From email to experience!

Photo of NathanOne hot summer night, I was off-handedly checking my email, looking to see if there was anything I had to do before my upcoming 2A academic term. There were many emails, but one email about a “competition subsidy program” piqued my interest. Intrigued, I clicked open the email and gave my name, transcript, and resume to the sign-up sheet, and before long, I found myself in SAF’s competition subsidy program.

A few weeks went by and I’d completely forgotten about this program I’d signed up for. Supposedly, I would be registered for a “STRIVE” competition of some kind.

This is where the story begins. Before the event, I met with my teammates, learned more about STRIVE, and attended a networking session. There’s not much of note here, except that I recommend getting to know your teammates ahead of time. It’s very useful for improving your ability to cooperate and work together!

Going into the event, our expectations were simple: do our best, and to learn what we could. And things were going pretty well - we’d planned out our solution, hit all the case facts, and were just about ready with thirty minutes to spare. Except, of course, we forgot to prepare our presentation. Pro tip: do not leave 30 minutes to do your presentation. Despite this, our ability to stay on-time, play to our strengths, and come up with a creative solution landed us in second place.

Now, would I recommend competing at such an event? For starters, even in the worst-case scenario, you get to apply soft skills, work in a team, and get a break from schoolwork. In the best-case scenario, you could win prizes, internships, or the opportunity to advance further in the competition.

All it took was 15-minutes to sign up to compete (plus write this blog post), so I’d encourage you all to at least consider it!

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