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What is S-PAC?

What is a Student Professional Awareness Conference (S-PAC)?

S-PACs are student-organized conferences conferences that involve discussions on various professional development topics.

Since 1979, Student Professional Awareness Conferences (S-PACs) have:

  • Significantly enhanced the leadership and non-technical skills of technology students.

  • Trained pioneers and innovators to tackle the dynamics of the technology profession.

  • Bridged the professional needs of technologists-in-training and wisdom of technology leaders from different fields.

  • Transformed several thousands of students into leaders of the IEEE or other corporations and professional organizations.

Who Organizes and Participates in S-PACs?

IEEE student branch leaders plan and organize S-PACs in collaboration with faculty advisors and the regional coordinators of the IEEE-USA Student Professional Awareness Committee. Any technology student interested in improving their leadership and other professional skills should consider organizing or attending an S-PAC.

Committee’s Mission:
“The IEEE-USA Student Professional Awareness Committee helps organize conferences and workshops to increase professional awareness among engineering students.”

Professional Awareness Topics for S-PACs.

Eight categories represent the professional awareness issues of concern to IEEE Student Members: 

    Career Development
    Technologists are uniquely positioned to embark on careers that are not only technical but also in various areas including business management, finance, economics, health, law, non-profit sector, consulting, journalism, public relations, entrepreneurship, government, and entertainment.

    Discover how to:

    • Make the most of your career choices, career fairs and internships

    • Fare well in informational and formal interviews

    • Craft and customize your resume, curriculum vita, and cover letter for different career pathways

    • Be better informed for your job search and negotiations

    • Establish and maintain professional connections and a circle of mentors

    • Prepare for professional registration, certifications, as well as advanced degrees

    Professional Integrity
    Ethics and engineering are fundamentally intertwined. Decisions made by engineers can have a profound impact on society.

    Discover how to:

    • Practice ethics in a work environment that is constantly influenced by realities of globalization, financial motivation, and information overload

    • Generate or customize a framework or set of principles for ethical conduct across differing conflicts and scenarios

    • Balance professional integrity against corporate loyalty and other personal interests

    Personal Skills
    Personal skills are as crucial as technical skills for a successful career in engineering.

    Discover how to:

    • Develop skills that are necessary to effectively run a meeting and manage a committee.

    • Apply the best practices for time management and priority setting of tasks

    • Better manage your online persona and learn how it can assist or affect your career

    • Plan your finances and investments

    Engineers and Public Policy
    Decision-makers are frequently looking to engineers for advice to improve public policies.


    • How a legislation is drafted, introduced, and debated in Congress

    • The major policy issues and contentions of current interest, and why you should care

    • The role engineers play in informing and shaping public policy and how to get involved

    Leadership in Professional Organizations
    Staying involved in a professional society adds value to your career. However, becoming a leader improves your professional net worth and profile.

    Discover how:

    • A professional society—such as IEEE—can help you in your professional and personal growth

    • Staying involved with a professional organization is a value to you and your profession?

    The Practice of Innovation
    Innovation is a complex theoretical concept but can be learned by practice like any other art or science.

    Discover how to:

    • Capitalize on your professional training and creativity to become an innovator

    • Learn from the success and failure of others

    • Incorporate elements and practices of other cultures and professions (such as arts, humanities, media, and sociology)

    The Art of Communication
    In a world of short attention spans, it is crucial to create and communicate a message that sticks.

    Discover how to:

    • Master the art of storytelling

    • Deliver better presentations

    • Improve written communication

    • Leverage social, traditional, and other media effectively

    • Use these skills to help improve the public understanding of engineering and its impact

    Humanitarian Grand Challenges
    Engineers play a major role in advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

    Discover how to:

    • Play a role in reducing poverty and hunger, improving infrastructure, and addressing environmental and economic challenges

    • Become a global citizen and an ambassador for the engineering profession

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Updated:15 April 2013

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