View Full Version : FIRST Impacting Job Choices

07-03-2004, 02:04 PM
I'm just interested in how FIRST impacted or changed your job choices. Whether this program changed your job ideas, or even helped you with your choice.
This thread is basically to discuss what kind of impact FIRST has had on our career choices.
--d0ri :D

07-03-2004, 02:52 PM
good idea. FIRST i think really had an impact on what i want to be when i grow up. Like all my life I wanted to be some sort of doctor, like kinda of a radiologist or work in the E.R part. But when i started doin FIRST, I kinda feel like its impacted me on being some kind of engineer. So nows its a tough decision, because I still want to be a doctor and an engineer at the same time, so i thought to myself, why not become a Biomedical engineer. It still has to do with medicine and engineering. So my problem is solved now. So, without being involed with FIRST, i dont think i had any intention of becoming an engineer. I think that 80% of whoever is involved with FIRST (students), will want to become some kind of engineer when they get older because it just impacts them so much on becoming one.

07-03-2004, 07:19 PM
Sad to say, but FIRST didn't really change my plans. I mean, FIRST really can really drive students to those sorts of careers, but so can Teacher Cadets (http://www.cerra.org), if you know what I mean.

Not to say it hasn't had an impact on me--but that's another thread.

Lisa Perez
07-03-2004, 08:33 PM
It's really weird. I wanted to become some sort of space scientist in 6th grade, but then my folks were gung-ho about my going into business management. I guess they rubbed off on me - up until 10th grade I wanted to do the whole business dealio. Getting involved in robotics really made me reconsider. My whole sophomore year I decided I was going to be solely an engineer.

I loved the engineering atmosphere FIRST gave and didn't know how I could live doing anything else. More recently, however, I've felt that due to my experience with robotics, I've gained some leadership skills - being captain of a robotics team and leader of two sub-teams definitely does something to ya :p.

So now, because of FIRST (and not because of the idea that my parents had rubbed off on me in my elementary school days), I'm going to apply to college looking to study in both aerospace engineering and business management.


Mike Ciance
07-03-2004, 08:36 PM
well, i write freelance for the paper. if i was never involved in FIRST, i may not have had the confidence to go for the job. FIRST has helped me mature in many ways (though, as robogirl007 would know, i rarely act mature in my free time :p ). i am sure it has helped me indirectly with my job, just as it does many aspects of my life.

Jillian B.
07-08-2004, 06:38 PM
I can definetly say FIRST has had an impact on career/major choices for me. Up until the end of sophomore year of high school, I was very certain I wanted to be a mechanical engineer or a biomedical engineer.

FIRST has helped me realize I lack mechanical aptitude, so being a mechanical engineer is pointless for me. However, I did realize I love coming up with structural designs, yet sticking to the principles of engineering. So, I made my decision to be a civil engineer, and I'm pretty happy with what I've seen so far in research about the career.

- Jill

07-08-2004, 06:48 PM
I can't say it really had an impact. if anything, it reinforced it! :D

07-08-2004, 08:23 PM
no impact

07-08-2004, 10:16 PM
FIRST has had a major impact on my choosing to go into the engineering field. Before i became involved in FIRST I really had no clue as to what i wanted to do with my future. Now I'm striving to go into engineering.

07-08-2004, 10:35 PM
Oddly enough, being on FIRST made me think more seriously about politics & law. Those two had always been on the back of my mind but putting them into practice, even in a scientific areana, made me realize how much I liked those fields.

On my team I was in charge of reading and interpreting the rules, and doing all the paperwork for everything, which was the "legal aspect" I guess. I also managed my team which made me think more seriously about politics because I liked being the representative of my team and making sure all operations went smoothly and...well...bossing people around I guess.

Joe Ross
07-09-2004, 07:44 AM
I can't say it really had an impact. if anything, it reinforced it! :D

reinforcing is actually a big impact.

07-09-2004, 08:33 AM
I'm still trying to figure out what my job will be, to be honest. I'm leaning towards Aerospace Engineering as a college major...and that's entirely because of a friend on my team that was able to reawaken my interest in NASA and space in general.

I've still got a year left before I graduate, though...so don't hold me to that. :)

07-13-2004, 06:41 PM
first really changed my plans for the future. i wanted to be a doctor when i grew up b/c i didnt know what i wanted to be... n that sounded good. lol. now i still dont know what i want to be, but b/c of robotics i know that becoming a doctor wasnt me. i'd rather handle the technical stuff or w/e. i dont think i want to be an engineer, or an animator, but robotics helped me better understand what i really wanted out of a career.

A. Leese
07-29-2004, 06:11 PM
FIRST totally changed what I wanted to do. For several years, I wanted to do medical school. FIRST got me really interested in engineering as a carer. Through FIRST, I was able to get an internship with Raytheon this summer and have gotten to see first-hand that I really do want to be an engineer. I just LOVE going into work everyday. Without FIRST, I never would have considered being an engineer.

