IA Reflection #3
For my third and final IA reflection of the autumn semester, I went to the Engineers Without Borders information session in the Smith-Steeb glass classroom. On November 12th, I was one of the 3 IA students that went this information session to learn about the on-campus organization to fulfill the academic requirement. The president of the club actually happened to be a past-IA student and has wanted to get more students involved in some way and has wanted to present to us for a while. They presented a small powerpoint and showed us a TED talk that described failure and the first key to success is admitting that you failed. This TED talk described a few missionary efforts to bring water or other resources to underprivileged communities eventually failed because there was no maintenance schedules or funds for the projects. Some of the most prestigious and wealthy companies began admitting their failures, how they have learned from them, and what they are going to do differently. This video related to Engineers without Borders because they provide funding, ideas, and actual labor for applying engineering solutions to underprivileged communities. The Ohio State chapter is part of the national organization and there is also a Canadian section of this organization. Their current international project for OSU students is located in Gambia, Africa trying to bring sustainable water sources for the villagers and agricultural purposes. In addition to their international project, there is also a marketing sector of the club, as well as a local portion. The marketing aspect allows students of many other majors to get involved without having the engineering background. The local projects allows students to stay involved with their community and actually see progression because of their work. I have done projects similar to this one and it helps give everything that you are learning a purpose. It makes all the long school days and projects have a meaning because someone’s life is directly impacted.
After going to their information session, I became genuinely interested in joining the club and figuring out how I can do more. I plan on trying to go to their weekly meetings next semester and joining the local team to do more within the Columbus community. This can directly relate to international affairs because we are working to better the local community as well as work on larger projects globally. This emphasized new practices and applications of engineering that I have not thought about or even learned about that can be very beneficial for me in my future as an engineer. The presenters were engineering majors as well and I would have loved to ask the students how it has impacted them and how they are going to use this in their future jobs and/or life. Despite their busy classes and schedules, they made time for Engineers without Borders and it is paying off and they are glad they made the time investment. Overall, I am very glad that I went to this information session and am excited to see where it takes me in my undergraduate career.