I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break. It always seems like it takes forever to get to break. I know I had a lot of issues staying focused on homework and lecture during the week leading up to break. However I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t have a midterm right before break so I could slack off a little bit. A lot of my professors were also extremely ready for break so they went easy on us as well.
You may have noticed my blog has been a bit quiet. It’s been a busy couple of weeks. The weekend before break I flew to San Francisco for a conference for one of my organizations. I’m part of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and they have a regional student conference in the spring with a national student conference in the fall. Regional conferences are held at a host university in that region. University of Iowa hosted the regional conference when I was a sophomore which is when I really got interested in this organization. I became the historian, tasked with recording all the things our chapter does, and awards we get. As part of the historian role, I also attend the national conference to take pictures of our students presenting and receiving awards. The national conference is held in a large city; I’ve been to Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and now San Francisco. Eighteen students from our chapter navigated airports and train stations to attend the conference. This was my first time in California so I was very excited. We had time to explore the city and got to meet a lot of people.
I also had the honor of being involved in a presentation about our chapter’s outreach activities (I’ll have to do a blog post about that), so we had the opportunity to talk to students from universities across the country as they try to implement similar outreach programs.
University of Iowa also hosted an alumni reception while we were there so we spent an evening dressed up, eating fancy appetizers, and talking with alumni on the 40th floor of a hotel. It was really fun to talk to the alumni that are either currently working in California or retired in California about student life at the university. They were asking about some of their favorite restaurants, whether the library is still intimidating, and if the engineering building is still cold. We informed them that while the library is newly remodeled, the engineering building is still cold in certain rooms. We were also able to ask career advice and talk to them about engineering in the field. It was a really great experience and a cool way to spend an evening in a cool city.
This trip was very educational and very fun. It was cool to explore a new place and learn so much. I’m so glad that I got involved and really invested my time in this organization.