Impact of FIRST - Companies are Starting to Notice
The company that I work for attended the Kettering co-op job fair today and I got some very interesting feedback from our representatives that attended.
As soon as our guys got back from the fair, one came straight to my desk and said: “there are now so many good high school students with FIRST robotics experience, that it’s getting very hard for us to justify hiring co-ops without FIRST experience. It should almost be a crime for high schools not to have a team – they’re really putting their students at a disadvantage.”
This was from someone who is not involved with FIRST.
That's excellent news. People who aren't involved in FIRST are beginning to: a) notice the army of students with FIRST experience, and b) realize the impact that FIRST experience brings to the students. A statement like the one made by my co-worker should be used by parents to demand that their schools have a team.
The company I work for is a small outfit with about 30-40 employees in our office. We use about 3-5 co-ops per semester, most of which have FIRST experience. It seems like we have half of HOT’s students from the past few years working for us. We've had great experience with FIRST alumni, and management is really starting to take notice. Momentum is building.
As a side note, we’re looking for a few good engineers. We need embedded software engineers, systems engineers, and control system engineers. The job can be a lot like working full time on a FIRST project – a lot of fast-turn projects from clean sheets of paper, and a small company means you get to do a little more than be an uber-specialist. If anyone is interested, send me a PM.