Through the BLI Capstone Project, we were able to hash out a more detailed understanding and plan of our Capstone idea for an electric motorcycle. Before Capstone Bootcamp, the project idea was much simpler: we just wanted to build an electric motorcycle and create a build team for non-STEM students with a more relaxed culture. If we had interested applicants, we’d teach them the necessary engineering skills to work on the bike with us.
Bootcamp really allowed us to flesh out this idea more, and our current project idea is as follows: we aim to create a small team of students (10 or so) focused on giving non-engineering majors a beginner-friendly opportunity to develop technical skills and relevant soft skills that will make them more desirable to recruiters while giving them confidence in their professional and technical ability. The idea is that Training Wheels will focus on larger scope technical projects that require invested interdisciplinary effort to reach our lofty ambitions; in this case, since our project is in its infancy stage, we went ahead and chose an electric motorcycle, since we were both very interested in being able to build and ride one. Depending on if our team members want to continue on with the idea of Training Wheels, they can choose whatever they want for the subsequent projects, as long as each team member is interested.
Some of our personal highlights during boot camp was being able to reconnect with our primary motivators for this project. Training Wheels originated from our personal frustration with being unable to find a beginner-friendly build team on campus and unsuccessfully recruiting for engineering internships without relevant experience. Through Training Wheels, we want to pay-it-forward and try to help others struggling with career-related anxiety, in the same way, our mentors had helped us with career development and professional confidence.
Activity wise, we greatly appreciated the pitch practices and feedback from both the BLI staff and active community members, as we really had no idea how to do that given our shared background in Mechanical Engineering. We also loved the opportunities to understand how Mindfulness concepts (active listening, generative listening, appreciative inquiry, cultural humility, etc) can apply to team/organizational settings, as once again, we don’t get that sort of training in Mechanical Engineering.
By, Kai Schiefer, Luke Wong