After thinking briefly about what I should discuss in my next post, I realized an error of my ways. I was reviewing my last post about my trip to Mexico and thought, “How rude of me…telling stories without ever really introducing myself!” How should I expect anyone to care about anything I say if you really have no idea who I am? Well, now that I have identified this flaw, I plan to correct myself and take a few steps back to provide an overview that should help add some depth to my posts as I begin to share about my international experiences. I don’t want to constrain myself (or overwhelm/bore anyone), nor do I want to get too detailed, so I’ll spread my introduction out over my next couple posts to hopefully bring us up to speed. Considering we still have a little over four months before I head to Spain, I hope this will be a beneficial addition to the foundation of this blog as we move forward.
Now, without further adieu, my bio, in a nutshell: Pre-International Experience
I was born 25 years ago on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo and grew up nearby in the small town of Atascadero. I lived with my family and had what I would consider a pretty normal childhood. My parents have been married for over 30 years and I have two sisters – one older and one younger. Life in Atascadero was simple and I’m not sure anyone in my family ever imagined we would ever leave. However, when I was 13 my dad switched jobs and took a position in the Central Valley of California in Fresno, and we have lived here ever since.
When we arrived in Fresno, I was just about to start eighth grade and had no friends living within a 150-mile radius. I was petrified of this big new school, but managed to make the most of it. I came to realize that with my spare time not being consumed by friends, I actually had time to do homework! This novel idea of studying turned me from an average student into a “Straight-A” student seemingly overnight. With my new studious persona, I decided set a goal for myself to graduate from High School as a valedictorian. Five years later in 2000, I saw that goal through to fruition as I graduated one of thirteen valedictorians from my High School.
Upon graduation I had every intention of returning to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly where I envisioned a cheery reunion with friends from my childhood. Nonetheless, after receiving essentially a full-ride business scholarship from Fresno State, I decided I preferred to live rent-free with my parents while getting paid to study, rather than incur massive debt while leaving my family and new friends behind. This decision was made in part because of the money, but also because, unbeknownst to me prior to the scholarship, I came to learn the Craig School of Business at Fresno State actually has a pretty good undergrad business program with opportunities galore!
As I began my college adventure, I learned very early on that I was a lucky chap. The scholarship I had been granted, compliments of the Fresno Merchant’s Association, made me part of one of the most highly visible student organizations within the business school known as the Craig Business Scholars. The Craig Scholars work very closely with the Dean and Associate Dean and is a group driven on shaping ambassadors of the school who are highly involved in performing community service and networking with local business organizations. I saw great potential to really get involved in this group and vowed to squeeze out every ounce of opportunity I could manage over my four years at the Craig School.
Looking back, my time in college flew by so quickly, but undoubtedly shaped more of my future than I believe I will ever know. I don’t want to get too long-winded, so I think I’ll leave my pre-international experience at that and will get to the nitty-gritty of my college experience for my next post. I look forward to revealing more of myself soon, but for now, that is all.
“A friend is someone who knows all about you, but likes you anyway.” – Anonymous