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Dan Gavrushenko
Class of 2013
Rutgers University

Hi, my name is Dan and I am a freshman at Rutgers University. My most meaningful extracurricular activity was First Robotics. Through robotics I learned valuable skills like, teamwork and time management, which I can apply everyday in order to finish my work on time.  In my time I have worked on several sub teams, so this allowed me to learn more about how the various parts of how a business work.  As a sophomore, I started on the software team where I develop skills in using Lab View, a coding software, in order to program the robot.  While working on the software team I worked under Mr. Wolfe, who always thinks that the most complicated way to complete a program has to be correct. When I moved to the build team I learned about the brainstorming process and the design process needed to solve the problem our team is face with in the competition.  My mentor for this team was Mr. Meredith, who believed that the simplest design works the best. By having mentors with two different approaches to how a project should be completed, taught me how to deal with adversity in the workplace. This also, taught me that the way some people work is right for them, but I need to find my own way to get the job done.

What kept bringing me back to the program every year was the ability to become a part of something bigger than myself. As part of a team I got to have fun doing something I love, engineering. The challenges push people to the brink of falling apart while forcing you to use all of your knowledge in order to meet deadlines. Problems arise when trying to complete the challenge issued by First, and these problem will keep you stuck on how to approach the problem. This frustrates you to the point where you just want to quit, but with the support of your teammates you continue to struggle with the task. Then out of the blue, an idea pops into your head and moves you further into the challenge until another problem arises. This experience taught me how an actual design cycle occurs in real life. These are the reason why I kept coming back to the robotics team each year in High School.

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