Driving down to the 2009 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference was almost an out of body experience for me! I felt like I was an A-list celebrity in Hollywood. Everybody (yes, I mean everybody) was looking at me. Now that I look back on it… maybe they weren’t looking at me, but they were looking at the Intel WiMax SmartCar that I was driving. Yes, that was me zipping along the highway, riding around downtown on streets and sidewalks in the little “power wheels” sized Intel car.
Only at Intel would I get the green light to take a WiMax enabled car and drive it to a National Conference and park it smack dab in front of the Portland Convention Center. The looks on people’s faces as I hopped out were classic! A couple individuals came up to me and asked “You got to drive this car? Are you with Intel?” Yes sir and yes ma’am, I got to drive this and yes I’m with Intel. The smart car was just one of the Intel technologies I was able to introduce people to at the AISES National Conference in Portland over the Halloween weekend!
The AISES National Conference was one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do at Intel so far. I have to admit, a lot of things I get to do at work are cool (including attending the NBMBAA conference) but really does it get cooler than driving a WiMax SmartCar??! Getting to the conference was fun but experiencing the conference was something I will truly never forget. I am sure a lot of you have visited the Intel booths on campuses and national conferences but AISES is a different kind of event. AISES is a national conference, but more than that, it is a complete immersion in a culture that has been so important to the history of the United States. I met hundreds of Native American engineers and students over a one-day career fair and scores of others in the different events being held on the other two days of the conference.
In the three days I spent at the convention center, I heard former Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke speak, experienced traditional Native American songs and prayers, participated in a pow-wow, met hundreds of young engineers and scientists, taught a workshop and became an engineer for a day. Wait, did she just say “became an engineer for a day?” Okay, so I didn’t create the technology but I definitely got to demonstrate it! I had the “My Wi-Fi Technology” in our booth during the career fair and yours truly got to present the demo. I was able to share some of the cool, interesting things we create at Intel. For example, let’s say you take 100 pictures on your camera but can’t find the cord to connect the camera to your computer. With the My Wi-Fi technology that’s not a problem! Your computer becomes the hotspot and you can wireless transfer your photos from your camera to your computer (even as you take the photos)! Pretty sweet if you ask me! If you want to learn more about the My Wi-Fi Technology, check out David Angell as he shares more on his blog post.
Even though I’m not an engineer, Intel makes products that anyone can use. Part of my job at AISES was to share these products with people that will use them and eventually create them. Like I mentioned, I also got to co-teach a workshop. The workshop, “Transition from College to the Workplace,” was something very near and dear to my heart; something I’ve been living since July. I was able to share my personal experiences in the workshop with the students in attendance. Being tapped to co-teach the workshop in a space where I can share valuable information with people my age really meant a lot to me. This was a great opportunity for me, so early in my career, to share my experiences. At first, I didn’t think I’d have much to say but when you work at Intel, you end up having a lot of cool and interesting things to share!
So this is me–blogging and sharing my cool experience that Intel has allowed me. I drove the WiMax SmartCar (and made it back in one piece)! I gained a new cultural experience. I successfully demonstrated our new My Wi-Fi technology. I met hundreds of young engineers and scientists. And, I ensured Intel’s presence was seen, felt and experienced. It feels good to work for a company where I can look back and say “Yeah, I did that.” I hope you each have the opportunity to work for Intel, where you can look back on your own accomplishments and proudly say, “Yeah, I did that!” … (Then make sure you write a blog about it so I can read it!)