What is the role for team alumni?

I’ve been reading threads for some time now and our team was recently approached by several college students looking for a team to join and it got me thinking. What is the role for team alumni?

I don’t know about you but one of the dreams my crew has expressed is a network of alumni acting as supporters of the regional system and mentor guides for new FIRST teams.

Wouldn’t it be great of the corporate powers that be could form a pool where new teams could get a regional registration and not have to kill themselves just trying to raise the entry fee. The team can then concentrate on developing a relationship with a local company and the alumni mentor could be the guide helping both the school and engineers through their first season.

We’ve seen these types of grants from NASA and Kleiner Perkins. I dream of someday having a system in place for ALL of the country for this. The alumni students are just the enthusiastic people that can make this happen.

What are your opinions? How can we keep these alumni working? What are they capable of? What are they willing to do?

I would relish your ideas here.

WC :cool:

Alumni are great to have. They help spread the word and are very useful to teams. For my team they help point us in the right direction if we are off track. They teach you a lot and can talk to you on a more personal level. Some can understand things that coaches can’t. There are many uses for them.

I feel like I am the team…

I’m an alumni from 238…was on FIRST all 4 years of high school, and have still supported it the 3 years I’ve been in college now…I wish i was closer to my alma mater to help out more…but I’m still there in spirit, I go to meetings when I can…I help out during kick off, cause I’m home for break…I try to go to the regionals…

I try to help them out by letting them know whats happen years before, giving them ideas, fundraising and such…I come on here ALOT to give them updates, cause no one on the team does…

Its hard…but someones gotta do it :slight_smile:

My plan is to not join a team after I graduate. I really doubt I’m coming back to this team and I don’t plan on joining another team. I still want to be involved in FIRST so I may lurk around at competitions and see if I can’t be a part of the crews or anything like that. Out of curiosity, how might one sign up for a regional crew or something?

You can visit http://www.usfirst.org/volunteer to sign up to help out.

I was on team 100 for 4 years and then went to college in LA area 2 years ago. For the last 2 years a former member from 114 and I helped start up a team near our college. I love helping 968 but it is a lot of work. The hardest part is that we don’t have any engineers other then travis and myself. Not to mention money.


Start a new team :smiley:

Officially, I am an alumni from 365, but I have been classified as an adult mentor (but only when I do something wrong - “You’re an adult mentor! You’re supposed to set an example!”)… Since I was the driver and team captain for 2001, they think I have some sort of knowledge to pass on to the other drivers - so I was a big part of the driver selections for GeroniMOE and now I’m the coach. Its not quite driving, but it is cool, none the less. It is also cool when the team rookies bow down to me just because I am an alumni. :smiley:

Sounds like all you other fellow alumni at least have a position. On our team we are classified as just alumni and will probably never be given positions or respect.

^^ well thats like me…I’m just classified as an alumni…I just try to think of positions for myself…lol

Alumni are always welcomed at our meetings, however, some of them have been more of a detriment than a help to us. Some very heated arguments have taken place between the current and former students during brainstorming and/or build sessions. The alumni think that they have a better idea of what our team should do than the current students and the current students feel infringed upon. I tend to side with the current students, and have gone so far as to prohibit some alumni from attending our meetings, especially during the initial stages of design and build. This is the current students’ club and they should have every opportunity that the alumni had when they were members.
I’d like to have alumni visit us more during the Fall to share their experiences with the new members of the team. Then, lay off a bit, especially during the brainstorming sessions the first week or so after the kickoff. I believe that alums place at the competitions better serves us all if they are volunteers that help to run the events so that the current students have every opportunity that you had when you were here.

As a student, I believe that a mentor is great to have around, especially if they have been on a team before. My team, 648, has two college mentors. They are great. They give advice on everything and will help wherever necessary.


Our team has rather active alumni. Several of us volunteered at the Richmond regional the past two years, and at other regionals near our respective colleges (eg Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). I myself was a mentor with the team this year. Other of the alumni have been mentoring the teams associated with their colleges. Also, most of our alumni have stayed on the email list for the team and offer help whenever possible. The team treats the alumni as any other team member would be treated.

Alumni are a great resource. They have both the experience of being on the team, and the knowledge from some college classes that can help tremendously. As to what they are willing to do, it depends on the person and their area of expertise. Talk to them, get to know them. If they’ve offered to help, it shows initiative that can be put to good use, I’m sure.

I am not a FIRST alumnus because there were no FIRST teams in the greater Milwaukee area when I was in high school. When I started at Milwaukee School of Engineering, I met two eager alumni from two different FIRST teams that wanted to start a team in the Milwaukee area. I knew a FIRST team would work out well at my former high school and soon after a new FIRST team was born.

Those two eager alumni turned out to be Kevin Kolodziej of Team Hammond (#71) and Lauren Halatek of Team Wildstang (#111). I have had the pleasure of working with these two FIRST Alumni and a few other college students to form, mentor and run a new team: Team Wild Beast (#1064). Kevin and Lauren have put in an exorbitant amount of time and effort into starting and running this team with only the help of a couple of college students and two Tech Ed/Shop teachers.

Thank you Kevin and Lauren

Being alum on my team, 157, I teach a lot of the kids how to use machines, why things work, why use use certain things. Just pointing them in the right direction, but still having them do all the work. Feels pretty good, but i still havn’t got use to not being able to drive :frowning:

What is the role for team alumni?

I am starting to wonder that myself

i’m an alumnus, and i get to do cool stuff, i get respect from current students (at least the ones who know what’s best for them :smiley: ) and i get to go places with the team. they hooked my up with a hotel, and a crew position at annapolis, i get to fix old robots (i love lil’ moe :slight_smile: ) it’s a lot of fun i might add. plus, i still know what i’m doing, so they let me in on the new bot fixing too. it’s cool chilling with some of my friends from the team, and i’m not tied down, cause i’m not a student. it’s like the best of everything combined into one position.

Our team is rather unusual, …I think. EVERY alumni has an active position as an adviser in charge of one area of our team. This has been a GREAT help to me, (I’m the adviser), and to our team as well. I hope that next year we can continue with this 100% rate!

I guess that I should also point out that we’re a second year team, and Lindy, our programming adviser, is our only alumni. He does a fantastic job! :wink: Thanks, Lindy!

well, some of our alumni help out in fundraising, and act as junior advisors to the team. Or, they show up to support our team at regional events. Primarilly, the join other teams closer to their colleges.

Thanks Mark!

Our Alumni are always welcome home! Just because they graduate, does not mean they are no longer part of the Team!! This year 2 of our Alum are now mentors(when not bogged down with studies) Several of our kids have gone out and either successfully started teams or are trying to. 857 is our sister team. Several students went up to MTU and joined Anthony’s mission to get Tech involved in FIRST. Another student went off to CMU to try to start a team, and is still trying. And one of our drivers from last year is starting a team at U of M. We always have a gathering of Alumni at Christmas and at the Past/Present/Future Picnic in the summer. Kyle Hughes, our team leader and teacher extrodinaire, demands that the students go out after graduation and return the investment the community put into them. We are very proud of the accomplishments our Alumni have achieved. This Team’s focus is their success as responsible, civil adults who believe they can make a positive difference in this world. They are the reason we all do FIRST. :cool: