lollypopking
lollypopking
4/28/10 8:46 p.m.

Back in October, I was one of the lucky students who helped lead team Texas A&M during the $2009 Grassroots Challenge. I had an absolute blast during the weekend and am looking forward to returning on my own. I took many things from the competition, like the overall comradeship and bliss of budget building. However the real world lay waiting at the end of the that semester and little did I know GRM had a bit more to give.

I graduated in December in one of the worst job markets for entry level engineers. During the first 2 months, nearly every job posting I could find came up dry. With some prospective jobs in the air, I ran out of money so I needed a temporary job to support my wife and son (who was actually born the first day of my last semester, making those last 4 months very interesting). While working as a car salesman for a Chevy dealership, I heard of an immediate job opening through a fellow employee and I was able to get an interview. This engineering position had certain technical requirements and conveying my expertise beyond my degree has been difficult since there is no resume section for driveway tinkering or helping out a friend. I brought my copy of the $2009 challenge coverage to show each interviewer, explained my position in Team Texas A&M, and what our build process was like. Afterwords, I found out that each interviewer had skipped every designated question that dealt with technical experience, problem solving, or overall knowledge because the challenge and my description had displayed it all with flying colors. The following week I was offered the job.

I relayed this same message to fellow Ag's back in College Station to show them that this challenge has added benefits beyond the awesome competition and school. They are working hard to get ready for this year's challenge, and now that I'll have some more money and time on my hands, I have a chance to return as well. So thank you GRM for putting on such a clever event because it may very well have pushed me through the hardest door in a tough time. For now I got to iron some shirts, the new job starts Monday...

jrw1621
jrw1621 Dork
4/28/10 8:52 p.m.

Wow. Congrats. Your salesmanship of yourself was done very well.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
4/28/10 9:00 p.m.

Gig Em!! Whoop!!

Dr.Hess

Class of '92

m4ff3w
m4ff3w SuperDork
4/28/10 9:13 p.m.

Hook em?

Kia_racer
Kia_racer Reader
4/28/10 9:17 p.m.

I could start with all the Aggie jokes, but, I will just say congrats.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair SuperDork
4/28/10 9:30 p.m.

[Team America] GRM! berkeley Yeah! [/Team America]

Congratulations!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/28/10 10:03 p.m.

Awesome.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA HalfDork
4/28/10 11:40 p.m.

Great story, well told. Your ability to relate the story both in writing and during your interview probably set you apart from the other candidates, other than your righteous GRM cred of course. It's no good if you do great stuff and can't relate it to anyone else in a clear, concise manner. A lesson for everyone ......

psolver1
psolver1 New Reader
4/28/10 11:48 p.m.
Jerry From LA wrote: Great story, well told. Your ability to relate the story both in writing and during your interview probably set you apart from the other candidates, other than your righteous GRM cred of course. It's no good if you do great stuff and can't relate it to anyone else in a clear, concise manner. A lesson for everyone ......

Like...duh.... doesn't everyone.....yah know....like, get it

I concur....

littleturquoiseb
littleturquoiseb HalfDork
4/29/10 5:10 a.m.

I work at a university and I am usually the one who needs to give the 'get involved' speach at diffrent events. I will add your story to my go to list, it's the perfect example of a student setting themselves apart from the herd who will all have the same degree at the end of four (or five) years.

Congrats on the job, the boy, and the new life!

unevolved
unevolved Reader
4/29/10 8:25 a.m.

Congrats again, man. That's why we started this program, and hopefully you won't be the last to benefit from it.

Thinkkker
Thinkkker SuperDork
4/29/10 9:48 a.m.

Yep, Ya'll started this after I finally graduated, but FSAE and 1/4 Scale Tractor Pull its real, really :D were great for the same reason.

My interview was interesting with my employer. I actually had one of my "internships" as a instructor at TWS on there and corner worker. Given that they were giving me a company car and such, they had several questions and it went from there :).

Congrats!

Raze
Raze HalfDork
4/29/10 10:15 a.m.

I agree wholeheartedly with the benefit of the competition and the magazine from a professional perspective, 2 of my friends who worked with me on our attempt at a $2006 GRM car which never actually made it to the big dance were still able to leverage the knowledge, experience, and build process details to secure hands-on engineering positions in the aerospace field amonst stiff competition. We love to hate our car over which many pints of blood has been spilled, but this magazine as an enabler has helped propel us individually to heights we either would not have been able to achieve or thought about exploring.

I think GRM needs a new bumper sticker: I am GRM

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
4/29/10 11:43 a.m.

Wow. That's beyond cool. But the other posters are right--while it would be great to take all the credit for your job, you sound like a guy who was gonna make it anyway.

You know what's weird and awesome? 25+ years ago we started this magazine because our own postgraduate job prospects were poor. Who knew that many years later we'd be able to pay it forward to our readers by helping them out of the same predicament!

Margie

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
4/29/10 11:59 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: Wow. That's beyond cool. But the other posters are right--while it would be great to take all the credit for your job, you sound like a guy who was gonna make it anyway. You know what's weird and awesome? 25+ years ago we started this magazine because our own postgraduate job prospects were poor. Who knew that many years later we'd be able to pay it forward to our readers by helping them out of the same predicament! Margie

So you didn't know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
4/29/10 12:02 p.m.

Way to be resourceful and sell yourself!!! Corngrats!

monark192
monark192 New Reader
4/29/10 1:09 p.m.

Great story - thanks for sharing and good luck with the new job.

littleturquoiseb said: degree at the end of four (or five) years.

You can do it that quickly - who knew..

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA HalfDork
4/30/10 3:34 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: Wow. That's beyond cool. But the other posters are right--while it would be great to take all the credit for your job, you sound like a guy who was gonna make it anyway. You know what's weird and awesome? 25+ years ago we started this magazine because our own postgraduate job prospects were poor. Who knew that many years later we'd be able to pay it forward to our readers by helping them out of the same predicament! Margie

That's why stuff like the Challenge and the Mitty, etc are all world-class marketing ideas. Of course, while it would be great to take all the credit for your success, you two sound like people who were gonna make it anyway.

JonW
JonW New Reader
5/1/10 8:11 a.m.
littleturquoiseb wrote: ...it's the perfect example of a student setting themselves apart from the herd who will all have the same degree at the end of four (or five) years....

You definitely need a way to differentiate yourself from the other applicants in today's job market. I'm on the interviewing side and the standard resume without practical experience or some other extra sends your resume to the pile.

My son has milked the 2005 Challenge Locost 7 well beyond it's $2000 value. He used it as his high school senior culminating project, it's probably helped gain college acceptance, helped winning summer internship with a large international company, definitely helped secure two job offers after graduating in 2009. The job he accepted is with a 25-man design company with a prototype fab shop and rapid prototyping equipment.

He gets paid now to design and fab things. I'm envious.

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