DERBY

Union remains most important to students

Hello again RPI! I hope that all of you had an exciting and fruitful weekend at the 38th annual NSBE/SHPE Career Fair. I found it to be a great reminder of why we are all here at RPI—of course to learn, understand, and gain the capacity to affect change in the world around us, but also to further our own long-term goals and aspirations. I have always felt that, while the career fair may not have yielded the results that I wanted every year, it was like getting a glimpse of the finish line and made me push even harder in the pursuit of my own goals and aspirations. In light of what the career fair offers to students every year, let’s not forget what role the Rensselaer Union plays in our education and our development as the scholars, leaders, and innovators of the future.

Last spring, I attended the 2016 Spring Town Meeting and listened to student after student explain how the Union benefitted them. I literally could not count the number of times I heard the words “single most important part of my time at RPI” in that meeting. I think this echoes across the experience of any student who has been involved in the Union or one of its many clubs during their time here. While you learn to be a scholar and an innovator in the classroom, here in the Union you learn how to be a leader, a citizen, and how to give back something meaningful to your community. It’s these essential tools that will make you successful in the field you choose. Any engineering or computer science company can teach you the technical skills related to your job but what they can’t teach you is how to interact with the world around you or how to contribute effectively to a community. They can’t give you the essential leadership skills you need to know before joining a team, and they may or may not have the time to let you fail at all of these things and truly learn how to navigate them. So I completely agree with every student who stood up during that meeting to say that their time contributing to the Rensselaer Union was the single most important part of their education, because it was mine as well. I was given these opportunities to learn and the room to fail, but from all of that I was able to grow as a citizen and especially as a leader. So, thank you to everyone, past and present, who worked so hard to give students the Rensselaer Union that we all know and love.

With that, I hope everyone enjoyed the career fair and is looking forward to Alumni Weekend! The long weekend will certainly be a well—earned and welcome break from rhythm of the school year. I’m also looking forward to connecting with alumni and reconnecting with friends who are in town for the event.

As always, if you have any questions or comments for me, my email is pu@rpi.edu. Feel free to reach out at any time.

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