Networking and Inspiration at E-Fest

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Getting involved in the planning and execution for E-Fest West was truly a great experience filled with fun memories and shared experiences. About a year ago, I transferred from a community college to Cal Poly Pomona and joined the ASME student chapter right away. I was blessed to find out about the opportunity to become a student lead for E-Fest West and was grateful to get involved in the planning committee.

During the planning of the event, I was tasked with contacting schools regarding registration and volunteer opportunities for E-Fest West. It was tough at times to get replies from schools but at the end, we had a great turn-out. Helping students from other schools register and check-in on day 1 of the event was a satisfying experience. It was fun to see their enthusiasm for what was to come, such as the Human Powered Vehicle Competition (HPVC).

After registering and checking-in attendees, I helped with safety checks of the HPVC vehicles. Setting up the safety checkpoints and helping with the process of the safety checks of 20 vehicles from different schools was a phenomenal experience. My passion lies in the automotive industry and through HPVC I got opportunity to understand how each vehicle worked and the different ways the vehicles were safe or unsafe for the competition. The staff responsible for the safety checks were engineers in the industry and learning from their past experiences gave me a better knowledge of how the industry works.

Some of the student participants came from schools as far as South Dakota and Hawaii. This really showed their determination to attend E-Fest West and participate in different competitions. The event provided me the opportunity to volunteer, talk, and network with students and staff from various schools. This experience was one of the most enjoyable as I was able to learn about their interests in the field of engineering and about the different competitions they were part of. In addition, listening to the guest speakers was beneficial as they talked about projects they had been involved with and gave tips on how to pursue a career in engineering based on their past experiences.

E-Fest West was truly the highlight of my spring break. Seeing different groups and individuals work toward the objective of winning different competitions while being professional and friendly to the peers around them was an enriching experience. Participating in events such as E-Fest can be beneficial for students as it exposes them to the real world of competition and networking which is crucial in today’s workplace.

Mirza Wali Ali Baig is a member of the 2018-2019 E-Fest Leadership Program.

If your university is interested in hosting a future E-Fest, checkout the Host Application for more information and how to apply.