Foundations of the Future: The Ins and Outs of a Student Chapter

charlene-gunter-du-plessis.jpg

The IPC Student Chapter network has been a wonderful program, allowing students interested in pursuing a career in electronics manufacturing the opportunity to connect with industry members. These connections are important for knowledge-share from a technical and career aspiration perspective because individuals can enter the industry through various paths. The IPC Education Foundation developed this program to equip students with opportunities that will allow them to benefit personally and professionally. Hannah Nelson serves as the chapter president at Valparaiso University and was elected as a representative to serve on the IPC Board of Directors. She anticipates graduating in 2023 with her electrical engineering degree.

In this interview, Hannah shares with me some valuable tips to ensure student members are engaged and participate in the many benefits the chapter program offers its members.

Charlene Gunter de Plessis: What steps did you take to start an IPC student chapter on your campus?

Hannah Nelson: I started our IPC student chapter in the summer of 2021 when a couple of our students and our advisor reached out to me to take on a leadership position in our IPC student chapter. When COVID happened, our chapter completely fell off, so we were starting completely from scratch. My advisor told me to contact the IPC Education Foundation about how to get re-started, so I did. We executed some events, and they helped me host a kickoff event. From there I reached out to our student senate, and figured out a budget, constitution, and bylaws to help execute some of those events.

In terms of recruitment for leadership in the chapter, I talked to others in my major courses and across campus. In my activities, I preached about the benefits I had already seen through IPC. I also put up several different advertisements throughout the college of engineering.

Gunter de Plessis: That's fantastic. The key is you were proactive; you went and spoke to people on campus to connect the dots. This enriched you and at the same time brought something valuable to your fellow students. That is part of being a leader amongst your peers. Your chapter advisor seems to have played a very important role. What is the role of the chapter advisor? What is the importance of having that support specifically on your campus?

Hannah_Nelson_300.jpgNelson: I believe a chapter advisor is there to help educate and encourage their students to take on a leadership role in their chapter. My advisor wanted us to be fully student-run. For us to take complete charge and create our own events, contact our student organizations on campus, and see what our peers were interested in. He gave us some advice but was not the sole leader in our organization. He had us help take a role in that organization and provided those contacts to help the organization grow.

Gunter de Plessis: What role can the advisor play in terms of sending messages to fellow students in the engineering department, or is it mainly word of mouth? How did people learn about your kickoff event?

Nelson: My advisor had a lot of contacts in the college of engineering. Many professors were able to promote extra credit opportunities in their classes if a student attended our event. I told several classmates and friends how it has helped me, and that it could help them too. We wanted to create events they would be interested in because as college students, our time is incredibly valuable. We're at one club one minute and then we're at class the next minute and then homework like 12 hours of the day.

Gunter de Plessis: Tell me about the types of chapter activities you have done and have planned for the next semester.

Nelson: Last fall we limited it to two events as I worked with our student senate and advisor about how we wanted to grow our chapter. For our kickoff event, the IPC Education Foundation came to our school and talked more about how they could help, as well as the types of activities we could run in our chapter. At another event, which I really loved, we made our own 3D-printed Christmas trees. We soldered them and then got to take them home. It got people excited about the electronics industry. Moving forward, I plan to host several women-in-STEM events. I hope to get speakers from Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and IBM who will speak and encourage other young women to get into the electronics industry. I’m also planning a soldering event for high school girls. We will teach them how to solder as well as gain those professional and development skills before they enter the real world.

Gunter de Plessis: In terms of being an IPC member first and foremost, what benefits spoke to you and to members of your chapter?

Nelson: What’s so beneficial about IPC is the networking. Even before I got into the emerging engineer program or the student board director program, I was able to network with several individuals within the industry. Wendy Gaston connected me with several local companies to coordinate events with them. I talked to IBM, Honeywell, and Lockheed Martin, gaining their insights and mentorship. It completely changed my life and the development of my professional career. I like the courses that IPC provides to learn more about the electronics manufacturing process. It’s not part of my curriculum here and I had no idea that it was a part of the industry. It has helped me know what I want to do this year. The scholarships are incredibly beneficial. I was paying for college on my own so having a scholarship meant I didn’t have to spend so much time working to pay for school.

