Today I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with minors in Mathematics and Physics! Above is a picture of my family and I after the ceremony (Left to Right: Hannah [Sis], Dad, Mom, Me, Daniel [Bro], & Abraham [Bro]). My oldest sister Faith was the only sibling not present but she will be coming up next week to see my mother graduate with her Doctorate in Nursing (Go mom!) so it’ll be good to see her. It was great to have my whole family there and I really appreciate the support they give me and have given me throughout my life. Thanks everyone, I love you all very much!
Also at my graduation was my beautiful girlfriend Meagan South (pictured above). I’m not sure where I would be without her and I was so happy she came to see me finish a chapter in my life that will launch us both into the next chapter of our life together. I also want to thank her for putting up with all my science-y ramblings I’ve had over the past few years and I hope that she doesn’t mind a few more. :) I love her with all my heart and am glad we are together!
As some of you might know, I have recently been interviewing at multiple corporations and businesses for my next big move after I receive my Bachelors degree. Well, over the past few months, I have interviewed at a few places: Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google, Facebook, NASA, & a myriad of small businesses. I passed all of my initial interviews with everyone and was even given the pleasure of being flown out to some of the bigger names like Microsoft in Seattle, WA for onsite interviews. These experiences were quite amazing but I was left wanting much more from many of them. Some didn’t want to pay me what I thought I should be paid and some of the jobs were just plain boring sounding. And some I just plain didn’t make it pass the final interviews! But there was one exception to this. One place that fit like a glove on all accounts. And that was a small business research company in Roanoke, VA named Luna Innovations. My phone interview with them went amazingly well so they flew me to Roanoke, VA to have an onsite interview. I have to say, it was one of the most comfortable situations I had ever been in. Everyone was extremely nice and professional but they were also laid back. I could tell they cared about me as person and not just me as a worker. It was great! I was mostly asked about my diverse background in many areas of science and mathematics. Only a few technical questions were asked and I took this as a good sign. I was called the next morning and offered the job!
So…I am now officially a Research Engineer at Luna Innovations in Roanoke, VA! Meagan and I are moving up there the 22nd of May and we are looking forward to it very much! We already have a townhouse that we will be living in starting June 1st and we can’t wait to move in!
Luna is a contract company for many government agencies: NSA, DoD, DoE, etc. I am not exactly sure what I will be working on yet but I will be working with the Secure Computing and Communications Group dealing with Anti-Tamper technologies in FPGA’s and other microprocessors. Lots of graph theory and applied mathematics are going to be involved so I am super excited about it! I will be able to use both my mathematical and software background in my work which is really what I wanted out of a job!
Last topic of the day… Graduate school for me and Meagan finishing her undergrad. As you might have noticed, we are planning on attending Virginia Tech. I am going to start in the fall as a Commonwealth Scholar (fancy word for people who work full time and want to take classes). I will be taking 1 class a semester for the first year to see how it goes. I am hoping to start with graduate Quantum Mechanics in the fall and finish the sequence in the Spring. I am very excited about taking graduate physics classes and can’t wait to start! I am still in debate if I want to obtain my Masters of Science in Physics or Mathematics as of yet. Right now it is Physics but it could change. I also still want to pursue my love of quantum computing because I ultimately want to pursue that as my PhD specialization but I am unsure yet of the interest at VaTech. Hopefully it will be strong! As for Meagan, she will have to wait a year before she gets in-state status for her transfer. Hopefully that process will work in her favor and she can finish up her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology as a Hokie! Until then, she will be taking online classes at Austin Peay, my recent Alma Mater.
Well, I think that is it for now. I am extremely excited about the next step in my life and I can’t wait for it to start! I have 2 weeks before my first day of work and I’m already itching to start working!