Starting with elementary school band, and evolving through choir, theater, and high school band, my passion for music has developed with me my entire life.
I grew up playing video games, and I always remember being so drawn to the soundtracks of games, often forgoing the game to instead become enveloped in the sound. Whether it was the various 8-bit melodies of Nintendo games, or the composed arrangements found in some PC RPG games, I loved it. This drew me to band when I was in elementary school where I auditioned for the clarinet. It took me multiple years to find my niche, but when I decided to take drum lessons in 7th grade, I knew I found my “thing”. In high school, I joined the pep band and played drums in jazz band. As my skills slowly developed, my instructor began recommending that I participate in the school talent show. Unsure of what to perform, I decided to learn the piano and I sang/played an arrangement I assembled of various pieces from one of my favorite animated series: Rick and Morty. My performance grabbed the choir teacher’s attention and he quickly reached out to me after the competition. A year from then I saw myself as the men’s choir president and the drama music coordinator.
Around this time, I got into music production and began making YouTube videos. As a one-man crew I was responsible for the filming, editing, and in some cases making original music. It started out as instrumentals and evolved into singing more and producing for some of my friends. During this time, I became adept at a multitude of editing programs, such as Hitfilm, Logic ProX, Audacity, and FL Studio. This is what I love about the work we do at PK Electrical; learning programs such as Revit, AutoCAD, and Visual have become fun challenges for me that remind me of teaching myself how to edit audio and film.
Growing up in rural California, I was exposed to the construction industry from an early age. My hometown is very farm/construction based and the surrounding area followed that trend as well. My dad is a certified state inspector, and my mom is a teacher. As COVID hit during the end of my senior year in high school, I began working for a construction company 30-minutes from my house. Working two jobs and finishing my senior year, my priorities became misaligned, and I failed to prepare for my calculus AP exam. I barely made it back in time from work for my scheduled test. My future became increasingly blurrier and working construction made me miserable, the people were nice, but I hated the work. I couldn’t imagine doing that for the rest of my life and I became determined to finish college and find a career I loved.
When the time came to decide what I wanted to do with my life, the question every high school senior faces, I was still stuck on the idea that I wanted to do something with music. I saw electrical engineering as the balance between making an income and being able to do what I love, but overall felt my music dreams slipping out of my hands. I knew I would be relatively good at school if I kept my focus, wanted to earn a livable wage, and recognized my driving passion for music. I made my decisions solely based off those facts. I worked in construction for two years in between my studies before landing my first internship in my sophomore year. Every internship I have had up until this time has helped me narrow down what I do and don’t want from a job. Flexibility with working hours, a staff dedicated to excellence, a passion for what I do, etc. It’s interesting to think about now, as reading Unlocking Your Brilliance by my now-employer Karen Purcell, PE made me feel seen knowing others struggled with a lack of educational awareness about the wide variety of career paths available.
I have been involved with multiple projects so far here at PK Electrical and one thing that I am particularly proud of is my involvement in using Excel to efficiently organize information. We use a program called Visual for lighting calculations, and I was tasked with formatting the footcandle statistics into a “nice table”. However, the .txt file that the data was output in was very jumbled and had the information skewed left and right and stacked vertically. I used a nested Excel formula to translate the imported data, offsetting every 6 rows starting at a referenced cell, and updating the case of the room names. I felt proud of this because rather than doing it all by hand I was able to automate the process after a bit of research online. I was drawn to this task due to my involvement with music. When producing, there are often moments when I need to know how to sidechain the main vocal bus to pass the instrumental behind each vocal peak or what I should set the ratio and threshold levels at to bypass the “s” sounds in a vocal. I ended up spending a bit of time researching online how best to go about this and I saw a similar pattern when I was trying to figure out my solution in Excel. This process of problem solving is one of the reasons why I am glad I chose engineering, and I am fortunate that at PK Electrical I have been given the freedom to apply my logic and reasoning skills to projects within the company.
I am not sure where my career will lead; there are endless career path options with electrical engineering. I want to understand them all before I make a decision, however, I have appreciated how my internship opportunity at PK has shown me the consulting and design side of the construction industry. Whether I decide to stay and work at PK or I choose another industry to discover, I will always remember how inclusive, educational, and knowledgeable the PK staff has been in facilitating my growth as an employee, student, and individual.