When I was 2 years old, my family moved to the Netherlands, where we lived for eight years. As a kid, my parents sent me to the local Dutch elementary school, so I grew up learning and speaking Dutch. When we got back to the U.S., I went to the local Dutch Saturday school in Bethesda and continued studying Dutch until I was 15. My first job was as the school assistant there, where I taught reading and writing to the 1st graders. In addition to Dutch, I also studied German throughout secondary school and started learning Spanish on my own time this year.
I feel at my happiest when I’m on the slopes. I’ve been skiing since I was three years old, and it’s been my favorite thing to do ever since. I’ve gotten to ski here on the east coast, but also out in the Rockies and in the Alps a few times as a kid. Some of my favorite memories include the first time I got down a black diamond, as well as one ski trip where an unexpected thunder and hailstorm rolled in with only ten minutes warning. Skiing down the scenic route with low visibility, the booms of the thunder, and the vague flashes indicating lightning somewhere higher up the mountain gave me the most adrenaline I’ve ever felt. That didn’t stop me from continuing to ski, though! Eventually I’d like to move to somewhere more mountainous so I can spend my winter weekends skiing.
The first concert I attended was probably a piano recital. Music has been a big part of my life, and I spent several years playing piano and later singing in choir, so I listened to a number of fellow students perform as a kid. My first concert that wasn’t related to my own music performance was a GMU orchestral concert. In the near future, I’m hoping to see Illenium live sometime this year!
I like doing both, but usually only visit well-known spots the first day or two of a trip before finding my own way around. It also depends a lot on whether I’m travelling with friends or by myself. If I’m going somewhere with friends, we’ll usually end up seeing historical sites or taking in city nightlife, but when I’m on my own, I tend to find spots to enjoy outdoors activities like rock climbing, skiing, or going to new beaches.
I’d definitely try out being a pilot. I’ve had a love of flying and travel for as long as I can remember and considered going to pilot school for a while. There’s a certain calm that comes with flying, along with the excitement I get from travelling somewhere, and I think it would be a great way to see the world.
I knew that I would be learning a lot while at Synergy, but I didn’t realize just how extensive the training programs here would be. So far, I’ve gone from not having coded in years to being the Celerform team’s Cypress test software writer, and I’m learning Salesforce at the moment. Having a good team is the other highlight of working here. The people I work with are the friendliest, most helpful coworkers I’ve ever had, and that’s made working here feel so much more rewarding than I could have anticipated.