Nicolas Andrew Pietrzak, known around the shop as Niko, has been a Larsen Motorsports intern for the last 2.5 years. He is a junior at Florida Tech majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He chose Florida Tech for two reasons. Mainly it was due to how small the campus is and how it allows him to build a relationship with his professors so he is able to ask questions whenever he needs. The second reason is how close the campus is to his home. Even though he is open to the idea of moving out eventually, as a young and busy college student he still very much enjoys being around his family and getting to "slack off on some of the household chores."
Niko is a very hands-on person. He prefers to learn by experience and most of his knowledge, especially on mechanics, comes from his experiments as a little kid where he took things apart and put them back together. Been doing what he does since a very young age Niko has always wanted to be a mechanical engineer and nothing has been able to change his mind yet. His next step after college is to hopefully get a job in the automotive industry where he can get his hands dirty and not only sit behind a desk all day long.
Niko claims that his dad and grandfather were the hands-on people that got him interested in engineering in the first place. He mentions how they are both “Do it yourself” kind of people adding that his dad built the house they currently live in by himself. He was also taught how to use tools by his dad and graduated to performing oil changes on automobiles during his early childhood.
Having been at Larsen for a while Niko has worked on various projects. He is currently jumping around the shop helping out other student interns but in the past he has designed and built the test cell chassis, maintained the trucks, and fixed a generator. He has also changed every last wheel bearing on those trucks and when one of them had a leaking problem he took out the engine and rebuilt it all by himself. He comments on how much he enjoys interning at Larsen and how great it is to have the chance to work at a shop like this. According to him the best aspect of this internship is that it gives him some downtime in between his classes. Being a hands-on person he finds peace in being able to let his hands do the work instead of his brain for a little while. He explains how this helps his school life by saying “Going from lectures where I gain information to doing hands-on work where I apply that information to really life scenarios and then going back and forth is a great way of learning for me”. Larsen first picked Niko’s interest when he was only a senior in high school. Being born and raised in the area he has heard about Larsen before and meeting them again he wanted to become a part of Larsen to help his transition from working at an automotive shop to a college student even better.
Niko’s favorite color is blue and he was born right here at the Holmes Regional Hospital where many who live in Melbourne drive past on their way to their commitments on a daily basis. His hobbies include working on cars and playing golf whenever he has the time to. He enjoys listening to any music genre, but he would prefer listening to EDM over others. As far as movies goes he enjoys mysterious movies that play mind tricks such as Inception and the Sherlock Holmes series. His favorite animals are dogs and he has a soft spot for Labrador puppies. Looking at his short-term goals realistically he picks Ford Focus RS to be his dream car. He appreciates the rally industry and finds the rally cars inspirational.
If Niko was not a Florida Tech student or a Larsen intern he would want to be a race car driver instead.