In celebration of Black History Month, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science invited members of the Memorial University chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers to share some insights on their academic experiences.
Meet Conquest Paul-Eboigbe from Nigeria. Ms. Paul-Eboigbe is a fifth-year electrical engineering student.
JL: Why did you choose Memorial University for your undergraduate engineering studies?
CPE: I chose engineering at Memorial because of the fees and stayed because of the work terms.
JL: Tell us about your background before coming to Memorial University to study engineering.
CPE: I had zero experience with engineering before I came to Memorial. I had never coded before or even knew anything about engineering design, but I considered engineering as a career because I love to create stuff and be hands-on.
JL: What advice would you give your first-year self?
CPE: Do your research before starting any project. It will reduce the number of mistakes you could possibly make.
JL: What are some challenges you have faced and how have you overcome those challenges?
CPE: I found it difficult to get my first co-op (work term) opportunity because I had no experience with jobs or engineering. I was eventually able to get a work term and I think what really contributed to that was completing the Solidworks and AutoCAD certification program at Memorial.
JL: What suggestions do you have for Memorial Engineering to help improve the experiences of Black engineering students?
CPE: Make more accommodations for Black engineering students. Black engineering students have to work twice as hard to find good jobs, so creating more opportunities for us to show our strengths, like workshops and competitions, and encourage more diversity in co-op work (term) placements.
Encourage diversity on student teams at Memorial to motivate Black engineering students to join those teams.
I also think Memorial should promote mental health awareness in the Black engineering community because as engineering students, we sometimes forget to take care of our mental health due to pressures from having a huge workload in school and from society to prove ourselves.
Next up is student Mohannad Alrefai — read about him in the Gazette on Friday, Feb. 25! Profiles of members of the National Society of Black Engineers at Memorial will continue through the month of February.