Student dream car: a career springboard

Student dream car: a career springboard

People

This year, students at the ŠKODA Academy are again making their car of their dreams. Their predecessors, co-creators of unique models, tell us what they got out of the student car project and if the experience is still useful for them today.

20. 3. 2020

Jakub Sedlář and Radovan Juráš took part in the first year of the Azubi Car project, whose upshot was the CITIJET – a cabriolet version of the CITIGO. Today they are studying at the Faculty of Machine Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. Vít Šulc, who studies at the Czech University of Life Sciences and is a member of its Formula Student team, took part in the project’s second year and helped build the untraditional FUNSTAR pick-up based on the FABIA model. And Daniel Voce, who was involved with the ATERO prototype, a coupé based on the RAPID model, stayed on to work at the ŠKODA Academy.

What will Azubi Car be like this year?

This year 20 students from the ŠKODA Academy are working on a student car. The students taking part in the project’s seventh year have decided for a compact spider based on the ŠKODA SCALA model. ŠKODA chief designer Oliver Stefani and his team are among those who’ve been supervising the students’ efforts, starting from the initial sketches phase. 

Get the details from our press release.

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Making sure everyone’s in agreement

What all four agree on is that the year-long project gave them invaluable experience. And if you ask them to remember the hardest parts, they all agree again: managing a big team and making sure everyone’s in agreement.

Jakub Sedlář

“The project as a whole was a lot of fun. As well as attending lectures we also created something meaningful. Particularly interesting were the discussions about design with the chief designer and his team, consulting car body modifications with people from the technical development department or learning about supplies of spares with people from production. The debates and arguments over the final decision in various aspects of the car design process were tough, whether they were debating the car’s colour schemes, modifications or name. “But that is exactly the kind of useful life skills you get from the project,” Sedlář recalls.

His colleague from the project’s first year Radovan Juráš adds, “The team had sixteen members plus a couple of expert training leaders. The start was a bit chaotic, but as soon as we divided up the work between us, things went smoothly. Everyone had his own job to do and focused on that. The team was led by our fellow student; the industrial logisticians’ group was in charge of presenting the project; and the manual work was done by students of technical fields. I was responsible for the car’s design. I did the drawings in my free time, and sometimes I stayed on alone in class, working on the look of the various parts. Trying out the professional design tools used in the ŠKODA Design department was another wonderful opportunity. The hardest part was choosing the version that would get the final go-ahead, because there were lots of different options.”

Radovan Juráš

Something completely different from learning in class

Daniel Voce also recalls one valuable benefit: thanks to the student car project he put together a team of complete strangers from various fields. As time went on they gradually gelled and I could see how everyone worked more and more towards a common goal.

Today Radovan Juráš is a student at the Faculty of Machine Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague

Daniel Voce stayed loyal to the ŠKODA Academy

Daniel Voce

“The most interesting phase for me came after the car was completed, when we had to present the car to the company management, the media and, of course, the general public at various events. We had to work out what to say, make sure we were thoroughly prepared and then sell our work,” he adds. What’s more, there were expert trainers who would advise the students what was a good idea and what they should avoid. This gives the kids valuable feedback and helps them getting stuck down blind alleys.

“It was great to see a real car taking shape beneath your hands. I reckon the best feeling of all, which can’t be bought or faked, was seeing the final result we’d spent almost the whole school year working on. Bringing things to completion might not seem difficult, but it certainly is. Some things were only completed at the last minute, so I only saw the entire car in one piece at the final photo shoot. Working on the project was not like doing equations on a blackboard. You can’t just erase everything if you make a mistake. All our solutions had to work and look good in real life. We tried to keep high standards of production, engineering fit, paint finish and so on, which was relatively difficult when the body went through such major changes,” Vít Šulc shares his experiences.

Vít Šulc

Formula and marketing

After joining the machine engineering faculty, both participants from the first year – Jakub Sedlář and Radovan Juráš – joined the eForce FEE Prague Formula team in the Formula Student competition. This is a project with bigger ambitions than the secondary school Azubi Car, but the teamwork principle is just as important. Their experiences meant they could both get involved straightaway.

sedlar-do-clankuJakub Sedlář is also to be found at the Faculty of Machine Engineering

sulc-do-clankuVít Šulc is a student at the Czech University of Life Sciences

For Daniel Voce, the Azubi Car project was effectively the first step in his subsequent career. After successfully completing his studies in Transport Operation and Economics, he joined the ŠKODA Logistics project as a logistics planner. Thanks to the project, he got the chance to return to the ŠKODA Academy about six months later. Not as a student this time, but as an education marketing specialist.

“And that’s the position I’m still in today. Today I work as an education marketing specialist at the Academy. I mainly take care of marketing the Vocational School. I organise marketing events, look after its website and social networks, plan advertising and promotion and create the technical college’s overall marketing strategy,” he says, adding that going back to the college building means he often remembers the project. “Azubi’s popularity is still growing and it continues to this day, which makes me very glad, because taking part in the project is a super opportunity for students. As part of my marketing activities I work with the participants, which lets me see how much progress it helps them make in their studies.”

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