SAME Conference offers countless opportunities

SAME Conference offers countless opportunities

by Tatiana Carter and Katrina Stebbins
Kadena High School

Japanese and American engineers met for a two-day conference hosted by SAME, the Society of American Military Engineers, at Aeon Rycom Mall on November 7 and 8. The conference welcomed engineers from various fields and offered companies the opportunity to market their products. However, in the words of Regional SAME Executive Vice President Richard Stump, “though the name is Society of American Military Engineers - you don’t need to be an American, you don’t need to be in the military, and you don’t need to be an engineer.”

SAME offers promotional opportunities for individuals and companies of any kind. Perhaps the most integral aspect of SAME is the large network of engineers made available to companies and their representatives; networking is recognized by SAME as the most important facet for growing a company or business. The companies who sponsored the event were given a booth and a chance to display their products to garner interest. For instance, Dave Petty, a representative of CATERPILLAR, demonstrated the many uses of the company’s main products to those in attendance at the conference.

SAME is comprised of four pillars: relationships, leadership and mentoring, personal growth and professional development, and national security. Michael Blount, national president of SAME, described the four pillars as a “marble cake.” The pillars cannot stand alone and need each other for support. SAME hoped to impress upon its attendees the importance of these tenets and why they are imperative to the organization.

The heart of the conference is the opportunity for engineer professional development. Together, they were able to showcase the strengths of their companies, while also garnering techniques from other successful groups. The goal is for the learned techniques to be implemented within their own companies after the conference. Blount said, “Professional development is who we are.”

The conference was a great opportunity for those transitioning out of the military, students, and the local community to come together and unite under a common cause. It provided opportunities for those interested to learn about careers they may aspire to in the future. Furthermore, it allows companies who want to hire a certain demographic of people to advertise their business. For example, the company Cummins expressed their programs and tactics used to hire women into the engineering workforce. Similarly, many Japanese organizations provided programs for engineers seeking an American license. Together, both the local and foreign SAME partnerships reveled in the unique opportunity to advertise and expand their businesses.

The engineers, local residents, and students in attendance were enchanted by the conference provided by the SAME Japan post. Through ice breaker parties, where networking and relationships were forged, to the conference where learning took place, audience members would take with them memories and connections to last a lifetime. SAME Japan post thanked all of its attendees for provided an atmosphere in which all members of the engineering community could prosper.

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