For Brian Dillard (BS ’92), a conversation at a National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) convention led to a decades-long career with the largest sneaker manufacturer in the world.
Dillard was first exposed to the field of engineering in high school through BEAM (Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities), an organization founded in 1982 to help build diversity in STEM fields. After high school, he completed the engineering science program at Erie Community College and transferred to the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at UB.
While at the university, Dillard joined the NSBE and attended one of its career fairs.
At UB’s NSBE fair, he met with representatives from Motorola and subsequently did his departmental internship there during his senior year and was hired immediately after graduation. While at Motorola, Dillard designed production lines for new products.
A few years later, Dillard attended another career fair at NSBE’s national convention, which featured more than 200 national and international companies. He stopped at the Nike table to speak with their representatives and was asked to come in for an interview. He proceeded to land a job as a senior engineer and has been with the company for nearly 22 years.