After seven years of undergraduate studies, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for a San Jose State Student who has tried seven majors and one career before deciding that a bachelors degree will serve him best. His journey began after high school graduation. He went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles to study communications. After being down there for a very short amount of time, he decided that film would be a better avenue for him to take. He switched majors and found himself in a very prestigious film school surrounded by talented individuals. Several projects later, he was offered a spot in the exclusive animation major, so again he switched. After spending nearly two years animating, he was burnt out. The tedious work came naturally to him, but he was sacrificing his sanity and his health to keep up with the demanding projects. Michael always had a passion for the culinary arts and would cook for himself and his friends as a release after spending long hours in front of a computer screen. It seemed a natural pivot to take his hobby and turn it into a career. He left animation school and moved back to his native Northern California. Landing a job at a catering company as a pastry chef in the early mornings, running lunch deliveries and cooking at functions in the evenings, he found himself putting in long hours, but active and happy. He leveraged this job into several more and ultimately landed in the V.I.P. kitchen at Shoreline Amphitheater. This was a dream job for him, cooking for high rollers and musical artists. When the summer concert series ended in the fall, he found himself burnt out again from the demanding 90 hour work week schedule and decided to return to his studies. He enrolled at West Valley Community College in Saratoga with the intention of studying biology. He did this as he finished up the rest of his general education requirements. One semester he decided to take an advertising class, and was bit by the ad bug. Finding advertising a perfect fit for his many talents and interests, he enrolled at San Jose State University’s school of Journalism and Mass Communications majoring in Advertising. He will graduate in the Spring of 2014.
What has kept him sane through all of this turmoil? He paints. He paints a lot. His favorite media are spray paint and acrylics. He also maintains a blog, which contains his paintings as well as many writing and video samples. His blog can be found at mbcomn.com.
Michael maintains the attitude that education and work experience are both important, with experience barely edging out education. When applying for work in the real world, employers want to see experience. An old chef once told him, “Don’t waste your money going to culinary school, you will find yourself $100,000 in debt with no real experience and no job. What you need to do is get in the kitchen and cook. Learn to work with others, and be a leader, this is the best education that you can get.” Michael is still “in the kitchen and cooking” but now his kitchen is a small marketing firm and he cooks up products and marketing plans.