If things had gone just slightly different in my life, this post would be read on a physical therapy website instead of McKinstry’s blog.
I was born in San Carlos, CA, and was raised in Redmond, WA. I grew up playing soccer and basketball, and eventually got into lacrosse when I saw people whacking each other with sticks at a park, and my 13-year-old brain thought that that would be fun. As my bones grew and my joints became messed up, I started to rack up the injuries. I was in and out of physical therapy so much I was on a first name basis with most of the physical therapists in my area. It was not a surprise that as I went into high school, I set a course to get myself into a college where I could major in kinesiology. However, while all of this was going on, I had been feeling ill, ever since the start of 7th grade. Eventually, in 11th grade, I figured enough was enough, and took time away from school to seek medical help to figure out what was going on. During this break from school, my values started to shift. I started to think more about how I could help others rather than just myself. Instead of just working with a few specific patients, I wanted to help the largest number of people I possibly could. After doing research, and talking with engineers, I decided I could help a lot of people by contributing to the renewable energies field. I chose mechanical and manufacturing engineering as a major because it matched my goals and skill set to a tee, and I chose to attend Oregon State because it was the perfect location. Not too far from my family and home, but also not too close.
I started classes, and once I reached the classes where we started fabricating pedometers, discussing the economics behind solar panels, and building robots to complete America Ninja Warrior obstacle courses, I knew that I had chosen the right major. In order to further pursue renewable energies, I joined a solar racing car club on campus. I figured I could learn about solar energy while also honing my mechanical engineering abilities, and soft skills. It was a smaller club (~10 members), so I got the chance to get my hands dirty in every aspect of the club. Mechanical design of a brand new car, electrical work on the solar panels, manufacturing of a carbon fiber steering wheel, running the social media accounts, working with school officials on sponsorship, transporting the car to events, painting the car in a 6’x12’ trailer in June heat, running meetings, ordering pizza for meetings, etc. I absolutely loved being a part of all these very different aspects.
So, when I attended Bri’s presentation on McKinstry at OSU’s Career Fair, and she began describing the Build Design Operate and Maintain process, I was instantly hooked. I saw that McKinstry had their hands dirty in every aspect of the building life cycle, and I wanted in. Learning about all of those very different fields was a reason to join McKinstry, and another reason was that I knew I’d be joining a company that can produce a superior product because they cut out many roadblocks by doing nearly everything in house. But the final reason I have liked McKinstry as much as I do, as corny as it is to say, is the people. Bri answered all 50,000 of my questions with a smile. Rick has already given me priceless engineering and hiking advice. Joe offered me pork butt two minutes into our first phone call. And you. The person that read this blog to the last few sentences. You are part of the reason I like McKinstry. Thanks for having me at McKinstry, and I look forward to the next couple of months.