2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

Computers and Everything Technology

Steven Jewkes - Salem, OR, United States

Growing up, my interests were heavily influenced by my father's, as he taught me many things during this time. The primary thing that we both shared and loved working on was computers, starting at around 8-10 years old. It started out simple, just watching what he was doing and helping occasionally to building my own computer, which instilled in me a love of computers and everything technology. I also had other interests, including music, mechanics, and biology, and all of those were options and still are, but at the root of all of those was technology. Even after he passed 4 years ago, I've continued with this passion for technology and wanting to do something with it, so in 2015 I finally decided to stop bouncing from job to job that had no real interest for me, and I started at Chemeketa Community College as a Computer and Information Systems major. This gave me a solid basis for many other paths in the technology field, as it covers hardware, software, coding, and networks, and let me explore all these sub-fields to solidify what really interested me, which has always been hardware.

I have plans to continue after getting my Associate's to a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering, which also gives me a solid foundation for the many routes that could be taken including Systems Administration, Cybersecurity, and Computer Forensics. I have the technology base in every major I consider, even tying it into other fields of interest, such as Computational Biology. So, I haven't entirely chosen a career path, because there are so many available with this field, but I have certainly solidified my major choices for all of them. My father was attending Oregon State University for a Bachelor's in Computer Science, and graduated from Chemeketa with a Computer Science Associate's, so I really want to follow in these footsteps and be the first in my immediate family to obtain a Bachelor's and above, as there are several Masters, MBA, and PhD routes that are possible to take once I solidify which direction I want to go.

I've taken career aptitude tests time and time again, and every time they've come back with several of the fields being technology related, some involving biology or the outdoors, but always having technology in the mix. This has really solidified that I'm meant to be in the technology field in some way, and it's just going to take some time and some experience in the various fields to really determine which one I want to set a career in. Thankfully, there are internships, temporary jobs, and courses at the various universities I've considered that allows me to explore the huge number of fields available without setting roots in any of them or having to bounce from job to job, like I was before I started college. The scholarships I've received so far have helped me pursue my dreams, and this one would certainly enhance my capabilities for exploring these options and making my family proud by graduating and continuing on in my education.