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Baljot Ranu
Class of 2014
Princeton University

When I tell people who have never been introduced to FIRST that I’m on my high school robotics team, they immediately assume that I build the robot. There’s nothing wrong with that; but personally, I think I do something much cooler. As a part of the marketing and finance team for the past four years, I work with hardworking students and experienced mentors to transform our high school team into a fully-functioning business.

“Started from the bottom now we’re here."

When I joined the team in 2010, we had been a team for 4 years. My first year, I experienced the last New Jersey Regional and unfortunately, we didn’t qualify for St. Louis. Every year since, our team has improved drastically and I am proud to be a part of that. Now, I am a part of the Executive Team and act as the point of contact for all of our sponsors, community supporters, and school administration. At competitions, I represent the team and speak to judges about the glories of Nemesis. It’s easy to spot me in a team picture: surrounded by red shirts, jeans, and sneakers, I stand there in a black dress with my long braid.

“Started from the bottom, now my whole team is here."

My high school career has not been solely Robotics. I also leave the comfort of my room and venture into the outdoors to play soccer, golf, and run track. I have become more involved as the Treasurer of Model United Nations. I spend my Saturday mornings as a cashier at 7-Eleven and am a master at making coffee and cleaning slurpee spills. 

This upcoming June, I’ll be graduating. Scary? Yes. Am I prepared? I think so. Why? Robotics. FIRST has provided me with an opportunity that I couldn’t get anywhere else. In my business class, I get virtual money to spend and then after school, my advisor hands me a real check. That responsibility, this experience, is something that is unique to FIRST Robotics and I am so fortunate that I’ve been given this opportunity.