What's your day job?

What’s your day job?

FIRST is supposed to be inspiring students to pursue STEM careers, but I don’t think it does a very good job of telling them what a STEM career is actually like. Or even if you don’t do STEM, what do you do?

Probably a lot of people that work in technical fields have a fair bit of their work wrapped up in NDAs or what have you, and I understand that. As much or as little as you feel like giving. I also think it’ll be pretty interesting to see what CD does with their 40 hour (+!) work week.

My day job is being the internet marketing specialist for Jim Hudson Buick-GMC-Cadillac. It’s one part language arts, one part ensuring cars are posted online properly, one part troubleshooter, one part photography, one part master of Excel-fu. Not really a STEM career, but the ability to solve tough problems that FIRST forces you to handle is instrumental in doing the job well.

It’s usually pretty fun, it pays the mortgage, and it offers enough time off to work with my team and travel to events. Hard to beat that, right?

I am an electrical engineer. Until about 4 years ago I worked with small companies building custom automation machinery. I was surprised when I started in FRC four years ago to see how much the program is like real machine development. You find out what the customer wants (the game) and the machine specs (the robot rules). You usually start by figuring out how to accomplish the task then start thinking about the machine. You have a budget and not as much time as you would like. You have mechanical, electrical, programing, marketing, etc. One of my favorite parts of FIRST is that it exposes high school students to so many things that are found in the workplace that they have a much better idea what they would like to pursue.

I would love a job like that.
I have a very well paying job at a nuclear power plant. I try to emphasize the money a little to the students. I tell them if I didn’t have my electrical engineering degree, I wouldn’t have such a nice job. Some young people want the big payday, so I push the 4 year degree as the route.
As an electrical engineer, I work on various projects to upgrade the plant and keep it operating safely. We have civil and mechanical engineers also and we work together to complete the different projects.

I currently doing an internship at Embedtek. They also sponsor one of the FLL teams I mentor so its been a win-win situation. I do a lot of environmental testing and R&D for our clients along with some guys from MSOE.

I’m a software engineer at MITRE Corporation. This year I’ve worked on big data analytics, cyber security education, robotics, and automated GUI testing.

They’ve been very helpful and accepting of my involvement in FIRST.

Although I’m only a Junior in high school, I work as a precision machinist at Micro Inserts, a machine shop in Southington, CT. I make tool holders for Pratt and Witney, the same tool holders they use to create parts for their jets! I also grind a little carbide on the side, and fix lawnmowers and snowblowers, both with my boss at Micro.

I wouldn’t have gotten the job if it wasn’t for FIRST. My boss and I actually met because I was friends with his son and invited him down to a GUS meeting, and worked with him making parts for the robot last year! After the build season was over he called me and offered me the job, I didn’t even need an interview! This year my boss and I spent countless hours at Micro machining parts for this years robot, an experience I wouldn’t have been able to do anywhere else, I love working with the CNC mill, and that gave me an excuse! :] I love FIRST!

[Edit] I’d also like to point out that I will be attending college in a year an a half and my boss has already agreed that when I come home in the summer I will be able to work for him again! Something that has put me in a really good mindset to have job security like that at a young age! FIRST can open doors for everyone involved in the program, you just have to not be afraid to go look!


CAD designer of the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank.
I tell my kids I draw circles and squares, some squares have more circles some circles have more squares.

Currently employed as a Human Resources Clerk at the theme park Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA. I don’t do anything STEM related, and the job has nothing at all to do with FIRST.

This is going into our team handbook as to what CAD team is expected to do :smiley:

I used to fight battlebots for a summer job… until the company closed due to stupidly high overhead. We used to rent them out for birthday parties… and other events. We’d bring 10 bots, and an arena and then run a round robin tourney.

I now have two jobs. I work at a farm and I also am a professional hobart feeder (dishwasher).

