I joined the team in my first year. I found an old page from the 2000 team online and followed links until I found the email address of our old team lead, En De. I never thought I would get far on the team and I was very intimidated. I remember thinking about what it would be like to lead a team, I had no idea. I thought everything was so formal and couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a part of this until I was embedded. I remember thinking that everyone around me was much smarter than I was. I often still do.
I felt disconnected in the beginning and it took almost a year to find a place. I started in leadership in my second year, as the first Production Lead, which has now split into a few positions as our team grew and needs changed. In the same way, we split our Team Lead position. The work was becoming too much for one person. As Production Lead, I liked to be involved in operations and engineering, and had some experience working with sponsors and procurement. There were two members who could readily fill the roles of chassis and composites, who together partially replaced my old position as Production Lead, while bringing something new to meet the changing needs of the team.
We are deep into planning for our annual fundraiser. This will be the third fundraising event that we have hosted of this scale. Our fundraiser will be on March 30th. Previously, we held the fundraiser downtown, but we are excited for this year's location: on grounds at Darden, UVA's graduate school of business. I have really enjoyed working hands on with our operations team throughout this process. Our small wing is ambitious and capable and I admire the work they do as I try to keep up, and feel secure that Operations will be very well managed in the coming years.
In Photo: Quincy Mendelson, Emma Yeats, Kristina Fauss, and Raghav Savara
Photo creds: Xiaoqi Li
We have sent a few of our new members to the biennial American Solar Challenge conference. At the conference, they had their pick of meetings to attend, tailored specifically to different aspects of solar car design and team management. They had the opportunity to meet with students from across the US and a few international teams, to build bridges of friendship and information to grow the sport.
In Photo: CJ Roberts, Sandesh Banskota, Arslan Aziz, Cristhian Vasquez, Carolyn Wong, Drew Wolanski, Rex Serpe, Raghav Savara, and Eric Choi
Being on the Solar Car Team has taught me patience and motivation. Everything comes with time and work - nothing happens without either.
This principle helped me keep applying to grad schools when I felt constantly rejected, tired, and stressed. I considered taking a gap year, but stuck with the process and was rewarded with success.
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