It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”  ~Tom Brokaw


Recently, STEM professionals exemplified this aphorism wholeheartedly by making a difference in the lives of more than 200 first-generation college students.


The 2016 MESA Student Leadership Conference provided students a unique opportunity to engage with professionals from 28 companies and organizations. Interactions ranged from informal gatherings to team-building competitions and career preparation workshops, all geared toward providing students with the 21st century skills they need to succeed.


A highlight of the conference for students and industry alike are the mock interviews.   Dozens of representatives from a variety of select companies readily sacrificed their Saturday to consult one-on-one with MESA students, practicing and refining interview techniques and strategies. Mock interviewers represented the following organizations:


  • Acquest
  • Applied Materials
  • AT&T
  • CHC Consulting
  • Intel
  • Merced College
  • Michael Green Consulting
  • PG&E
  • Southern California Gas
  • SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific)


Students gave a resounding thumbs up to the chance to interact with professionals working in the same fields they are diligently studying.


“I love that we got an opportunity to meet with so many professionals,” one student said. “The mock interviews were really enjoyable and relate-able to what will be expected in future interviews.”


The willingness of these professionals to invest in the success of our future STEM leaders was not lost on our students. They clearly embraced the experience and exhibited their gratitude through firm hands shakes, excited applause and a flood of LinkedIn connection requests. 


Here at MESA we’d like to continue that show of gratitude to the volunteers. You made a difference.


Thank you.