Exec Spotlight: VP External

As you might know this spring we have elections for all of the Executive positions in the Society! This includes President, VP Education, VP Internal, VP External, and VP Finance. Leading up to the nomination period each week one of the current Exec will be posting a blog post detailing what each of our positions actually does, what an average day is like, where we see the portfolio going, and why we love our jobs. Watch out for all our posts and get in touch if you want more information!

The Role of VP External
What it takes to be a VP EXTREME and why you should run!

The Vice President External portfolio can be divided into three sub-portfolios: Outreach initiatives, the Waterloo Engineering Competition (WEC), and External Representation. The VP External has various roles and responsibilities through these aspects of the portfolio, from working with directors, to sitting on councils and committees, to logistics, to liaising with external organizations. One thing I really enjoyed about being VP External for the past year is how broad the role is, in the sense that it’s never the same job day-in and day-out.

Outreach initiatives include working with various community outreach and charities directors, and providing them with guidance and support. The VP External plays a more managerial role with these directorships, ensuring directors are effectively planning events and that they run successfully. The VP External can choose to be very involved in any directorship under the portfolio that they are particularly interested in, or take a step back and ensure the directors are doing the work necessary leading up to and during their events. The VP External my also choose to have an Outreach Commissioner to work closely with their directors. Outreach directorships under the External portfolio this term are Charities, Education Outreach, Environmental, Pride Parade, Canada Day, and Women in Engineering.

WEC is an engineering competition that runs during Spring and Fall terms. Students in engineering participate in teams of four to come up with a solution to an engineering problem. Participants can choose to compete in junior design, senior design, consulting, and programming competitions. The VP External can choose a WEC commissioner to work with in terms of managing WEC directors (I call them diWECtors, I’m trying to make that word catch on) and assisting with logistics the weekend of the competition. Students who win each competition will qualify for the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC), which is a feeder into the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC). The VP External role involves more logistics and communication with the organizing committees of OEC and CEC for the students who have qualified for these competitions through WEC.

The VP External, needless to say, also has a large role in external relations. The Engineering Student Societies’ Council of Ontario (ESSCO) and the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) run conferences across Canada that the VP External attends and selects delegates to also attend. These conferences are for undergraduate engineering students to network and attend sessions on various topics, such has how students can improve their engineering societies, inclusivity, and professional development. In addition to attending these sessions, the VP External will attend plenary at several of these conferences. At plenary, the VP External contributes to discussions on motions for upcoming changes on the provincial and national levels that affect engineering students and votes on these motions on behalf of the Waterloo Engineering Society ‘A’. Furthermore, the VP External may either choose to attend monthly PEO Grand River meetings, or select a PEO representative to attend and liaise with this organization.

Now that I’ve given you an idea of what a VP External does, I am going to tell you what I have enjoyed about it and why it is an awesome role. Being the VP External has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people through attending conferences as well as working with directors and commissioners. I started my involvement with the Engineering Society through being a Charities Director in my 2B term, and since then I have really wanted to have a larger role in the Outreach initiatives through the society, which being the VP External has allowed me to do. Working with the executive team and contributing to how the society is run is something I’ve really enjoyed being a part of, as well as working with directors and watching them run a successful event. It really is an awesome experience and if you’re at all interested in running, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email and I would be happy to answer any questions you have 🙂

Also check out some of these other cool blog posts on the other available positions!

Why You should consider running for Executive
Guide to running in the Spring 2015 elections


Heather Smith
VP External Engineering Society ‘A