Sunday, November 23, 2008

aiea high school career fair and ics industry day

i had a couple of STEM events last month. the aiea high school career fair and the ics industry day. one of the events was really successful the other wasn't.

i've given a lot of talks at a lot of different stem events; roosevelt career fair, ics industry day, coe fall career day, honors program, and coe career fair.

and one of the things that i've noticed is that organization of the event is really critical. for example, (now that i think about it more) the aiea high school event was really organized well. here's why...
  • BEFORE the presentation started i over heard one student said to the other, "ryan, you want to be a software engineer". ryan responded with, "yeah maybe". woah! they know what a software engineer is.
  • it seemed like the students really wanted to learn about what we did.
  • when i asked, if they liked math, they pretty much all raised their hands. i think we got the entire math team or something
  • when we were done with the presentations the students asked a lot of questions.
  • after the presentations were long over, a handful of students visited us again in the gym to ask more questions

    aiea high school got it right. they seemed to put the right students in the right presentations. i was super happy with the students we met at aiea. (i was pretty surprised at this! i graduated from aiea high school...)

    on the other hand, the ics industry day was sort of the opposite. it probably wasn't organized the best. (and i can be critical of the organization because i helped organize it!). this event usually attracts more than 30 students, but for some reason this time around i would guess that we didn't get more that 10. maybe one can claim quality over quantity at this statistic, but it still discouraging nevertheless. AND i feel bad that i let the other companies down, by not meeting their expectations.

    we happened to be bring our intern to the event, who is from the college of engineering. and after the event, our intern explained how he didn't understand how come the ics students didn't come to the event. i think he also said, he didn't understand why they didn't come to the fall career fair either. something is different in the students... hm... i get way more resumes from engineering students compared to ics students. engineers seemed to be much more prepared when i talk to them. engineering students walk around the fair talking to and questioning the companies. ics students seem to stumble upon us. i can't tell you how many times i get the "oh i didn't know this was going on today" from ics students. i don't know why that is.

    needless to say, i was little disappointed in the turn out. but, i was really happy with the few students that i talked to. for example, i talked to one student that i met on techhui. he seems like a pretty bright student. regardless of the low number of students, talking with students like that makes it all worth it.

    next time things are going to be different in the ics industry day. i think i made a few errors in my planning that i will correct. for example, i will keep the presentations to much shorter; like 10 minutes max. or maybe no presentations at all an just go with table presentations. i want to talk to more students.

    upcoming events: another roosevelt career fair, 2008 Holiday Science & Tech Fair with Pau Hana
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