There are over 850 different student organizations on campus, but out of all of them my favorite has to be the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). I still remember walking down Trousdale during the Involvement Fair my freshman year, in awe of the immense amount of student organizations on campus.
These clubs ranged from ordinary to extraordinary. That day I signed up for countless newsletters, and was excited to learn more about each organization. One of the newsletters I received the following day was from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), I had met several members from this organization already, and thought “what do I have to lose?” I attended the first general body meeting and knew this was the place for me.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers is a national organization which includes both professional and student chapters. Although the organization was originally created to help support Latinos in engineering, it is in no way exclusive to Latino members, it is open to everyone! And that is what made SHPE so great, it was welcoming and provided a great sense of familia which I never thought I would find in a student organization. What most attracted me to SHPE is that it was a one stop org; it encompassed everything I was looking for in a student organization. It provided me with a supportive community of peers, an amazing alumni network, opportunities to volunteer in outreach events, while also helping me develop myself professionally for a future career as an engineer.
This past year I was part of the Executive Board as the Director of Chapter Development, where I was in charge of putting on numerous social and professional events within our chapter. These events included Industry Panels, Tech Talks with multiple companies, hiking trips, bowling socials, a SHPEsgiving dinner, and even a SHPE Soccer Tournament with other SHPE chapters in the region. This year I am the Director of Academic Development, meaning I am responsible for helping our members reach academic success. My love for SHPE, however goes beyond my involvement. The relationships I have made through SHPE have made USC truly feel like home. Engineering isn’t easy, but when you have an amazing familia by your side, it makes it just a tad bit easier.