IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference at the United International University, Dhaka
From 28 – 29th October, 2016, IEEE UIU Student Branch, supported by IEEE Bangladesh Section and IEEE USA, organized an IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) at the United International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. In an ever changing and evolving professional world, the event served as the means to provide a world-class learning experience from which the 100+ participants could educate themselves on how to sustain a lifelong career in engineering.
Initiating with a brief introduction on IEEE and its Student Professional Awareness Activities (SPAA), the event was inaugurated with an opening speech from Prof. Dr. M. Rezwan Khan, IEEE IA-S Distinguished Lecturer (Elect 2017-2018) and Vice Chancellor, United International University. Following this, the first session of the conference was led by Mr. Quazi M. Ahmed, CEO & Lead Consultant, FutureLeaders Group and the second speaker to take stage was Mr. Intekhab Sadekin, Tech Manager, IMS Health. While Mr. Ahmed shared his bounty of life experiences with the participants and taught them the key attributes of entrepreneurship and “how to lead”; Mr. Sadekin shared his tips on the top recruitment criteria practiced in the industry today, and encouraged the students to always stay up-to-date.
The next session was a workshop jointly conducted by Mr. Almeer Ahsan Asif, Instructor, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center and Ms. Adnin Mourin, Marketing & Outreach Executive, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center. Taking a technical perspective on the concept of leadership, Mr. Ahsan and Ms. Mourin introduced a series of hypothetical scenarios and then went on to conduct an assortment of exercises to stimulate the minds of the audience. The aim was to allow the audience to truly understand who the stakeholders are in each case, and how an individual can take the right steps to solve the crisis in each problem scenario.
The final program of the day was conducted by Mr. Abdullah A.S.H. Saki, Membership Development Coordinator, IEEE Bangladesh Section and HES Engineer, Chevron Bangladesh. In his session, Mr. Saki focussed on the transition of a student to a professional. By correlating with insightful experiences from his own career, he talked about the different kinds of activities a student can engage themselves in to enhance their value and professional weight, before applying for any job or forming a start-up. At the end of the day, all speakers and participants were invited to a networking session, before finally drawing the curtains with a closing ceremony.
The second day of the program started with an educational session from Ms. Sarah Harkin, TED Ed Innovative Educator. In her session, Ms. Harkin mesmerized the audience with her take on the “Universal Design”, an inclusive learning experience which would enable students of all abilities to learn together. Following her, the next speaker to come on stage was Mr. Shihab Uddin, Secretary, IEEE Bangladesh Section and Founder, Canvastheta. Mr. Uddin is a master programmer and an experienced entrepreneur, who made his fortune by pursuing his dreams. He inspired the students to do the same and shared some invaluable advice on how they reach the optimum level of prosperity in their future careers.
Next came Prof. Dr. Celia Shahnaz, WIE Coordinator, IEEE Region 10 and Professor, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Dr. Shahnaz is a braveheart and a champion for women pursuing the STEM fields as a career choice. Through her motivational talk, she encouraged all the female students to break the barrier and lead the smart world; telling them not to shy away from modern day challenges and giving them hope for the future. As an extension of this segment, was a panel discussion consisting
of several esteemed guests and speakers, with the likes of Ms. Shoilie Chakma, Workshop Activities Coordinator, IEEE Bangladesh Section WIE AG and Lecturer, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology; Ms. Anamika Bhakta, Treasurer, IEEE Bangladesh Section WIE AG and Vice-President, Robi Axiata Ltd; Ms. Aparajita Goswami, Deputy General Manager of Core Network Planning, Grameenphone and Ms. Pramiti A. Alam, Deputy Manager, Energypac Engineering Ltd.
Following a short tea break, the program resumed with a session led by Mr. Shah Ali Newaj Topu, CTO, Secure Link Services. Mr. Newaj has consulted customers for over 20 products all across Europe, and has made $10 million in sales possible. The vast breadth of knowledge, experience and expertise that he has gained over the years, is what he shared with the participants in his session; where they learned how to conduct critical analysis, tackle complex situations and fully engage themselves in their tasks/initiative. Up next, the lunch break served as a wonderful means of interaction; allowing both the participants and speakers to enjoy a great meal over friendly discussions and professional networking. Once they returned, they were welcomed back into an interactive session featuring a brief but stimulating debate challenge, that was judged by Prof. Dr. Raquibul Mostafa, Professor and Head of the EEE Department, United International University and Dr. Tishna Sabrina, Counselor, IEEE UIU Student Branch and Assistant Professor, United International University.
The final arc of the program, featured three distinguished talks. One by Dr. Behroz Jalil, Deputy Director of BBA program, United International University, emphasizing on communication skills development and how to stand strong in the face of corporate pressure in one’s career. The second, in the form of a “Panel Discussion on Renewable Energy in Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges” led by Prof. Dr. M. Rezwan Khan, Prof. Dr. Md. Fayyaz Khan, Professor, United International University and Dr. Intekhab Alam, Assistant Professor, United International University. And the last one, featuring a talk on the “Best Practices of IEEE for Career Development” by Mr. Chowdhury Akram Hossain, Student Activity Coordinator, IEEE Bangladesh Section and Assistant Professor, American International University-Bangladesh – who went to elaborate upon the sea of benefits and opportunities awaiting an IEEE Student Member, that can enhance the prospects of his/her future career.
Finally, as the SPAC drew to its end, the audience was treated to an immersive cultural performance by the ensemble from United International University, teamed with a few friends and guest performers. Furthermore, a grand Gala Dinner topped off the night; leaving everyone with a lifetime experience, invaluable lessons, unforgettable memories and of course, renewed professional awareness.