ECIA announces the 2017 participants in “Project Host,” a program that provides students and their faculty the opportunity to attend the industry’s premier meeting, EDS. Student Ambassadors are matched with volunteer ECIA member executives. This year’s participating ECIA member companies are Master Electronics, Crouzet North America, Digi-Key Electronics, Catalyst Sales, and Kruvand. A special thanks to program sponsor Mouser Electronics, who provides a subsidy for students during the show to hold down costs.
Ten students and four faculty members from Texas A&M, Texas Christian University (TCU) and Purdue University will attend EDS 2017 sponsored by ECIA members. Begun in 1986 as part of the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA), Project Host continues to be supported by ECIA members each year. EDS is held each May in Las Vegas, NV. More than a traditional trade show, it is dominated by “business to business” meetings between manufacturers and their authorized distributors and manufacturer representatives. Student Ambassadors attend these important business meetings with their hosts and witness the theories they have learned in class come to life in the manufacturer/distributor/manufactures representative interactions. They have the chance to pick the brains of experienced industry professionals and see real-world business planning and marketing sessions.
“Attending these high-level meetings of executives is a tremendous learning experience as these young professionals see their textbook terms used in real-life business negotiations,” explained Austin Cheney, ECIA’s faculty representative on the ECIA Foundation Board, and Eastern Illinois University’s Chair of the School of Technology. “And the program gives ECIA member companies the chance to give back to the industry in an impactful and meaningful way that brings real value to the next generation of industry leaders.”
“I cannot express how beneficial this was to my professional development,” exclaimed one participant from a previous year. “I had the opportunity to sit-in on at least 10 different meetings, and collect 50 business cards from industry representatives. The meetings were all very unique and presented useful information including industry best practices, market challenges/opportunities, international scenarios, and relationship development. I now have a better understanding of manufacturer/distributor relationships.”