Honors and Achievements
First Prize, Acton Sales Challenge
The Acton School of Business is the BootCamp of MBA programs. To teach sales, they gave us a product to sell and sent us out selling door-to-door after 3 days of sales training. They gave us an impossible product so that we’d learn how to survive hearing “no” from a lot of people. Our task? To sell a children’s dictionary containing 1000 words for $50. To remain in the program, everybody had to sell one. I sold 5 and our team sold 17.
We researched the demographics of Austin, and targeted wealthier starter-homes and master-planned communities. Rich people think less about $50. We were after new mothers and fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, anybody wealthy who needed a gift idea. On our first day we sold 5 books, and knocked on over 600 doors. Doing the math, we knew we needed to knock on 1200 more doors to get 15 books sold, and we did just that.
In the eleventh hour, 5 minutes to pencils down — I was talking to a couple in Steiner Ranch. I was explaining how the expensive book had tear-proof pages because the strong pages were sewn into the spine. I demonstrated this by holding one page and dropping the book. It tore in half dropping to the ground….and I continued, “If you’ll see here, the stitching held together, and I had to really abuse this book to rip out a page. How many would you like?” We got the check inside of 5 minutes. Read more.
The SkyDeck Story
I talked the Sears Tower into shutting down their tourist attraction for an hour, so I could make a video. 2 weeks before the deadline to apply to Acton for the Class of 2011, I got a call from the Admissions office letting me know that I needed to make a 2-minute “elevator pitch” to my future classmates, describing why I would add value to the classroom. I figured that an elevator pitch should be done in an elevator, and living in Chicago I was close the tallest freestanding structure in North America, the Sears Tower. I contacted their PR Department, and on short notice, they closed the tourist attraction for one hour so that I could take 12 trips up the elevator to perfect my video.
Want to see the video? Click Here.
In 2006, Accenture called for students in top-tier schools across the nation to submit proposals for an innovative technology solution to a business problem. I focused on the untapped resource of idle computers to build a flexible compute-power grid. Today this technology powers practical applications include Bitcoin Mining, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and Protein Folding.
I lived in Champaign, IL from 4th to 7th grade, and each year we would attend the University of Illinois Engineering Open House. I loved the projects and drank in the learning from the college students’ presentations. When I started my college career in 2005 I was determined to make a splash in my first year.
Over dinner, I pulled together a few students staying at the same dorm and convinced them to do a project with me. I raised $4,000 for materials, pizza, and red bull. We built the largest ever EOH project run by an all freshman team. We were the main event in the Siebel Center for Computer Science for two days.
Our project was based on the concept of Remote Warfare, like the drones you see in the news destroying terrorist targets. We used a gaming engine developed by Eric Iverson, and created a wireless control system so that actions taken in the game resulted in tanks making real movements on the demonstration floor. We used computer mouses to provide feedback on where the tanks were on the map, and what direction the lasers were pointing for “firing.”
The whole system took three teams: virtual interface, hardware implementation, wireless control system. We even made our own batteries, and our own circuit boards, and did our own soldering.
After months of research, design, all-nighters, and construction. IT WORKED.
Later, we were interviewed for an article published in Ingenuity Magazine (Download PDF).
- Subsplash “Animal” Award for Job Performance (2016)
- 1st Place, Acton Sales Challenge, (2011)
- Acton Fellowship Award (2011)
- Talking my way into the Sears Tower Elevator (2009)
- 1st Place, Accenture Business and Technology Innovation Challenge (2006)
- Featured in Ingenuity Magazine / UIUC Engineering Open House, (2006)
- Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America (2003)
- Completed the 2011 Austin Half Marathon
- Completed the 2010 Missoula Marathon
- Completed the 2003 Allentown Half Marathon
- 1st Place, 2003 Kanakuk Pentathlon