Hello again, it's still Jacob. Here's my story:
To write an autobiography about oneself and then to publish it on their own website... sounds a little bit weird doesn't it. Well on the surface, I would agree, but that reason that I choose to do this, is because I think it would be cool to have a hard copy "log" one could say of my professional achievements. This is in part because I think a resume is an extremely reductionist evaluation of an individual, but also, because I thought it would be cool to document my professional story - where I've come from, where I am, and where I'm going.
As you will find, I have a lot of interests, and I am very passionate about almost everything that I do. From my personal projects, school projects, schooling, faith life, athletics, and most importantly, my relationships with others, I may not be perfect in any of them, but lacking passion is never where I fall short. I have a firm belief, that if you're not going to be passionate about doing something, then why are you doing it? Now obviously there are exceptions to this rule, especially when authority, responsibility, or duty is involved, but in terms of how I prefer to spend my free time, I almost always exercise extreme passion.
Interestingly, I find that the heart of someone's values is often a blanket of what they do, how they work, and who they are, and one of the values that I hold very dear, is innovation. Almost all of my projects have some sort of innovation in itself, and if not, they most likely are a way for me to learn the skills that I want to learn so that I can innovate. I will not hide it, I find that my life's purpose lays at the feet of innovation; whether it be innovation for the sake of being something amusing, useful, or in fact helpful, innovation is the foundation of my thoughts, ideas, and executions.
So far, this hasn't really been much of my life story, but more so a soliloquy, so forgive me. Let me get to the beef and gravy of this text, being who I am and how I got here.
I was born some 20 years ago, (October 30th, 1999) and as a kid, I was so fortunate to be blessed with some of the best parents ever. My parents played a more than fundamental role in my development, and I owe them the world. They ensured exposure to learning as soon as possible, and my childhood was filled with days to the Detroit Science Center, Henry Ford museum, DIA, etc. All of our fun pastimes focused on learning, and as a result, I not only thrived in my studies from a young age, but I also valued my education and my personal achievement – I truly wanted to learn.
Fast forward to high school, and this attitude towards school continued. I loved learning, and when school got easy, my mood didn't get better, but worse. This led to my decision to peruse the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Farmington Hills Harrison High School, and to this day, I think that that was one of the best decisions of my life. Through the program, I was exposed to the most wonderful teachers and peers, but most importantly, this program changed the way I thought about the world. I began to understand that the world wasn't always cupcakes and rainbows, nor black and white. Hard work doesn't always pay off, life isn't fair, and unfortunately, there are many injustices in the world. The program, above the technical curriculum, which by the way they teach extremely well, opened my eyes to the human side of the world, and showed me the importance of trying to fix the worlds shortcomings. This change in perspective is crucial to who I am today.
I pay a lot of who I am today due to my experiences in high school. High school introduced me to Spanish, a huge part of my life today, and during my high school years, I enjoyed being a part of my school's soccer team, film crew, cross-country team, track and field team, band, and even theater program. Soccer was probably my most defining experience, however, as I was a captain for two years, and extremely involved – soccer was my first love. Most of the life lessons that I learned in high school happened either on the soccer field, in the gym training, or amongst teammates socializing and leading. It defiantly helped that the team's coach happened to be both my philosophy and psychology teacher, however, and today, I am happy to say that he is an extremely good friend. Anyways, I loved soccer, and one of my most notable experiences was in fact when I couldn't play due to a broken fibula and torn ACL my junior year. I was devastated, and this could have easily been one of the darker periods of my life, and in many ways it was, but rather than sulking in my sorrows, I made a promise to myself to come back stronger, and I am extremely proud to say that that is exactly what I did. The following year, I captained my team to a League Championship, District Championship, Regional Championship, and a State Semifinal playoff appearance, the farthest any team has ever made it in the state tournament in my schools' history. To this day, this is one of my proudest moments, especially knowing all of the hard work that I put in. I laugh to think that at the start of my senior year, to win the District Championship even seemed like such a distant goal.
Following my torn ACL, since I couldn't do anything athletic, I decided to try out for the school musical and put myself way out of my comfort zone. I will not lie - my audition went horribly and my junior year I ended up with an extra role. It was a great experience though and gave me something to do while I was sidelined from sports. The following year, my school was doing the musical Hairspray, and long story short, I was offered the role of Tracey Turnblad's mom, a prominent character in the musical. I accepted the part, and that too, turned out to be one of the best, most rewarding, times of my life, but also one that made me step outside of my comfort zone and become comfortable with myself.
During High Schools, once college application time came around, I applied to two schools, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Despite strong test scores and a perfect GPA, I got rejected from Michigan, but it was probably for the best, as I owe much of my academics and passion for computers to the friends that I made from MSU, the opportunities it has given me, as well as the things that I have learned thus far. To think that I still have two most years of learning, creating, and collaborating to go brings me great joy!
Now here's the big question, why did I choose to study electrical engineering. Well, to be honest, I liked physics in high school, specifically the electricity and circuits unit, and I was pretty good at math, so I figured why not give it a try. Despite not having the strongest case for the degrees, I find that it was fate, as I have fallen in love with the learning and what I am learning. I am fascinated by the interworking's of computers, how hardware and a bunch of zeros and ones are the foundation of our cellphones, computers, cars, etc. blows my mind, and I am determined to understand this process as fluidly as possible! The whole process fascinates me, from the coding to the hardware, and this curiosity drives my growth!
A fun fact, however, is that despite my interest in computers, I am still rather new to the software game. I had my first exposure the spring semester of my sophomore year as a learned programming in C. I found that I had a "knack" for it, and that class not only sparked my interest, but also lead to my work for GENISAMA, a company in which I owe much thanks to for nurturing my professional growth, under the guidance of Juyang Weng, a computer science professor at MSU. This work introduced me to Android programming, web development, as well as the pains and struggles of running a business, dealing with customers, shipping, packaging, and manufacturing, not to mention the daily HR struggles of business and the working life, such as maintaining communication amongst employees and a culture of positivity and hard work. I am also thankful for the flexibility that was provided to me with that job, not in terms of hours, rather in terms of ideas. When ideas are encourages, heard, valued, considered, and if good, executed on, I found that the company does better, and this is something that I hope to find in all of my future work.
Another notable thing that I feel that I have to mention before I wrap things up here is my recent study abroad to Valencia, Spain. Although the coronavirus cut this experience a bit short, during my time there, I was fortunate to have learned so much about the world. This provided me an opportunity to learn specifically about Spanish culture, practice my Spanish, and build worldly relationships, as well focus my hopes, dreams, dreams, and desires of the future in an environment away from home. This experience has shown me that the world is a pretty big space, and I hope to one day live abroad at least for a short time more for work or study. The world is pretty big space, but it's a space I most definitely wouldn't mind getting to know just a bit better!
Well, there you have it. That's my story, or the best that I can recall it while making this website. In the future, I hope to continue my personal growth and work while never compromising the values that I hold so true to my heart: passion, innovation, and although this is the first time I am saying it, love for the world, life, and people. What the future holds, it is rather uncertain, but I embrace the future with open arms and can't wait to continue the story that is my life!