The intellectual achievement that I feel is my most prominent academic experience is participating, for the second consecutive year, in the Prince of Wales Robotics Team. This was an opportunity to gain valuble insights into designing and manufacturing electrical robots with fellow teammates and professional engineers. Firstly, in connection with my involvement in the Robotics Team, I was able to learn the systematic ways of applying textbook material to realistic problem solving. This was my greatest challenge.
As a member of a core group, we ere able to devise a functional remote-controlled robot designed to achieve a specific task under the constraints of time. As a consequence of team effort and ingenuity, we ranked first in our province of British Columbia at the 1996 National Championships. Another aspect of my participation with this high school club in problem solving was to acquire the neccessary funds in the construction materials, competition fees as well as for personal expenses required for traveling outside the province for competitions.
Fund-raising was both stressful nd difficult due to the fact that corporate sponsors had limited resources and could not finance to the extent that had been previously predicted. As time progressed, the situation worsened simply because the district school board received financial cuts due to the reduced provincial budget. The problem of convincing sponsors outside of the norm became a task in itself.
With this type of experience, I am sure that I can organize a better fund-raising scheme as an active member in future groups. However, without any doubt to have a successful fund-raising campaign, promotion is definitely necessary. The main reason for this is that if the knowledge of about the team was other than “we need financial sponsors”, then they could have been more comfortable and probably even willingful to donate larger sums of money simply because they “could see” and trust where the money was being spent.
Hence, how to get people familiar about our Robotics Team became critical. For instance, during last year’s promotion scheme, I performed the usual marketing mix with our team. Such a mix consisted of distributing invitations for a Robotics Cocktail Party, sending out business letters to arget corporations and finallly, voicing the team’s bulletin in the school announcements.
I believe the promotion of the team was not intensified throughout the school year because it did not leave a lasting impression, or sufficient information about the Robotics Competition itself to potential sponsors and students. Therefore, the image of the “Prince of Wales Robotics Team” could still not escape the stigma of “a team that does nothing but needs money”. This could explain why it became extremely difficult when we actually tried to obtain financial aid from our sponsors.
Such a precious experience is essential and recommended for any student who loves engineering because in the real and cut-throat business world, most engineering projects require business finances in order to be successfully achieved. In conclusion, my participation in the Prince of Wales Robotics Team helped me to gain valuble insights into designing and manufacturing electrical robots with fellow teammates and professional engineers. In addition, I gained some precious intellectural and business experience which I never encountered before.