Why to Sponsor

Why Sponsor a Texas A&M Senior Capstone Design Project?

Top six reasons you should sponsor a MEEN Senior Design Project at Texas A&M University 

  1. To create deep and continued awareness of your company with students. Project teams give midterm briefs about the nature of their project to the entire class creating exposure to about 120 students per semester. Project teams also create and post posters in the ME building providing exposure to students beyond senior design.  Not only does this activity provide broad exposure to your company, it provides deep, technical, and domain specific exposure in the context of your company’s technical activity. In other words, it can help you recruit students who are interested in your company’s activity, not just a paycheck.
  2. To pre-train and interview, in depth, potential employees. The student team or teams will work on the projects for two semesters. During this time, they will interact with your company’s mentor frequently  - perhaps weekly. As a team, they will produce multiple design reports and presentations. Reports are turned over to the project sponsor if requested. This interaction framework provides an opportunity to evaluate potential hires more deeply than a typical interview process. In addition, the students will spend two semesters becoming familiar with your work philosophy and problems - essentially pre-training potential employees.
  3. To augment and leverage your workforce via cost effective labor. A typical project team of eight students provides around 1,500 engineering hours on the project (not including the time they sit in lecture) over the course of two semesters. For a support gift of $12,000, the labor rate is less than $10/hour total. Though the students engineering hours may not be as productive as one of your current employees, this is still a tremendous bargain. Additionally, the students are able to bring an unencumbered, corporately unculturized, freshness and creativity to the project. Also, you get about 45-90 hours of faculty time (or more, depending on how interesting the faculty instructor finds your problem, or perhaps depending on the proactive disposition of your mentorship team).
  4. To provide mentorship and leadership development opportunities for your current employees. Typically, the sponsor provides two person mentorship teams. Mentorship teams consist of a more senior person with decision-making authority and a junior person that can respond quickly to frequent student queries. Just as the project allows students to develop as engineers, the project mentorship role allows your company’s employees to develop their leadership skills and experience as they manage a project and a team of engineers. Also, the mentors learn to evaluate others work as they provide feedback on final design reports and reviews.
  5. To create deep and continued awareness of your company with faculty. The visibility activities of the design team also inform faculty about the existence and activity of your company. Exposing your company to faculty is important. Faculty do not know the full range of career options to MEEN graduates, nor do they necessarily have ready knowledge of primary TAMU MEEN recruiters in any year or semester. Nevertheless, students do seek career advise from faculty, and faculty do offer it. If developed by you, faculty can be a key component of the talent recruitment process. 
  6. To take an active role in shaping the design curriculum. Through the technical nature of the project, the expected format and details of project deliverables, and the feedback and direction given to students from project mentors, your company’s activity impacts and shapes the students academic experience. In the past, technical needs of a particular design project, for which the curriculum has poorly prepared the students, have sparked general discussion about changing the pre-senior design curriculum.