URBANA — Coming to the University of Illinois gives engineering students a new perspective and that’s what it takes for problem-solvers to get fresh ideas. On Wednesday, the University of Illinois hosted a diversity and inclusion symposium. Business leaders came from big-name companies like GE, Visa and BP. They met engineering students who could work for them someday. Students say this was a great experience. This is the second annual symposium that focuses on diversity and inclusion.
Student organizations represented different races and ethnicities, as well as other groups that are less common in engineering, like women or those from the LGBTQ community. They got the chance to talk with business recruiters that were invited by the department. Nicholas Rivera was of the recruiters and graduated from the engineering program a couple years ago. Rivera says he loved the opportunity to come back.
“We live in a world that has many different people, so we need to be able to understand the unique challenges that different groups face in order to create those improvements,” said Rivera, who works with Accenture.
“If you’re doing everything the same over and over again, you’re going to think that’s all right because that’s the way you were doing it,” said engineering student Matthew Duncan. “Someone else comes in with a new mindset and is able to make their contribution and can change things in a way that other people wouldn’t be able to think [of].”
They also had a panel of students and alumni who talked about how a diverse background can be good for business. This event was part of the engineering career fair. More than 200 companies are in town to meet future employees.