While my hope is to eventually be able to support myself through climbing and motivational speaking/coaching type of pursuits, in the mean time, I have to find ways to house myself, pay for cool trips, and eat nice meals.
Fortunately, I spend a large chunk of my day with a bunch of really smart, engaged and collegial co-workers, doing energy economics consulting work at this company in Cambridge, MA. While I am not saving the world in one fell swoop (or as one old work colleague used to say “one swell foop”), I like to think I am doing slightly meaningful work that makes an impact on informing environmental and climate policy and regulations.
My career path has been highly unconventional. I was always pretty decent at quite a few academic subjects, but I don’t think I was preternaturally gifted at any one thing. I flailed about in university initially, trying different things in an attempt to find my calling. At the start of my 3rd year, I became quite enamored with heat-transfer (as one does), and proceeded to take many graduate-level courses in the topic, particularly heat-transfer on the micro-scale. My graduate school research was focused on heat and water-management on the cathode side of a PEM fuel-cell.
For various reasons, I dropped out of that PhD program. I have mixed feelings about that decision. I did some consulting work, travelled a lot (months in Australia, New Zealand, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, etc.), before arriving at Google, Inc. My work there was focused on siting Google’s datacenters and procuring energy for them/their servers. The work brought be to South America and all over the West/Southwest and Rockies in the U.S. But, my heart lay in all my non-work pursuits, namely climbing and skiing.
I was working at Google when my accident happened. The company was extremely supportive during this period of my life. I am fortunate in that I did not have to worry about losing my job while I had to take off so much time to recover.
For reasons I give in my My Story – Not So Brief page, I decided to quit my job, volunteer in Guatemala for a bit and learn some Spanish, before embarking on a pre-med program at Harvard University. Along the way, I decided that med school was not the path for me; subsequently, I devoted myself to climbing training for 2014 Paraclimbing Nationals and the 2014 IFSC World Paraclimbing Championships. Upon my return from Spain, I approached my current employer, because of their strong reputation for energy/electricity consulting work for various public and private entities.
Here is my official photo for work. You guys can all crack up now.