I was born an atheist. Not that my parents forced a lack of religion onto me, instead they played it laissez-faire, letting the market forces of life influence my beliefs. I have often wondered how this has affected me as a person.
As I grew, I often found myself thinking existentially, not that I remotely knew what that word meant at the time. In my mind’s eye, I would picture the world in 100 years, long after I’m gone, and imagine all the ways that I’d have changed it for the better.In elementary school, I had found my path to fame: I was going to be a Superhero. Flipping open my notebook, I began to sketch my story. I reasoned that a selfless hero would leave the greatest impact on the world, but how I would go about saving others I didn’t know. Scouring the pages of my favorite comics, I found that each hero had a moral code to drive their actions. Superman and Captain America fought for the American way, while Batman would never kill. However, it was the story of Spider-man resonated with me the most.
Nerdy Peter Parker who, by chance one day, gains amazing powers. Where at first Peter uses his powers for selfish reasons, he ultimately decides to use them for good of others. I knew someday I wanted my life’s story to be about a person who used their talents responsibly and fought for the wellbeing of others.
Several years later, I would still glance at the blank pages in my notebook and think of my superhero story, but now I’m doing so from Peter Parker’s point of view. As much as I would love to be Spider-man, perhaps the science-brained Peter Parker could do as much good for the world as the web-slinging hero. Maybe a superhero didn’t need to fly through the sky.
Maybe a superhero could be a thin, serious student. Maybe that hero could be me.Ethan the Superhero would help others in a different way than the one who swoops down to save the day. I was able to discover what I am passionate about when I was a junior in high school.
A self-admitted data geek, I took a chance to become part of the Genesys Works IT internship program. That summer, I was assigned to work at 3M in the Business Transformation group. To be honest, I was really nervous. I had never experienced the corporate world before, and wasn’t sure if my skills learned the academic setting would translate to the working environment. But as my internship went on, I learned that statistics I loved in school were major divers behind real-life business.
Almost half a year passed and I found myself at home working with and analyzing data to develop solutions.When senior year arrived and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn’t say a Superhero. Instead, I told her I wanted to become a Business Intelligence Architect.
A BI Architect helps develop business intelligence plans for organizations by analyzing large amounts of data. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. She laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what he wanted to do. I smiled, thanked her, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Superhero. So, maybe I’ll be like Peter Parker and his alter-ego, Spider-man.
I’ll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. So maybe, someday in the future, someone will read my story and be inspired to help others. My childhood self would appreciate that.