FYIC took place this year in the capital city of Ottawa, hosted by Carleton University. The conference kicked off on Friday February 7th as over 80 first-years and head delegates arrived from all over Ontario to convene for a weekend of leadership development. They were quickly introduced to ESSCO and CFES, and were encouraged to befriend one another as these were ultimately the future leaders with whom they would share executive positions in upcoming years.

A brand new twist that ESSCO and the organizing committee put on FYIC this year was the implementation of Mock Elections. Over 15 first-years stepped up to pitch a 90-second campaign to their fellow delegates aimed at a position for which they hoped to run upon returning to their EngSocs. It takes great courage to improvise and deliver a speech and then to receive critique from their peers and head delegates, and we commend all the first-years who stood up to volunteer. Saturday was packed with sessions such as Engineering Culture, 10 Ways to Get Involved Immediately, and How to Run an Election Campaign, followed by presentations from the PEO, OSPE, NSERC, and an interactive session on Public Policy as the ESSCO Council departed for plenary. Kim Allen from Engineers Canada was able to make a surprise visit, speaking a few words of inspiration to the delegates. Finally, the day wrapped up with a banquet in the hotel penthouse, including a visit from none other than The Gong itself, and a night at Winterlude on the Rideau Canal!

Sunday brought three final sessions: Transitioning from First-Year to Exec, NEM Opportunities, and How to Run a Conference/OEC. All three were in line with the ultimate goal of FYIC: to prepare first-years to become the next student leaders of their schools. As the ESSCO executive member responsible for the conference content, it pleases me greatly that feedback has been very positive regarding the sessions, and I know that this is momentum ESSCO will be able to maintain for the future.

Thank you to the fantastic organizing committee at Carleton for putting together this very memorable experience, and to everyone on council who ran a session. I remember my own FYIC as if it were yesterday, and I have no doubt the same mark has now been left on the 2014 delegates: I can’t wait to see they’ll be in their leadership careers a year from now!

Anson Chen
Vice-President Communications 2013-14

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