During her three years with the Pennsylvania State EcoCAR team, former Communications Manager, Taylor Kidd, quickly fell in love with Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions. She spent her time on the team writing reports, hosting community events, and managing various social media outlets. Kidd graduated with a dual major in public relations and economics, with a minor in business. Following graduation in 2013, Kidd was a writer at the Pennsylvania State Senate and then established her current career as a marketing specialist at AVL, an AVTC competition sponsor. Kidd regularly meets with different departments at AVL to ensure she’s conveying information both accurately and clearly, much like what she did in EcoCAR.
“EcoCAR taught me to translate complex information into something everyone can understand,” she said. “You’d be surprised how useful that skill is.”
During her time at Penn State, Kidd became a part of her school’s public relations firm that worked with clients from the university and the surrounding town. EcoCAR was one of these clients, and she was assigned to the multi-disciplinary project after her interview with the firm. Kidd devoted much of her free-time to the project and eventually worked her way to the top position of communications manager her senior year.
Soon after joining EcoCAR, Kidd found herself enjoying one task more than others: writing deliverables for the competition.
“I could directly relate the communications plan and media reports to what I was learning in class, and it made things feel more real,” said Kidd.
When she wasn’t busy cranking out reports, Kidd focused on her team’s work dynamic.
“As the communications manager, I felt like it was part of my unofficial job to help the whole team bond. I think our team was successful in a large part because we were friends,” she said. “We worked harder because we didn’t want to let each other down.”
The most valuable piece of advice Kidd has for current students in the EcoCAR 3 competition is to ask for help. She found that most people want to genuinely help students succeed, adding that it never hurts to ask.
AVTCs have greatly impacted Kidd’s life. Not only did she gain lifelong friendships from her time on her EcoCAR team, but she even met her future husband; the wedding’s set for next June.
Luckily, Kidd’s role in AVTCs has not come to an end. This past year at the EcoCAR 3 Year Two Competition, she returned as a sponsor representing AVL.
Her experience with the EcoCAR competition exemplifies the goal of AVTC’s: to provide students with real world, hands on experience to help them succeed in their fields. Along with the other sponsors, the US Department of Energy, General Motors, and Argonne National Laboratory strive to give all AVTC students similar high quality training while they’re participating in the competitions.