Category: Video Post

General Motors’ Guidance Leads to Students’ Professional Growth

This video demonstrates the relationship between Mississippi State University’s EcoCAR 2 team and headline sponsor, General Motors. This is MSU’s 9th year in the competition and throughout that time, the team has learned the value of sponsor relationships at every level. GM is not just a background factor in the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. They, along with the Department of Energy, are the heart of this competition series.

Mississippi State University is competing in a three-year, inter-collegiate engineering competition, “EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the future”, with General Motors and the Department of Energy as headline sponsors. The primary purpose of the competition is to improve the fuel economy of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, through a re-engineering process, without compromising consumer acceptability. Not only does General Motors donate a Malibu to each team, they mentor the students to prepare them for transformation of the vehicle. The competition educates the next generation of automotive engineers by challenging students to use General Motors’ Vehicle Development Process (VDP) that directly ties in with the competition objective to offer real-world experience to college students. EcoCAR 2 gives students the opportunity to mimic GM’s process and build upon their classroom knowledge with indispensable experience.

General Motors’ VDP provides students with a road map so that they can emulate the process actually followed by GM engineers making the students’ experience representative of what they may later encounter when they begin employment. “They have given us an opportunity to learn and grow in the industry that we will one day be a real part of,” said Wesley Haney, an MSU team member.

General Motors has taken a personal interest in the students involved with the MSU team. Because of the size of a sponsor such as GM, it is easy for the relationship to become impersonal; however, GM has made a great effort to put a face to their corporate image and relate to the students on a one-on-one basis. This has been accomplished not only by the mentors and other GM employees with whom the students interact, but also by hosting the students at their facilities so that the relationship becomes more realistic.

MSU understands how General Motors plays more than just a broad role in keeping these AVTCs and the competing teams successful. One way that shows GM’s commitment is the mentors they’ve provided to MSU’s team throughout the years. Bill Beggs, Sarah Vano, and now Gary Rushton have all helped in the growth of the team, not only in AVTC successes, but also in a professional and personal sense.

“General Motors is obviously a huge factor in the success of the AVTC program as a whole, but a lesser known story pertains to the success of the individual student at both the personal and professional level and the inspiration and motivation that they provide”, Claire Faccini, Communications Manager said. From all of the students across the years and from Mississippi State University, thank you General Motors!

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