Engineering Technology Scholars Gain Insight from Industry Insiders

SETS Retreat
From left: Esteban Portillo, Dr. Xiaojing Yuan, Dr. Paul Jukes (Founder & CEO of Jukes Group), Ibad Muqeem Mohammed, Carol Fusco Jukes (Executive at Jukes Group), Raoul Njobi, Anh Truong, Julio Alonso, Mr. Igor Alvarado (Academic Research Manager at National Instruments), Osvaldo Torres, Michael Fuentes, Christopher Martinez, Dr. Mequanint A Moges, Abraham Elizarraras. Not shown: Tisnabudi (Founder & CEO of ARIA Services) and Mr. Kemal Farid (Founder and CEO of Farid Ventures)

An innovative venture originating in the College of Technology, the Succeed in Engineering Technology Scholars (SETS) program is continuing a successful path toward identifying and developing future technology leaders and producing an industry ready STEM workforce. Through the program, twenty students are awarded scholarships each academic year. The scholars are enrolled full time in one of three undergrad programs offered by the Engineering Technology Department - computer engineering technology, electrical power engineering technology, or mechanical engineering technology.

The SETS program experience extends the reach of academics and prepares students with skills like public speaking, marketing, and professional networking, which will help them in their future careers. The annual SETS leadership development retreat was held on, February 4, at the University of Houston Innovation Center in Energy Research Park. Planned and hosted for our students, the annual retreat received strong support and sponsorship from local industry partners. Several presenters shared perspectives about engineers as leaders, teamwork, and applying results-driven core leadership skills.

Julio Alonso, a computer engineering technology major, aspires to run an engineering company someday. “I was impressed by the industry representatives and their passion for helping students develop, strengthen, and grow as leaders. Being a leader takes initiative, responsibility, and hard work to maintain team harmony and balance. Thanks to this retreat I’ve been able to set higher goals than ever before,” he said.

Reflecting on the advice of industry professionals during the retreat, Jesus Vargas, a computer engineering senior said, “They did not hold back in helping us and were open to any of our questions. I learned what leadership looks like in a professional environment. When I asked them about their experiences in starting a business, I was specifically impressed by their guidance. In the future, this information will come in handy if I open my own business.”