Gunter de Plessis: Being part of IPC as a student member means you have opportunities to connect with the industry and to network. Each of our student chapters are in a place where we have IPC members serving the industry in their backyards and they are looking for talent. Accessing some industry-related content that is not necessarily covered by your curriculum is a bonus because you can speak the language that the industry folks need. That makes an interview for an internship or a co-op or job so much easier.

As part of the chapter leadership, what plans are you making to ensure that your efforts will continue once you graduate and move on?

Nelson: Most College of Engineering organizations have their elections in the spring, and we planned to have ours at that time as well. But a friend suggested to host our elections in December, so I am still here to provide guidance and make for an easier transition. This is now our plan, and we’ll promote it through our advisor and our college of engineering social media.

Gunter du Plessis: That makes perfect sense. Besides the pandemic, what struggles have you had in getting more interest in your chapter?

Nelson: I believe the biggest struggle was retaining talent because students often belong to several organizations. That could be things like dance marathons, IEEE, IPC, etc. So, what makes our organization stand apart from the others? I think it was in planning the events. We asked students, “What events would you go to? What will help your professional and technical development the most and is worth your time?” To help promote recruitment and retention, we will be at the university’s student organization kickoff event. This is mainly for freshmen who have no idea what our organization is about. We want to get them excited about IPC.

Gunter du Plessis: In terms of chapter leadership, one person cannot do it all. What kind of support do you have to plan and coordinate these chapter operations?

Nelson: This is the hardest part for me because I'm someone who loves to be super proactive and take charge of everything, but I've realized as a leader that I can’t do it all. I learned to delegate some of the responsibilities. For example, our vice president does the communication with high schools or in bringing speakers to our school. Our secretary writes up the minutes for our meetings and helps coordinate events within our college. Our public relations chair helps promote our events, and our treasurer allocates our budget and makes sure we get the funding we need from the student senate.

Gunter du Plessis: Excellent. You have five leadership positions. Being part of a team and mastering teamwork is beneficial and adds key skills to your resumé. Do you feel serving as a student leader on your campus adds to your professional profile?

Nelson: Yes, absolutely. I've completely changed since joining the IPC Education Foundation program. I've expanded my network, and improved my leadership, professional, and technical skills. It's incredibly beneficial. It helped me in my internship this past summer with Caterpillar and even on other organizations that I'm a part of on campus.

Gunter du Plessis: That’s wonderful news. The IPC Education Foundation exists to support, help, and grow students interested in pursuing careers in the electronics manufacturing industry. Hannah, you are a true ambassador for the Foundation, and IPC. We are thankful for your time and for being a true leader.

If anyone is interested in starting an IPC Student Chapter, please reach out to us. I know Hannah would be more than willing to share her thoughts and her ideas. Hannah, do you have any final thoughts?

Nelson: The one thing is just to be there and promote your chapter. Do what you're incredibly passionate about and others will see it. If you have a passion for IPC and everything that they're promoting, others will see it. It is a great way to recruit more members to your chapter.

Gunter du Plessis: Thank you, Hannah. That's great advice and we appreciate you. Good luck with this start of the semester and we will talk soon.

Hannah: Thank you, Charlene.

Charlene Gunter du Plessis is the senior director of the IPC Education Foundation.

