International University Competitor Reflects on Baja SAE and Hispanic Heritage Month
Posted: September 29, 2023
Baja SAE can open doors to a potential career, but a less discussed benefit of participation is how it opens doors to different cultures thanks to the competition’s international component.
Elias Oseguera, a senior member of Sara Juana Racing Team at Universidad Autonoma Estado Mexico, shared his journey working on his team’s Baja vehicle and experience on-site.
Sara Juana Racing was one of five teams from Mexico to participate in the 2023 Baja SAE Ohio competition, joining nearly 60 of the 76 registered teams who traveled to Nashport, Ohio in early September to compete.
Oseguera described his team’s experience at the competition as demanding, but ultimately rewarding.
“It’s been really challenging. This is an international experience; not [just] anyone can do this,” Oseguera said, referencing the obstacles of competing across borders, including travel and potential differences in language and communication styles.
Even with these challenges, Oseguera and his team feel that this experience is preparing them for their future careers.
“This experience has given me tools like knowing how to design car pieces and introducing international norms on how to build and design any kind of product, not just these off-road vehicles,” Oseguera said. “For example, I am an electrical engineer and I got to experience first-hand how to use the [competition] rules and apply to electronic wiring and design.”
Oseguera’s role is one of many that he says are integral to creating the best vehicle. Together, these university students are expanding their critical thinking, collaborating across teams, and addressing specific needs of the mobility industry today.
Oseguera encourages other international students and universities to get involved.
“Honestly, when I got into the university, they told us that doing something like this is what defines your future,” Oseguera said. “A lot of people in the industry have been participants of Baja and those connections helps you when you get out of school and into a new job in industry.”
In addition to the individual experiences, a team’s involvement and performance in an international competition can provide increased credibility to the university and the program.
“Participating in this level of competition and winning something like this gives the school prestige. It creates more value for all the schools’ programs, getting more students and more education,” he said.
Learn more about Baja SAE and our other University Programs here.
Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 through October 15 every year to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and history of the Latino community. Check out other SAE Hispanic Heritage Month blogs: