By Sandra Roa
Learn about the USF chapter of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) with Co-President Emily Ho, a chemical engineering major.
What is the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers?
The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers is a national, non-profit organization committed to preparing Asian heritage scientists and engineers for success in the global business world. SASE also celebrates diversity on campuses and within the workplace while providing opportunities for members to contribute to their local communities. USF SASE offers a variety of programs and initiatives, ranging from professional development through events, connections to professionals in the field, and leadership positions to develop interpersonal skills and build industry-sought qualities.
SASE represents a majority of my core values: education, success, community and culture. I wanted to be surrounded by ambitious, like-minded individuals and saw SASE as an organization that keeps me motivated and empowered toward my goals.
How has it impacted your academic journey?
Serving as an executive board member, SASE has boosted my network of connections and increased my exposure to multiple fields and career progressions, setting the grounds for what I accomplish as an undergraduate to help prepare myself for success after college. With SASE, I’ve found myself more comfortable reaching out for help or mentorship in my major and talking to recruiters, professionals and professors. SASE has enabled me to connect and socialize with people within my field, helping me reevaluate my goals and aspirations. Moreover, SASE has taught me the essential skills and strategies in leadership and working on a team. This year, I am co-president with Emma Wu and have an amazing e-board.
What are some of your most memorable moments with the group?
The most memorable moments for me come from being a part of the executive board and being directly involved with SASE operations. Over the year, it was heartening to see how close our executive board has gotten and all the achievements that we have accomplished.
My most memorable moment was during the Lunar New Year’s Festival, which is a cultural event that celebrates luck and prosperity and is rich in tradition and meaning in many Asian cultures. I had so much fun with our members through carnival-like games, cultural activities, gifts and food. Our incoming vice president external, Ha “Milia” Nguyen, brought a Christmas tree to hang our “red envelopes,” which were red pieces of paper that held our members’ New Year’s resolutions and words of encouragement (traditionally, they contain money). It was such a fun night and a perfect way to start the new year!
Another mentionable event was our “Intro to Research” workshop in collaboration with Engineering Biology Core, which is a student-run organization that guides undergraduates into research at USF and opportunities that they can venture into. We did not expect the workshop to be so popular. So many students attended and left with the necessary tools to start their research journey.
What influence has SASE had on your peers when it comes to career readiness?
SASE plays a pivotal role in equipping members with the essential skills and plans to transition into the professional field. Through our programs and initiatives, we help members with professional development, networking opportunities and industry exposure with the utmost focus on our members’ success and goals!
For the upcoming year, we look forward to creating impactful professional events, which include workshops and panels/interviews. We have many alumni who go directly into the industry and undergraduates who have found internships through opportunities that SASE has provided. Our past president, Kiera Matheny, got a job offer as a project manager through SASE National Conference, and many members received internships and offers with industry giants, such as Shell, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, DOW, P&G, Raytheon, etc.
A major event we are applying to hold this year is the Southeast Regional Conference, a day-long event that consists of multiple professional workshops and a career fair. Although the application process and competition are fierce, our team will try to be the standing applicant. For anyone interested, we are recruiting students for many positions over the summer so be sure to check out our Instagram and Discord.
What would you tell someone considering joining SASE?
SASE is committed to preparing Asian heritage scientists and engineers for success in the global business world, celebrating diversity on campuses and in the workplace and providing opportunities for members to contribute to their local communities.
Note: We welcome people of all backgrounds, not just Asian heritage. We host a mentorship program that anyone can sign up for free, to assist students with their academic careers and jumpstart a connection. We hold many professional development events, including resume critiques, elevator pitch/interview workshops, research workshops, professional panels, tech workshops, etc. SASE offers many opportunities to get a job or internship through national and regional conferences, which many of our members do achieve.
If you are interested in building your profile, SASE also offers tons of positions that you can apply for to join our team and get experience. Furthermore, we celebrate Asian culture through fun socials, where you get to meet tons of new people while enjoying games, activities and great food. Additionally, we provide many volunteer opportunities to give back to our community and make an impact.