Jaine Perotti
07-29-2004, 06:37 PM
Before I joined FIRST, I had not even remotely considered engineering as a career, although I had always loved science. At first, I was reluctant to even join a robotics team...I only joined because a friend of mine was already on the team and was trying to recruit new members. I remember thinking to myself...well, i guess i could give it a try, i mean, if I don't like it I could always quit... It was pretty hard at first, because I had no clue what anyone was talking about or what to do. It was like being immersed into a different language. I didn't know a nut from a bolt. But something about the other team members inspired me...their knowledge and dedication, plus they seemed to be having alot of fun. I have never liked "not being in the know" and I have always loved learning. I decided that I had to make robotics less of a mystery to me...I wanted to know the magic behind the robot that was being driven in front of me.
It was the first competition that I went to (Bash at the beach 2002)that really made me fall in love with it though...since then I have been hooked. It seem amazing that in only two years the artsy humanities girl had suddenly transformed into a robotics geek. :D I am now considering a career in engineering because of the program...

Now thats what I call career impact...

07-29-2004, 06:47 PM
FIRST has greatly influenced my career path in engineering. My engineering technology teacher asked if I would come by to some of his robotics meetings in 2003, since then i have played a major role on the team. Becoming an engineer is a major career goal for me and I have FIRST and my teacher to thank for it. I am in my senior year of high school and I already have 13 college credits towards a bachelors degree in engineering at the local college.

Beth Sweet
07-29-2004, 07:01 PM

Being on the HOT Team's Chairman's (documentation) group made me decide that I wanted to go into journalism. I learned how much I loved not only writing but being on camera as well. My inspiration for my future came solely from the HOT Team and from it's mother-group, FIRST. I'm very greatful for everything that both groups have done for me.

Ricky Q.
07-29-2004, 07:23 PM

Being on the HOT Team's Chairman's (documentation) group made me decide that I wanted to go into journalism. I learned how much I loved not only writing but being on camera as well. My inspiration for my future came solely from the HOT Team and from it's mother-group, FIRST. I'm very greatful for everything that both groups have done for me.
I also will be going into Journalism (so far at least, and at a far better school, the University of Wisconsin :p) and yes, FIRST has impacted my career choices but not in the 'normal' way that it usually does. Most students that come out of FIRST want to go into engineering, I considered it, but having seen what engineers do and the process and everything like that through the FIRST program made me choose not to (Not that engineering isn't totally awesome, it just is not the path for me.)

FIRST has shown me that I have the abilities to lead, manage several things at once, get to the bottom of things, fix issues, speak to others, write effectively, solve problems, deal with any kind of people, the list goes on and on. And by knowing these things I gained self confidence and knew that the journalism field, which I have been interested in forever (kind of happens when your mom manages a TV Newsroom) would be a good fit for me.

So yes, FIRST has impacted my career choices, and I will never ever regret being involved in it.

07-29-2004, 09:18 PM
yeah i've always been into medicine since i was younger-- now with FIRST with starting being involved w/ my older bro--well i def. see that i want to go into a more engineering field but still with med. in the background
i would love to do research and stuff with robotics of course

FIRST has def. changed my life for the better! i've become more of a leader in many ways and learned tons of new things while working in the pit-- way fun and i'm glad i tagged along with my bro (thanks big bro michael)

07-30-2004, 09:45 AM
I also will be going into Journalism (so far at least, and at a far better school, the University of Wisconsin :p) and yes, FIRST has impacted my career choices but not in the 'normal' way that it usually does.


So yes, FIRST has impacted my career choices, and I will never ever regret being involved in it.

Technically literate Journalists, what a concept! :D The only journalists I have ever dealt with that get things right are the ones that work for the company paper. But they have the subject review the articles for accuracy before publication too. Not a precaution you are likely to find in your local media, who have a completely different agenda.

If being in FIRST has helped you learn how to get a story right, then your time and that of your mentors has not been wasted. Journalism is important and as Dean has frequently pointed out, Engineers are great at doing things and lousy at telling people about what we do. Maybe you two can help change that.

As a team, the Beach Bots have a goal, not of turning out tons of engineers and scientists, but of helping our students find their calling in life. For some of them that may well be engineering, others find themselves going in completely different directions. That's OK with us. FIRST gives a wider variety of experience than any other program we have come across. So while some of the other robot competitions might be just as inspiring technically, and cheaper to boot, we stick with FIRST because it fits our goals better.

07-30-2004, 09:53 AM
FIRST has definitely impacted my ideas of career choice. Believe it or not, at one point I hated engineering. (Now that really doesn't explain how I got involved with FIRST, and I don't really know the answer to that.)

However, once I was here, I saw engineering in a new light. While I'm still not going to be an engineer, I'm considering doing undergrad studies in engineering. Since I don't know what I DO want to do, I know that can always help with anything.

FIRST has at least given me some more direction.

