Finding My Place Outside of Classes

Andrea Griffin // Chemical Engineering, Marketing minor, COE ’24

In my 3 short years of being a Northeastern student, I have had a ton of various extracurricular experiences. Even though Husky Ambassadors is my passion, I am also involved in a couple other clubs. The list has varied between the years, so I’ll cover all the organizations I’ve been a part of (probably in multiple parts).

Starting off is the Black Engineering Student Society (BESS) which is the Northeastern chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). As a mixed person, I do struggle to find a place that I feel like I fit within the Black community, but I can so confidently say that I feel at home in BESS. There is so much love and support between the members in both each other’s academic and personal lives. My first introduction to BESS was at an admitted students’ overnight visit allllll the way back in March of my senior year. It was really nice to be brought into the community so early on, and I still chat with my overnight host to this day.

My second introduction to BESS was at the Summer Bridge Program which was during the summer between graduation and starting college. While the overnight was a great introduction in forming a connection with a current student, Summer Bridge was a great introduction that brought together a bunch of incoming first year students and allowed us to start to form our class community. At the start of the week, the mentors told us that we would find our closest friends in all of college at Bridge, and I’m not going to lie I was skeptical that one week would do so much. I am happy to say that they were 100% right as I’m still really close with a ton of people who I met that week, and we have helped each other through so much of transitioning to college and the rigor of classes and many many social dilemmas.

Now to get into what the club is actually like once you’re in school. Each of the club meetings vary from professional development to academic advice and even social tips. Some professional meetings we’ve had were resume reviews, analyzing each other’s social media presence, and information sessions with potential employers. Academic advice has been in meetings about study tips as well as weekly study sessions for people to come and get help. In terms of social, we often coordinate events with other NSBE chapters in Boston but also have meetings like BESSgiving, and battle of the majors where Chemical and Bio Engineers assert their dominance over everyone else (for legal reasons this is a joke).

Another important aspect of BESS, is our interaction with the NSBE junior chapters and community outreach. Throughout the year, we coordinate with middle and high schools in the area to plan STEM events with them. Last summer every Saturday morning, a group of us taught various science and engineering topics to middle and high schoolers including basic coding, climate change, and the engineering design process. This year on Saturdays, there is a group that works through robotics lessons with elementary school students at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute on campus.

Various members also do social media take overs, so make sure to check out @nsbe_neu on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nsbe_neu/) to see other examples of meetings we have and story highlights!


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