BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
10,766 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all spend so much time reading, debating and analyzing cars (and BMW in particular), it dawned on me that I should find a way to get paid to do what I really enjoy. I enjoy my regular job (as a computer programmer), but I get way more excited about anything car related. Problem is- the jobs that seem interesting to me- like being an automotive engineer or being a product manager for BMWNA would take a long time to achieve. I suppose being a car critic would be fun too- except that it pays very little for most people. Has anyone had similar thoughts? Anyone acted upon these thoughts?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
robg said:
We all spend so much time reading, debating and analyzing cars (and BMW in particular), it dawned on me that I should find a way to get paid to do what I really enjoy. I enjoy my regular job (as a computer programmer), but I get way more excited about anything car related. Problem is- the jobs that seem interesting to me- like being an automotive engineer or being a product manager for BMWNA would take a long time to achieve. I suppose being a car critic would be fun too- except that it pays very little for most people. Has anyone had similar thoughts? Anyone acted upon these thoughts?
What a coincidence? I was thinking about this earlier today... Actually, I feel pretty much like you. I'm in the IT industry but get way more excited with car related stuff. My dream job would be in the IT department of BMWNA...

Too bad there are no positions available (I check it at least once a week ;)). At least that's what their site says...
 

· Where am I?
Joined
·
963 Posts
I've been thinking lately about how to at least try to make some extra money on the side doing car-related stuff myself. I used to write shareware, but that's waning these days — I want to do something related to my BMW!!
 

· Automotive Monomaniac
Joined
·
12,663 Posts
When I got laid-off from my dot-com (sales job) last May, I decided I would go after the automotive industry too. I applied at BMW, Audi, and VW. I also sent resumes to Lexus and Infiniti in response to ads on their web pages.

I interviewed with Audi, but the pay wasn't so hot, and the job was boring (tracking cars coming into the country - like project management). I didn't get an offer, but I didn't want the job either.

I ended up back in sales making more money...

My suggestion is to do it when you are young (I am old at 34). The big manufacturers like to mold you fresh from school. Once you get into one, you can jump all over the place (so take that job at Ford... you can leapfrog to BMW in a few years).

Good Luck.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
robg said:
We all spend so much time reading, debating and analyzing cars (and BMW in particular), it dawned on me that I should find a way to get paid to do what I really enjoy. I enjoy my regular job (as a computer programmer), but I get way more excited about anything car related. Problem is- the jobs that seem interesting to me- like being an automotive engineer or being a product manager for BMWNA would take a long time to achieve. I suppose being a car critic would be fun too- except that it pays very little for most people. Has anyone had similar thoughts? Anyone acted upon these thoughts?
I worked for Ford Motor Company for seven years right out of grad. school, and it was a fantastic experience. I have always been a car nut, and I wanted a career in the industry. Back in the 80's, only the big three would hire you right out of school - the imports insisted that you had experience before they'd even talk to you. I don't know if it is the same way now.

There are many bonuses involved with working in the industry: lots of fellow car nuts to talk cars with (although you would be shocked to find out that probably half of the folks in the industry could care less about cars - they are working there just for the paycheck), free company cars (I always chose the most performance oriented cars I could find, usually the German Fords, imported under the Merkur nameplate from 1985 - 1990: Scorpio and XR4ti), and many company-sponsored track events (got to drive and hang out with Bob Bondurant, Scott Pruett, Lynn St. James).

Ultimately, however, I found out that I could earn more money and work less hours by being self-employed. I'm still involved in the automotive industry, since most of my clients are car dealers.
 

· Traffic Surgeon
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
I don't think a day goes by that I wonder what I'm doing still working in IT when I spend half the day reading/posting to these boards..! Problem is, I don't really even know where to start. I know I don't want to be a car salesman, so going from banking to automotive probably wouldn't be the smoothest of transitions. On the other hand, Spartanburg isn't that far from me though... :D
 

· A sudden sense of liberty
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

ALEX325i said:


What a coincidence? I was thinking about this earlier today... Actually, I feel pretty much like you. I'm in the IT industry but get way more excited with car related stuff. My dream job would be in the IT department of BMWNA...

Too bad there are no positions available (I check it at least once a week ;)). At least that's what their site says...
I used to work at Ford, and spent some time in an internship at Chrysler. I found that, as with many big companies, the jobs that I was doing were only tangentially related (and that's being generous) to the product actually being produced. Ultimately, it was more frustrating than it was fun; I had all sorts of product ideas, but even as a Ford employee my biggest influence over Ford cars was as a consumer.

Moreover, these are big, established companies, and the kind of day-to-day innovation and excitement that you find in smaller start-ups just isn't there.

In the end, I decided to keep my job and my hobby separate. OTOH, if BMW is looking for a new chief sytlist (hint, hint) I wouldn't be averse to that kind of career change.
 

· Ölmeßstabmeister
Joined
·
764 Posts
I did an internship with BMW at the Munich Plant when I was in college. What a fantastic summer -- see the "ZBB Story" thread if you want to know more about it.

