Finished the first quarter of my MBA at Simon Business School! 5 more quarters left!
Haven't announced this yet, but I'll be headed to Amazon this summer in Seattle as a Senior Product Manager intern! Shout out to my support system Adrian Finch for encouraging me to go back to school and then dealing with the fallout of my crazy schedule. Also thanks to all the family and friends for letting me vent and supporting me as well!
Here's a quick recap of everything that's happened:
As I pack my bags for my upcoming global immersion in South Africa with Simon, I'm so grateful and excited that I made the choice to go back to business school. Stay tuned for my next update about my travels and learning what it's like to do business in South Africa from 12/4 to 12/21! Can't wait to explore a new continent.
Not sure if I kept up with my plan to strike out new paths, but I am definitely looking forward to 2014.
Right now, I feel the urge to head back to Buffalo, walk down to my parent's basement, pick up my beautiful sunburst Strat and start bouncing sound waves through the air. To me, there are few things that compare to this. Well, maybe at the peak of a jam session - when everyone is right on the same groove and feeding off it, guitarist singing licks, bassist rumbling away and the drummer just dropping a great beat.
Anyways, I've been a musician since forever, and here are my weapons of choice:
This lead me to spend my mornings playing second violin in the Williamsville East/South Orchestra with Mr. Moose. He was a great teacher, inspiring, passionate and always left you with a feeling that as soon as you thought you knew something, there was some even finer detail and nuance that you could strive for. I loved all those early mornings and some late afternoons in Pit Orchestra for The Wiz.
Sometime during all of this, I realized that the opposite sex doesn't find violin as sexy as other instruments - so I picked up guitar. That, and my dad always tried to get my to learn how to play. The first song that I ever learned was Seven Nation Army on bass, leading me to The White Stripes, to Nirvana, to Pearl Jam, to Metallica to Clapton, to Led Zeppelin, to Zak Wylde, landing somewhere between Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and John Mayer (Yeah, that guy can play the hell out of a guitar!).
Currently, I stick to playing guitar in my small studio apartment, waiting for the chance to get my hands on a drum kit or bass along with a group that can play any and all of them.
“If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”
This is my motivation for the year. I can't wait to strike new ground.
Concerts in a small venue.
More community as you smell the sweat and feel the energy.
No one is sitting.
No wasted space.
Feel the energy.
I think it was the West Coast feel. Compared to where I was from, everyone seemed relatively laid back. I spent the summer of 2011 interning for a software company and living in the Mission district (with a quick stint in Berkeley!). Looking back, I regret all of the nights that I stayed in my apartment thinking about myself, or browsing the internet.
I just want to live. Here is me looking back, I'm feeling a little bit nostalgic after watching Five-Year Engagement as I sit here in Boston.
People. Ambitious would be a good way to describe everyone that I met out in SF. Techy would be another cool word. However, it's hard to put a feel on it. I felt like I was surrounded by people that I was one beer away from following my dreams and starting a company. I really loved that. I also loved how people (for the most part) didn't really care who you were, who you liked, how you dressed, etc. Made me feel welcome and made me want to be accepting and welcoming.
Working. It is more about just showing up with a suit and a smile on, putting in your 8 hours and clocking out. It was hard for me to adjust to this, even as a college student with no schedule. We are taught that you go to school to get a job to clock in that 9-5. Totally different here. I remember the first day of my internship seeing another intern with just a t-shirt and jeans wondering how he was able to pull that off as I sweated through my suit. I began to realize that it's not about when you show up, it's about what you're really doing and how do you really contribute.
This was the hardest part for me to adjust, and I believe that I could have done a better job adjusting.
Living. You are 4-5 hours from amazing sights. Wanna see mind-blowingly huge trees!? Wanna see millions of dollars worth of sports cars zig zag on the Pacific Coast Highway?! Wanna grab some awesome seafood in Monterey?!
Dining. As with any city, you get the various ethic neighborhoods with deep food culture. SF's was unique. No drunken night can be complete without a donut from an chinese-donut-pastry-whatever shop liken Bob's donuts. Mission had some stellar Mexican and I for sure as hell miss the food trucks in the downtown area for lunch. Filipino food? Yes!
Coffee. I miss the jetfuel that they served at Philz coffee. I would pay an obnoxious amount of money for a Mocha, a touch on the bitter side from Philz out in the Mission.
Drinking. So many watering holes for whatever scene you are interested in. Cannot go wrong.
Parking. This was the bane of my existence in SF. I would dread having to find a parking spot for my car within a mile of my apartment and at least somewhere near a subway station. If I could do it again, I would have found cheaper living, and maybe parked my car somewhere farther away, but accessible by public transportation. I'll never forget the time that I was about to get ready for work, heard the street sweeper from my window and realized that my car was on the wrong side of the street. I grabbed my phone, keys and wallet and headed out the door in effectively nothing. The officer was writing my ticket for my car, as I (without saying a word), got into my car and drove off. I headed to the beach area, as I realized that I hadn't been there yet. I spent the morning walking along the beach just enjoying the sea smell and early morning atmosphere. I was late for work, but enjoyed the freshness of the early morning.
Weather. After suffering through a long hard winter in Buffalo (Okay, it wasn't that bad), I was excited to have a California summer! I was definitely disappointed when I came to San Francisco and found out that summer is delayed until the traditional fall months.
All in all, I had a fantastic time out there in SF. I really hope to find myself in the Bay Area for work sometime in the near future.
This past September, I find myself living in the 4th city in 3 years. Today, I find myself in Boston's historic North End, Little Italy, a very homey neighborhood. I love being able to walk around taking in new historic sights, smelling delicious foods and hearing new accents. It's even fun to try speaking sentences as the locals do, "I need to pick up some aht for my apahtment".
So far, the people of Boston have been stellar. Every conversation that I have, from the MBTA conductor to show owners are friendly. I wasn't too sure what to expect at first. As a Buffalo sports fan, I figured that I would be hated when I mentioned my home town. Most of the people just felt pity for me, kind of frustrating.
Being in a new place definitely makes one miss the comforts of home. However, it's difficult to feel what those comforts are being one to move around so much.
I read somewhere recently that the more you travel, the more you yearn to keep traveling because of the people you meet - however the more you travel, the more people you meet and become fond of - but you're not able to keep track of it.
I wonder how long it takes to settle into a single place.
Two Year Goal:
Develop project management skills and work on a more technical mechanical engineering project. My current career path will allow me to further develop my knowledge of both Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering while allowing me to gain a broader knowledge of the business side of engineering.
5 Year Goal:
Develop my business development and technical entrepreneurship skills.
Lead a dedicated team to create and leave a meaningful positive impact on the world. Become one of the leading experts in my field of industry.
Entrepreneurship has always been a passion of mine, from selling Adirondack chairs in high school to having an eBay store to help pay for college. I have a burning desire to build and develop a business in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. This business would ideally focus on new technologies emerging in the field of renewable energy. Buffalo, NY is a great place to live, and I believe the region can become great again through various efforts to regrow the economy. I believe that there is a need for more companies that can provide highly technical jobs to recent graduates of the University at Buffalo, my Alma Matter.
Restless traveler, music lover, displaced Buffalonian. Love geeking out over cutting edge engineering technologies in aerospace & clean tech. Autodesker & ESWer