Foundations of the Future: Optimizing Engagement Through Webinars

charlene-gunter-du-plessis.jpgOne of the key objectives of the IPC Education Foundation is to drive engagement among high school and college students. Creating those interactions fosters interest, provides information, and ultimately encourages students toward careers in the electronics industry.

However, that became more challenging these past two years as face-to-face interactions were made almost impossible. Rather than use our regular approaches to interact with students, we turned to technology for help.

Through a series of webinars, such as our Friday Forums, we have created opportunities in informal settings for industry professionals to provide our network of students, educators, and other professionals with information on career and technical topics related to the electronics industry.

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The benefits of hosting a webinar far outweigh the planning side of it. The term “webinar” is an abbreviated form of “web seminar,” and that is exactly what it sounds like: a seminar that takes place online, rather than in a physical location. The virtual nature of webinars allows attendees to join from anywhere, something that was advantageous during the pandemic. To support students in high school and college by sharing information about careers in the electronics manufacturing industry, the IPC Education Foundation wanted to ensure that, irrespective of the current academic landscape, sharing the insights, knowledge, and stories from experts must continue enabling students to conveniently attend.

Counting the Benefits
One tremendous benefit we discovered was we could record these sessions, allowing teachers to stream them during class time, especially when the live sessions did not occur during a convenient time. The recorded session live online forever, making the rounds to new places and building our brand awareness. (To view previous webinars, please visit the IPC Education Foundation YouTube Channel.) If the webinar platform is mobile-friendly, even better; your guests can access the event from anywhere, even on the go. Technology advancements to host larger webinars have assisted so many organizations, because they allow for personalized features that promote the speakers, panelists, topics, as well as sending out reminders. These special invitations and notices are valuable as they run almost automatically when scheduled in advance.

Fostering New Ways to Interact
Hosting a webinar can take on various levels of interaction. Some are extremely informative: you almost just listen with no interaction like an online lecture. Others have live polls to gather feedback or information instantly, a live chat function that allows for interaction between attendees, and a Q&A option. An open forum set-up allows the participants to ask questions and have presenters or panelists answer them right away; it’s feedback almost on the spot. This builds a level of authority as the speaker doesn’t have time to check their notes to construct an answer. The authenticity of the engagement is truly priceless and invaluable. It is important for the Foundation to have a balance among these settings, and we are proud of the work we’re currently doing to create awareness and access to the various career paths at many companies. Hosting regular webinars has led to an identified community or network, because one tends to recognize the regular attendees on a recurring basis. Just this year, we’ve seen an increase in attendance, which has reached nearly 2,500 students just through our webinars.

One other benefit is that webinars support the host organization by enriching their content, enhancing their online presence, and building or maintaining relationships with attendees. The presenters and panelist become part of your support network and continue to be in-the-know of our strategy and objectives. We also know that the speakers, panelists, presenters have an in-return benefit, if they wish to make use of it, as they can add the experience to their resume as part of extra-curricular activities or even volunteer work.

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Friday Forums, Career & Tech Discussions
Our webinar series, Friday Forums, continue monthly. This event is an informal, high-engagement Q&A discussion and usually occurs the last Friday of every month. The other webinar is referred to as Career & Tech Discussions which is hosted by industry experts covering various career and tech topics to deep dive into a relevant topic for 30 to 45 minutes, followed by Q&A with our speaker(s). These topics include interview skills, resume preparation, refining your soft skills, how to interact with your manager, time management, dress for success, or any specific industry facing topic such as schematic design, 3D printing, conscientious engineering, etc. These webinars start as a formal presentation, followed by Q&A from the audience. Please visit our website for more details.

We have hosted industry representatives from many IPC member-companies. One of our most recent presenters was from CAES. The presenters included HR, a production manager, and a manufacturing engineer, who provided an overview of the company, what career advancement opportunities exist for students in high school and college, personal career stories, and what students can do to enter the industry, guidance and tips. They sponsored the Career Round Table Discussion at the IPC STEM Outreach Event at the IPC APEX EXPO earlier this year. Please visit our website to learn more about this event and watch a video of the presentation.

