The Chemist: NSBE Reflection

Hey everyone! Sorry we didn't get to post last week, but were preparing to host our very first workshop for the NSBE convention in Pittsburgh last weekend. But now we're back to our regularly scheduled program. This week we thought it was appropriate to reflect on our experience from last weekend, so I'll tell you guys a little bit about what we did and how it went.

Some months ago, we decided that it would be a great idea to showcase #MacScientist on a large scale and see if we could get a slot to do a workshop for NSBE. Soyo and I knew some of the people on the planning committee, so she applied for us and we were awarded the opportunity to do it. Let us keep in mind one thing, none of us have every put on a workshop at a huge conference like NBSE aka we had not clue what were doing at first. So this was all basically a leap of faith to see if this would even work and have the impact that we wanted it to have.

We decided on the topic of "defining your vision" which initially was going to include making vision boards, but we later realized would've been hard to plan for because we didn't know how many people were going to show up, what the room was going to look like, etc. So we ended up picking three things we felt were essential to creating your own #MacPrint to success and chose mentorship, networking, and self-confidence as the focus of our workshop. Each of us picked our topic and framed how we were going to convey the importances of those ideas to small groups of students. We planned discussion questions and an icebreaker to kick things off and everything.

Workshop day comes and the turn out was amazing! We had about 30-40 students from all parts of their lives - some in middle school, undergrad, some heading towards graduation - and it went really smooth. We started with a human bingo game and opened the discussion some questions before breaking them up into small groups to do their rotations with 2 of us. We didn't think we were going to take up a full 90 minutes, but we actually almost went over time.

My part of the workshop was networking. Anyone that knows me knows I'm extremely comfortable in front of people, am not-so-secretly animated, but I also like group settings to be interactive which means I made my group do skits. I had a numbered list of some dos and dont's for networking and made every subgroup randomly pick a number and they had to come up with skits to go with it. It went extremely well! My groups got very creative and I gave them advice about what to do and what not to do. All in all, the workshop was a hit and I want to thank everyone that attended.

My favorite thing about this whole experience was the feedback people gave us after it was all over. It felt so good to make an impact like we did that day and hopefully we can continue to give workshops at other conferences to spread the #MacScientist brand.

-The Chemist

#MacScientist #ReIgniteTheFlame #NSBE44 #Networking #Science #BlackEngineers