a guest Mar 20th, 2019 76 Never
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- Thanks again for reaching out. First off, I'd say there are a lot of great opportunities in tech for someone with a strong mathematical background and a hunger to learn. And tech as an industry offers a lot of rewarding work and strong job security. So it's a great place to start your career.
- As for my story, it's extremely meandering. I would say I've made a career of repeatedly reinventing myself and following my passions.
- My undergrad back (in Australia) was in physics and maths, like yours, with focus on quantum, geometry, dynamical systems and analysis. But after my honors year I was burned out and questioning whether I really wanted to do research, which is basically what I'd been groomed for my whole life.
- So -- and I wouldn't necessarily recommend this because it put my current career into "hard mode" -- I dropped the idea of having a normal job and dedicated the next three years to rock climbing and mountaineering. I worked in a climbing shop, lead the mountaineering discipline at the university outdoors club, trained like a fiend, and climbed constantly, in Australia, Europe and New Zealand. One especially heavy year I spent about 7 months camping at crags, and another two in mountain huts. This was my first real self-driven transformation, because prior to my honors year, when I discovered and fell in love with climbing, I wasn't even especially outdoorsy or sporty. Quite the opposite in fact. Like I said, I wouldn't necessary recommend this as a career move, but I did learn a ton and shape my personality in ways related to self-reliance, drive, focus, risk tolerance, stoicism and tenacity, which have probably been implicitly useful in everything since then.
- Anyway, when I finally decided to get a real job, I decided that that was being a photographer. So I started an advanced diploma in commercial photography and put up my services as a freelancer. Like before, I learned like a maniac and pretty soon was doing okay financially from portraiture, weddings, sport and commercial photography and video production work. Being self-employed was a new suite of challenges, and it was an amazing way to learn a lot of new skills. But the best parts were meeting amazing people from all walks of life -- like one day when I hung out with an Olympian, a member of parliament, and a heavy metal band -- and accidentally starting out on the road to tech.
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