Mechanical engineering senior Taosif Alam has always loved cars.
Now, the 22-year-old Arizona native is preparing to travel to Germany to take part in the Audi Future of Mobility Practicum, a six-week workshop to brainstorm ideas with Audi employees about urban automotive designs.
“Ever since I was little, before I could finish whole sentences, I was able to, almost nine times out of 10, correctly name a car that was passing by,” he said.
More than 200 applicants were interviewed, and Alam is one of 12 chosen to participate in the program. After the workshop ends, Audi will ask two of the participants to complete a six-month internship with the company.
Alam is the only accepted candidate from Arizona, and he and the other 11 students will travel to Ingolstadt, Germany, during the summer.
Audi spokeswoman Kelsey Johnson said the company wanted the brightest students but also wanted to bring diversity to the team.
“(Audi) didn’t just want engineers, they wanted, you know, architects (and) thinkers, all-over-the-board people that they think that would be great for this program,” she said.
Audi specifically wanted the most outstanding students with good achievements, who knew how to work on a team and had previous experience, Johnson said.
“(The students) will work directly with Audi employees in Germany,” she said.
Alam said he was surprised to hear he had been accepted, not only because of the limited number of students who were chosen, but because he submitted his application on the last day.
“I was at home,” he said. “I was pacing back and forth. I was nervous. … I couldn’t really do anything, (and) I couldn’t do any homework until the call.”
After an encouraging Skype interview, a week later Alam got the call he had been eagerly awaiting: the news that he had been accepted.
“This really is a dream come true. I’m following the footsteps to my dream,” he said.
Alam, a member of the society of automotive engineers at ASU, knows that the practicum will be challenging, but his goal is to meet the challenges head on.
Industrial engineering senior Robinson Do is very good friends with Alam and said he wasn’t surprised to hear he had been accepted as Alam is an extremely hard worker.
“(To Alam, I would say), ‘Have fun, soak in the experience and learn German,’” he said.
Reach the reporter at Rashinda.Bankhead@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @rashindaa