In another presentation, Patrick Crawford, IPC manager of design standards and related industry programs, shared information on 3D printing, with an overview of the methods, materials, and machines; how to 3D print at home; and how 3D printing is used in industry.

The following engineers shared highlights of their careers, their academic backgrounds, and their career paths into the industry to inspire up-and-coming talent. They are professionals and we value their time commitment to answer student and teacher career-related questions. Thank you to Maya Chiesa, materials and process engineer at Lockheed Martin; Tony Feldmeier, materials engineer at Honeywell Aerospace; Sarah Kolak, hardware developer at IBM; Brandon Davis, materials and process engineer at The Aerospace Corporation; Paige Fiet, process engineer at TTM Technologies; and Tyler Siebert, senior manufacturing engineer at Lockheed Martin.

If you wish to participate in hosting a webinar or participate on a panel as an expert, please reach out to me.

Charlene Gunter du Plessis is the senior director of the IPC Education Foundation.

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2022

Foundations of the Future: Optimizing Engagement Through Webinars

05-18-2022

To support students in high school and college by sharing information about the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer, the IPC Education Foundation wanted to ensure that irrespective of the current academic landscape sharing the insights, knowledge and stories from experts should continue to enable students to conveniently attend irrespective of location or circumstance. Webinars have become an extremely useful tool.

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Foundations of the Future: 2021 Recap of Accomplishments

04-18-2022

The IPC Education Foundation had a successful 2021 and accomplished a lot despite the impacts of the pandemic. As we manage our way through the various challenges, we are proud of our progress toward our mission: Develop a pipeline of new talent entering the electronics industry by creating awareness of the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer, and providing students access to knowledge, content, and connections. You can also find a downloadable copy of the “Year in Review” at ipcef.org.

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Foundations of the Future: Valuable Career Stories from Career Panel Discussions

03-15-2022

What better way to learn about the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer than hearing from young professionals in the industry. The idea to host another career panel discussion webinar was inspired by a recent article I read about the “3 Things Young Professionals Need to Know to Grow Their Career” by Amy Bastuga, chief people officer at Radio Flyer, number three in Vault's 2021 Best Internships for Overall Diversity. It made me realize that maybe it shouldn’t be that hard…only three things.

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Foundations of the Future: 2021 Scholarships and Awards Overview

02-09-2022

One of the programs of the IPC Education Foundation is proud of is the IPC Scholarships and Awards program. 2021 was a wonderful year in which students excelled deserving students and teachers were recognized for their commitment to the electronics manufacturing industry. A total of $38,000 were awarded.

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2021

Foundations of the Future: Awarding Students with Scholarships

11-04-2021

The value of a scholarship, however, is more than just the ability to cover short-term tuition. A scholarship affords students the opportunity to pursue long-term goals: delivering a return on the initial investment that will benefit the student, his or her family, and the broader community for years to come

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Foundations of the Future: IPC's Generous Support to Upskill Students

07-21-2021

The electronics industry faces the challenge of attracting talent. The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) aims to help solve this challenge by increasing awareness of the industry and equipping students with valuable industry-standard education to better prepare motivated students for careers in electronics.

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Foundations of the Future: IPC Education Foundation Lessons Learned

06-29-2021

Looking back on our second year, the IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) takes pride in how we how we adjusted our engagement initiatives during the pandemic. We couldn’t rely on our original strategy of hosting and attending a range of in-person activities and events.

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Foundations of the Future: Emerging Engineers Benefit from Mentorship

04-21-2021

The IPC Emerging Engineer Program just graduated its first members in 2020, finishing up the first batch of the 3-year program. While the Emerging Engineer Program was traditionally created for early-career professionals, IPC and the IPC Education Foundation decided to reserve slots for five qualified student candidates to earn a spot in the professional development and mentorship program.

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Foundations of the Future: Introducing Students to a Career in Electronics

03-24-2021

In place of the annual STEM Event that the IPC Education Foundation hosts as part of the IPC APEX EXPO, the foundation held the Build Your Future Career Panel. In the last few years, the IPC Education Foundation has enjoyed hosting Career & Technical Education (CTE) students onsite at the IPC APEX EXPO for an entire day of exposure to the industry and hands-on learning. While we weren’t able to host students in person this year, we hosted a virtual event that introduced hundreds of students and has the potential to reach thousands more thanks to the digital recording.

