From all aspects, BEST has helped me immensely in my engineering career. The hands-on experience that I received in high-school as well as the interaction with mentors and teachers gave me a jump start on my college education. It has also given me valuable experience with some of the "soft skills" that engineers typically lack. I was ahead of my peers in skills such as presentation, communication (written and oral), and working on a team of engineers on a deadline with tight restrictions (budget and time).
As a mentor, I got a chance to see the competition from another angle. It was an experience to mentor participants and see their engineering and problem-solving skills take off in just 6 short weeks. I still see some of the students that I mentored on campus in engineering, and it is exciting to know that I may have had some small part in inspiring them to pursue engineering.
As a volunteer, I continue to give back to the BEST program, as I feel that more high school students should get the benefits that I received from the competition. As a volunteer, I am focused on providing the most consistent and exciting competition experience that I possible can for the students.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
my academic life in undergraduate was ahead of my peers due to the added experience that I got in high school
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Increase the number of schools and students participating, increase the focus of the competition on the soft-skills portion (booth, presentation, and technical interviews), provide more sensing and programming capabilities to the students
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
It has introduced me to new friends across the southeastern United States. It has also helped me hone my skills with managing people in a high-stress environment.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
It made me feel like I was giving back to students, so that they could get the same experience that I did when I was in high school.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?