team applications

In the past i have heard of teams having students apply (like a job application) for positions on the team. I like this idea for several reasons. 1. students get the experience of filling out an application and interviewing. 2. it seems that students may be more focused on a specific thing rather than floating around.
A little about our school/teams. Northern MN, H.S. student population of just over 200 kids (very small), a boys team 3275 and a girls team 3134, last year 30ish kids between the two teams with just a few real dedicated students. teams are divided into sub groups PR (public relations), build, RIG (robotics intelligence group ie. scouting). We make gains each year in robot quality and overall team performance. We have never competed for non- robot based awards, but I would like to.
My questions are does the application process for a “job” on a team seem to focus team members more?
If so are you willing to share some examples?


The Bird Brains go through an application process for their leadership positions. The senior leadership students along with the coaches meet at the end of the season (in May sometime) to discuss our current org chart and make any changes we see necessary based on the previous season. For example, splitting one job into two different positions or combining two into one.

Once our org chart is set, we work on updating job descriptions for all of our positions. We have a tiered org chart (C-Level, directors, and coordinators). We first post the C-level (CEO, COO, CCO, CTO) positions and hold those interviews with our coaches and outgoing CEO on the panel. Once those leaders are chosen, they finalize the director level positions and get their final say before we post those job descriptions and take applications. The new C-level organizes and runs the interviews for the directors that will report to them the following season with coach/mentor oversight.

Feel free to PM me if you are interested in any of our documentation

This year 1257 instituted a similar process. The 2014-15 leadership met with our lead mentor to tweak our organizational structure and clarify some positions and responsibilities.

We then announced to the team the positions available and distributed applications, which asked a few questions such as why they want to fill that role, why they are qualified, and what scheduling conflicts might they have.

All applicants are then pulled aside during the next couple meetings and interviewed by the departing senior officers and our lead mentor. Here we asked more in-depth questions. There are pre-prepared questions for each position that press a bit deeper into their qualifications, their plans for filling the role, their past experience in the club, and some content-based questions to ensure competency in that area. If anyone would like to see these questions, shoot me a PM. We also ask impromptu questions on these topics and address any concerns about their candidacy.

The interviewing team would then meet and deliberate, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Each of us would select which candidates we believe should hold the positions, and make recommendations and defend them to our lead mentor, who made the final decision. We found our process to work quite well for our team, which has had issues with elections for officers in the past.

Team 166 does a similar process to what was mentioned before. For just being on the team as a general member (no leadership positions) you “apply” with an essay answering why you want to join. We don’t make cuts, we want as many people as possible. The essays we use as excerpts for our Chairman’s and Dean’s List Essay’s.

For Leadership roles in the team like Co-Captain or Sub-team leads, you have to apply. This process is the easiest way we have been able to manage it. Captains like myself run, and then are elected by the team. Leads and the Safety Captains submit an application with another essay why they want that specific role and are qualified for it. The Captains and our lead mentors and advisers then convene and decide who will get those roles. A similar process works for our design team, where any student can apply and join our more technical design process. However the design team process will probably be changing this year.

Our students go through two forms, the admission form and leadership form. The admission form is a short online form, and students are randomly selected to fill the open slots on the team. The leadership application, however, is hand-written, and each application is reviewed by adult leadership. The leadership application includes questions about the student’s qualifications, past leadership experiences, and their goals for the future of the team.