FIRST Robotics persuaded
me to study engineering.
tasking high school students to design, build and compete with a
complex robot in just six weeks,
FIRST taxed my technical and leadership skills to the limit. As team
captain for the last three of
my four years of high school, I was able to greatly expand my knowledge
of engineering design
and grow our team through partnerships with companies in our community.
In FIRST, I found myself wearing many hats, and was deeply
electrical layouts and simple embedded systems design and programming.
For all the technical
skills learned, FIRST taught me just as much about leadership under
difficult resource and time
constraints. Creating a cohesive and effective team presented an
unexpected challenge, but in
the final two years, we were able to build an excellent team and two
The awards were won to prove it, including winning a regional
competition, an engineering
design award, and competing in the national competition in 2006 . In
terms of sheer practical
experience, FIRST has certainly taught me the most about engineering
design and management
under challenging conditions, and I am still building on those lessons