Martin Pärnak sitting on bench, reading.

1. What did you study in University?

I studied bridge engineering.

2. How and when the idea of BRICO came?

The idea of BRICO came in Istanbul in 2015, when we were participating in a similar event. We did not have previous experience with organizing such competition.

3. How long did it take for an idea to become a reality?

The initial idea formed in April 2015. We started to commit to it in autumn of the same year, probably in October, and by mid-November, BRICO 2016 was announced.

4. What was the greatest ordeal/most intense moment of organizing the first competition?

The biggest effort with the first-ever competition was to successfully manage the four competition days and the following final celebration. I can still remember how we cleaned up early in the next morning after the party and then started to calculate the results and draft the reports with Kaarel. After that, we had to design the diplomas and prepare the assembly hall for the award ceremony. I don’t think we slept that night…First year, we had only a few people helping and a lot had to be done with our own resources and solutions. Moreover, this was the year Madis and I wrote our thesis plus we had to go to work… The following years have been much easier in that sense.

5. Did the first competition exceed your expectations?

It definitely exceeded expectations. As we were organising this kind of event for the first time and it was only three of us, the risk of failure was quite big. We had essentially sold air for the whole year and it was amazing to see all the teams arriving to the competition and receive feedback with many warm comments afterwards.

6. Why do you think BRICO is an important competition to take part in?

BRICO presents a great opportunity to exercise teamwork and be included in the process from start to the very finish, beginning with developing the geometry and structure of the bridge and finishing with the hunt for sponsors and assembling the bridge during competition. Such mini-task challenges you with exceptional versatility, where you can solve different problems and puts you to the test in more ways you could imagine. In addition, each participant gets plenty of contacts in the form of Estonian entrepreneurs and also foreign students. It is extremely beneficial in further (work)life.

7. Any advice for participants on how to make teamwork better and smoother?

Each one of us is different and has their own strengths and weaknesses. You have to understand the characteristics of each individual, know their strong and weak points and consider them when sharing tasks. This way you may find many hidden talents within your team.

8. What is your brightest memory of BRICO?

Every BRICO is special in its own way. The brightest memories come probably from the time after the competition has just ended, the place has been cleaned up and you can let yourself feel all of those emotions that gathered during the competition week. It is an incredibly good feeling when another competition has been successfully completed, new friends have been wished a safe journey home and you can just relax and enjoy the upcoming weekend. That’s the spark that motivates you to do it all over again next year.

9. How has BRICO benefited You so far?

Thanks to BRICO I have gotten new job opportunities, improved myself in many ways, found a bunch of new friends, travelled and actually, thanks to BRICO I found myself a girl, who later became my wife. What more could you ask for?