Genius Garage changed my life. Ever since I started to think about my future, I thought I was content to be a middle of the pack, 8-5 engineer. I thought I would be satisfied working for someone else, I thought I’d be okay sitting at a desk my whole career. This program changed that. The opportunities and mentorship that Genius Garage provided has shown me who I really am and all of what I am capable of doing. It showed me an ambition to rise above all of my previous aspirations. My story is not unique either, this program changes the lives of all the young people who are fortunate enough to have this opportunity.
Genius Garage taught me more about cars than I could have ever hoped for. I went from having never done an oil change to being capable of adjusting suspension or timing an engine. The mechanical knowledge I have gained through the program has helped me countless times in my day-to-day life. As mentioned, I knew nothing about cars when I joined the program. Cars were an interest of mine and I wanted to learn more about them, but never had the chance until this program. I had only ever used a few basic tools in shop class and wanted to learn everything I could about tools available to me as well. I was worried not being able to change the oil in a car would be a hindrance with my chances to join the team, to my surprise, however, my technical knowledge was irrelevant. The program focuses on finding students who have ambition, students who have strong work ethics, and those with a desire to learn. Genius Garage is about bettering students and their chances at success in the future more than it is about setting the fastest lap time at the track.
More than the hands-on capabilities, Genius Garage has taught me a work ethic and ambition I did not even know I possessed. I will be very frank. In the past my laziness got in my way to actually attempt something new or exciting and I was someone who would quit when the going got tough. The Genius Garage team changed all of that. I have found myself following up on tasks and commitments now where I hadn’t before. I now seek out new experiences and challenges, where previously I would crave to spend my free time on the couch. Genius Garage also provides opportunity to demonstrate leadership, teamwork, working under pressure. These sound like buzzwords used to sell every program, but nothing has set me up for success like Genius Garage. When our team is out at a track and we have to be on the starting grid in 3 hours, but our engine is sitting in pieces around our trailer- that is when having a solid leader, good teamwork and being able to work under a deadline is absolutely crucial. Having your friends and teammates rely on you to check every bolt twice or make sure the car has gas truly ensure you’re doing your best.
Finally I cannot begin to describe the opportunities that Genius Garage has opened for me. In everyday life I am more traveled, having been all around Michigan and Ohio, out to Indiana, and having opportunities to go to Florida and New York. I have been to the Concours D’Elegance of America and seen multi-million dollar cars. All of these experiences have helped develop myself and my ambition in the future. I know when I apply for jobs, this program will put my resume at the top of the pile. Already it allowed me to ask for- and receive- a higher salary than my fellow co-ops. When any student involved in this program walks into the career fair our school hosts, they will instantly have more attention than a vast majority of peers. Everyone gets out what they put into the program, but I promise there will never be a limit on the benefits of Genius Garage.