Steward Scholars BEYA STEM Conference Reflections

As a part of the World Wide Technology Boys Hope Girls Hope Steward Scholars Program, started and funded by David Steward, World Wide Technology Founder and Chairman, collegians attend one networking conference per year and have the opportunity to apply for internships at World Wide Technology. This year, some BHGH Steward Scholars attended the BEYA STEM Conference, which offers opportunities for students exploring STEM career possibilities to those who are already pursuing studies in a STEM discipline. A few scholars reflected on their experience:

Noe (BHGH of Baltimore)
As an International Business & Management major, my career aspiration is to understand how the global economy works and develop strategic plans for international operations. This past summer, I completed a 7-week internship at Under Armour where I learned more about the company and experienced a unique culture. My goal is to work for Under Armour and helping the company thrive in any way possible. Before the conference, I was a bit nervous. I didn’t know how I would create a meaningful connection with STEM professionals because I’m studying business/economy and have little knowledge on science & engineering. During the conference, I attended a couple workshops such as Developing Innovative Ideas for Companies and Improving Your Study Skills. It was a great experience because I learned new professional and personal skills that I can apply to school and future jobs. I learned the importance of time-management and how to organize my notes/materials in an organized way. I learned effective ways of getting your ideas out there and dealing with failure. My overall takeaway was that we’re all capable of transforming the world in a positive fundamental way. I learned this by attending workshops, connecting with people, and having an open mind. And I think the conference did a great job of inspiring people to pursue their goals and make meaningful connections where it will create a generation of innovators.

Jenifer (BHGH of Arizona)
Throughout my career as a student, I have dedicated myself to learning about social justice and human rights issues, and in every opportunity that I encounter and receive, I apply this desire to incorporate reform and progressive values. The BEYA conference was going to be no different, and I imagined what I would say to industry leaders and recruiters, like for example “given the recent Time’s Up movement led by women who are tired of gendered discrimination, have you implemented new systems in order to validate women, and also educate the men who may not know that what they are doing is wrong?” And so, I consider that it is never the wrong time to ask the hard questions, to challenge those who have power and influence, and to provide ideas for solutions. This conference allowed me to grow in the sense that although it was a conference for STEM majors, I could put myself out there, ask questions, and think about the ways that my film major could be beneficial in more ways than I think.

Emmanuel (BHGH of Kansas City)
I am a Freshman majoring in Biology with a track to Pre- Med at the University of Saint Mary. I aspire to graduate with a degree in biology, strive for medical school, and hope to become a family medical doctor upon completion of my education. Prior to the trip to Washington, DC and the BEYA Conference, I was quite nervous since it was the first time I would travel by myself, but above all, I was more excited to experience what it feels like to be part of a professional conference and meet potential mentors. During the conference, I attended several breakout sessions from which I learned more about leadership skills, resume construction, how to deal with conflicts and misunderstandings both in college and at workplaces, and how to take care of my physical and emotional wellbeing. This experience encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, find the confidence within me and interact with the people I met. It was such a fun and memorable experience because I got to meet Mr. David Steward and some professionals. I also enjoyed spending time with the incredible fellow BHGH Steward scholars and getting to know them. Not only did I get to attend the conference but also got a chance to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and take a walk around the DC area with fellow scholars. It very heartwarming and inspirational. I am so thankful for such a wonderful opportunity and look forward to attending more conferences.

Lusmer (BHGH of New York)
After doing all my “major switching” before I got to college, I finally decided on pursuing a career in athletic training. The BEYA conference, however, I believed offered me the opportunity to broaden my interest and get me informed in careers like engineering that I had never thought about. This conference did exactly that and much more. I was able to learn and take skills with me from seminars that I before didn’t have. I was also able to step out my comfort zone and networked with many people. Getting over my hurdle of shyness at this conference allowed me to sell myself in way, allowing me to explain to people what athletic training is and maybe try to find a way I could incorporated to the jobs that were already there. I was successful in doing this, especially with military based recruits who were willing to listen and work with me to help me find way to get to what I want and need. Along with that experience and opportunity a lady I met said, “ it is not who you know but who knows you” and that hit me because I knew and recognized many companies there but if they don’t know me then I can’t get anywhere with that.