This blog post is part of the “Blog it Forward” movement that has been started on the SCN. Mark Marcus and Jacob Schur have included me as part of this, so now it is my job to carry it forward. I’ll be doing my best Haley Joel Osment impersonation, so let’s see how far this blogging movement can reach!
Currently I live in Scottsdale, AZ and work as a Solution Engineer for SAP. My focus is with the BusinessObjects Business Intelligence suite. I really enjoy working with BI and see the real value behind it. I grew up on the east coast, in Pennsylvania, and was a mix between a total nerd and athlete. My sport of choice growing up was tennis, which I played starting in the second grade and followed it all the way to coaching at a collegiate level. My first exposure to using numbers and statistics as a helpful tool in decision making was in high school tennis. Our matches were always “charted,” meaning that our stats were kept track of; things like how many unforced errors we had, winners, forehands/backhands missed, etc. I always knew my style of play was more aggressive, but when I disputed to my coach that I didn’t make THAT many unforced errors during a match, he brought out the match chart to prove to me just how many foehands I missed. I still remember his quote of “you are the smartest kid I know to not use your brain on a tennis court.” That stuck with me because it made me realize how important it is to use the information available to you to help make decisions.
So now as part of this Blog it Forward campaign, I’ll take a stab at answering the questions that were asked of me:
What was your dream job as a kid?
My dream job as a kid was pretty typical for a boy growing up playing sports; I wanted to be a professional athlete. Most of my childhood it centered around playing professional tennis. I always dreamed of living that lifestyle of traveling to awesome cities around the globe and getting to play the game I loved everyday. Specifically I dreamed of playing Wimbledon. Although I never played Wimbledon, I did have the opportunity to play a couple matches in college on the US Open courts in Flushing Meadows, New York. It was a very fun feeling playing against teams like Harvard and Penn State on those courts, knowing the pro tennis players that had also played on that same court.
What is your favorite place in the world?
This is a tough question to answer. I’m going to have to go with St. John in the US Virgin Islands. I have a cousin that used to live there, so I had the lucky ability to go and visit him and his wife and have a place to stay for free, as well as have access to all the local knowledge of the best spots to visit. About 15 years ago my full extended family went on a vacation to the Virgin Islands and chartered a catamaran for two weeks that we lived on and sailed around to all the different islands. To date, this is the best vacation I’ve ever had and would recommend it to anyone who loves being on the water and exploring different places. Plus it’s hard to beat waking up in the morning, coming out of your cabin and being surrounded by crystal clear Caribbean water!
What was the most fun project you ever participated in and why?
Two years ago, three friends and I embarked on a project that we called “Bike Towards the Cure.” What started as an idea turned into us forming an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 charity with the purpose of raising money for cancer research. The process of working with my friends about a cause we all were passionate about, and actually fulfilling our goal was incredibly rewarding. Just 8 months after we had the idea, we had raised $20,000 to donate to cancer research institutes. The main fundraiser was a two month undertaking of my friend, Jon Triantafyllou, and myself cycling from San Diego, CA to Sea Isle City, NJ; a total of 4,100 miles. The trip was the best summer of my life (it certainly forced me into the best physical shape of my life) and at the same time we were able to help make a difference for those affected by cancer. The picture below is of Jon and I in Texas during our ride.
In keeping the BIF going, I am asking the following questions:
- What was your dream job as a kid?
- What is your favorite place in the world?
- What was the most fun project you ever participated in and why?
- If you had a “bucket list,” what would be your top 3 items on the list?