Northeastern University’s Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers hosted their annual banquet Oct. 18 to help give their members an edge within the cutthroat STEM industry by introducing them to potential employers which could offer internships and co-op opportunities.
The event featured panels from seven different companies including GE Aviation, Biogen, HubSpot, Inc. and more.
John Yim, SASE’s logistics coordinator, said the purpose of the event is to help undergraduate students become more comfortable with local Boston businesses and to help them form connections with company executives.
“The point was to get our members more acquainted with what kind of companies are around Boston and networking is a great way to get a more personal relationship,” Yim said. “It’s obviously much easier to try to find jobs when you know a person inside a company.”
Yim described SASE as being half a cultural club, and half a professional club. General meetings, Yim said, usually include engineering and science based activities, while group night events are meant to help members connect with one another.
Professional events like last Friday’s, however, are meant to help SASE’s members network, Yim said.
“With these professional events, we are trying to promote Asian Americans in the workforce and readying us for work,” Yim said.
Jessica Cheng, a senior at Northeastern, said the event fostered an open conversation about the importance of celebrating diversity.
“I think it’s particularly hard for minorities, especially with Asians, we’re kind of treated as a model minority, so I think it’s really helpful, within a safe environment where we can connect and have an understanding,” Cheng said. “Maybe we don’t all come from STEM families, we really try to focus on the development of the students here.”
Jonah Min, a software engineer at HubSpot, Inc., a developer of software products, said his company has made an effort to be more inclusive toward the Asian community. Min said the company is actively working on their diversity inclusion, which has made him feel lucky to work for them.
As a recent addition to HubSpot Inc.’s team, Min said he understands the importance of having real-world experience when applying for jobs.
“A lot of people kind of think, ‘if I get good grades and get through my classes, I’ll get a good job,’” Min said, “but in reality a lot of companies want to see that you have a real passion for what you do and a lot of drive and show that through the things that you do for yourself, individually and not just through a class setting.”