Featured Student: Hennessy Bas-Concepcion (MASE Cohort 3) attends SHPE 2022 National Conference

 

Hennessy Bas-Concepcion (MASE Cohort 3) recently attended the SHPE 2022 National Conference in Charlotte, NC. Hennessy was willing to answer a few questions about her involvement with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers below:

Female student wearing a white long sleeve shirt with brown pants

Lindsay: Can you explain a little about what SHPE is, and how you got involved?

Hennessy: SHPE is the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and, as of today, is the largest association in the nation for Hispanics in STEM. It offers effective training, mentorship, and programming to their vibrant community, in hopes of increasing the Latino/Hispanic workforce in STEM. I have been a member of SHPE since my undergrad and this year I was able to attend and not only as an employer but as a grad student as well.

Lindsay: How important are organizations such as SHPE for emerging POC professionals? 

Hennessy: Organizations such as SHPE mean absolutely every for emerging POC professionals. It not only gives emerging POC equal footing in a very non-diverse workforce, such as STEM, but it gives them hope that the future will be diverse and that they won’t have to fear working in a place where no one looks, acts, or talks like them. Standing out is typically seen as a good thing, but I can assure you that it doesn’t always feel good. Having representation in the different STEM field is of the utmost importance for every minority group and organizations like SHPE are ensuring that this issue is being taken care       of. 

Lindsay: You recently attended the SHPE 2022 National Conference. What were some highlights of attending?

Hennessy: Most of the highlights that I had were the connections that I made with the students. I met so many incredible students that shared how happy and amazed they were of seeing a Hispanic Mechanical Engineer making it in this male-dominated field. After speaking with some students, they would come back to tell me how much of an inspiration I was to them because I’m giving them hope that they could do it too. Moments like those are the ones that fuel me to keep moving forward and keep doing what I’m doing, so those were definitely the highlight of the conference. 

Lindsay: How does your employer support you in these conferences?

Hennessy: My employer is the one who advocates for these conferences. Our HR department is the one who organizes for us to go to these conferences so I would say that my employer supports me 100% for this.

Lindsay: How has the online Sustainable Energy program at SAIS helped you progress in your career in energy? 

Hennessy: This program has helped me progress in my career in energy in a lot of ways. Mainly it has helped me understand how the world of sustainable energy works outside of the engineering field. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world of policies, economics, governance, and much more, and now I can actually understand what it takes to not only implement an energy project, but to see it through. 

Lindsay: What advice would you give to others trying to pave their way in an energy career? 

Hennessy: The advice that I would give to others is to not get discouraged by the words and comments of others. Many will tell you that your efforts in making the energy sector is cleaner is a waste, and that it’s already too late to try and make a difference, but you got to make a real effort to cancel those voices out. So that’s why my advice would be to never get discouraged even if the road ahead seems harsh, remember why you started, remember what it is you’re doing this for, and never look back. 

Lindsay: What event is SHPE, or you, preparing for next? 

Hennessy: SHPE is mainly preparing for the SHPE National Conference 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. As of for me, I am not currently preparing for any other event, other than being the Recruiting Lead for our Latino Employees Resource group (Hola) for next year. It feels me with joy that I will not only continue to inspire and attract another Hispanic talent, but I will lead my team in doing it in the most successful and fulfilling way possible. 

Hennessy Bas-Concepcion at SPHE 2022 in Charlotte, NC

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