Students Work at Google, Cisco and Honda And It's All Because of a Group Named SHPE

Members of NJIT SHPE at the recent national conference in Baltimore.

Mari Vasconez interned at Google last summer and will return this June for a second internship.

John Canela interned at Cisco in 2014 and now works there as an IT engineer.

Fernando Rosero had three internships – at General Motors, Verizon Wireless and Johnson & Johnson – and works now as a design engineer for Honda.

Vasconez is a senior while Canela and Rosero are recent NJIT graduates. And one of the things they have in common is this: they all belong to the Society of Hispanic and Professional Engineers (SHPE) at NJIT. It is their affiliation with SHPE that helped them get their internships and jobs.

Every year, SHPE hosts a national conference. It includes a career fair for students that draws Fortune 500 companies.  Every year NJIT SHPE members travel to the conference and attend the career fair. And that is where, and how, they land their great internships. This year, nearly 100 students made the trip.

“I received and accepted an internship and two co-op jobs through SHPE conferences,” said Rosero. “And that experience made all the difference in my being hired as a design engineer at Honda, a job I love.”

With success like that, it’s no surprise that NJIT’s SHPE chapter is flourishing. Despite the name, SHPE is open to all students, not just Hispanics, and it’s not restricted to engineers: all majors are welcome. With 146 student members, it is the largest SHPE chapter in New Jersey.

Many of the students who traveled to Baltimore last week for the national conference expect to get offers for internships over the next month or so, from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Facebook.

“NJIT SHPE has made a great effort reaching out to the student body this year,” said Vasconez, SHPE’s vice president.  “We strive to help and empower our members by offering opportunities and letting them network with professionals -- connections that will last with our Familia!” 

Success breeds success, and since Vasconez interned successfully at Google she was able to arrange for a Google manager to visit NJIT and talk to students about careers there. Samuel Morales, a program manager at Google, will speak on Friday, Nov. 20, from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m. in room 118 of Kupfrian Hall. The information session is open to all students. 

“Google is a great company and it was exciting to intern there this summer,” said Vasconez. “All students are welcome to attend the info session, which we are really looking forward to.”

Information about upcoming events is available on the NJIT SHPE website.

Mike Chica, a junior majoring in Information Technology and NJIT SHPE’s Webmaster, said the group hopes to attract even more students from all ethnic groups and any major.

“The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community [and others] to realize their fullest potential and impacts the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development,” Chica said.

By Robert Florida