Every summer the branch of ITE that our student organization falls under – the Western District – hosts an important gathering in a different location in the western region of the United States. While it is mainly geared toward professionals and other more “experienced” individuals, students can also find great opportunities in attending.
Such opportunities include educational info-sessions on topical transportation issues/inventions, networking events like the “Get Acquainted Social” and Exhibit Hall where many transportation companies advertise their latest innovations and products. Furthermore, technical tours are offered every day of the conference, which uniquely showcase the methods of transportation that characterize the hosting community. There are even activities specifically designed for attending students, such as the annual Student Traffic Bowl, student/faculty leadership forum, and the James H. Kell Student Competition. Although Western District is mainly a professional and educational conference, there are also plenty of fun activities available as well, such as Family Night and the themed Annual Awards Banquet.
This past year (2019), Western District was held in the city of Monterey, wherein 7 members of our student chapter were able to attend. We participated in the student competition, in which we simulated traffic in everyday life via relay race, rice, and various forms of exercise; we also attended multiple info-sessions – many on current topics like e-scooters and AV/CVs – and practiced our interview skills in the mock interview workshop held by multiple employees in the transportation field. Family Night this past year was held at none other than the Monterey Bay Aquarium; eating dinner next to schools of swirling fish was quite the surreal experience.
This coming year (2020), Western District will be held on the beautiful island of Oahu in Honolulu! If you’re interested in attending, or want additional information, click the provided link: https://www.westernite.org/annualmeeting/