Mentor Month Matches: Mark Karwowski and Andrew da Cunha

By Rachel Wetzel posted 01-16-2023 04:13 PM


What could a college senior and an engineer 31 years into his career have to talk about?

Quite a bit, it turns out!

“Andrew reminded me very much of myself when I was in college,” Mark Karwowski, Chief Manufacturing Engineer at ZF Active Safety and Electronics, said of his SAE International mentee, San Diego State University Senior Andrew da Cunha. “We have a lot of the same interests, like racing and finances. We connected immediately and our discussions flowed naturally.”

Together, Mark and Andrew were able to set goals for their mentoring sessions and identify and address challenges in meeting those goals.

“My long-term goal is to become a Technical Program Manager, and working with Mark, I was able to establish a set of skills that are important to develop. In addition to preparing for my long-term goals, I was able to ask questions relevant to many of the problems that I was facing on my Formula SAE team. Mark was able to provide solutions and suggestions to many of the problems my team was having from a management perspective and overall these suggestions led to a more successful season.”

Their shared interest in racing isn’t the only thing Mark and Andrew have in common, either. The two are both heavily involved in SAE, and have found multiple opportunities to advance their personal and career interests as members and leaders within SAE.

 Andrew is the president of the Formula Electric Team at San Diego State University (Aztec Electric Racing) and involved with the SAE SoCal section for Formula SAE. Mark was a part of the committee to set up the current driving program for vehicle dynamics during his time as a section member in Michigan and currently serves as the secretary for the Washington DC section and chair for the Virginia sub-section.

Being part of the mentor-mentee program is just one more benefit both men have experienced as SAE Members.

“Mentors are by far the most critical learning method for engineering and career guidance,” Andrew said. “The level of insight of a person who has gone through a similar problem is unmatched by any other form of advice.”

Mark agrees that the benefits of such a program are unparalleled.

“I’m so glad that SAE is offering this program,” Mark said. “Mentoring is important because it helps with growth and development for both the mentee and mentor. The mentoring process is very valuable in setting and achieving goals as well as encouragement to meet the goals. It is truly an investment with great return!”

Learn more about Mark and Andrew’s mentor-mentee relationship in the video below, then check out Connexion+ to discover the benefits of SAE Membership and find a mentor or mentee of your own!

Watch their interview today!