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Austin Webster (C’20)

Vehicle Integration Attributes Engineer, Ford Motor Company

“I don’t think you realize how lucky you are to be with us right now,” Austin’s boss told him a month after he was hired at Ford Motor Company. Due to COVID, Ford had stopped hiring the week after Austin had begun the extensive interview process. 

However, his future boss felt impelled to make an appeal to HR, and in a rare move, expedited his interview process. “I don’t know how it happened,” his boss said, “but they gave me the chance to hire you, and I’m grateful they did.”

Austin was certain it was more than an HR decision but came from prayer and trusting divine Mind’s leading.

“I really understood that I was in the job market to not just take care of myself, but to be a blessing for others as well.” 

Today, Austin works on exhaust intrusion and vehicle protection during transport at Ford. He credits his involvement in Principia's solar car team and the Society of Automotive Engineers racing team (which is part of Principia’s co-op program with the University of South Dakota) for giving him a solid understanding of technical engineering skills. 

“Principia's solar car program is unique, and unlike at other schools—here everyone is welcome to join and contribute.” 

He also spent a lot of time in the machine shop and learning how to 3D print prototypes for engineering applications.

Austin stays in touch with his Principia engineering advisor who was a huge support throughout college, and he credits Principia with teaching him how to communicate professionally. 

Austin also points to the leadership opportunities at Principia for helping him feel well prepared for professional life. Along with the solar car and Society of Automotive Engineers racing teams, Austin participated in student government, CSO, and served as a resident assistant.

Must-Take Course: Life of Mary Baker Eddy

Favorite Principia Moment: I was immersed in outdoor education leadership on the St. Lucia and Grenada Abroad and went to Italy as part of my automotive physics class.

Advice for Incoming Students: Take advantage of every opportunity. I did this and loved it.

Austin Ford