Somehow I also manage to be a high school student too…

I’m in charge of the Wine Department at a local grocery store. Doesn’t sound like much of a job but considering who runs it at other stores in the chain I’m honored I have employers who trust me to do so and I love it!

I work for Sears as an on the road service technician. I repair Dishwashers, Ranges, Microwaves, Compactors, & Gas grills.

When im not at school or on the golf course, i work part time at the local grocery store as a manager

I have a couple day jobs, for the past 6 years I have worked at Custaloga Town Scout Reservation. It is a boy scout camp,and i pretty much do it all there, mow lawns, clean, life guard, teach, repair things, cook,sing, and more. My main position though is handicraft director, I teach arts and craft merit badges. And more recently I have started Teaching the robotics merit badge.

My other job while i’m not at camp is a shift manger at a local gas station. I know nothing exciting, but it gave me the time to help Mentor the team and go to events.

I just this week got hired at a local machine shop in town, Great Lakes Manufacturing. I was interviewed for a quality control job, and also a machine operator and programmer of an electronic bending machine. When i was interviewed the guy was really interested in FIRST and what I did, even though its been a few years since I’ve had hands on work on the robot. Needless to say I got the job working with the robot bending machine.
After I start and get trained more I will be able to say a bit more about what I do, but I know if it wasn’t for FIRST I wouldn’t be where I am at now.

Mechanical Engineering student at Virginia Tech, class of '12.

Then off to the Department of Defense where I have Co-Op’ed and Interned for several years, Patuxent River Naval Air Station in MD. There I work on structural modifications to different A/C platforms and installation packages. I have drawn a lot of Inspiration from FIRST robots and vice-versa. I love my job!

I am currently employed by Intel, where I help develop and optimize the wafer singulation process for new products in addition to resolving tool issues on the factory floor. It’s a very rewarding position; I get to get my hands dirty in a lot of really cool high tech products and equipment. A lot of the tools we use have similar pneumatic components as those used on FIRST robots as well, so I feel right at home.

Related fun story: I was originally introduced to FIRST as a senior in high school when a few friends and our dedicated chemistry teacher started up a team (the NERDS, team 1726). We got guidance from team 842 when we were starting up, and they gave us a lot of pointers that influenced how our team ran. 5 years later, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and moved to Phoenix to work at Intel (I can thank FIRST for giving me the background necessary to get the position). Given my close proximity to team 842, I now serve as an engineering mentor for the same team that helped get me started in robotics in the first place. What goes around comes around! :slight_smile:

Manufacturing engineer for machining and assembly lines at an engine plant building 6.2L engines, as well as a manager line workers and trades on the afternoon shift.

Mechanical Engineering student, class of '12 (and by my count, 16 days of class and 1 or maybe two tests and then it’s graduation). After that, I’m still looking for work, though I’ll be taking a week at the end of May to compete with my senior design group.

Mechanical Engineering Class of 2010 at Cal Poly Pomona. Currently employed for the second year as a full time Engineering and Technology teacher at Clark Magnet High School. I have participated in the development of robotics and engineering curriculum for Los Angeles County high schools and a local community college, and currently serve as the Technology Department Co-Chair and lead advisor of FIRST Robotics Team 696 at Clark. I have written small and received small grants and have been a part of the brainstorming, writing, and application process for a multi-million dollar STEM grant. During my time teaching, I have developed entirely new products from scratch, for use in my classes. I have also managed the budget for and implemented a new 2500 square-foot engineering projects lab on campus.

In short, I do everything. Teaching, especially in STEM, is a career in which you do anything and everything and need skills from all areas. One day I may be hauling cargo in the back of my truck, the next day I play IT technician, the next day I may be advising top officials in the school district on how to spend millions of dollars. The bottom line though is that everything I do is for the students in the end. It’s really a varied job. In the right school and district, it’s incredibly exciting and rewarding. There has not been a dull moment since I started in August of 2010, and there’s only greater things still to come.