Best Employers for FIRST Alumni

I’m about to graduate with an EET degree from Purdue and need some career advice.

What I’d like to know is what employers are generally good for FIRST Alumni; I’d prefer a job where I’d be able to get the time off to allow me to volunteer at events and more importantly, would see my involvement in FIRST as a positive and not a negative.

I’d prefer to stay in Indiana but given how the current prospects I’ve pursued (some went to interviews but no further) have failed, I’m willing to move out of state if that’s what it takes to get a good job.

PS- My specialty within EET is hardware design (digital and analog) and embedded software (especially C and labiview), although I am also good with PLCs, controls, and automation too. I’d highly prefer to stay within those disciplines.

Here is a list of openings for Delphi in Kokomo:

I’m not sure how FIRST volunteering is treated in Indiana, but in Warren, OH, FIRST volunteering is typically officially recognized on your personal business plan as something that is “part of your job description”. They do not give you “free” vacation to attend events, alas, but they do give you latitude to mentor your team as long as all primary work functions are held above all else.

Here is the list of Ohio-based Delphi job opportunities:

There are four FRC teams who are sponsored out of the Warren CTC, where I work - 48, 2010, 3193, and 4601.

Any and all FIRST alums are MORE THAN WELCOME to work here. I’d love for my employer to get additional benefit from supporting FIRST programs by bringing in FIRST alums as full time employees so they can continue to see how important sponsorship is.

I can only speak from my experience, but Lockheed Martin is incredibly supportive of STEM education and encourages employee volunteerism. They have a program to support time off from work for volunteer causes.

When deciding where to work, I would also consider finding a position that interests you, a place where the company/team culture suits you, etc. - but supporting volunteerism and STEM education is definitely a good thing to include in the list of considerations.

I took a look, and applied for the controls position in Kokomo, as it sounded up my alley (I was pretty good in my controls class last semester; I got an A in it). The others I wasn’t as qualified for, mainly due to the fact that my only FPGA experience was using schematic capture; my professor hated HDL’s and didn’t teach it and I never found the time to learn VHDL/verilog on my own.

Lockheed Martin is a cool company; they are unfortunately very out of state. I’ll think about that one.

You could try sending AndyMark your resume and cover letter; they’re obviously one of the best companies to work for as a FIRST volunteer. I know they have mechanical design engineers, so hiring an electrical design engineer isn’t too far-fetched. The worst they can say is no.

Major event sponsors also seem to usually see the value of FIRST involvement; I frequently see fellow googlers at FTC and FRC events as mentors and volunteers, and my manager has been very supportive. I’ve heard similar things of many other such companies; I wonder if sponsors of Indiana state championship or the regionals in the past few years would feel similarly. Rolls Royce is the only one I can find with a cursory search, but I’m guessing a bit more of a deep dive, or contacting Indiana FIRST would yield more.

I forgot about rolls royce. I’ll check that out.

I know most if not all the key employees at Andymark… I’ve always been under the impression they mostly do mechanical stuff (all their electrical seems to be mostly rebadged/retweaked/resold). That said, I’d love to work there (they’re a cool bunch of people, and about 50% of why I’d like to stay Indiana) or at a place like cross the road electronics.

They are a very cool bunch of people. I know they’re mostly mechanical, but it looks to me like they’ve generally been designing more things recently too. If they had a qualified electrical design engineer applying, maybe it’s a thing they’d like to do. It’s so cool, it’s probably worth a shot.

Tried, no position open (and not needing such). Bummer.

(And to think I go to a school w/o a placement office because they “don’t need one”… not that easy!)