carolina Centeio, the program head, for more details about the congress and how participants can benefit from attending.
New this year is a panel discussion about how IEEE can help students and young professionals with their career. Training will be given on stress and time management, behavioral strategies, and how to brand yourself on social media, according to Centeio. She is former vice chair of the University of Porto student branch and the current vice chair of the section’s IEEE Women in Engineering group.
A new activity debuting at the congress, “speedtalk,” is designed to allow participants to discuss their projects in front of a live audience.
“This is a good way for them to practice their presentation skills but also to learn how to explain in simple language what they’re working on,” Centeio says. “Attendees who want to learn more can exchange contact info with the presenter and talk in more detail. It’s a great way to form a bond with people.”
Technical workshops can get attendees up to speed on artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G, and other trending topics, according to Centeio. A workshop with Google developers is on the agenda as well.
Among the organizations planning to be at the job fair are the automotive design and automation group of consumer electronics company Bosch; and Blip, the software development center for one of the largest bookmaking businesses. Several software engineering companies are expected to be recruiting.
“Students will get a sense of what is being done in different industries,” says Pinto, who is chair of the section’s IEEE Young Professionals group. “I think it will be an eye-opening experience for them.”
“Students will be able to engage with the societies, and help them choose which ones to become more active with, both technically and locally,” Pinto says.
Pinto and Centeio both say the multicultural night—Saturday—is their favorite event on the program. Each section in the region showcases its food and beverages. The five-hour event is a rich mixture of people dancing, singing, and trying out different cuisines, Pinto says.
“People wear traditional costumes and bring symbols from their country or hometown as well as offer gifts,” Centeio says. “It’s a beautiful event.”
Multicultural night represents the idea behind the congress, Pinto adds, saying, “It’s the biggest opportunity to share culture in the truest meaning of the word.”
MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS
Exchanging ideas and viewpoints with such a diverse crowd is the most valuable thing attendees will get out of the congress, Centeio says. After attending the 2016 Region 8 IEEE Student and Young Professionals Congress, held in Regensburg, Germany, she came back full of ideas about how to develop her student branch and introduced several new programs.
“When you attend these types of congresses, you understand that IEEE brings people together,” she says. “You come back home really motivated and ready to work harder for IEEE.”
Pinto agrees. “Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a member, you transfer all that energy and knowledge from the congress back to your section and student branch. Once you get more active, you’ll see an increase in membership within a few years.”
IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.