In San Francisco on November 3, BYU was named Outstanding Chapter by the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE), ranking in the top ten percent of the 150 nationwide chapters. This is the 22nd time in the last 30 years that BYU’s chapter has received this honor.
AIChE grants the Outstanding Chapter award annually to the top 10 percent of student chapters across the nation in recognition for enthusiasm, program quality, professionalism, level of participation and involvement in the university and community. Although the award is a great honor, it was not sought after but a natural byproduct of the continual efforts made by the officers. The BYU AIChE chapter officers work hard to make membership in the club worth the time students dedicate by providing essential career assistance.
“I am very proud of our officers,” said Dr. Hecker, faculty advisor for BYU AIChE, “because they are truly serving altruistically with little thought for themselves, but rather thinking about what is best for the students. They have worked really hard to find opportunities for all the students to get internships and jobs.”
While many campus clubs use food as leverage to motivate students to attend meetings or club events, BYU AIChE offers something better.
“We are not a food providing club,” said Jake LaMarr, BYU AIChE president. “Our main purpose is to connect students with recruiters. After all, you’re in college to get a job, right?”
Peter Shiozawa, BYU AIChE vice president, said that both the AIChE organization and job recruiters have been impressed by the BYU student chapter. “The impression that our club makes on people who get to see all of the AIChE student chapters sets us apart. The recruiters are constantly mentioning how much we stand out compared to other schools, specifically in our industry enthusiasm and professional presentation.”
Echoing Shiozawa, LaMarr said, “Recruiters say there is very clear evidence that our chapter puts in a lot of work to help students get ready with their resumes, know how to talk to recruiters, know how to interview and be prepared for those opportunities when they come.”
The BYU AIChE leaders are proud of the award and intend to continue working hard to ensure the chapter receives the award again next year. Currently the club’s leadership is made of mostly seniors who will soon graduate. The leaders know they need to involve underclassman so the transition to next year’s leadership sustains the same mission and structural integrity.
“Jake has brought a new vision for the club,” said Shiozawa. “We are trying to instill in the underclassmen this same enthusiasm and by setting a good example we hope that they will continue to keep the ball rolling in future years.”
BYU AIChE membership is presently at 265 students and the chapter plans to add 100 more members by the end of the school year.