Meet Capitol’s National Society of Black Engineers: An Interview with Chapter President, Jaylen Fitts
The National Society of Black Engineers was founded in 1975 with the goal to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. According to their website, “With more than 500 chapters and nearly 16,000 active members in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States.”
Capitol is one of the many institutions to support a student-run chapter of NSBE. We recently sat down with chapter president, Jaylen Fitts, to see what Capitol’s NSBE chapter has in the works:
SVH: So what’s been going on with NSBE lately? Can you tell me about any important recent events?
Fitts: Last semester we did a Chic-fil-a night. We raised money so that we were able to go to our most important professional event, the NSBE national convention, which will be in March on the 21st-25th. We will be conversing with not only businesses and corporations that we might intern and work for, but also other NSBE chapters and professional organizations that help us prepare for our careers.
SVH: One of your members recently told me that you had teamed up with Howard University’s chapter of NSBE.
Fitts: Well, Howard invited us over; they do a toy drive through their Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority organization. So we decided to stop by and show them our courtesy because Howard was a big factor in us starting up our organization over here and we wanted to bring a few toys for the kids.
SVH: How so? Did Howard’s chapter inspire you?
Fitts: They helped a lot with our transitional period between chapter leaders. It was very worthwhile, our experiences with Howard. So we wanted to show them our support.
SVH: That’s awesome. I love that you guys paired up to do something, it’s very cool.
Fitts: Yeah, It’s very spirit of NSBE.
SVH: So, do you have any future plans in the works at present?
Fitts: In the near future we will be bringing in people from our NSBE professional organization and having them talk to our students and members. They will be talking us through not only job prep, but like also how to grow your network and how to live your life after graduation. They provide somebody to go to with just questions and answers.
And after that hopefully we’ll be doing some workshops that will be geared towards the annual convention. And after that we’re just gonna do fun stuff.
SVH: I’m glad to hear that because I know that our chapter had been a little less active, but recently I’ve seen you guys pick up again.
Fitts: I really want it to be a long lasting thing, so hopefully I’ll just get the gears turning and it won’t stop.”
SVH: What, for you, is the best part of being involved with NSBE?
Fitts: Not only just learning how to become a professional in my career, but also the network. There’s so many talented and inspiring people that I get to talk to daily.
For instance, I was at a meeting with college park and I just found out that one of them was a Rhodes Scholar. It’s just always getting to talk to people who’ve been traveling around the world and talking to huge companies and stuff like that. The people are what I enjoy.
It’s a lot of collaboration, but that’s what I’m here for.
Capitol’s chapter of NSBE meets regularly. If you are interested in joining, please contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.