It’s been a while… I’ve just been really busy with uni (as usual) and on top of that I decided to enter an engineering competition last weekend so I was ultimately busy. I also had one of the best experiences ever! And that’s what I wanted to write about here, to share it with you and ultimately to be able to read about it when more time has gone by.
The competition I participated in was called EBEC which stands for European BEST Engineering Competition and it was one the local phases (it was in my city, in my university). After this one there’s a national phase and then the european phases and even though me and my team didn’t get through (only the first place did), it was still an amazing experience! BEST, since you probably don’t know, is the Board Of European Students Of Technology and like the name says, it’s a student organization that has local groups around many universities around Europe. There are two categories in the competition: the Case Study and the Team Design and my team and I entered the first one.
The competition started Friday at the end of the afternoon with a workshop and then we had the opening ceremony. Then, we all had dinner and after that we got split according to the two categories and each group went to a different university department to spend the night. Each team got assigned a classroom (and we couldn’t enter the other teams’) and they gave us the two case studies we would have to figure out. We would have 24 hours to do that and at the end we’d have to hand in a power point presentation and a small report.
The classroom that got assigned to me and to my three friends was right next to the “common room” where we could all hangout and all the coffee breaks were served. It was also where the people from BEST were sometimes when had some time to rest. There was also another room with mattresses for people that wanted or needed to sleep for a while. Me and my friend didn’t use it but my two other friends did.
The good thing about having the classroom where it was was that people from BEST went to check how we were doing quite often and we could get to know them all better and relax for a bit. Besides they’re all really great people and their team spirit is amazing. Two of our friends are part of BEST too (one of them was the one that convinced us to go), so that also made the environment more appealing to us because they would go check on us quite often as well.
Even though we had two case studies to work out, we had time for everything. I think we organised ourselves quite well and we managed to work when we wanted to work but also stop in order to rest our mind and body. We didn’t miss one coffee break (they happened every three hours).
There was supposed to be a chocolate egg hunt organised by BEST in order for us get our mind off the case studies but we kind of ruined it?… It was six and a half in the morning and the four of us had just gone to the washrooms and we had to cross the bar and some corridors in order to get back to our room. So we were doing just that when we found a small chocolate egg in the center of a table. We started looking for more and we found some others in the bar and all the way through the corridor. They were kind of badly hidden to be honest. So we started looking in the nearest corridors for more. Imagine four girls running round and laughing like crazy in the corridors… Yeah, that was us… I think it was partially the lack of sleep and also the fact that the eggs showed up out of nowhere. Then when we had more than 20 eggs we remembered it was probably wise to go ask if we were supposed to have found them. So we went to the common room and asked the main organizer and he was half-asleep and confused and just told us “we were going to do an egg hunt later…” but he was so sleepy that he couldn’t be bothered. We felt so bad we went and hid more than half of the eggs.
The rest of the day went great. We finished the case studies with time to spare.We hang out with people from BEST and got to know them better. In the middle of the afternoon, two women from the Business Incubation Center of ESA (ESA was the main sponsor and one of the case studies was from them) were going around every classroom a with participants and the four of us were lying on the floor with our laptops and they were like “this looks so cozy” and we just exchanged glances like “what the hell? this room looks like a f*cking mess!!”.
On Sunday, we did our presentations in both case studies and we had to do them in English so one of my friends and I were the only one that did them because the other two aren’t comfortable with English. Then we had to answer a few questions and all in all, they both went alright. We ended the competition in SECOND PLACE which we were ecstatic about!
Getting second place was just the cherry on top but even if we didn’t, it would have been worth it! I’m repeating myself but it was such an amazing experience! I’m so glad my friend convinced us to go.
Anyway, this is what has been happening in my life. I hope yours has been just as good!
Until next time,