AEP hosts innovative professional development event

By Jeremy Henderson

Published: Feb 4, 2020 12:00:00 AM

Participants in the inaugural Industry Super Bowl professional development event recently hosted by the Engineering Academic Excellence Program pose for a photo. Participants in the inaugural Industry Super Bowl professional development event recently hosted by the Engineering Academic Excellence Program pose for a photo.

The Super Bowl was close this year. The score was tight. But in the end, Team Accenture took home the trophy. Brittany Ransom was one of the reasons why. 

"I feel like we were just able to get organized pretty quickly," the sophomore in mechanical engineering said. "We did our best to quickly get to know each other, and to get to know Accenture." 

The multinational professional services company was one of eight companies that participated in the Engineering Academic Excellence Program's inaugural Industry Super Bowl held January 26 in the Brown-Kopel Student Achievement Center; other sponsors were ExxonMobil, FM Global, Brasfield & Gorrie, Georgia-Pacific, Southwire and International Paper. 

The innovative event facilitated active collaboration between representatives from leading employers of engineers and close to 100 of the underrepresented students AEP—an academic and professional development support program—currently serves.

"This gave teams of students the opportunity to connect with employers while they're competing and learning career readiness skills through real-life situations," said AEP program coordinator Eric Hall. "Each team was sponsored by a particular company, and also included recruiters from that company."

The competition featured three timed events, or "plays," such as a resume critique and a negotiation scenario exercise, but the skit examining corporate social media ethics policies was Jeffery Turnipseed's favorite.

"I was on ExxonMobil's team, and before we even looked at the specific instructions for the skit, we just openly discussed what we thought the do's and don't's of social media would be as an ExxonMobil employee," said Turnipseed, a junior in computer engineering. 

He may not have left with the gift cards awarded to members of the winning team, but Turnipseed says he felt far from empty-handed.

"This was just a great, unique opportunity," he said. "I've been involved with AEP ever since I came to Auburn, and this was something they haven't traditionally done. It was a different approach to professional development that was really engaging."

Ransom agrees.

"When I realized that we'd be working side-by-side with people from different companies, I jumped at the chance," she said. "It was just a great way to improve myself and my networking skills."

And, in addition to helping her team score the most points, she may have also scored an internship.

"I already have something with another company lined up for this summer," she said. "But they definitely gave a convincing argument. It's definitely something I'm going to look into next year."

To learn more about how to partner with AEP and sponsor similar programs, visit eng.auburn.edu/giving

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson, jdh0123@auburn.edu, 334-844-3591

Recent Headlines