I think my position was relatively unique in being treated like faculty while being closer, in age and development, to many of the undergraduate students. I was able to move freely between both groups and this was helpful for asserting where I am in life.
For me, the most influential part was the mentor-mentee matchmaking. The dedicated, conscious effort to match me (a mentee) with a mentor (two, actually) was fruitful: both of my mentors took interest in my position and interests and gave great advice on navigating the waters of early-20s career development! These conversations grounded a career pivot for me, back into the quantitative sciences. The mentors were genuinely interested and offering their best advice, and this helped me assert and work towards a next step in graduate school.
I see attending SIAM CSE through BE as a turning point for me; after two years of doing “design”-type work after finishing college, I’m now invested in going back into mathematics and engineering. The BE Program was a huge part of that decision. It reminded me how much I love the mathematician’s way of thinking and showed me a remarkably diverse and interested group of people.