How I got started in motorsport
Some years back I was an outsider to motorsport. I was a kid that wanted to break into the industry. But how do you start? or… where do you start!?
I was an outsider because I studied Nuclear physics at uni…. not the most common path to get into motorsport…. In fact, I never had a class in vehicle dynamics… So how can I convince a recruiter and a technical lead to give me a chance if I haven’t done much to give one myself?
Well, exactly that. Figure out how to get yourself a chance. What and how you can do something that will catch the eye of the people making the decisions. They all say that you have to be passionate about, but that is a BS response. How are you going to show that? it’s kinda the chicken-egg problem. You are looking for an opportunity to get some experience to back you up, but no one is giving you that opportunity.
So I did a couple of things. First I started to email and meet recruiters at job fairs. That gave a sense of what they are looking for. Then apply to a few jobs and try and test different approaches and see what gets you an interview. Then prepare the interviews and get experience on them.
And that’s how I got my foot in………not even f* close to that. I met people, I research the jobs, I tried like crazy to get into things that would look nice in my cv and these people could see them. I tried, I tried, I tried…. nothing seemed to work…But there was this little school in the middle of Spain. They advertised that they will give you hands-on experience in motorsport. You only have to pay them, pass the course and they will guarantee an unpaid internship into a real team…Yeah, that’s how bad I wanted an opportunity. That is how bad I wanted to try to work in a ruthless area. Some pride, some ego and a bunch of eager to get into the industry.
Taking that course was the best worst decision of my life. I got financially destroyed, but I got my chance. This school was not really a good school, and it didn’t give the internship to all the students… just a few. But men, it did give you the chance to place your foot in the door. You could see inside out how a team worked, what common problems they have, and how they fix them. What are their strengths and their weakness. What they exactly look for in an applicant, what is BS and what is real. How long the working day is, how short the pay can be. How ruthless the industry can be. Is the best bad decision I took, and I would take it again if I knew what I know now.
So, try to volunteer in a small team. Be persistent, be bold. Someone will give you a chance. It might not be the prettiest of the chances… but when it comes take it with both hands. There are a lot of things to learn about how a team operates that are impossible to learn from the outside. And only then, is when all these flashy stuff from the recruiters will come in clutch. When you know the inside and prepared your CV to check those boxes…..and out of the sudden… you can prove that you are passionate about motorsports.