07-30-2004, 11:26 AM
FIRST of all, FIRST is a great program. I regret not joining my freshman year, but FIRST has inspired me to get a degree in Aerospace Engineering. If I never joined, I never would have made my decision. I thank FIRST for being there.

Eugenia Gabrielov
07-30-2004, 12:42 PM
FIRST didn't make me decide to go into engineering, but it definitly helped me realize how important it is to not give up on goals, which I was at the point of doing because of stress and illness. Having come out of essentially 2 months of staying home with respiratory weakness, I joined robotics to see what it was all about, and BOOM.
^^ Now I wanna be a pediatric oncologist. Probably a biophysics or biomed major in college.

08-13-2004, 09:05 AM
I had just always assumed that I would be some kind of engineer, because that seemed like a good idea and for lack of a better one. I figured out through FIRST that I really don't like designing stuff, with figuring out dimensions and force loads. I much more enjoyed the manufacture of the parts and the hurried repairs in the pit where you had to think on the fly to fix a problem.

So I became an EMT. I am so enjoying figuring out what is going on with a person from all the different clues they present. Its a living puzzle, and different every time. So I am taking it one step further and becoming a nurse. I'm for now thinking flight nurse or ER nurse, but I've learned to wait and see before fully deciding on something like that.


'lil Gach
08-14-2004, 12:39 PM
Well being in FIRST has made me want to become an engineer. I always wanted to be a whale trainer but after going to the FIRST competition in 2002 and then becoming a wildstanger. Then my veiws of what I wanted to do with my life changed... I love doing electrical work and I always seem to find myself wanting to take something apart..

08-14-2004, 09:09 PM
Keep in mind as you read this thread the psychology involved in deciding whether to lurk or post. By far the tendency favors lurking. As discovered in many polls, most of the people who respond feel strongly about the issue being discussed. The majority of FIRSTers seem to be people who are interested in engineering and science. It is the minority who sort themselves into a separate category who do feel strong about the issue- thus they will be more likely to speak out, as they feel the need to point out that not everyone is with the majority.

There is also the learned forum etiquette of not posting the same thing multiple times; though it may not be exactly the same, many of the stories are similar(not saying they are the same, or belittling anyones experience) and go like this: I thought robotics was geeky, but a friend invited me, I had a blast, and I'm going to be an engineer/scientist now because that is the focus of FIRST. (and no this was not my experience; I was already interested but there was nothing in my town)

If you read some similar story to that about 6 times, you are a lot less likely to post than if yours is very unique. Here is where the (FIRST) minority comes in once again, as they have very unique stories about how they came to choose what they wanted to be, sometimes based on FIRST, sometimes not. So by that same logic the non-science non engineering members will be even more likely to post.

My point is that this probably will probably be skewed towards non-engineering and non/science jobs.

It is my opinion that this is on topic because it is about the subject of the thread and how it represents the population of chiefdelphi FIRSTers, if not all FIRSTers. One could call this a metadiscussion, because I am discussing the discussion itself. Feel free to pick it apart. Or just ignore it if you think I'm thread jacking(which I repeat that I am pretty sure I'm not doing).

Erin Rapacki
08-16-2004, 07:43 AM
FIRST is a program whose only purpose is to impact job choices. That is what the program is created for. Yes, it's initial intention is to give kids an insight into engineering/science/technology... but over the years, FIRST has evolved into something different.

There are so many different aspects of FIRST, and all of them have practical applications within the program. A student may discover that they love building robots, but there's so much to keeping a team running that a student may inadvertantly be sucked into a different category... and the student will discover that they enjoy doing that different activity instead.

There are two kinds of students who enter FIRST: the students who already know they like science/technology and want more practice with certain concepts, and the students who have no idea what they'd like to do in the future and are trying to figure it out. I think in one form or another, whether the student notices or not, FIRST impacts job choices... it's only inevitable.

For me personally, I had a recent career change: I had so much fun building robots when I was in High School that I intended on majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am now entering my third year of college, and last week I switched to Industrial Engineering. This was because of all the FIRST event coordinating/managing I did this year (Beantown Blitz & FIRST Robotics Conferences)... I discovered that I really like project-management (I also had a few project engineering internships). I'm not that great at designing, so I figured I'd be thrown into project anyway... I might as well get a degree that suits the job description more closely.

As a result? I might be working at Kennedy Space Center next year from jan-june for coop as a project engineer. This is my dream job! (And I'll only be 20! :D )

I love FIRST.

08-17-2004, 03:43 PM
I'm surprised theres so many people thinking about going into aerospace... now is it the space side or the airplane side of aerospace...? huh.

Well... FIRST impacted my career choice, as well as a few other choices. It basically just confirmed I wanted to go into engineering.

Now what _type_ was another matter... I've settled on studying Aerospace Engineering (the space side of things!) ^_^.

For the record: if going into this field try to get Calc 1 out of the way before your first semester. Or else you'll end up taking Calc 3 and Differential Equations at the same time, like me. Or something... Not sure. But I wish I started in Calc II.