Geek Squad Academy

Here at Oregon MESA, we are constantly on the move:

  • Conducting literature reviews of the latest developments in technology fields,
  • Examining effective curriculum in other STEM programs,
  • Creating worthwhile experiences for our students,
  • Assessing how effective our program is,
  • Fine-tuning our techniques, and so on.

While we are primarily focused on sustaining our current MESA chapters we are also actively coming up with new ideas to branch out and develop programs in low socio-economic status areas, engage students in new ways, and build community partnerships. For example, we are currently hard at work to launch our first chapter in the Salem area.


Click on the topics below to see what else we're drawing up in our blueprints!

MESA Community College Program (MCCP)

MESA Community College Program (MCCP)

COMING SOON

The MESA Community College Program provides math, engineering, and science academic enrichment to community college students so they excel academically and transfer to four-year institutions in calculus- based majors. The MCCP provides academic enrichment, major-specific advising, research experience, early exposure to graduate school, professional development and addresses other important needs of science and engineering majors. The program is supported by industry, so students learn firsthand about career options and learn about scholarships, internships and special programs.

Professional Preparation Program (P3)

Professional Preparation Program (P3)

Recent studies have revealed that a growing number of employers feel that college graduates lack the interpersonal and technical skills required in professional career fields. At Oregon MESA, we understand that many of our students, coming from first generation families and facing language barriers, have an added level of difficulty adjusting to the cultural features of the hiring process and workplace.

Many higher education institutions neglect to provide students with this training. Therefore, we are developing a three point program to teach students: Career Planning, College Preparation, and Professional Preparation. By focusing on these three areas, students will gain a foundation for professional development, both in high school and college settings. We will teach workshops and post videos in English and Spanish that introduce key concepts in professional preparation, including:

1. Career Planning:

  • Assessing Desires: What interests you? How could you explore this field more? How could you connect with professionals in the field to learn more? How could you make a career out of this?
  • Creating a Five Year Plan: Identify what you would like to accomplish in five years? What contributions would you like to make as a community member, student leader, and professional? Where do you hope to be?
  • Creating a Ten Year Plan: What sort of expenses will you have in ten years? What kind of salary will you need to support the family that you would like to have? How would you go about negotiating or deciding on a job based on these facts?

2. College Preparation:

  • Financial Planning 101: how to apply for scholarships, grants, and how to be cautious when selecting a student loan plan
  • Understanding the Application Process: how to decide which college is the best fit for you, write effective scholarship essays, and interview with admissions official
  • Navigating the High Education System: how to gain the cultural and social capital necessary to be successful in college, prevent sexual violence on campus, find a strong mentor, navigate the internship process, etc...

3. Professional Preparation:

  • Cover Letter Writing Techniques: how to write an exciting, professional, and succinct cover letter for a specific position
  • Resume Writing Techniques: how to write a creative professional summary and develop strong content that quantifies career successes
  • Personal Branding: how to identify and feature personal strengths, as well as recognize the importance of professional decorum, nomenclature, and communication techniques
  • Professional Networking: how to develop strong business cards, thank you cards, personal social media management, and "20 second commercial" strategies
  • Interviewing Techniques: how to make a strong impression by dressing professionally, properly meeting situational expectations, dealing with the stress of the unexpected, and delivering exceptional answers

In our workshops, students will have the opportunity to develop all of these skills in a one-on-one setting. We will assist them with editing their cover letters, resumes, scholarship essays, and hold mock interviews, both on a panel and in a one-on-one setting with immediate feedback. Students will also have the opportunity to write in to our staff and ask questions about preparing for college, what to expect in their career field, and other topics. We will post the video responses online in English and Spanish so that more students can access the requested information.