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Thank you. AKA where spudding can take you in life.

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Thank you. AKA where spudding can take you in life.

Unread postAuthor: T9FQ1A » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:24 pm

A little about me: I'm studying chemistry at a top UK uni. In the third year I am offered the opportunity to spend 12 months in industry on a paid placement. Yesterday I confirmed my place in a large multinational company starting this summer.

The placement was supposed to be for an electronics engineer, but I got in contact and my resume was impressive enough that the company has agreed to take me on anyway and tailor the work to include more chemistry (as I have to write a project on it). The placement is at the very top end of the wage spectrum and the boss is absolutely fantastic. I am truly excited to start.

I thought I needed to say thank you to the community here, as you've been a significant factor in my landing this amazing opportunity. I have no doubt that my interest in spudding and related hobbies got me the placement.

The boss has written a book with a number of demonstrative physics experiments, one of which is a BD cannon and the rest, characteristic of the kind of projects we do. As such we had a good chat during the phone-interview about my cannons and some of his projects, and 48 hours later (with a proper interview and a 3 hour tour) I had an offer.

Without spudfiles (and to an extent, the UKSGC) inspiration, guidance and helpful attitude I imagine I would have taken a very different path and could be working at a boring placement I wouldn't enjoy.

It's a pretty unusual hobby and could definitely be taken in the wrong way - one of the universities I visited before starting was very patronising, suggesting I thought that the degree would be spent blowing things up, but I am very glad I included my hobbies on my CV (even my recreational drug interest made it on there in the form of SSDP) as they're a part of who I am and have really paid off.

Where has spudding got you that you mightn't have expected? Do you include it on your CVs? (You should!)
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:57 pm

That's great!

UKSGC hasn't been active for quite a while now, were you on there as a different name?
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:50 pm

I can't say it's gotten me anywhere directly, but my choice of major was sort of influenced by my hobby. I remember my senior year of high school not getting into the calculus class, but buying the text and learning about halfway through the course on my own so that I could model pneumatic cannons. :roll: Then the next semester my robotics teacher gave me some problems and let me into the second half of the class. Took the AP test and here I am today (still learning, though).
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:20 am

Good stuff! Sadly though with media scaremongering regarding anything that can launch a projectile I would say your situation is more likely to be the exception than the rule, personally I've always avoided any reference to shooting in general on my CV.
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Unread postAuthor: T9FQ1A » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:35 am

No doubt at all that my hobbies have shaped my academic career. I think I probably would have gone into IT if I hadn't gotten a taste for explosions and the like.
I think if you word it right then anything can look good. I just said "I've built 4 air cannons" without any more said unless they asked or it was appropriate to mention them in the interview.
I think it shows one has interests other than socialising and shopping, which is what my girlfriend put on her first CV. If you can show you're motivated on your own then it bodes well for working hard when you're motivated by more than just interest.
Perhaps I would shy away from mentioning them if I sensed the interviewer was the kind of daily mail reader who is scared of the world but I think the initiative and drive they show is valuable.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:12 am

My field was electronics in school age. When I received my first formal schooling in electronics, I challenged and passed the AC and DC fundamentals by taking the exams and doing the labs. I already knew the material from self taught and was able to show it. I've taken up spudding much later.

The advantage is a good edge in a down economy. Employers tend to keep the best. My lifetime of unemployment benefits is one week.

A good knowledge and experience in engineering topics is a good thing.
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