Virginia Tech® home

STEP Professional Development

students on a lab tour
STEP Participants enjoy engineering lab tours and get to meet with faculty in the department.

Academic Seminars and Lab Tours

Engineering faculty as well as various academic programs across campus provide weekly seminars. This is a chance for students to learn about different  opporutnities available to them on campus. Participants will also tour various engineering design labs on campus.

Engineering Faculty Lunches

 Engineering faculty offer weekly lunches for STEP participants. Faculty meet with students to discuss their engineering departments as well as their research interests. This is a great opportunity to get to know faculty in each department and ask any questions that you may have. 

Graduate Student Academic Coaching

Engineering graduate students provide weekly academic coaching sessions for STEP participants. These sessions include information on time management and study tips, how to contact professors, how to work in groups, student groups on campus, career fairs, and navigating the fall semester. Graduate students share their experiences in these small group sessions and participants can ask any questions they may have about engineering or being a student at Virignia Tech.

Industry Design Challenge    

STEP participants have the unique opportunity to participant in an engineering design challenge planned by industry representatives. In 2023, General Electric Vernova provided the design challenge. Students worked in groups to build a structure that met various requirements. GE Vernova professionals worked with STEP participants throughout the activity to give students insight into real-world engineering.


Students work together on a design project
STEP participants work in groups to complete the GE Vernova engineering design challenge.
a design project is tested
GE Vernova engineer Mary Duncan examines whether or not the group met the design criteria.

STEP Etiquette Dinner

STEP participants will get to enjoy a formal etiquette dinner. This experience is designed to help students understand how to interact with other professionals in a formal dinner environment.

students at an etiquette dinner
STEP students get dressed up to learn about how to interact with other professionals in a formal dinner setting.

Personal Development

In addition to professional development, STEP focuses on helping students identify personal needs they may have in order to be a successful student here at Virginia Tech. We focus on time management, learning to manage a hectic academic schedule, how to handle feeling overwhelmed, campus layout, and academic resources. Students will hear from a variety of campus offices including Student Success Center, Cooke Counseling Center, Women's Resource Center, Cultural and Community Centers, and Career and Professional Devleopment. In addition, STEP staff will be a resource to help students understand what it takes to be a successful student here at Virginia Tech.


Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity

220 Gilbert Street (MC 0275)
Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061
Phone: (540) 231-7411
Email CEED