MESA Connect Newsletter
PG&E sponsors student leadership conferences through 2008
PG&E’s sponsorship was made in recognition of MESA’s success in cultivating tomorrow’s engineering, technology and management leaders from California’s educationally disadvantaged student populations.
“You represent the future of our state, and we are prepared to invest in your success,” PG&E Senior Vice President of Human Resources Russ Jackson told students at “emPOWERing Leaders for Tomorrow,” the first of the three conferences, held October 28–29 at PG&E’s San Ramon Conference Center and co-sponsored by AT&T (formerly SBC).
“In return,” he added, “we challenge you to seize the opportunities in front of you, reach out and form new relationships with others and work hard to achieve your goals. You must never give up.” Jackson is the highest-ranking African-American executive in the company, which employs over 20,000 people.
Over the two-day event, a select group of more than 100 math, science and engineering students from community colleges and four-year universities throughout Northern California immersed themselves in leadership and career-building workshops. Topics included resume writing, job interviewing, time management, writing a business plan and effective teamwork. Many workshops were facilitated by recent college graduates who now work in private industry.
“This is so beneficial—it’s great to know the presenters have been in the same boat as me, working their way through college, and now they have successful careers,” said Ernesto Velasquez, a sophomore at Yuba College. “You are speaking to real bosses you can network and stay in touch with as you get closer to graduation—that’s critical.” Added Richard Margarito, a junior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, “One vice president started out as a hydraulics engineer. If he can do it, so can I.”
Students were selected for their potential to be future leaders of their colleges, the MESA program, and ultimately as a professionals in their fields. Participating four-year institutions included Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Chico, CSU Fresno, CSU Sacramento, San Francisco State, San Jose State, UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz. Community colleges included American River, Cabrillo, Cañada, Cosumnes River, Gavilan, Mission, Napa Valley, Sacramento City, San Joaquin Delta, Skyline and Yuba colleges.
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Photo gallery of San Diego State University MESA Engineering Program staff (MEP Director Theresa Garcia) and students (David Garcia, Jorge Tercero, Roberto Gomez, Silvia Hernandez, Abraham Pineda, and Diego Cota) in attendance: