We are a team of six young men and women competing in the World Finals of the F1 in Schools STEM Challenge in Singapore, this September. This is the second of our bi-weekly newsletters which will aim to give you an insight into our team, this competition and our sponsors. We hope you enjoy!
What's happening at Entente?
Heads down, headphones in - everything is progressing steadily as we reach 10 weeks out from the competition. With track testing well underway, our engineers are hard at work analysing the results to then refine our car ahead of the next stage of testing. We have several exciting ideas planned for the near future, so stay tuned for them! As always, our social media has regular updates and our website has more information about our team and the competition.
Meet the Team
Check back here each fortnight to meet another member of our team!
Name: Arjuna Sanjayan
What is your role within Entente?
As the Lead Design Engineer, I overlook the design and milling process of the car to ensure it is the fastest it can be. I coordinate with the other engineers and external collaborators to do this.
What is your favourite part of this competition?
It would have to be the satisfaction of looking at the final manufactured product that has taken months to create and perfect and being proud to of been a major part in its development. Also, building up several connections in this industry.
What are the two main things you have learnt so far?
Excluding specific things such as the programs I use for the development of components, one of the major things would be to ensure that I am always on the top of logistics and that my mind is always thinking of it. Ensuring that elements such as track testing dates, milling dates, painting dates and leaving enough turnaround time for outsourced parts is critical to have maximum development in the car. Another main thing I have learnt would be the ability to use connections, both in the professional and F1 in Schools world, effectively.
What are you most looking forward to in Singapore?
I can't wait to just be able to relax knowing that the intensive arduous work that has been put into creating the car has been finished and is being shared with the world.
If you could win any of the awards, excluding World Champions, which would it be and why?
It may be a dream, but if I could win any award, excluding World Champion, I would choose Best Engineered Car as it not only represents the pinnacle of design, but manufacturing as well.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to take part in this competition?
Make sure you always have a goal in mind. Whether it be to have a way into the F1 world, grow your knowledge in a specific industry or simply just because you want to win, having a goal grows your passion and initiative into the program which will in turn give the results you want. It may not stay consistent but having one in mind is always important.
Motivation: Forethought, Failure and Fridays
To students (or even adults) reading this:
Come on, we have all read articles on motivating yourself and increasing your productivity, as we have all tried various methods to help us. I don't claim to hold the magic key to success, nor the secret method for remarkable output. All I have is what works for me, so here it is.
I understand my limits, especially my capacity for focussed and efficient work. Hence, I plan ahead. I create a list of work that needs to be completed and when, then I schedule times to complete it. During these times, I focus only on the task at hand, as I find it taxing to multi-task and constantly switch mindsets and types of work. These sessions are short, around 45-60 minutes. This means that I have less of a chance to get bored or distracted by other tasks. Moreover, I find that working in short bursts is more efficient and avoids long periods of 'slow' work, where you merely trudge through a task and complete it to a mediocre standard.
By understanding my limits, I recognise that failure is unavoidable. No matter how big or small, you will fail at something - get used to it. Forget the uplifting pep-talk about learning and growing from your failures; I accept them, identify why it occurred, then ensure it doesn't happen again. A rather blunt and direct approach, I concede, but it works for me. In saying that, don't let your failures define you or your work; they are there to guide and bolster your progress, however annoying or off-putting they may be. I see them as checkpoints, a time to review what I have done and re-evaluate my efforts.
Another such time for reflection I have found is Friday nights. Many people switch to weekend mode and let their hair down - I wait until Saturday morning. I take the evening to establish what still needs to be done from the week and determine what needs to be completed over the weekend. I find this useful as it gives me a clear indication of my expected workload, letting me plan ahead, as discussed above. Hence, by reviewing my progress I am able to monitor my workload, regulating it and my productivity. Another benefit for me is that I often get a head-start on my work that evening, leaving less to do over the week-end and more time to relax. As such, I use downtime at the end of the week, whilst I am still in work-mode, to complete/start difficult tasks before I switch off for much of the weekend.
These aren't golden tips, nor are they recipes for success. The way I manage my time and workload may be completely ineffective for you. I am confident, however, that my method of motivation can at least inspire you with similar ideas.
Now, I don't have a name for this, nor do I like what others call this, but I have a collection of images that reminds me of where I want to go. When I don't feel like getting up early for a run or working that little bit later to finish a project, I look through them, and they remind me of my dreams for the future. That is all the motivation I need. You may do something similar, you may not do anything at all. I have just found that the most powerful tool of motivation is your imagination and the dreams or goals it holds. Find something to remind you of what kept you up at night, dreaming and planning; something to remind you of the childish passion that burned inside you.
How do you keep yourself on task and working efficiently? Do you use a similar method to motivate yourself?
Tom Vulcan, Team and Marketing Manager