Kenny's Blog

05 Jan 2015

A Final Review of the 2015 IEEE Rising Stars Conference

I’ve been waiting for IEEE Region 6 to host a student-oriented event for quite some time, and it finally happened in Las Vegas this year (2015). Originally, a student congress was meant to be held at Stanford, but for logistical reasons the event had to be unplugged. Unfortunately for me, I had already purchased a plane ticket to get to California.

So I was happy to hear that Region 6 finally got around to settling the event. Here is the description:

As the premiere student event within IEEE Region 6, The Rising Stars conference 
brings together the most promising students and young professionals from within 
the region to network and be inspired by each other and the top tech companies 
from around the world. It will be taking place January 2-4th, 2015 at the 
Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This conference is in conjunction with 
Storage Visions as well as the Consumer Electronics Showcase which both occur 
just after the conference.

So in contrast to a lot of other IEEE events, this event is specifically for students. Some of the goals that the conference hoped to hit are listed below:

* Technical innovation and professional development
* Explore the possibilities
* Provide some new resources
* Engage you in the exploration process
* Show Non-linear career path

Some comments

Honestly, I feel like the event was overall a positive. It hit many of the goals that were set forth, and the event overall felt like a community event. Many of the speakers were extremely interesting and their talks were often from the heart. I especially enjoyed the Entrepreneurship talk that Kate Jenkins had a chance to give.

It’s great that Region 6 was able to host this conference, and I hope to see the conference to continue to mature and develop as time goes by.

Could be improved

If there are any comments I have about anything, it is because I feel very strongly about a certain topic. I feel that the IEEE Rising stars conference has a lot of potential, and there still leaves much to be improved.

* Venue could be improved - arriving with the beer pong competition happening downstairs was interesting..
* More interactive events
* More mixing between students
* Needs more leadership training
* Some time to meet the speakers
* Talks shouldn't be self promotional (directly)

Final Words

Again, I feel very strongly that the IEEE rising stars has a lot of potential. There is massive potential for a student conference which will help to unify and connect the IEEE students within Region 6. I look forward to seeing what happens next year at the 2016 Rising Stars Conference.