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Foundations of the Future: IPC Education Foundation Update and Looking Ahead

02-09-2021

The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) takes pride in their accomplishments in their second year. The Foundation focused on a variety of digital/virtual exposure and engagement activities to share information about the electronics manufacturing industry.

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Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Awards and Student Opportunities

01-06-2021

There was no better way to end 2020 than by making a positive impact in deserving students and educators’ lives. We can help students to invest in their future and reward the accomplishments of those who are hardworking and dedicated. Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt as well as professional growth opportunities.

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2020

Foundations of the Future: IPC Student Chapters Gear Up for Competitions

12-02-2020

As colleges and universities continue to adapt to remote and virtual learning, the IPC Education Foundation has also adapted to support its IPC student members and 38 IPC student chapters across the U.S. With the increase in distance learning, Aaron Birney describes how the IPCEF has had to adapt its initiatives for student chapters.

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Foundations of the Future: Inspirational Career Paths—Meet Tayler and Olivia

11-04-2020

It is refreshing to connect with young professionals who are passionate about the industry and true ambassadors to IPC. Charlene Gunter du Plessis connected with Tayler Swanson, an engineering team member at Digital Instruments Inc., and Olivia Lim, a manufacturing engineer at Kimball Electronics, to discuss their studies, professional career journeys, and exciting opportunities in the electronics manufacturing industry.

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Foundations of the Future: The Semi-Virtual Landscape of College for IPC Student Chapter Members

10-14-2020

Universities faced tough decisions moving into fall semesters and quarters, and now most students are back on campus for a semi-virtual collegiate experience that significantly affects their courses and extracurriculars. Aaron Birney shares thoughts and experiences in classrooms and campuses across the U.S. from IPC student members and an IPC student chapter advisor and professor.

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Foundations of the Future: Making the Most of IPCEF’s Webinar Series

09-02-2020

Webinars are great communication tools, and the possibilities are endless. Charlene Gunter du Plessis and Corey Lynn share updates on the IPC Education Foundation's webinar series, as well as upcoming topics.

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Foundations of the Future: Interview With Michael Carano on Mentorship

08-12-2020

In every industry, mentorship enriches and enhances career development. Charlene Gunter du Plessis connects with Michael Carano to hear about his views on mentorship, as well as his experience as a mentor with the IPC Emerging Engineer Program.

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Foundations of the Future: Student Representative on the IPC Board of Directors

07-01-2020

Charlene Gunter du Plessis describes how IPC’s Board of Directors recently added a full voting board seat to an IPC Student Member, including introducing the student liaison and sharing an interview with Dr. John Mitchell and Shane Whiteside.

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Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Leadership Roles, and Career Aspirations

06-03-2020

Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt. Charlene Gunter du Plessis highlights some of the 2019 IPCEF scholarship winners, as well as a book on the topic written by Dr. John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO.

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Foundations of the Future: Online Resources Offer Opportunities for Professional Growth

04-29-2020

At a time where 42 states have stay-at-home orders, and thousands of school districts are transitioning to a remote learning environment, online resources are essential. Charlene Gunter du Plessis recaps some of the ways to learn about the electronics manufacturing industry online.

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Foundations of the Future: The Substantial Growth of IPC Student Chapters

04-01-2020

The IPC Education Foundation launched the IPC Student Chapter Program in February 2019, with the formal announcement at IPC APEX EXPO. The program aims to connect students in relevant two-year, four-year, and graduate programs to the electronics industry and IPC member companies. Aaron Birney provides an update on the substantial growth of IPC Student Chapters over the past year.

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Foundations of the Future: STEM Student Outreach Program at IPC APEX EXPO 2020

03-04-2020

When we hold an event, there is nothing more rewarding than words like these from Diego, Mount Miguel High School: “I learned many valuable pieces of information related to engineering careers. My favorite topic to learn about was PCBs. I enjoyed participating in the hands-on activities, such as breadboarding and soldering. Overall, I had a wonderful time at the event!” Charlene Gunter du Plessis shares the success of the IPC STEM Student Outreach Program, as well as other updates from IPC APEX EXPO 2020.

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