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Explore academic, professional opportunities with Mizzou NSBE

February 06, 2023

Mizzou's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers welcomed new students at the BBQ and during Welcome Week with activities throughout Lafferre Hall.
Members of Mizzou’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers welcomed new students at the New Student BBQ in August 2022.

Interested in joining a community to support your academic and professional career both during and after college? Mizzou’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is working to create a NSBE family, one member at a time.

Nationally, NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community, said Ogheneobarome Emeje, president of Mizzou NSBE and a senior in biomedical engineering. And that mission is directly pursued at Mizzou.

“Our chapter hosts events that embody the mission statement and social events that help build that family atmosphere,” Emeje said.

Last fall, Mizzou NSBE hosted a resume review before the career fair, a mentorship mix and mingle and scavenger hunts around Lafferre Hall, among other events and general body meetings. They also hosted NSBE Week in October, which featured a different event every day that served the mission of positive community impact and professional excellence.

This semester is no different, and Mizzou NSBE is already holding events for chapter members and other engineering students. On February 4, they hosted the Spring Zone meeting for NSBE members from chapters across Missouri and Oklahoma.

“It was a day full of workshops such as professional and leadership,” said Emeje. “We also had a book drive with books given to a local Columbia high school. It was a great experience that provided time for networking and preparation for the national conference that’s coming up in March.”

Spring Zone is preparation for securing employment or internships, while nationals will teach members how to do their best in those positions, added Trenton Foster, treasurer of Mizzou NSBE and a senior in computer and electrical engineering.

In addition to hosting events and attending conferences that encourage professional development, members say the relationship building that comes from being a part of the Mizzou NSBE community is special.

“Our chapter isn’t the biggest or smallest chapter,” Foster said. “But the bonds we create are strong. Everyone interacts together and knows each other. We all hang out and are always willing to bring more people in. We’ll show up at a conference and most groups will have two or three people, but we walk into rooms with 10 people all together.”

Emeje emphasized that the connections stay strong even past graduation.

“After people graduate, they stay connected with us,” she said. “They share opportunities such as internships, co-ops and full-time positions. They also come back and share their experiences with org members. They’re so thankful to have this space when they were in college and want to give back as much as possible.”

The academic and professional opportunities available are only part of the reason Emeje joined NSBE during her freshman year. She also was looking for a community.

“Another reason for why I joined is that I get the chance to be myself with like-minded people, who look like me and have similar experiences navigating college as a Black engineering student,” she said. “When you join, just know you’ll never be alone again.”

Foster added that he values the social aspect of Mizzou NSBE.

“It’s the fact that I get to see my friends every day,” he said. “It’s also getting the opportunity to mentor younger students. Just this morning I had a younger member of NSBE ask me to mentor her after I graduate. It’s really cool that now I’ve become like one of the people I look up to for someone else.”

Anybody who is looking for a way to grow professionally or for a community should join Mizzou NSBE, members agreed.

“You don’t have to be Black, and you don’t have to be an engineer. Our mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community, but we’re really just a big family and we’re happy to include you,” Foster said.

Emeje added that joining Mizzou NSBE was a pivotal moment in her college experience.

“I want people to know that if I didn’t have NSBE throughout my college experience, I wouldn’t be here today,” Emeje said. “I wouldn’t be president of this fantastic org and graduating in four years. The NSBE family has been with me through my highs and lows. With their love and support, I am the leader, friend and student I am today.”

Want to earn an engineering degree while exploring professional development opportunities with your friends? Choose Mizzou Engineering today!