Back

2022

Foundations of the Future: The Ins and Outs of a Student Chapter

11-16-2022

The IPC Student Chapter network has been a wonderful program allowing students interested in pursuing a career in electronics manufacturing with the opportunity to connect with industry members. These connections are important for knowledge share from a technical and career aspiration perspective because individuals can enter the industry through various paths. The IPC Education Foundation developed this program to equip students with opportunities that will allow them to benefit personally and professionally. Hannah Nelson serves as the chapter president at Valparaiso University and was elected as a representative to serve on the IPC Board of Directors. She anticipates graduating in 2023 with her electrical engineering degree.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Making Connections in Milwaukee

06-22-2022

The IPC Education Foundation was fortunate to attend two events in the Milwaukee area. Wendy Gaston, business development manager, represented the IPC Education Foundation at these events, and it was wonderful to learn more about her experiences at them. Attending conferences and events always contributes to establishing relationships with new clients, reconnecting with old ones, and learning more about new trends and opportunities for growth.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Optimizing Engagement Through Webinars

05-18-2022

To support students in high school and college by sharing information about the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer, the IPC Education Foundation wanted to ensure that irrespective of the current academic landscape sharing the insights, knowledge and stories from experts should continue to enable students to conveniently attend irrespective of location or circumstance. Webinars have become an extremely useful tool.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: 2021 Recap of Accomplishments

04-18-2022

The IPC Education Foundation had a successful 2021 and accomplished a lot despite the impacts of the pandemic. As we manage our way through the various challenges, we are proud of our progress toward our mission: Develop a pipeline of new talent entering the electronics industry by creating awareness of the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer, and providing students access to knowledge, content, and connections. You can also find a downloadable copy of the “Year in Review” at ipcef.org.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Valuable Career Stories from Career Panel Discussions

03-15-2022

What better way to learn about the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer than hearing from young professionals in the industry. The idea to host another career panel discussion webinar was inspired by a recent article I read about the “3 Things Young Professionals Need to Know to Grow Their Career” by Amy Bastuga, chief people officer at Radio Flyer, number three in Vault's 2021 Best Internships for Overall Diversity. It made me realize that maybe it shouldn’t be that hard…only three things.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: 2021 Scholarships and Awards Overview

02-09-2022

One of the programs of the IPC Education Foundation is proud of is the IPC Scholarships and Awards program. 2021 was a wonderful year in which students excelled deserving students and teachers were recognized for their commitment to the electronics manufacturing industry. A total of $38,000 were awarded.

View Story
Back

2021

Foundations of the Future: Awarding Students with Scholarships

11-04-2021

The value of a scholarship, however, is more than just the ability to cover short-term tuition. A scholarship affords students the opportunity to pursue long-term goals: delivering a return on the initial investment that will benefit the student, his or her family, and the broader community for years to come

View Story

Foundations of the Future: IPC's Generous Support to Upskill Students

07-21-2021

The electronics industry faces the challenge of attracting talent. The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) aims to help solve this challenge by increasing awareness of the industry and equipping students with valuable industry-standard education to better prepare motivated students for careers in electronics.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: IPC Education Foundation Lessons Learned

06-29-2021

Looking back on our second year, the IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) takes pride in how we how we adjusted our engagement initiatives during the pandemic. We couldn’t rely on our original strategy of hosting and attending a range of in-person activities and events.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Emerging Engineers Benefit from Mentorship

04-21-2021

The IPC Emerging Engineer Program just graduated its first members in 2020, finishing up the first batch of the 3-year program. While the Emerging Engineer Program was traditionally created for early-career professionals, IPC and the IPC Education Foundation decided to reserve slots for five qualified student candidates to earn a spot in the professional development and mentorship program.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Introducing Students to a Career in Electronics

03-24-2021

In place of the annual STEM Event that the IPC Education Foundation hosts as part of the IPC APEX EXPO, the foundation held the Build Your Future Career Panel. In the last few years, the IPC Education Foundation has enjoyed hosting Career & Technical Education (CTE) students onsite at the IPC APEX EXPO for an entire day of exposure to the industry and hands-on learning. While we weren’t able to host students in person this year, we hosted a virtual event that introduced hundreds of students and has the potential to reach thousands more thanks to the digital recording.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: IPC Education Foundation Update and Looking Ahead

02-09-2021

The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) takes pride in their accomplishments in their second year. The Foundation focused on a variety of digital/virtual exposure and engagement activities to share information about the electronics manufacturing industry.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Awards and Student Opportunities

01-06-2021

There was no better way to end 2020 than by making a positive impact in deserving students and educators’ lives. We can help students to invest in their future and reward the accomplishments of those who are hardworking and dedicated. Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt as well as professional growth opportunities.

