The Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture is home to more than 40 student clubs. Electrical engineering major Maximillian Obasiolu tells us how his involvement with the WSU’s National Society of Black Engineers chapter has been so meaningful to him.

Maximillian Obasiolu.

Name: Maximillian Obasiolu

Major: Electrical Engineering

Expected Date of Graduation: May 2021

High School: Lane Tech College Prep

Activities: National Society of Black Engineers, Team Mentoring Program

Q: What advice do you have for fellow or prospective students?
A: My three pieces of advice for any student would be: Get out of your comfort zone, seek out communities you want to engage in, and if it does not exist – make it. To succeed in your major, it is essential to attend class, build rapport with your professor/TA by going to office hours, review material on a weekly basis, and form a reliable study group. Given the constraints of COVID-19, the previous advice holds more weight and students should make a regulated schedule for themselves to build effective habits and avoid burnout.

The years go by quickly, so hit the ground running.

Q: Why did you choose to major in electrical engineering?
A: I chose to major in electrical engineering because of my exposure to computer science and maker culture in high school. Due to those experiences, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career at the intersection of hardware and software, so electrical engineering was the perfect match.

I have had the chance to dabble with a lot of different electrical engineering sub-disciplines, from electromagnetic theory to high-speed circuit design and everything in between. My favorite classes have been the ones with labs because they facilitate an environment that promotes hands-on learning. The classes that will help me the most in the future are EE 466 (VLSI Design) and EE 434 (ASIC and Digital Systems) with Professor Dae Hyun Kim.

Q: What has been your favorite program that you’ve been involved with at WSU?
A: My favorite organization that I have been involved with at WSU is National Society of Black Engineers by far. As a founding member, I was able to build a support system for black engineering students by reestablishing the NSBE chapter at WSU.

I was responsible for campus outreach initiatives to increase membership as well as facilitating chapter events. Over the course our inaugural year I designed a professionalism workshop series and initiated social events that increased our chapter membership to 25 members. From there, we independently fundraised $10,000, established a partnership with Alaska Airlines to provide airfare waivers, and took half our chapter to the NSBE National Convention.

Four black engineering students pose by their National Society for Black Engineers booth.
Maximillian Obasiolu (center) participated in Voiland College’s annual Ice Cream social with his fellow National Society of Black Engineers club members.