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10th Annual Student Leadership Conference

The Student Leadership Conference (SLC) is a one and a half day STEM undergraduate student development conference held each fall (October) and is a partnership between MESA and industry.


The Student Leadership Conference is an opportunity for STEM students to develop “soft skills” necessary to successfully transition from college to professional careers. During the conference students:

  • Explore career opportunities
  • Practice their collaboration and problem solving skills
  • Enhance their oral, written, presentation and communication skills
  • Develop interviewing skills

Industry partners provide workshops, event speakers, conduct mock interviews and identify candidates for internship and full time STEM positions.



The MESA SLC is attended by:

  • 200 selected MESA computer science, engineering and mathematics undergraduate students
  • Over 30 MESA center directors from throughout the state
  • MESA alumni from throughout the country
  • Industry and government agency representatives
  • Various national, state, and local government representatives

Students will be selected by their MESA directors based upon their demonstrated potential to be future leaders for their college, the MESA program, their community and ultimately, their professional field.

All undergraduate levels are invited; however, a preference is given to sophomore and junior students.


Leadership Workshops: Students attend a series of five workshops focused on leadership and its importance. Industry-provided facilitators work with students during 45-minute sessions on a leadership topic of their choice. See the conference agenda for this year’s workshop descriptions and content.

Mock Interviews: Each student participates in a mock situational interview facilitated by industry representatives who provide feedback and coach the students on successful strategies.

Video Challenge: A number of students will compete in a video challenge designed to foster teamwork, collaboration, research, presentation skills and a Q&A session before industry judges. Competing for a $1000 cash award, each team of students will develop a two-minute marketing video. This is an exciting event to drop in on Friday afternoon and see the students in action as they show their video, discuss their process and take questions from the judges.



Alumni and Industry Reception: An invite only VIP event for MESA alumni and industry representatives to gather for an update on MESA’s latest news, partnership opportunities and future plans.

Plenary Sessions: Designed as a vehicle for industry, graduate schools and government agencies to invite current undergraduate students to discuss opportunities in a smaller setting.

Breakfast: Students connect informally with other MESA student leaders from other campuses.



The Student Leadership Conference features the MESA Champion Award Banquet on Saturday evening. Each year, MESA recognizes an industry, government agency or collaborator who exemplifies and advocates the organization’s vision and mission.



12:00 -2:00 p.m. Registration
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. MESA Challenge (semi-finals)
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Industry & MESA Alumni Reception
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Welcome Dinner
8:00 – 9:30 p.m. Photos


8:00 – 9:15 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Workshop Rotation I
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Workshop Rotation II
11:45 – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Workshop Rotation III
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Workshop Rotation IV
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. MESA Directors’ Meeting
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Plenary sessions for students
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Awards Banquet & Closing Ceremony
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Photos


Breaking Down Boring

Get ready to throw boring out the window! When you are responsible for keeping hundreds of pounds of gas pressure safely in the ground, it is no easy task. Join in as presenters break down the misconception that utility companies are a snooze. Topics include reacting to uncontrollable factors, workplace initiative and managing obstacles as a woman.

Effective Communications

Modern technology and conveniences have brought with them new means of communicating and sharing ideas. We are now more connected than ever due to email, cell phones and social media. As a result, effective communication skills are now seen as invaluable. The ability to effectively and efficiently convey our ideas and wants to others is an important key to success. This workshop will present the various forms and techniques associated with effective communication relevant to those in academia and to those beginning their professional careers in STEM fields.


Gaining Insight into Your Leadership Style

If you’ve ever had to work in a team, you know every work style and personality is different. This workshop helps individuals identify their strategic style — how they take in, process and use information. Understanding these styles allows you to best modify your approach when interacting with others to achieve positive results. As a leader it is important to understand the differences between yourself and the people who you will lead or work with. It shows how one person’s style meshes with others.


Road Map to Leadership

Please join Edison International as we present a workshop on leadership in today’s evolving workforce. Learn how to differentiate between the qualities of a leader versus a manager and gain insight on how to charter your own course towards effective leadership.


Social for Success — In Person and Online

Putting your best foot forward — including your “e-foot” — is crucial. Networking, looking for and applying to jobs, interviewing and follow up interaction require the best representation of yourself. This interactive lecture will give you the necessary know-how to distinguish yourself as a leader among your peers, your network and your colleagues.


Social Media and Your On-Going Journey

Brand yourself! Learn to create compelling content, manage communication overflow and keep abreast of emerging trends in social media. During this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn about the advantages of using social media tools as a student, personal branding, controlling privacy and profiles, job search techniques and how employers can use social media to find new recruits.

A BIG thank you goes out to the following alumni:  Daisy Galeana, Victor Baker, Wendy Martinez, Luke Anthony BurganGrady Gordon and Maria Charles for your dedication, passion, and loyalty to SDSU MEP. It was a very proud moment to observe you at the MESA Student Leadership Conference Alumni Reception, sponsored by SDG&E and seeing you participate in the Alumni Panel on Friday night. We received such great words of praise, admiration, and inspiration after the events this weekend. Even the speakers the next day were still talking about what the panel had to share.

We can’t put into words the importance of the messages you gave in so many ways, thank you for you time and constant support to the growth of not only SDSU MEP/MSP but for future generations of STEM students.

For more information, visit the MESA SLC website or view the brochure.

Published in MESA Activities