View Story
Back

2020

Foundations of the Future: IPC Student Chapters Gear Up for Competitions

12-02-2020

As colleges and universities continue to adapt to remote and virtual learning, the IPC Education Foundation has also adapted to support its IPC student members and 38 IPC student chapters across the U.S. With the increase in distance learning, Aaron Birney describes how the IPCEF has had to adapt its initiatives for student chapters.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Inspirational Career Paths—Meet Tayler and Olivia

11-04-2020

It is refreshing to connect with young professionals who are passionate about the industry and true ambassadors to IPC. Charlene Gunter du Plessis connected with Tayler Swanson, an engineering team member at Digital Instruments Inc., and Olivia Lim, a manufacturing engineer at Kimball Electronics, to discuss their studies, professional career journeys, and exciting opportunities in the electronics manufacturing industry.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: The Semi-Virtual Landscape of College for IPC Student Chapter Members

10-14-2020

Universities faced tough decisions moving into fall semesters and quarters, and now most students are back on campus for a semi-virtual collegiate experience that significantly affects their courses and extracurriculars. Aaron Birney shares thoughts and experiences in classrooms and campuses across the U.S. from IPC student members and an IPC student chapter advisor and professor.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Making the Most of IPCEF’s Webinar Series

09-02-2020

Webinars are great communication tools, and the possibilities are endless. Charlene Gunter du Plessis and Corey Lynn share updates on the IPC Education Foundation's webinar series, as well as upcoming topics.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Interview With Michael Carano on Mentorship

08-12-2020

In every industry, mentorship enriches and enhances career development. Charlene Gunter du Plessis connects with Michael Carano to hear about his views on mentorship, as well as his experience as a mentor with the IPC Emerging Engineer Program.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Student Representative on the IPC Board of Directors

07-01-2020

Charlene Gunter du Plessis describes how IPC’s Board of Directors recently added a full voting board seat to an IPC Student Member, including introducing the student liaison and sharing an interview with Dr. John Mitchell and Shane Whiteside.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Leadership Roles, and Career Aspirations

06-03-2020

Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt. Charlene Gunter du Plessis highlights some of the 2019 IPCEF scholarship winners, as well as a book on the topic written by Dr. John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: Online Resources Offer Opportunities for Professional Growth

04-29-2020

At a time where 42 states have stay-at-home orders, and thousands of school districts are transitioning to a remote learning environment, online resources are essential. Charlene Gunter du Plessis recaps some of the ways to learn about the electronics manufacturing industry online.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: The Substantial Growth of IPC Student Chapters

04-01-2020

The IPC Education Foundation launched the IPC Student Chapter Program in February 2019, with the formal announcement at IPC APEX EXPO. The program aims to connect students in relevant two-year, four-year, and graduate programs to the electronics industry and IPC member companies. Aaron Birney provides an update on the substantial growth of IPC Student Chapters over the past year.

View Story

Foundations of the Future: STEM Student Outreach Program at IPC APEX EXPO 2020

03-04-2020

When we hold an event, there is nothing more rewarding than words like these from Diego, Mount Miguel High School: “I learned many valuable pieces of information related to engineering careers. My favorite topic to learn about was PCBs. I enjoyed participating in the hands-on activities, such as breadboarding and soldering. Overall, I had a wonderful time at the event!” Charlene Gunter du Plessis shares the success of the IPC STEM Student Outreach Program, as well as other updates from IPC APEX EXPO 2020.

View Story
Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.