I applied for an officer position with Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW). The position I chose was co-Director of Events, which is essentially to plan quarterly technical, social, and networking events for the group.
I went in for the interview. The position wasn't all that thrilling, but at least I'd be involved with ESW.
The two officers there told me they were very impressed with my resume and thought my talents would be better utilized elsewhere. They had just heard about a new project opportunity with excellent professional networking and long-term funding options. There is a request for proposals to design a solar-powered water delivery system for rural India. The officers said they wanted me to be the project leader. It's a project that will be exciting, challenging, and open-ended. And I could potentially go to India over the summer. I would be leading a team to submit a proposal, develop a design (if we win the funding), define the scope of the project, and lead a class in Winter and Spring quarters to get other students involved.
Step 1: submit a proposal and get funding. Step 0: make a proposal. Step ... uh... -1: figure out how the hell to design a solar-powered water delivery system.