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Sarah Sohn


Sarah Sohn

Vice President, External Relations


Hello friends! My name is Sarah Sohn, I’m currently in my fifth year of Mech iBioMed and I’m running to be the next VP External! I’m grateful to have been a part of our wonderful engineering community in different capacities over the years, including roles as MES iBioMed Rep, Drain Coordinator, Welcome Week Rep, MEC VP Logistics and more – and I hope to continue my involvement with the MES to make even more meaningful contributions going forward!

I was first introduced to conferences as an organizing committee member of the inaugural FYEC back in 2019, where I learned more about engineering student bodies at the provincial (ESSCO) and national (CFES) level. After attending my first external conference in 2020 and meeting so many like-minded, passionate student leaders in engineering, I was so inspired and motivated to bring back my learnings to our engineering community and hope for others to experience the same!

This is also my second year on the Delegate Selection Committee and I’m so happy to see more interest from students – I hope to be able to continue this momentum and feel confident in taking on the responsibility to support and advocate for McMaster students as VP External.


Campaign Platform

1 – Student Advocacy

As VP External, my main responsibility would be to inform, represent, and advocate for McMaster students at external events and organizations. This requires understanding the issues affecting students and communicating these concerns to ensure that they are addressed.

To effectively advocate for students, I hope to seek feedback through an online form that is open all year round. Students can share their concerns when needed and this form will be easily accessible via the MES website.

Many may also be unaware of the topics of discussion at conferences so I plan provide a conference agenda one week in advance, to give students a chance to reflect on what is to be discussed and provide input. I hope to achieve this by creating a living document that will be available on the MES website.

In addition, some of the language used during these meetings may be assumed knowledge and because policy can be new and intimidating, it is important to realize this can create a barrier. So I hope to share the conference agendas with as much context as possible and will always be happy to answer any questions for clarification!

2 – Conference Awareness

One of the responsibilities of the VP External is to send a strong delegation to represent McMaster at conferences. However, there does exist a lack of awareness of conferences and all that they offer to students.

I plan to increase engagement by creating more promotional content of the conferences we attend, to post to MES social media accounts. IG Takeovers, mini-vlogs, and other forms of content can really help showcase all aspects of conferences from travel, to sessions, to socials!

I also hope to collaborate with student leaders, clubs, and teams to further promote conferences. For example, First Year Reps on the MES may be asked to share details for ESSCO’s First Year Integration Conference!

Lastly, I plan to work closely with the VP Communications so that conference information is up to date on the MES website. This includes updating the events calendar to reflect upcoming conferences and application deadlines, ensuring that students are able to sign up for the conference mailing list, and providing links that lead to the ESSCO and CFES websites for more details on their events.

3 – Accountability

Delegates are asked to provide accountability in order to bring knowledge back to the McMaster engineering community. But while we cannot send all interested students to conferences, I hope to create channels for ongoing discussion and learning so that others can learn from their experiences.

I plan to achieve this is by adding accountability as brief, informative posts to MES social media platforms and adding a page to the website to centralize the conference givebacks.

I also hope to host follow-up discussions to further explore and discuss key takeaways with the delegates, so that I can better understand the experience from the delegate’s perspective (as they would be attending different sessions than I) and better communicate the impact of the conference.

Vice President, External Relations

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