SMU NSBE Attends National Society of Black Engineers 50th Annual Convention

The event in Atlanta, Ga., gave members an opportunity to network with industry experts and connect with the greater NSBE community

Members of SMU’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter attended the organization’s 50th annual convention in Atlanta, Ga., to network, connect, and explore job opportunities.

The four-day event is designed to provide support for current graduate students, prospective graduate students and advanced degree holders in academia and industry while encouraging networking among the groups. The agenda includes a two-day career fair that gives jobseekers access to more than 400 companies and universities. 

“The NSBE national convention is a transformative experience for students and a great way to get connected,” said Robert Amponsah, Strategic Initiatives Director of SMU Lyle School of Engineering and NSBE National Professionals Collegiate Initiatives Chair. Over 18,000 Black engineers attended this year’s conference, and it was great to see our students network with company representatives and other students, attend workshops, and engage in the NSBE election process. I went to the conference when I was an undergrad many years ago, and that’s actually how I got my first job.”

NSBE is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the U.S., supporting the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. SMU NSBE is one of 600 chapters that aim to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. 

Robert Amponsah

Muiz Ishola, a senior studying electrical and computer engineering, said the event gave him a rare opportunity to go behind the curtain and see how NSBE works as an organization. His primary responsibilities during the convention centered around electing the national and regional boards and making constitutional amendments.


“The importance of organizations like NSBE for students lies in the support system and sense of belonging they offer, especially in fields like engineering where minorities are significantly underrepresented,” Ishola said. “NSBE isn’t just about building a professional network and gaining job skills, it lays the groundwork for both personal and professional development.”  


Travis Pryor, a freshman studying computer science at SMU Lyle, said the experience provided a valuable platform for connecting and networking with students and professionals from across the U.S.


"My primary objectives for the convention were multifaceted – I sought to expand my professional network, absorb as much knowledge as possible, and simply relish the vibrant atmosphere of the event,” Pryor said. Reflecting on my time there, I'm pleased to say that I achieved each of these goals, and more.”


Pryor, who was chapter president of NSBE Jr. in his hometown of Saint Louis, Mo., said he encourages students to join organizations like NSBE to foster professional growth and cultivate a sense of community and support.


The practical skills acquired through involvement in NSBE, such as interview preparation, resume building, and networking, are indispensable tools for navigating the transition into corporate America post-graduation,” he said. “As we forge ahead, I am confident that our collective efforts will not only elevate our chapter but also empower future generations of STEM leaders. 

About the Bobby Lyle School of Engineering
SMU's Lyle School of Engineering thrives on innovation that transcends traditional boundaries. We strongly believe in the power of externally funded, industry-supported research to drive progress and provide exceptional students with valuable industry insights. Our mission is to lead the way in digital transformation within engineering education, all while ensuring that every student graduates as a confident leader. Founded in 1925, SMU Lyle is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest, offering undergraduate and graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees.

About SMU
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and nearly 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, community and the world.