This may be a little bit abnormal for a CorkSport blog, but I wanted to OFFICIALLY introduce myself to you all and give you all some insight on what it’s like being involved in such a crazy and awesome family known as CorkSport.
My name is Daniel, and I’m the newest addition to the CS Engineering team. You may have seen me dotted around on social media or seen my name at the bottom of a few blogs throughout the last year. If you came to the CS dyno day last summer, I was the one running around absolutely covered in car gunk from hooking cars up to the dyno.
So what do I do at CS other than getting unnecessarily dirty? I am a product development engineer; which means I get to play around with cars all day and create parts for you all. Whether it’s designing on a CAD program, test fitting prototypes, or creating installation instructions, I strive to make awesome parts for your Mazdaspeeds and Mazdas, so you guys and gals can make your dream cars.
My passion for cars means I have found my dream job AND I was lucky to find it after graduating from the University of Washington. I had a few interesting internship experiences during college; one at a company designing beer brewing tanks, and another working at the Seattle Monorail but the dream was always the automotive aftermarket industry. Growing up I was always into cars, but I knew I wanted to be in the industry once I started driving.
Throughout high school, I drove a 1991 Jeep Wrangler. While interesting, I would not recommend one as a daily driver. I went to college without a car, so I was looking for something fun to have while I was back home over breaks and the summers. I ended up with a 1999 Honda Civic Si. It’s a nice example, but 1.6L of VTEC fury is only fun for so long. I had a turbo build planned, but as college progressed, courses got more difficult, and funds got tighter. I am still driving it around (with no turbo) but still want something more. The plan is to end up with a Mazdaspeed 6 soon.
Aside from the obvious excitement of landing what is definitely my dream job, my first experiences at CS were terrific. I spent the first few weeks getting a glimpse of all the different departments and how my job would impact them. This was doubly useful as I also got to know just about everyone in a short period. Once I transitioned into the full engineering role, I had to adapt to a completely new system of part numbering, project management, and time management. In any job, this can get overwhelming at times, but the environment around me made this a smooth transition.
I think the biggest thing I have taken away from my first year at CS is how different it is from everywhere I have worked in the past. With projects, my past job experiences have either been “this needs to be done yesterday” or “it gets done when it gets done.” These two extremes create unnecessary stress and slow progress respectively. With time and project management systems in place at CorkSport, we can maintain a happy medium where we make steady progress every day without feeling rushed. There are definitely times that the timelines get delayed and we feel the pressure, but we account for these in order to plan better in the future.
The people also make a considerable difference at CS. Instead of people just showing up to get a paycheck, everyone on the CorkSport team is passionate about their work and cares about what they do. This creates high-quality work for everyone and a fantastic dynamic where it honestly doesn’t feel like work. It’s more of a family dynamic than a typical workplace environment.
I’ve enjoyed my first year at CorkSport, and I’m excited to be a part of the Mazda community. I plan to produce the best parts that I can for all of you, and I hope to get to know some of you in the process. Stay tuned as I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me soon!