As The University of Winnipeg’s chapter of The Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (.caISES) celebrates its third anniversary, the student group has been awarded the opportunity to participate in an event hosted by Microsoft.
The virtual event, a joint undertaking by Microsoft and AISES Canada, provided .caISES members with the chance to learn about Microsoft career and internship opportunities, tips on resume and online profile building, and access to Microsoft’s Global Indigenous Employee Resource Group. UWinnipeg’s .caISES chapter was also chosen to receive $1,000 in financial support from Microsoft.
Since its inception, the UWinnipeg .caISES chapter has dedicated itself to offering cultural activities, education resources, academic support, and community involvement opportunities to its membership. Chapter president Cassidy Lamirande said the recognition reminded her how impactful the chapter has been throughout her time at UWinnipeg, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was really great to have a group that I could go to and talk about anything that was going on,” she said, “whether it was academic-wise or in my personal life.”
The support from Microsoft can assist UWinnipeg’s .caISES chapter, which presently boasts 28 members and is actively recruiting, as it plans a possible presence at ISES conferences in California and British Columbia. The respective three-day events provide Indigenous students and professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics the chance to forge connections and create relationships that can lead to educational and career opportunities.
In addition to the Microsoft opportunity, the UWinnipeg chapter remains in contention for the AISES Chapter of the Year award and is the only Canadian representation among the finalists. The chapter previously won the award in 2020.
As part of the application process, Lamirande and the other members of the .caISES leadership team created a video outlining the ways in which the group supported its members and the surrounding community.
“Knowing how much we do for our community, how much we do for school, how much we help other members in our group, I think we forget that a lot of the time,” she said. “But with an award and a grant like this, the possibility of winning it is crazy and proves all the work we’ve been doing actually means something.”
The Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society provides networking, peer support, and mentorship to Indigenous STEM students, providing opportunities to explore undergraduate and graduate opportunities, discover career pathways, engage with Indigenous STEM professionals, and network with scholarship-granting organizations and corporations looking to hire.
To learn more about joining UWinnipeg’s .caISES chapter, email UW.caISES@gmail.com.