Tuesday Talks: Engaging with NAIT's ELT Students
Bridging the Gap Between Student and Engineer
October 24, 2023 by Jaipreet Basi
Tuesday, October 17th, SMP Engineering headed over to the NAIT campus to partake in the Electrical Engineering Technology (ELT) program’s Tuesday Talks series. Although NAIT’s ELT program has a long-standing annual Industry Night, regularly attended by SMP, Julie Watton, the Academic Program Chair for the ELT program, noticed a need for students and industry to connect in an informal setting. Started in 2022, Tuesday Talks invites representatives (often NAIT graduates themselves) of local firms to converse with first and second semester students at the campus after hours.
“The program is so important as our students bridge the gap between an engineer and a tradesperson. Having former graduates of the program present to our students shows the very real career trajectory that awaits them, proving greater academic engagement and achievement within our class”. -Julie Watton.
Keeping in line with SMP’s commitment to community, Megan Ross and Jamal Alexander, both Electrical Designers from the Edmonton office, showcased SMP’s consulting services, key projects, and values to eager future electrical Engineering Technologists. The presentation was followed by a meet and greet, allowing students to ask questions and engage with industry leaders on topics such as industry standard, career path, and culture at SMP. Former NAIT graduate, Megan, finds great value both the program and series, “Julie’s ongoing passion for the ELT program is apparent with the success of Tuesday Talks - directly connecting students with industry. The ELT program itself provides a comprehensive education that combines technical expertise, regulatory knowledge, and project management capabilities—attributes are highly valuable to electrical consulting firms in students entering the workforce”.
Roohullah Zabiullah, who will graduate from the ELT program in December 2023, was introduced to SMP through the Tuesday Talks program, “The sessions provide students valuable insight into companies whose staff have excelled within the ELT program. SMP’s presentation included various local projects around the Edmonton area, such as NAIT PIC, a space I’ve witnessed undergo renovations, which piqued my interest. I pursued a career with SMP because it was clear I would be able to apply and improve on the technical skills I’ve learned through NAIT”.
The Tuesday Talks series provides opportunity for community driven firms, such as SMP, to casually connect with well-rounded and technically adept students who are soon to enter the workforce. Simultaneously, students are able to understand the variation in day-to-day consulting services, firm values, and the overall industry they will soon to be a part of; ultimately providing both firm and graduate access to a successful fit.