Originally Posted by Andrew Schreiber
(Not taking anything away from non-engineers but belittling the work an engineer went through to get their title irks me)
I'd switch out the word, title, for degree or degrees. There has just been a post in this thread about college mentors who lead teams. They don't have their degrees and are not engineers but they are leading teams. That doesn't belittle anyone.
One attitude that I've encountered over many years of talking with NEMS and technical mentors is the food side of things. "If the NEMS didn't feed us, we'd starve", kind of thing. That is a 'volunteer' to me; that is not a NEM. Where it can become a NEM process is if the person mentors others in how to feed a team. Otherwise, it is a volunteer finding a way to feed a team.
There are so many aspects to the non-technical sides of the team that must be handled well to have sustainability and consistency. The work that is done by the NEMS is, indeed, valuable. It has been mentioned in this thread that there are technical mentors and engineers who have excellent skill sets in the non-engineering aspects of running the team and they apply those skill sets. This is good as long as a technical mentor is not taking away from the robot side of things to devote time to the organizational and business side of things or working with the awards sub-team. Too many times you see this and you see the mentors stretching themselves too thin. If it is out of necessity because there are not other mentors available then that is one thing. If it is because the technical mentors/engineers want to do the NEM work, that is another thing. If it is because the technical mentors/engineers want to control every aspect of the whole team - that is quite another. Recognizing the value of the work done by the NEMs and seeking NEMS to help the team is just as important as seeking out engineers and technical mentors to work with the team. Then, the real fun begins with everyone learning to work together. We can see the success of achieving this in many of our Hall Of Fame teams.