A Look Inside of NSBE
National Society of Black Engineers, otherwise known as NSBE, is a campus wide organization at Frostburg State University. Founded in 1975, NSBE has now reached to over 394 colleges, coming to Frostburg State University in 2012 with the hopes of ensuring students excel academically and professionally.
Within this organization are seven executive board members along with its estimated 30 other members. NSBE President Kimera Peterson says their mission is “to increase the number of cultural engineers who are black and to make them more professionally and academically aware.”
“We as a national organization strive for people to prosper in predominately white fields,” she added. Often times many people assume this organization only reaches out to African American engineering majors but Peterson explains it to be the exact opposite, “on my executive board I have two computer science majors and a marketing major and it’s absolutely wonderful to have such diversity. We welcome anyone, because even if you’re not an engineering major, it does not mean you don’t have interest in something we can offer”.
NSBE offers activities such as leadership training, professional development, career placement services and more. For instance, the board of NSBE recently practiced what is known as the ‘elevator pitch,’ which focuses on career and professional development. In this practice you pretend “walking onto an elevator and explain/sell yourself in one minute,” says Peterson. This ‘elevator pitch’ is used to practice effective communication skills and show one’s use of professionalism. “Those are the type of activities that we want to spread out to the entire campus,” explains Peterson. Peterson also explained how NSBE is in the process of rebranding and looking to possibly have collaborations with other organization in the future.
Frostburg State University’s NSBE students traveled to Bethesda MD where they attended the Fall Regional Conference (FRA) at the Bethesda Marriot Convention Center, last November. This over-night weekend visit consisted of “career fairs where we got to interact with professionals who are already working with engineering and computer science and stem jobs for companies like Google, Facebook and more.” Mentioning the ‘presidents workshop’ as being her favorite part of the convention Peterson says this was “overall a great experience.” This conference allowed for NSBE students to further educate themselves in their field while making professional connections.
The president’s convention was very influential and positive for President Kimera; it was there where she was able to find and connect with other students who go through some of the same things she does being president. “Presidency is something that is always difficult to balance with other classes and being engineering major. The work is very challenging and you have to do extensive practice to understand it. I think my biggest role as president is to bridge the gap between what the officers want, members want and what I want.” A junior majoring in materials engineering, Peterson works hard to ensure all members and students become more educated about NSBE.
The weekly meetings are at 6 p.m in Compton room 358; NSBE strongly encourages people to come out and be a part of the journey to success. Coming to the meetings will allow for students to “get added to a group chat which opens connections between other students on campus to get help.”
When asked what all FSU students should know about NSBE, Peterson explained, “even though NSBE is defined as National Society of Black Engineers come to one of the meetings, it can be for you no matter what your major is.” With the motto of NSBE being ‘#BeGreat,’ the teams wants everyone to join the movement because it is a wonderful thing to strive to be.