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Young Professionals Panel Session was held at the 2018 IEEE Texas Symposium on Wireless and Microwave Circuits and Systems. The event was held after the conference dinner on April 5th, from approximately 8:00 PM until 9:00 PM. As part of the event, students were served a variety of pie and were given the option of coffee, decaf coffee, and hot chocolate to drink. The panelists were from a variety of different careers, including academia, government, and industry. The panelists were:

  • Matt Heins, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Jennifer Kitchen, Arizona State University
  • Ifana Mahbub, University of North Texas
  • Alexa Malaspino, Keysight Technologies
  • Raja Mir, Nokia
  • Kumar Vijay Mishra, US Army Research Lab

At the 2018 Texas Symposium on Wireless and Microwave Circuits and Systems, students and young professionals gathered for an event that has been a staple of the conference since its inception. While the panel session has usually been held during the dinner, this year’s panel was sponsored by the IEEE Young Professionals and held as its own standalone event. The panel highlighted professionals from around academia, industry, and government. At the event, students were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions regarding education, career choice, and positives or negatives of particular jobs. After the panel session, participants were given the opportunity to network with the panel members and other participants and make meaningful connections, as they are at the beginning of their careers.

While several of the questions dealt with whether students should consider attending graduate school, most questions dealt with more complex topics, ranging from how they landed a job at their specific company, to advice on how students can get a head start on their career. Drew Bresnahan, a graduate student at Baylor University, asked the industry representatives on the panel about why a PhD degree may or may not be beneficial in an industry setting. This led other students to ask about what level of education might help those in specific areas of microwave engineering.

In order to promote the event, several different methods were used. Primarily, digital and print posters were put up in the engineering building. This showed off the event to the engineering students at Baylor. Additionally, there was a flyer invited everyone to the event and included the final list of speakers. The flyer was included in the registration packet that everyone received when the checked in for the conference. It was placed into the folder in front, so that everyone would see it. The flyer was also placed on the conference website. During several electrical engineering classes (at both the graduate and undergraduate level), an announcement was made for the Young Professionals Panel Session. At the conference, the panel session was mentioned before the keynote on Thursday afternoon and during the dinner Thursday night.

When the session concluded, the Young Professionals and panelists all agreed that the panel session gave the audience a new perspective as they entered into their careers. Based upon the success of this panel session, the conference has already expressed interest in hosting this event again next year.

Contributed by

Casey Latham

MTTS YP Coordinator