Do you know how to set yourself apart from your peers and get noticed by future employers? Join a student club! Think about it for a minute or two…Learning to work on a team, manage projects and budgets, and apply theoretical knowledge while innovating are highly-prized skills by employers! That is exactly what you will learn to do in a student club.

ETS students Léandre Joncas and Alex Guérin explain what made them want to become members of the Formula ETS club, one of 500 university teams in the Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) international engineering competition.
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Why did you choose to join a student club?

Theory and practice

Léandre Joncas: I chose to join a science club because I believe it is the best complement to my engineering education. With Formula ETS, I can combine the theory I learn in ETS lecture courses with practice. I like to work with my hands, and I get to do a lot of that when building a race car!

Alex Guérin: What motivated me to join a student science club was the assurance that I would work with my hands and constantly innovate when designing and building our race car (single seat). That is sort of the DNA of Formula ETS.

How does being a member of Formula ETS actually benefit you?

Managing a company

Léandre Joncas: In addition to the technological experience, being a member of a student club helps you develop your human resource management skills, because these clubs are run like mini companies. We learn to manage stress, our time, club funds and a team, especially when you have an administrative role. I didn’t know that I was going to handle all those aspects before I got involved in the club.

Alex Guérin: The entrepreneurial part is very important in a club like ours. We perform all the activities of a company, such as recruiting new members, managing finances, as well as creating and maintaining business relations with clients, partners and sponsors. It is a good way to develop cross-disciplinary skills. Managing your schedule when you are part of a student club is a challenge in itself. Juggling courses, the club and your personal life prepares you for future expectations.

Are there prerequisites for joining a student club?

Showing curiosity

Léandre Joncas: In our club, everyone is accepted. Students in all years and all fields of engineering are welcome. You simply have to show some curiosity.

Alex Guérin: We need all types of talent to succeed, just like in a company. We need people who are knowledgeable about computers, software, mechanics, etc. Diversity is beneficial for the club.

How many hours per week do you spend on your club?

No minimum number of hours required

Léandre Joncas: There is no minimum number of hours required. However, several club members spend a lot of hours on this project, especially when the car is being built. It is not rare for members to work over 40 hours per week, including weekends, and that's not an exaggeration.

Alex Guérin: I work between 30 and 40 hours per week only for the Formula SAE project. That makes for some very busy weeks!

For students like Léandre and Alex, being involved in a student club means that they can participate in competitions where they will have the opportunity to compete against teams from around the world, mainly from North America, Europe and Asia. In 2015, the Formula ETS team won the Formula SAE competition in Ontario as well as several individual events.

You can bet that both of these students will have something to put on their CVs that will get them noticed by future employers!