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From Campus to Career: How HBCU Students Broke Barriers and Landed Top STEM Job Offers at the BEYA Conference

BEYA Career Fair entrance. Photo courtesy of Azaria Jackson.

Black college student engineers hit the ground running as they attend the 37th annual BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Award) STEM Conference in Washington, DC at the Gaylord National Resort on Feb. 10 through Feb. 11, 2023.

The BEYA STEM Conference is a prestigious gathering of professionals and students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The conference is a premier event that highlights the contributions of African American professionals in STEM and encourages young minds to pursue careers in these areas. 

The conference was face-to-face after being virtual the year prior. As a result, this year’s conference was a unique opportunity for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to network with top industry professionals, gain insights into emerging trends and receive job and career opportunities.

This year, Howard University took a significant step in supporting the conference by sponsoring students to attend and stay overnight at the event. The move was an excellent opportunity for HBCU students in STEM.

NASA station at the BEYA career fair.

During the conference, students had access to various resources, including career fairs, panel discussions, and keynote speeches featuring some of the field’s most accomplished and influential figures. The event was also a rare opportunity for students to connect with recruiters, hiring managers, and top-level executives from companies such as Boston Scientific, Facebook, Northrop Grumman, General Motors, and NASA, who offered job and internship opportunities on the spot. 

Second-year Howard student Caran McIntosh and Morgan State University student Curtis Donald were offered internships at the conference. 

Donald exclaims his excitement for attending the conference, “seeing the different companies and finding an internship for the summer,” Donald was offered an internship at Northrop Grumman and adds, “I’ll probably accept the offer!” 

This career fair was a unique chance for students to showcase their skills, build professional relationships and kick-start their careers in STEM.

Furthermore, the conference recognized outstanding student leaders, including Howard student Olabisi Bello, who received the BEYA student leadership award. The award recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, community involvement, and academic excellence.

Olabisi Bello’s BEYA Student Leadership Award announcement. Courtesy of Dr. Ivory Berry.

The BEYA STEM Conference was a resounding success, with attendees praising the quality of the discussions and the opportunity to network with professionals. The conference’s impact inspired and empowered students to pursue their dreams in STEM and contribute to the advancement of science and technology.

“I hope to continue to be a leader and a trailblazer in the spaces that I occupy so that future generations of women in STEM will always have an open door to whichever spaces I wish to be in,” Bello said.

In 2024, the BEYA STEM Conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland. As the conference gets closer, more information about the event will likely become available, including the location, dates, and specific programming. To find out more about the plans for the BEYA STEM Conference 2024, visit the official conference website at or follow the conference on social media. 

Howard students Teshi Warungi and Brady Souma at the General Motors station at the BEYA career fair.

Azaria Jackson

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