As a kid, I had a passion for creativity. This typically showed in my love for music. I was in every music extracurricular possible in high school: concert band, jazz band, marching band, chorus, select chorus, select ensemble, and musical productions. My taste in music was shaped by my father, who started taking me to concerts when I turned eleven years old. My dad took me to see bands such as Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, and Three Days Grace. Since then, I have seen 50+ concerts from artists in hard rock, punk, metalcore, and alternative rock. I've even amassed a collection of 150+ vinyl records.
While my childhood dream was always to pursue music, I also knew that I wanted to raise a family of my own. The life I've been able to have would not be possible without the support of my parents and two sisters. What they have been able to do for me is why I prioritize raising a family in my future, which is why I decided not to pursue a future in the music industry, where job security is never strong. Furthermore, I decided to pursue engineering because of my proficient knowledge in math and science and my advanced problem solving skills.
Upon graduating high school, I took my life and headed to the middle of the country where I decided to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Whenever I tell anyone I went to Nebraska for school, the typical response is a verbal "Nebraska?" with a raised eyebrow. It wasn't my first choice either, but I had little guidance when applying for colleges. I was also questioning the decision. It took me a while to warm up to midwestern life, but after four seasons with the Cornhusker Marching band, several concerts as a beatboxer for my a Cappella group, plenty of weekends studying at local Nebraska coffee shops and one excruciating long pandemic, I fell in love with Nebraska.
In the Fall of 2020, I graduated from Nebraska with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Music Technology. Leading up to graduation, I pondered how I could find a career that utilized my knowledge in both engineering and creative technology. While there were many questions to answer, one thing was clear: I was not going to find many opportunities to working the creative industry while in Nebraska. As much as I loved Nebraska, I needed to relocate and connect with the creative industry.
The pandemic really took a toll on all aspects of the creative industry, so I made a decision to continue my education while the creative industry tried to recover. In the Fall of 2021, I enrolled in the Master of Entertainment Technology program at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). They pride themselves in bringing students together from all disciplines and teaching them the collaboration skills they need to flourish in the entertainment industry. I was empowered to use skills from all corners of my upbringing in my projects. From creative problem-solving to music composition and video editing to project management, the ETC challenged me on all levels. During my time there, I was able to develop content for various technology platforms: Oculus Quest 2, HTC Vive, Microsoft Hololens, Toby Eye Tracker, Phidget Sensors, and CAVE Rooms. While I had some failed projects along the way, they now feel small in comparison to all the successful projects I got to be apart of during my time there.
Moreover, I also got the opportunity to intern with two companies with significant impacts in their respective industries. My first internship was with Rockstar Games as an Research and Development (R&D) Intern. I never expected to land a job with a Triple A Game studio, but my summer internship with them gave me a platform to test my design and rapid prototyping skills. The joy I experienced during that internship is what inspired me to look for another R&D internship, but I wanted to try another industry. In the Spring of 2023, I took a chance with the Themed Entertainment Industry and became a Technical Intern with Universal Creative in their Advance Technology Interactives (ATI) department for their R&D team. With Universal, I had the opportunity to work with so many unique technology platforms that only a themed entertainment company could offer.
As of May 2023, I have graduated from Carnegie Mellon with my Master of Entertainment Technology. My goals are to flourish as a Creative Technology Engineer. The realm of creativity is vast, and my goal is to see it all. Whether it be engineering, technology, music or video, my favorite part about all of my projects are the opportunities to network with creatives from different backgrounds and upbringings. Connecting with new people and experiencing new ways to be creative is the way I prefer to grow as an individual.
Self Portrait Video
One of my assignments at the ETC was to create a self portrait video for my visual storytelling class. I put it here because I do believe it does introduce many aspects about me in a short two and a half minute video.