Students are the future of our scientific and professional community and IEEE Region 8.
Students are an essential part of our scientific and professional community since they will become the professionals and the scientists of the future. They will be the future. And, as IEEE Region 8, we need to provide them knowledge, tools, and services to support them in building their personal knowledge, skills, and career, complementing and extending the fundamental, applied, and advanced knowledge and the experiences provided by the universities.
I will focus on creating a personalized offer for every student so that our Region and the IEEE be a unique comprehensive experience for her/him, not only as student but showing her/him also the potential value of our Region and the entire IEEE when she/he will become a professional after graduation. We should always strive to support them to the greatest extent, ensuring that they are fully engaged and integral part of our community, our Region, and the entire IEEE.
With our extraordinary people, I will focus on creating a personalized offer for every student. Listening to students in each geographical area of our Region 8, analyzing the local needs, and identifying effective solutions all together, I will work with our Region 8, our Sections, all IEEE Boards and organizational units catalyzing our efforts in following main areas:
- Develop more practical knowledge to solve real-world problems and use standards, including methodologies, guidelines, best practices, and successful cases.
- Extract fundamental and advanced knowledge from the technical material already available, by knowledge discovery approaches and aggregating this material, for example, into overviews, tutorials, and webinars to facilitate the access to knowledge.
- Expand the educational activities, including continuing education, to complement the experiences available in the universities, especially in emerging technologies and emerging needs for technologies, applications, and standards.
- Create support for internships, both in the local area, in the region, and worldwide, and a global directory for internship opportunities collecting offerings and requests as well as develop networking of students with industries and institutions, so as to provide practical opportunities of experimenting the real-world use of knowledge acquired in the university.
- Expand the support for early career planning and building, especially by offering support aspects which often exceed the scope of academic curricula, but are increasingly important to address the challenges of the future career, like soft skills, ethics, ethic by design, technology sustainability, risk management, design innovation, communications, language, group dynamics, social intelligence, adaptive thinking, cross-cultural competency, transdisciplinarity, cognitive load management, problem solving, management, and leadership.
- Expand networking opportunities for students by establishing specialized forums, with specialized groups, maker events, and competitions.
- Reinforce attention on students in networking opportunities at conferences and other events, promoting interaction with more senior volunteers.
- Expand the mentoring programs to address not only career development and planning, but also discussion of technology advancement and emerging topics.
- Enhance participation in humanitarian activities worldwide and engineering projects in the local community to show the value of technology for improving the daily life of people.
- Provide more information about volunteering activities, also as way to develop and practice leadership skills in the friendly IEEE environment of our Region, and enhance mentoring for early volunteering development.
- Introduce a recommendation system on a comprehensive platform to facilitate identification of knowledge, products, services, and volunteering opportunities according to the profiles of each individual, by taking into account her/his area of work, her/his recent searches, and the searches of people with similar interests.
- Further expand the recognition of excellence of students.
In order to retain the interest of students in our Region and the entire IEEE after they graduate, students who are about to graduate should be allowed to taste at least part of the offer made to young professionals so that benefits of remaining in IEEE will become tangible to them.
Actual specific activities should be identified together with students and all people in each geographical area, since the most appropriate solutions depend on the specific needs and aspirations of the local professional community.
Even though the list of envisioned activities is long, it is worth noting that different groups in our Region and in the entire IEEE are involved so that many activities can be addressed in parallel and synergies exploited in coordinated collaborative efforts across various groups. The actual initiatives should be anyway analyzed on the bases of the specific needs of each geographical area and the available financial and human resources.