Queen’s engineering alumni have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. As engineering students, we are eager to learn from the experience of our esteemed alumni. All we needed was a program to connect alumni with students – that’s why I developed PEP Talks (Professional Engineering Perspectives Talks), a student-run program made possible in part by donors like you.
Although bringing alumni speakers to campus was not new, a formal program did not exist. The guest speakers were fabulous alumni with consistently amazing stories, but the alumni speaker program was floundering without a strategy or goal, and the students were losing interest.
PEP Talks put the program in the students’ hands, allowing us to seek alumni speakers to meet our specific interests and needs – needs that change by the week in a program as hands-on and intense as engineering at Queen’s!
Our events feature alumni from all engineering disciplines and give students insight into the vast array of possibilities beyond the Iron Ring.
This past December, PEP Talks hosted Phil Sager (Sci’03), Senior Manager at Bain & Company. Just before exam period, students’ time is at a premium as you may remember, but Mr. Sager spoke to a full house.
You probably also recall how eager you were as a student, particularly in third and fourth years, to explore the possibilities for your future career. Today’s engineering students are no different. They were eager to hear about Mr. Sager’s experiences in industries including airlines, industrial products, media and entertainment. His presentation also explored the many career options that an engineering degree holds for new graduates.
"Coming back to Queen's to speak with current students is a highlight of being an alumnus,” Mr. Sager told me. “Their accomplishments and ambitions never cease to amaze me and I really enjoy hearing stories from campus. The most rewarding part of each trip back is providing guidance, advice and helping students think about getting their career started."
It is so rewarding to hear that alumni get as much out of PEP Talks as we do!
PEP Talks is just one example of the many ways engineering students take initiative beyond the classroom.
Thanks to alumni gifts to the Dean’s Excellence Fund, other engineering students are building solar houses, challenging the limits of robotics, and preparing plans and models for improved household cleaners and craft for space travel. What we all have in common is the desire to make a difference.
Just as one student can make a difference by taking initiative and creating change, one donor can make a difference by ensuring the opportunities are available.
We can't do it without you. Please add your support to the 2011-12 Queen’s Annual Appeal with a gift to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Excellence Fund today.
Yours in thanks,
Vaughn DiMarco, Sci'11 (Mechanical)