19 Anthony Zayas

Major: Aeronautical Engineering
School: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Having transferred to a prestigious school like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, SASE was actually the first club I checked out. I actually took the initiative to do research before even starting my time at RPI. During the summer I searched on Facebook for an organization that values diversity in Asian culture and the STEM field. I stumbled upon SASE and was excited to see that RPI has a chapter. I directly messaged the president at the time (Alexander Yin, shout out!) and asked about SASE and what members strive to achieve by being part of it. One highlight that Alex pointed out was the national conference. I was thrilled to hear about this opportunity since it offers networking with other chapters and talking to recruiters about internships/full-time positions in STEM at great companies. About a couple weeks before I even moved to RPI, I already committed to attend the conference.

The conference itself was amazing, I attended both 2015 and 2016 in Houston and Dallas, respectively. What I got out of those conferences were many memorable moments that include exploring new cities with fellow members, connecting with recruiters, and honing my soft skills that are applicable to giving a 60 second pitch, making myself stand out from competitors, and what it takes to be a leader in any scenario.

Aside from the national conference, I was able to gain leadership experience through RPI's SASE chapter. I got involved in supporting our school's career center on hosting their annual spring career fair. My roles in the first career fair revolved around advertising the career fair through various forms of social media. The second time I served as co-chair and helped ensure that the career fair was a success in various aspects through the committees we had, as well as recruiting volunteers for setting up and closing up the career fair.

Having graduated this past May I'm grateful for the opportunities SASE has given me. I hope to give back and possibly take on volunteer positions in my current region (Northeast) someday. It's something that I highly encourage students to invest time in outside of classes.

What empowers you, and how do you empower others?

One thing that empowers me is taking advantage of the opportunities that pop up in the path I take after college. There are so many paths one can take in life, school just isn't the only place to learn. Whether it's getting involved in volunteering, internships, and various projects outside of school, it's a habit that just goes on. My way of empowering others is to tell them that not knowing what you want to do isn't a bad thing. It's all part of the journey!