Posted: Aug 10, 2020
Mike, its been a while, what are you up to personally? Where are you residing now?
After a few years in Sydney, Australia I'm now living in Singapore, continuing my passion for travel and exploring the world.
Looking back, where are you from originally and at what High School did you play Lacrosse?
I'm originally from a town called Northport on Long Island and I played for Northport High School.
Your team had some great success in High School, how was that experience?
It was amazing. It was an incredibly high level of competition playing with and against some of the best players of that era in New York. Some would go on to have great lacrosse careers and would be household names for the sport now. Winning a state championship my junior year and holding the #2 national ranking for most of the year my senior year are not things many people get to experience.
What are you doing now career wise and what led you to this point?
For the past 6 years I've been working for a silicon valley software company called Medallia. I work in the professional services org and first moved to Sydney to help start our office there and subsequently have now started our presence in Asia with the team I'm building in Singapore.
What are the special challenges with your current position and what do you enjoy the most?
Professional Services at Medallia is part programming, part project management, and part customer success so it's a unique mix that I thank my time at Tech for preparing me for. Being naturally introverted, as most engineers tend to be, the biggest challenge is learning to be extroverted when the role calls for it dealing with customers in meetings and running workshops. Dealing with a wide variety of customer personalities across a number of different cultures in Asia is another very challenging aspect but has taught me an incredible amount about patience and understanding.
I know you had a personal challenge to visit every continent on the planet, how are you doing with that goal?
Still stuck at 6 out of 7 unfortunately! Checking more and more countries off the list,I'm somewhere over 50, but Antarctica is still eluding me and now being on this side of the world I think it'll have to wait a few years.
What are your top three places you have ever visited and why?
- New Zealand - The north and south island are amazing and so varied. For anyone who loves the outdoors or adventure I can't recommend it enough. Bungee jumping, skydiving, trekking up volcanoes, climbing glaciers, hiking between vineyards for wine tasting, black sand beaches, I could go on and on about all the cool stuff there.
- Japan - I've always been fascinated with their culture and now having done a lot of work there it's shown me a new perspective. The food is the best though. You can get some of the best meals you've ever had from hole in the wall noodle houses to the most famous izakayas, even from a 7-11, this sounds crazy but it's true!
- South Africa - I'm a big animal lover and there's so much to see and do around the country. I saw great white sharks on a cage dive, walked with lions, played with cheetahs, and even rode an ostrich! Though not well.
A close 4th was Egypt because of the amazing history there...I could go on forever though.
How has the Georgia Tech experience helped you in your career?
I graduated as an electrical engineer and to be honest I used very little of the core curriculum. Even my first jobs until now have focused more on some small aspects of coding but even that was largely learning as you go. What Tech really helped me with was learning how to problem solve and think in a smarter way. When you're buried with assignments, juggling personal life, plus lacrosse at school you need to mature and learn prioritization and how to work smart. No matter your major and what you decide to do after, this is an incredibly valuable skill in the real world.
How was your lacrosse experience at Tech and have any favorite memories?
It's what kept me at Tech honestly, when things got tough. There are so many incredible and hilarious memories. Also, the friends I made from the team that I still am very close today with. This is another one I could probably go on and on about. From memories on road trips, to weekend practices we maybe didn't get enough sleep for, to memorable games where nicknames were made, and even some I won't write down because we don't need a paper trail...I don't think I can pick just one. It really comes down to the people that I met during my time there that I cherish most, even today, half a world away from most of them.
Been following the team recently and if so What do you think of the current team?
I have! Being abroad it's not always easy to catch the live streams but I do catch them when I can. It's been amazing to see the talent and DEPTH on the team. We would run with maybe 20 people on the team that played consistently. The talent is really impressive but the fact that there's balance now on offense and defense is what I love seeing. The job Ken and the other coaches have done over the years can't be understated. Go Jackets!