2024 Student Leadership Conference

October 11-12| San Francisco


Student Leadership Conference

The Student Leadership Conference (SLC) brings together engineering, computer science and other STEM undergraduate students with industry professionals to develop the next generation of diverse leaders. The conference is an opportunity for STEM students to develop the teamwork and leadership skills necessary to successfully transition from college to professional careers.

This year’s conference will feature over 200 of MESA’s top undergraduate and community college students.


Oct 11-12, San Francisco

During the conference students will:

Explore career opportunities with corporate recruiting panels

Gain career skills with leadership sessions and workshops

Expand professional networks with MESA alumni panels and career expos

Develop interviewing skills


Who’s at SLC?

The in-person conference is an invite-only event for MESA computer science, engineering and other STEM undergraduate students from more than one dozen community colleges and 18 universities throughout California, including:

CSU Chico CSU San Diego UC Los Angeles
CSU East Bay San Francisco State University UC Riverside
CSU Fresno San Jose State University UC Santa Barbara
CSU Long Beach Sonoma State University UC Santa Cruz
CSU Los Angeles University of the Pacific
CSU Sacramento UC Irvine University of Southern California



Key Conference Elements

Conference events will give students the unique opportunity to interact with industry professionals one-on-one or in small groups. This access boosts confidence, exposes them to real-world career situations and helps companies identify potential future employees.



Students attend a series of on site workshops focused on developing emotional intelligence, leadership, and other important skills critical to their success.

Career Expo

Student participants have an opportunity to interact with a representatives from a numer of companies in the STEM field to learn more about careers and internship opportunities.

Team Challenge 

In-person student participants are grouped into teams and given a project assignment to complete by the end of the conference.  Each project will be reviewed and judged by industry representatives.  Prizes are awarded to the top-scoring project teams.

Ray Landis Impact Award

This distinguished honor is bestowed upon a visionary in diversity and STEM education.  At the 2018 MESA Student Leadership Conference, we commemorated the life and impact of Ray Landis with the inaugural award presented to Rick Ainsworth.

Understanding Dr. Landis’ life and work is to understand a blueprint for how to have impact.  His legacy is all around us: from the 250,000 MESA alumni to the over 45 MESA college program sites to the over 7,000 college students currently enrolled in MESA programs here in California alone.  We believe, however, that it is critically important for us to preserve his legacy by continuing to tell the story of his life and his work.   


Event Schedule

What’s happening at SLC?

12:00  Conference Check-in

2:00   Kick-Off/Team Ice Breaker/Project Intro

3:30    Lightning Round 1 – PG&E

4:05   Lightning Round 2 – TBD

4:30   Room Key Distribution

6:00   Welcome Dinner w/ Alumni Panel

8:00   Photos

9:00   Team Meet-Ups/Networking

7:30AM Breakfast & Team Work Time

9:15      Workshop Rotation 1 – Uber

10:30    Workshop Rotation 2 – PG&E

11:45      Lunch

1:20PM Workshop Rotation 3 – Harris & Assoc.

2:35      Workshop Rotation 4 – Team Project Work

3:45    Career Expo and Refreshment Break

4:30    Final Team Meet Ups

6:00    Closing Dinner w/ Recruiter Panel

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Industry partners participate in panels, workshops and a Career Expo during which they may identify candidates for internships and full time STEM positions.  A complete conference schedule is pending and will be posted soon.

Find more details at the bottom of this page on how companies and individuals can get involved. 


How You Can Strengthen SLC


Company Engagement

Sponsorships include myriad opportunities for branding, student impact, talent recruitment and access to high caliber MESA students.


Sponsor benefits:

Diversify you company's talent pipeline

Engage employees through a tangible opportunity for your company to give back

Access future STEM leaders

Catch the creative spark and energy of young scientists and engineers

In-person Expo Rep

Date/Time: Saturday, 10/12 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Included: 6 ft table and 1 chair. Engage with students 1 on 1 and introduce your company to them. We encourage pre-packaged swag giveaways to make a healthy environment. 

Upon arrival at the conference, you will be shown the location of your table for setup. Once the expo begins, students will line up to interact with you one on one. 

To register for a table at the expo, click here

In-person Workshop Host/Panelist

Lead a workshop to boost students’ career skills in topics such as team-building, emotional intelligence, communications. This is an opportunity to showcase your company and career opportunities.

Panels made up of company recruiters discuss trends in hiring and answer student questions.

For more information or to discuss a workshop or panel contact Development Director Mindy Rieger.

For more information, view our SLC 2024 Sponsor Packet.

If you are interested in supporting the Student Leadership Conference, or to find out more information, please contact:

Mindy Rieger, Director of Development


Individual Engagement 

Inspire and be inspired! Volunteer for SLC.


In-Person Team Leader

Summary: Corporate team leaders assist MESA staff in guiding students in team projects. Captains will provide support and coaching and will help focus the group on the tasks at hand and ensure they meet the project milestones and deadlines.

Location: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Conference attendees and team makeup: 20 teams made up of 10 university and community college students from around California. The majority of the students are engineering or computer science majors.

Training: MESA will host a webinar in October.  Date tbd. 

Time commitment: 1 hour training (above) and:

Friday 10/11 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm 

Saturday 10/12  7:00 am – 8:00 pm
A hotel stay is highly recommended, but not required.  Discounted lodging rates are available.

To register as a team leader, please click here


2023 Sponsors

Pacific Gas and Electric logo
Qualcomm logo
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MESA Statewide Office

1111 Franklin Street, 10th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607 

Call Us

(510) 987-9337