My Maker Journey
Our life experiences shape both who we are and the path we take. Chances are from each major life experience there is a lesson to be learned. My life has been a wild roller coaster for sure! I’d like to share a few chapters of my life and the lessons I learned along the way. For a summary of my maker journey you can also check out the interactive version or the picture below.
Chapter 1 – Growing
Just like Curious George my childhood was full of adventures. For those unfamiliar with this children’s book, Curious George is about a monkey who spends his days exploring every nook and cranny of his city. Lucky for me my parents also gave me ample freedom. What intrigued me the most was nature and technology. In the summer we often went to the Catskills, where I got to roam the raw wilderness. During my free time I also spent hours dissecting all kinds of electronics, gadgets, and appliances. My dream was to be an inventor. What I learned:
Be curious & explore freely…the world is full of wonders to discover!
Chapter 2 – Learning
Looking for a major to study I was caught by surprise; there was no degree in inventing! Following my obsession with technology it landed me at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where I got a degree in electrical engineering. What was truly unforgettable about this experience was the passion of my professors, being surrounded by such a diverse crowd of intellects, and having the chance to do so many real-world projects. The biggest project was doing a feasibility study of rooftop wind turbines in Boston. As my final project we built a prototype dual axis solar tracker. From this I learned:
Working together and harnessing the power of technology can solve many problems.
Chapter 3 – Exploring
It was finally time to enter the ‘real world’. Returning to Switzerland I got an internship at ABB in the power devices research division. Here I learned everything about 3D modeling and computer simulation. Especially exciting was the traveling the world in my free time. At the completion of my internship I started a masters at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH). Also, I continued with Toastmasters, an international public speaking club, which I had started at WPI. At this point in my life it dawned on me…something was missing…yet I wasn’t sure what. I did learned the following:
Mastering communication is a key skill to supporting our globally connected world
Chapter 4 – Inspiring
Taking a leap of faith, I moved to Barcelona in hopes of finding the missing puzzle piece to life. The magical charm of Barcelona rekindled my creativity. My head was again bubbling with ideas, which sparked my personal blog: Society Ω. A few months later I decided to take a stab at giving private English lessons. Although it was a new subject for me, my experience as a math/science tutor and camp counselor helped. Likely the biggest source of inspiration came from all the great events Barcelona’s startup scene has to offer. Through this I met my business mentor, Patricia, who helped me hone my focus. A few months ago I had a riveting chat with Cecilia, the founder of Makers of Barcelona. This confirmed that a makerspace is the right home for modern day inventors! Likely the biggest lessons learned:
Our true potential shines when we let our creativity flow and are open to learn
It’s my sincere belief that we all have some purpose in life. Most of us have the choice whether we choose our own purpose or let society choose it for us. Even if the first choice takes more time and effort in the long run its likely far more fulfilling. How about taking a day to reflect on your own journey and what your purpose is.