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FIRST helped me land a high-tech internship

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Nicole Martindale

FIRST Alum, Volunteer & Mentor

FIRST Alum Nicole Martindale participated in FIRST Robotics Competition Team 3647 Millennium Falcons in San Diego, California, also home to the headquarters of FIRST Strategic Partner Qualcomm. Through FIRST, Nicole received a scholarship from Qualcomm to attend a computer science conference. She’s studying to be a software engineer and is about to start an internship at Qualcomm. “FIRST has helped me in so many ways, allowing me to explore different paths in high school, mentor a team as a current college student, and find internships,” says Nicole.

What did you do after becoming a FIRST Alum?
After becoming a FIRST alum, I started college at the University of California, San Diego. I am a computer science major and will graduate in 2021. I plan to go to graduate school following my undergraduate BS in computer science and will eventually work as a software engineer. This upcoming summer, I will be working as a software engineer intern for FIRST Strategic Partner, Qualcomm!

What advice would you have for current FIRST participants?
I would encourage current participants to continue being involved after high school. Mentor your FIRST Robotics Competition team or find a local team to mentor. Also, consider volunteering for FIRST competitions nearby. FIRST is such a widespread and supportive community, and I think staying involved as an alum is super important.

How has FIRST helped you with your future goals?
As a FIRST alum, I received a scholarship through Qualcomm to attend the 2018 Grace Hopper Conference. FIRST has helped me in so many ways, allowing me to explore different paths in high school, mentor a team as a current college student, and find internships!

You shared that you’ve made and kept great FIRST friends/established a great network within the FIRST community – any advice to current participants on how to do that?
I have stayed involved as a mentor for my high school FIRST Robotics Competition team and volunteer for local FIRST Robotics Competitions. I volunteered as a team queuer at the San Diego Regional FIRST Robotics Competition and it was one of the best experiences ever! I got to meet so many other FIRST alumni as well as interact with the teams there.

What is your favorite FIRST related memory?
My favorite FIRST related memory is from last year's San Diego Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. I volunteered as a team queuer, and it was super exciting to see the competition from the point of view of a volunteer/FIRST alumni. Not only did I get to interact with all the teams, but I also got to meet other FIRST alumni and talk about our experiences in FIRST. Seeing how many volunteers are needed to make the competition run smoothly made me realize how much of an impact FIRST has on people!

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