Colleges and universities around the country are gearing up for the return of students in the next few weeks. For many, a return to campus means more than just getting back to the classroom. Clubs and activities play a huge part in campus life and often provide members with once in a lifetime opportunities.
Sierra Ellis and Matthew Duncan are members of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at University of Tennessee-Knoxville and University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, respectively. Being involved in this student organization led them to friendships, first-hand engineering knowledge and — Corvette Stingrays.
The two recently joined other NSBE members and made their way to Bowling Green, Ky., for the GM-NSBE Chevrolet Corvette Experience Tour.
The Assembly Plant visit gave Sierra and Matthew a chance to see, up close and personal, what a career in engineering could lead to. “I liked seeing the plant and seeing how everyone worked together,” said Sierra.
Matthew agreed. “I liked seeing the final product at the end of the line and being able to learn more about engineer’s work from the GM employees.”
After observing the production of the Stingray, the students had the chance to try their hand at some of the methods used for assembling the vehicle. They also got the chance to drive the Stingray on a closed track.
Although they gain invaluable experience, the program doesn’t just benefit the students. “From a corporate perspective, this program continues to represent GM’s commitment to the development of NSBE students and the enhancement of our partnership with NSBE,” said Arvin Jones, Manufacturing Manager, Vehicle Manufacturing. “We’re giving the students opportunities to learn about our industry and its workforce, and to utilize that learning in their career development.”
The GM-NSBE Recruiting Team selected students for the tour from three university chapters based on:
• Execution of programming in academic excellence,
• Pre-collegiate initiative,
• Community outreach, and
• Professional development and membership retention.
The chapters were from University of Pittsburgh, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and University of Illinois- Urbana/Champaign. These participating students achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and are majoring in engineering disciplines sought after by the automotive industry.