Firstly, in connection with my involvement in the Robotics Team, I wasable to learn the systematic ways of applying textbook material to realisticproblem solving. This was my greatest challenge. As a member of a core group, wewere able to devise a functional remote-controlled robot designed to achieve aspecific task under the constraints of time. As a consequence of team effort andingenuity, we ranked first in our province of British Columbia at the 1996National Championships.
Another aspect of my participation with this high schoolclub in problem solving was to acquire the neccessary funds in the constructionmaterials, competition fees as well as for personal expenses required fortraveling outside the province for competitions. Fund-raising was both stressfuland difficult due to the fact that corporate sponsors had limited resources andcould not finance to the extent that had been previously predicted. As timeprogressed, the situation worsened simply because the district school boardreceived financial cuts due to the reduced provincial budget. The problem ofconvincing sponsors outside of the norm became a task in itself. With this typeof experience, I am sure that I can organize a better fund-raising scheme as anactive 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 theknowledge of about the team was other than “we need financial sponsors”, thenthey could have been more comfortable and probably even willingful to donatelarger sums of money simply because they “could see” and trust where the moneywas being spent. Hence, how to get people familiar about our Robotics Teambecame critical. For instance, during last year’s promotion scheme, I performedthe usual marketing mix with our team. Such a mix consisted of distributinginvitations for a Robotics Cocktail Party, sending out business letters totarget corporations and finallly, voicing the team’s bulletin in the schoolannouncements. I believe the promotion of the team was not intensifiedthroughout the school year because it did not leave a lasting impression, orsufficient information about the Robotics Competition itself to potentialsponsors and students.
Therefore, the image of the “Prince of Wales RoboticsTeam” could still not escape the stigma of “a team that does nothing but needsmoney”. This could explain why it became extremely difficult when we actuallytried to obtain financial aid from our sponsors. Such a precious experience isessential and recommended for any student who loves engineering because in thereal and cut-throat business world, most engineering projects require businessfinances in order to be successfully achieved. In conclusion, my participation in the Prince of Wales Robotics Teamhelped me to gain valuble insights into designing and manufacturing electricalrobots with fellow teammates and professional engineers. In addition, I gainedsome precious intellectural and business experience which I never encounteredbefore.Biographies