In grad school, I interviewed with Opel for an internship, but ended up doing a different intership instead. I also interviewed with Ford, GM and Chrysler and some tier-1 suppliers coming out of grad school, but never got the offers.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

ALEX325i said:

I'm in the IT industry but get way more excited with car related stuff. My dream job would be in the IT department of BMWNA...

Too bad there are no positions available (I check it at least once a week ;)). At least that's what their site says...
Haha...I keep checking their site too! Like you, I'm in the IT field. Was more of a business/technical analyst till I got laid off last year, now I'm trying to get some programming experience.

My dream job would be to work as an automobile designer, in fact in college I started out by majoring in Industrial Design and was on the right track before I decided to get into more of a "sure" field like IT. HAH! Aometimes I wish I could just turn back time and start all over again... :(
 

· Raoul Duke
Joined
·
15,677 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

bol said:


Amen to that. I wonder if BMW uses UNIX...
Yes, they do. I know of one group that's hiring J2EE developers. And ALEX... drop your TNG skills and go Tivoli. They might hire ya! :D

http://www.tivoli.com/inside/clients/manufacturing_bmw.html - Naturally, in this high-tech business, BMW has a significant investment in information technology. The Munich head office network includes approximately 2500 UNIX systems and 14,000 PCs. The investment in IT for product development alone is impressive - 1500 UNIX workstations in the CAD and CAE departments power BMW's legendary product innovation skills. Similar high levels of IT investment are found in BMW's administration, manufacturing, distribution and commercial departments, as well as in sales and support operations worldwide.
 

· I'm a Mac
Joined
·
10,481 Posts
Not a Sunday goes by that I don't read Warren Brown's stupid car column in the Washington Post and say to myself "I could write a better column!".

Half that guy's column is totally unrelated to the car he's actually reviewing, and the other half of it is useless, stupid stuff. Man, I hate that guy's writing with a passion.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

You know that word is not in my dictionary, right? :D Well, it's not like you still hear anything about that "solution" anyways... So much for a "challenger" in the Enterprise Management arena... :tsk: (WTG Gartner!)

Yeah, I knew about their relationship with BMW (but you and I know what part of T (EWWW) gets implemented, right?). IBM is VERY strong in Germany, and Germans are particular in the way they do biz... It's a very conservative market. They won't "try" other vendors... VW is the same way. They also use that "solution" (one day we can talk more about it offline though). Bayer, same thing... But luckily not BASF and some other gigantic German corporations... Those were smart enough to realize who the real challenger was... ;) :thumb:

Anyway, software is just the means. Once you know the subject (i.e. Enterprise Management), you can get away with shell/Perl scripting and Cron... :D So, I think I'm still a good candidate... ;)

jw said:


Yes, they do. I know of one group that's hiring J2EE developers. And ALEX... drop your TNG skills and go Tivoli. They might hire ya! :D

http://www.tivoli.com/inside/clients/manufacturing_bmw.html - Naturally, in this high-tech business, BMW has a significant investment in information technology. The Munich head office network includes approximately 2500 UNIX systems and 14,000 PCs. The investment in IT for product development alone is impressive - 1500 UNIX workstations in the CAD and CAE departments power BMW's legendary product innovation skills. Similar high levels of IT investment are found in BMW's administration, manufacturing, distribution and commercial departments, as well as in sales and support operations worldwide.
 

· Raoul Duke
Joined
·
15,677 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

Did they let ya surf to that URL or does Big Brother forbid? :) BTW.. you're new email filters bug the crap outta me! I can only send .zip attachments to my wife now. Waaaahh! So much for forwarding URLs. Copy/paste.

Yes, I know. Once you can master the chaos and madness of EM it doesn't matter what the product. Somewhere on my resume is a CUE certification. Is that worth anything?

BMW went with BEA over IBM in the app server area. Wouldn't be surprised if they had a smattering of WebSphere though. Nothing implemented in the US however. They're behind the times.

ALEX325i said:
You know that word is not in my dictionary, right? :D Well, it's not like you still hear anything about that "solution" anyways... So much for a "challenger" in the Enterprise Management arena... :tsk: (WTG Gartner!)

Yeah, I knew about their relationship with BMW (but you and I know what part of T (EWWW) gets implemented, right?). IBM is VERY strong in Germany, and Germans are particular in the way they do biz... It's a very conservative market. They won't "try" other vendors... VW is the same way. They also use that "solution" (one day we can talk more about it offline though). Bayer, same thing... But luckily not BASF and some other gigantic German corporations... Those were smart enough to realize who the real challenger was... ;) :thumb:

Anyway, software is just the means. Once you know the subject (i.e. Enterprise Management), you can get away with shell/Perl scripting and Cron... :D So, I think I'm still a good candidate... ;)

 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

Sure. It's not like I still go there to check crap out, but I can still go there... It used to be fun to browse the "Red Book" and see them acknowledging flaws/limitations in their architecture... Actually, that used to help me a lot in situations where clients were into "feature" comparison kind of thing... ;)

Really? Well, as far as I know they may filter out attachments including executables (depending on the viruses out there), but that was about it...

