It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these chronology type posts. The last one was almost 3 years ago. Time to get back at it.
After graduating from high school, I decided to go to the University of Findlay. I had a full ride scholarship and really only considered one other school where I would have lived on campus. By going to UF, I was able to live at home and save some extra money.
I had enough in scholarships that I could actually cash out my extra money at the end of every semester and have a nice little “bonus”. UF was the easy choice. It’s where I took my post secondary classes so I knew they would be accepted into the major of my choice. By going someplace else, there was no guarantee that all the courses would be accepted, which meant that some of my time spent taking college courses in high school could be considered a waste of time in my book. That wasn’t acceptable.
In addition to that, signing up for thousands of dollars of student loan debt was incomprehensible. I didn’t want to start life off fighting an uphill battle. I was already bent towards being a money saver and preparing for retirement in addition to other big plans that having a mountain of debt would make more difficult.
I never really got involved in extracurricular activities in college. I met some new people, mostly commuters like myself that I met in the student union or in class, but I haven’t stayed in touch with them since graduating. It’s kind of sad when you think about it. Those relationships have been relegated to Facebook friend status.
I worked while in college for spending money. That certainly came in handy later on. Through a series of different job changes, I ended up cleaning the technical lab at Cooper Tire in Findlay for my girlfriend’s dad. It was because of this that I ended up getting an internship in the IT department at Cooper. The Cooper employees that worked the night shift in the lab thought I did a great job, so they made a recommendation to the right people to get me in the door.
When I went in for my interview, there were three intern positions available. They were for networking, desktop support, and software development. I figured that I would be best suited for networking or desktop support, but they had other plans. And that’s how I got started in software development. It wasn’t part of my plan, but turned out that’s where I ended up making a career and I can’t complain too much. Honestly, had I went the other routes, it wouldn’t allow me the same type of opportunities to work remotely or do side work for places several states away.
I started my internship in my third year at the university if I remember right. When they told me how much I’d be making I thought “okay”, until they told me that it wasn’t my hourly rate, but the decimal number was actually moved over 2 spots to the right and it was my weekly pay. I was shocked and excited! I have to say that landing this position at Cooper was what really accelerated my career. I got experience that a lot of other people didn’t get which made it easier to transfer to new positions in the future.
I can also say that landing this position was part of God’s plan. I left my position as an Associate Manager at MC Sports with no idea of what I was going to do next. My girlfriend’s dad was able to get me a cleaning position making the same thing I was making within a week or two of leaving MC Sports. Then within a few months, I had an intern position making more than I had ever made before. Things like that don’t just happen out of coincidence.
Besides landing a great internship, probably the most important event while in college was meeting my future wife, but that’ll have to wait for another time.