For the sixth year in a row, over 370 students and young professionals hailing from ten IEEE Regions kicked off their new year at the IEEE Rising Stars Conference. IEEE Region 6 hosts this annual conference with the primary goal of inspiring and empowering IEEE’s future leaders. This year, the conference was held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, Nevada from 3-5 January.
A diverse group of attendees gathered at the conference to share ideas, build new relationships, find mentors, and plan their careers. The program was divided into technical skills and professional development sessions to provide the attendees with a holistic approach to their careers.
A Day of Learning
Rising Stars 2020 consisted of twenty breakout sessions. Each 45-minute session focused on current technology, personal development, and essential career-building tools.
Rising Stars’ speakers and panelists addressed and provided insight to the audience about life-altering 5G technology, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), the space industry, autonomous driving, and much more. Live streaming of the panel discussions and keynote speakers will be made available by IEEE TV for anyone interested in watching.
By attending the various professional development workshops—which included the Young Professionals in Industry panel discussion, several networking sessions, and a resume review/corporate mixer—attendees left the conference with advice on topics such as:
- What to expect in job interviews
- Switching jobs
- Negotiating salary
- Founding startup companies
- How to evolve in the ever-changing job environment
- How to plan for the jobs of the future
One of the highlights of the Rising Stars 2020 conference was the Zombie Apocalypse workshop. The workshop room was full of students interested in learning about ham radio and its applications. Out of the 105 workshop participants, over 30% subsequently decided to take the HamRadio licensing exam hosted with the conference.
Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about continuing education through the IEEE Learning Network (ILN). This online platform provides access to courses—including those on topics highlighted at the conference—from across IEEE, all in one place.
The conference ended with a panel discussion on the Next Big Thing, where panelists discussed the future in their interest areas. Topics covered included the world of virtual reality, large strides towards autonomous cars, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence developments.
Building a Community
The sense of community was omnipresent, especially during the humanitarian technology workshop. Attendees greatly enjoyed networking at the industry mixer event. According to a follow-up survey, attendees of the Rising Stars Conference say they make an average of eleven new connections during the event!
Thank You to All
A special thank you goes out to our sponsors, IEEE Educational Activities, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, IEEE Geoscience & Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), IEEE Young Professionals, IEEE-USA, HP, Northrop Grumman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Bentley Systems, IEEE Young Professionals, On Semiconductor, Mercer, Locomation, Micron, Amazon web services, and IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S), IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES), IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc), Mouser, IEEE Mobile Application Development Contest (MadC), IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Life Members Affinity Groups (LMAG), and IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS). Special thanks and appreciation to the 36 speakers, who enlightened the audience on technological innovation and professional development.
The IEEE Rising Stars Conference has ignited the ambition and motivation of its attendees to innovate and advance technology for humanity. With 96% of the attendees recommending the Rising Stars Conference to their peers, the 2021 Rising Stars Conference will continue with the current success—and is set to achieve new records in the program, participation, and satisfaction.
Let us inspire you and the future generations of engineers next year. We hope to see you at the 2021 IEEE Rising Stars Conference. For more information, visit https://ieee-risingstars.org.
Anis Ben Arfi: Anis has been involved in IEEE Rising Stars Conference organization since 2016. He found his passion volunteering with the conference team. He served as the general chair for the 2020 IEEE Rising Stars Conference. Currently, he volunteers with IEEE Ottawa Section, and he chairs the IEEE Canada Humanitarian Initiatives Committee.
Mansi Tripathi: Mansi is currently pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She graduated as a computer science engineer from Indira Gandhi Technical University for Women (an all-women college) in 2016. She then went on to work as a software engineer at Microsoft, Hyderabad for two years. She was also awarded the IEEE Richard E Merwin Scholarship in 2015 to recognize her volunteer work in student branches as well as her academic and professional efforts.