I come across ads requesting CUEs... Definitely worth it... :thumb:

jw said:
Did they let ya surf to that URL or does Big Brother forbid? :) BTW.. you're new email filters bug the crap outta me! I can only send .zip attachments to my wife now. Waaaahh! So much for forwarding URLs. Copy/paste.

Yes, I know. Once you can master the chaos and madness of EM it doesn't matter what the product. Somewhere on my resume is a CUE certification. Is that worth anything?

BMW went with BEA over IBM in the app server area. Wouldn't be surprised if they had a smattering of WebSphere though. Nothing implemented in the US however. They're behind the times.

 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

Well, I don't know exactly what you did while working for Ford and Chrysler, but when you work in the IT industry, regardless of what the company you work for sells, you're so much involved with the business side of the house (there's no question that businesses are now completely dependent upon technology to survive) that you'll end up working directly with car related stuff if you worked for a company like BMW.

Example: Designers need their Silicon workstations working properly so that they can do their job. Well, you're the one who enables designers to do their job by making sure their Silicon workstations work properly, have the latest versions of CAD/CAM software properly installed/configured, etc. Ultimately, you end up spending so much time talking to those guys about ways to help them achieve their goals and sell their products, that's inevitable to get involved with car related stuff... ;)

JST said:


I used to work at Ford, and spent some time in an internship at Chrysler. I found that, as with many big companies, the jobs that I was doing were only tangentially related (and that's being generous) to the product actually being produced. Ultimately, it was more frustrating than it was fun; I had all sorts of product ideas, but even as a Ford employee my biggest influence over Ford cars was as a consumer.

Moreover, these are big, established companies, and the kind of day-to-day innovation and excitement that you find in smaller start-ups just isn't there.

In the end, I decided to keep my job and my hobby separate. OTOH, if BMW is looking for a new chief sytlist (hint, hint) I wouldn't be averse to that kind of career change.
 

· A sudden sense of liberty
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

ALEX325i said:
Well, I don't know exactly what you did while working for Ford and Chrysler, but when you work in the IT industry, regardless of what the company you work for sells, you're so much involved with the business side of the house (there's no question that businesses are now completely dependent upon technology to survive) that you'll end up working directly with car related stuff if you worked for a company like BMW.

Example: Designers need their Silicon workstations working properly so that they can do their job. Well, you're the one who enables designers to do their job by making sure their Silicon workstations work properly, have the latest versions of CAD/CAM software properly installed/configured, etc. Ultimately, you end up spending so much time talking to those guys about ways to help them achieve their goals and sell their products, that's inevitable to get involved with car related stuff... ;)

Law and policy stuff, mainly. And I don't mean to suggest that what I was doing was unrelated to the car side of the business. It's just that what I was doing had no direct influence over the products themselves, which is what (as an auto enthusiast) I'd really want. The IT folk probably have a more direct interaction with the product guys, but I'm not sure you'd have any more influence over what actually got built.

There were some definite upsides; I enjoyed learning about the industry (including its dirty underside, if you will), and also liked being "in the loop" about new products. It just wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Has anyone here considered an automotive-related career?

JST said:


I don't mean to suggest that what I was doing was unrelated to the car side of the business. It's just that what I was doing had no direct influence over the products themselves, which is what (as an auto enthusiast) I'd really want. The IT folk probably have a more direct interaction with the product guys, but I'm not sure you'd have any more influence over what actually got built.

There were some definite upsides; I enjoyed learning about the industry (including its dirty underside, if you will), and also liked being "in the loop" about new products. It just wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.
I know exactly what you mean. To have any direct or even indirect influence over product development is a pipe dream. Probably less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all employees of any manufacturer are involved in the decision making process related to product development.

Here's a perfect example: in 1990, Ford introduced the Mercury Capri, a Mazda 323 - based convertible. I was a merchandising manager at the time for Lincoln-Mercury, and I received an invitation to drive the Capri and the Mazda Miata on Ford's test track in Dearborn, MI. They had one Miata and a half-dozen Capris there. After the people who couldn't care less about driving left the track early, there were a dozen folks left, all waiting in line to take hot laps in the Miata - and no one driving the Capris. That night, I ate dinner with one of the big shots at Ford, and he asked me why no one was driving the Capris. This was my big chance, so I launched into my diatribe about rear-wheel drive v. FWD, purpose-designed sports car v. econobox - derived sporty car, steering feel, balance, etc, etc. His response: well, if you like the Miata so much, maybe you should go work for Mazda. That's about all the direct product input I was able to give to someone at the company who was actually a decision maker re: product development. The prologue is, of course, the Capri was a flop and the Miata a huge success - maybe he should have taken my comments more seriously.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top