There’s something so exciting about venturing to a place where everyone is of the same purpose. The collective understanding that yourself, and the surroundings of connections around you is the network and net worth of all your dedication and discipline. 

The drive to Galt House felt like the primal understanding of this purpose. We as four students could not wait to get into the beautiful hotel. We almost left our car for valet just to rush in but understanding instructions and learning how our parents retire their vehicle whenever we go with them to hotels became our new goal. After getting our badges and confirming our presence at the conference with my team of officers, I looked around to take in the conversation happening. This told me that I was right where I was supposed to be. 

To our accolades, Purdue University was recognized and greeted with prestige and valor. With schools such as San Jose State University and University of Washington in our midst, we began meeting professors from different backgrounds whom teaching all sorts of courses. The globalization was unique and a key highlight to the entire conference. I made connections with some SJSU professors based off the fact that some were from Nigeria, as I am too. Upon further conversation I found out that these SJSU professors were part of the Chair of the Conference once they asked me to sing at the evening banquet for the next day. Talk about cross-functionality. Talk about connections. How, in just 10 mins of being in a room with leaders, you are asked to step up and lead. 

This is the theme I found throughout my two days. We are implementing our concerns and having a platform to broadcast the solutions, then as a collective answering the questions that arise, to foster a brighter future. From Arts all the way to science, an association of common goal. This is the essentials to any successful business, idea and future. 

This is where we are supposed to be, learning how to park our cars without the valet, checking into our rooms without a supervisor and being accountable for our time managed wisely in order to teach us what success in the real world is.

Waking up early the next day around several perspective of what the day holds, the officers and I quickly got our portfolio, corporate gears on and began connecting. We started the day after a networking breakfast, journeying through rooms of visual and oral presentation on topics that each professor or presenter specialize in. I learnt more on what the leaders and educators of the world have been doing to solve and combat the new age. What trials they face, as well as learning what are the new knowledge to success. Using the past to answer the future with modern modifications. The well-spoken presenters even gave us the opportunity to ask questions and gain more insight.

We were surrounded by the older generation, professors and executive officers. PhD holders and Chair heads. This was essentially an opportunity for us to pick the minds of the experienced, connect with people that make for good counsel and connection, as well as learn what we need to put our goals on the path to success. The career fair became ground zero of impressive works both companies and students putting their best foot forward, either with a robotic competition, new ideas or challenging the students to be more. 

I started to ask myself after meeting the new technology age of database and manufacturing, where do I want to stand at the end of my legacy. How do I want to live my mark. How can I use the advancements to advance my venture ideas and projects. Meeting people who already were pushing my mind to think big as they are living proof that working hard is the only other mixture for this success. 

This proof of success also stared across the lunch table as Dr. Tanoos invited his student Alumni of Purdue who lived close by to Louisville. To see and hear the great stories, experience and takeaways that applauded their lives made me realize just how big of a blessing we were to be around Dr. Tanoos himself. I understand now that the greatest act of service is to foster and leader the next generation to be the better generation. I admired the fact that you have to be great to teach it and Dr. Tanoos is a prime example of that. 

After lunch we dispersed, some two the career fair others to more Oral Presentations. These presentations ranged in topics all the way from “Lead, Adapt Empower” to “Solar Energy Net-Metering”.  My favorite by far was the topic on the “Race to Net Zero” because I got to hear how companies and leaders are meeting these gaps and quotas. For someone like me interested in being the change and facilitator of the development of clean Energy around the world, this was worlds of interesting.

Then came the banquet, three-course meal with a guest speaker from GE and a live rendition of Written in the Stars by yours truly. We had the privileged of hearing about the new operations taking place in GE and how the world is shaping new developments. 

This is not something you can truly understand by just looking it up. It is hearing the inside scoop, the “trade secret” that put GE at the forefront of innovation. It is hearing all the things you need to know to be at the forefront of innovation. That is what this conference offered us all. The opportunity to be ahead. As if Purdue was not already a university with students leading the Giant Leap, opportunities like this from GT-SCALA, to ATMAE Conference really gives you the measuring tape, tools and know how’s of how much of a leap to take and in the right direction. What a blessing. A truly marvelous ending to the night. 

That night we took to the city and walked the bridge connecting us right back to Indiana. Passed the Ohio River on foot conversing on our revelation and making new friends. 

On our third and last day there, the officers and I enjoyed a day exploring Louisville, Kentucky. We went to Muhammad Ali Center and enjoyed the delicious seafood of Joe’s Crab Shack. Tasting once again something different and learning something new. 

This trip gave me new friends, new connections and a much more refined perspective. That is the goal of these extracurricular activities, to give you an experience you literally cannot get any where else. So that when you look back on how you learnt, you remember all the great opportunities you were dealt. I remain grateful.