SDSU Student Organization Launches Next Generation of Black Engineers | Information Center

NSBE SDSU serves as the launch pad to a successful career for countless Black engineering students at SDSU.

Abi-Daniel, a mechanical engineering student at San Diego State University, volunteered to set up tables for a job fair on campus. He left the event with a coveted internship at Collins Aerospace, a world leader in aerospace and defense technology.

“I didn’t even know Collins Aerospace had hired mechanical engineers until they spoke at one of our professional development panels,” said Daniel, president of SDSU’s student-run chapter. National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

With more than 24,000 active members in the United States and abroad, NSBE offers an extensive support network to connect black college and pre-college students with engineering and technology professionals. Connections like these can last a lifetime and launch exceptional careers.

“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to network with these businesses and professionals without NSBE,” said Napoleon.

NSBE aims to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, achieve professional success, and have a positive impact on the community. “Black engineers are not always easy to see. We want to provide resources and connections that black engineers can benefit from,” said Daniel, President of NSBE SDSU.

Abel Napoleona mechanical engineering senior and NSBE SDSU leader, secured an internship with Solar Turbines at the same Engineers Giving Opportunities Career Fair, an annual NSBE SDSU event with high profile sponsors such as Dexcom and Qualcomm.

“They are looking for bright young students and our students are the new talent they are looking for. It’s mutually beneficial,” said Aquinas’ mannerssenior in mechanical engineering and vice president of NSBE SDSU.

With resume workshops, mentorship programs, and a wide range of opportunities, NSBE SDSU serves as a stepping stone to successful careers for countless Black engineering students at SDSU.

Earlier this month, the club attended NSBE’s Black History Month Professional Mixer, hosted by the NSBE Professional Chapter of San Diego. Students connected with black San Diego-based engineering professionals and listened to panels on topics including racial injustice, generational wealth building and mental health in the workplace.

“The event gave me the feeling I felt when I attended my first NSBE SDSU meeting: just this overwhelming sense of inspiration,” Daniel said.

The event was organized by an Aztec alumnus Jayton Harps (’13, IT) software integration engineer at Northrop Grumman and current president of the NSBE Professional Chapter in San Diego. He explained that he too benefited from the NSBE SDSU.

“I didn’t really know what engineering was until I met NSBE,” Harps said. “I learned these leadership skills through their events and was able to sharpen my resume and network with amazing people and companies.”

Harps remembers his difficult workload and how being part of a support network helped him then and now. “Becoming a STEM professional, you can’t go through this alone. You’re going to need someone to talk to who understands where you’re coming from…and who believes in you,” Harps said.

The domino effect of giving back continues in the current senior class of NSBE students, who are giving it back through community events and paving the way for future black engineers at SDSU: Daniel said he wants to inspire young students of first year and second year” by leading for example, to plant these seeds.

Harps advice for budding young black engineers: Know your worth.

“We come from a history of entrepreneurs, thought leaders,” Harps said. “We built the pyramids. We cannot forget our history and what we have achieved. Engineering is in our blood.

As for the future, Harps said he will continue to support Aztec students in their future endeavors in the field of engineering.

“I bleed black and red. That’s why I keep giving back. It just means a lot to me.

Virginia S. Braud