Festo has been a supporter of FIRST Robotics since 2000 and has been actively involved in the FIRST community. Many people begin their career with FIRST before expanding within the field. As Festo continues to focus on supporting and inspiring youth's participation in FIRST, recent Festo new hires and interns are FIRST alumni.
So why is FIRST Robotics Competition a launching pad to someone career in engineering or automation? How has a role within a team strengthen one's ability?
We've ask our fellow Festo employees who are also FIRST alumni to shed some light on these questions and more.
How did you get involved in FIRST?
In 8th grade, my father took me to the SBPLI Long Island Regional for the FIRST Robotics Competition at Hofstra University. There I met up with my future high school team and learned a bit more about the FIRST Robotics Competition and about FIRST. In high school, I was on the team for all four years. After graduating from high school, I started on the volunteer side of FIRST as a referee for the FIRST Robotics Competition. I then became a Head Referee for FIRST LEGO League, as well as the FIRST Robotics Competition. I am now also currently involved as a member of the Development Councils for the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League/FIRST LEGO League Jr., and the FIRST Tech Challenge on Long Island.
What was your team name?
Team 270 - Deer Park Falcons, from Deer Park High School, Deer Park, NY
What was your role within the team?
I was a member from 2004-2007, president for my senior year (2006-2007), and mentor from 2007-present.
How did FIRST inspire you within your career?
FIRST gave me real world experience in high school, which is valuable. Being a part of a FIRST robotics team helped me develop skills such as: collaborating with colleagues, time and money management, as well as finding ways to diagnose and solve complex problems. The FIRST program made college much easier. I went into college with a greater understanding of engineering and how to work under pressure compared to my peers. These skills are also transferable to my career. I always have customer requirements and deadlines that need to be considered as I strive to provide a complete solution.
For someone who may be interested in FIRST, what piece of advice would you give them?
"Get Involved". Definitely. The FIRST experience is worth it. It is an incredible, rewarding, and wild ride, but you have to take the first step and get on board. Once you do, you'll never want to get off.
What about Festo made you interested in pursuing an internship?
Throughout my experience in FIRST, Festo has always been present as a sponsor, mentor, and supporter of students and FIRST robotics teams. This presence made me aware of Festo and their roles as a global leader in industrial automation. As a student studying robotics engineering, this made Festo stand out to me as a potential career opportunity.