"Realizing for the first time that I don't have to accept complacency, but can pursue my passions and aspirations in a career was the most incredible discovery I've made in all of my years of schooling."
How do you want to leave your impact on the world?
I want to leave the world better than I found it. From my closest family and friends, to strangers I'll never meet. From humankind to the animal kingdom. From mountains to valleys. From oceans to deserts. I want to make the most positive impact possible, and will work to whatever lengths necessary to make it happen.
What is your story? What doesn't your resume tell us about you?
I'm very extroverted, love learning, and live for social interaction. I love meeting new people and learning about them. Without social stimulation at work I lose my spark, so it's necessary that I work with people and utilize what I feel to be my greatest strength: communication. I have very broad interests, and am curious about just about everything. I'm an intuitive type, and am very interested in the theory side of things as opposed to application. This makes me feel like quite an anomaly in mechanical engineering because unlike my peers, I am far more excited about lecture than lab. I'd rather work through the Navier-Stokes equations in fluid mechanics than roll up my sleeves in a garage and turn a wrench. I love idea generation, learning new concepts, and the perfection and beauty of theoretical patterns and derivations in mathematics. I love unraveling the mystery behind how the universe works, which is what drew me to physics. I also greatly appreciate the objective nature of science. I love the collection of knowledge we've built, and the constant curious exploration and testing that brings about the perpetual revision that makes science so powerful. I love new things: new food, new languages, new landscapes, new faces, new cultures. This is why I love world travel. I'm also a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I love skydiving, cliff jumping, ziplining, heights, alpine skiing, motorcycles, rollercoasters, anything that'll get my heart rate up. This ties in to travel in that I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I also try to live the best I can by ahimsic and karmic principles. In short, I am very passionate about sustainability and environmentalism, as well as the well being of all sentient life, and have adopted a vegan lifestyle to fit my code of ethics. It feels great to actively day by day make decisions that impact my cause. Learning to overcome the feeling of accordance, and not letting what I can't do prevent me from what I can do, has given me a great shift in insight on life. It's greatly improved my empathy, my activism, and my feeling of connection to world issues. In a way it was the gateway to many more issues that I had been on the sidelines of previously. I'm a very passionate person that will work hard to make the most positive impact I can. This is why my favorite job so far has been tutoring. I love when I can help someone and the impact is as direct and obvious as it is when you help someone begin to understand something. I play guitar and love music, whether it be festivals, concerts, shows in small pubs, participating in open mic nights, jamming around a bon fire, or playing by myself for my own amusement. I love photography, and captioning the pictures I take with poems. Anything that allows my creative juices to flow is of interest to me. I'm the type of person that can handle stressful situations and will always remain poised and calm. I knew that from early on as a pitcher in baseball. I was the relief pitcher, or the closer. The coaches would put me in when the bases were loaded, and the current pitcher was behind in the count. I'd come in with the weight of the game on my shoulders and strike out the batter for the save. They knew I couldn't be rattled and was clutch under pressure. I've used this asset in many areas of life beyond baseball, and it's a great advantage to be able to avert stress and maintain focus. I'm very excited to put my skill set to work in a career field I'm passionate about!
Describe your dream job or career.
Besides being a professional travel photographer, my dream job is one with potential for significant global impact. A job that encourages my quirky personality and allows me to be stimulated and engaged in social interaction. A job working for a company that coincides with my ethics and vision of making the world a better place. A healthy work/life balance is also important. Company culture is also huge to me. I like the setup at Google. Working in an environment that optimizes creativity is ideal. I'd also love the ability to travel and meet new people if possible, perhaps in a position as a consultant or in technical sales. I'd love to work for a tech company or an engineering company with an emphasis on front of house type roles that allow me to play to my strengths and use my interpersonal skills.
Tell us about your leadership experiences.
To me, a great leader is more than a person that has all the solutions. They first must be able to show that they understand the problem. They must convince you they can relate with you. If they can't relate, they can't lead. They need to have the morale behind them and the credibility to lead. This is why I excelled as a tutor. I was able to relate as a student to fellow students. Sometimes the biggest obstacle is that the instructor has lost grip with the reality of what student's need help understanding. Being able to see all of the possible areas of confusion, and being able to communicate with the student how to step around them, requires great understanding of a perspective outside of your own. I've had a lot of brilliant professors that failed at connecting to students. It's very difficult to lead when you're not connected. With all that, I'd say my time spent tutoring the past six years has been the greatest exercise in leadership in my life thus far.
Describe a personal experience that has directly or indirectly influenced your career path.
The GREEN Program is easily the most influential experience in my career path. Nowhere before have I had my eyes opened as wide as when I was in Iceland surrounded by like-minded individuals that all shared my passion to make the world a better place. That coupled with my dream of adventure excursions in my top country of choice as a travel destination. The people I met and the relationships I forged are lifelong, which says a lot for ten days. Seeing renewable energy at work for the first time with my own eyes rather than through a computer screen or a textbook was life changing. Experiential learning is such a stark contrast to what I've been exposed to in all of my schooling, and it felt like the best slap in the face possible. It really woke me up and instilled in me a spark of excitement that is still burning in me today. Realizing for the first time that I don't have to accept complacency, but can pursue my passions and aspirations in a career was the most incredible discovery I've made in all of my years of schooling.
Is there a particular company or organization that your heart is set on working for throughout your career?
For a while it was Tesla, SpaceX, and NASA, but I'm wide open to any interesting and exciting career opportunities. As of lately, I've set my sights on a company with green initiatives, and would love to work in the realm of renewable energy. I'm particularly interested in solar, and would love to be a consultant or work in technical sales. I selected small company, but I would work for any sized company.
What is the biggest take-away and/or favorite part of your GREEN Program experience?
The biggest takeaway was the exposure to renewable energy, a field I'd love to be a part of. My favorite part was the bucketlist adventures with a group of awesome people from all over that all shared the same passion.
Tell us about your Capstone project experience and your journey, your team, the ideation and implementation.
Our capstone project was the development of an idea for harnessing the energy used daily by billions of people using mobile devices. We called it the Green Screen, and it is a piezoelectric touch screen. Our best environment for creativity required us to be comfortable. Our team brainstorming sessions were most effective over a couple of beers hanging out on couches. The ideation was a really fun time, a lot of laughing, but also a lot of traction for our capstone project. We came up with 35 ideas and then narrowed it down to 5, and were democratic and voted on the best choice. Once we had the topic picked we knew where to aim our focus and everything fell into place from there.
How will you use this experience to advance your personal goals?
I will use what I've learned regarding opportunities in careers relating to things I'm passionate about, and the networking opportunities provided, to hopefully find a career relating to sustainability and renewable energy. I really hope to capitalize on the eye opening experience I had in Iceland, and hope to carry with me the inspiration gained from my time spent on the program to fuel my pursuit of a meaningful career.
You're hosting an intimate dinner party. Select 3 figures you would invite (dead or alive, fictional or non-fictional; can't be friends or family).
Hunter S Thompson, Jim Morrison, Bill Murray