Bloor West Villager
A Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School graduate’s career trajectory has received an unexpected, yet exciting new boost.
Reymin Deleon, 21, currently an industrial design student at Humber College, has won an internship at General Motors (GM) that starts in the spring. Deleon was one of just five students from across Canada and the US to win the GM Interactive Design Competition 2012 thus securing himself a paid internship while kick-starting his career, a life-long dream to design cars. The winners saw their designs displayed at the North American International Motor Show last month.
“It’s a one-shot deal,” the Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue-area resident told The Villager. “It feels big.”
This was Deleon’s second attempt at the design competition. He had come across it on a website during the second year of his degree program.
“I didn’t get as far as I wanted to last year. My skills weren’t up to par,” he said. “Then, it came up again.”
Deleon joined the two-part competition in June and spent the entire summer working on designing the next GMC Terrain SUV. Competitors could choose to design the next Buick Lacrosse, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Camero or GMC and each had to design both its interior and exterior. Deleon chose the GMC Terrain and like all competitors was required to include new technologies, unique storage opportunities and “infotainment solutions etc. that are focused on the brand and its target customer.”
“I focused on the customer’s needs,” explained Deleon.
Deleon’s customer profile featured a 33-year-old do-it-yourself contractor, who likes to take his wife and three kids on long road trips.
“I tied the whole design around the car to that,” he said. “I gave it a rugged feel.”
Out of 200 entries, 16 competitors were chosen to move onto the competition’s second phase and then from those 16 finalists, five winners were selected to whom GM offered the internships. Deleon will go to Detroit in June.
Ever since he was a kid, Deleon has always known he wanted to design cars.
“It’s my dad who got me into it. My dad’s side of the family has a fascination with cars – I caught the bug,” he said. “This is a really big opportunity to gain experience and exposure.”
Deleon graduated from The Art School @ Marrocco three years ago. He excelled throughout high school, said art teacher Heather Corriveau.
“It’s such a proud moment for me. I taught him art for four years. He was a really talented kid,” she said. “Humber College’s Industrial Design (one of the best industrial design colleges in the country) is a tough program. He’s one of a handful of kids who I’ve taught who got into industrial design. He had a strong portfolio out of high school.”