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Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived? Where do you currently live?
I was born in Flint, MI (yes—the same Flint that has been in the news), raised in Flint, MI, and currently live in Flint, MI. I’ll eventually move to the suburbs, but have enough ties to the local area that I intend to stick around in this general area.
How would your family and friends describe you (in one word)?
Passionate. If they’re allowed a second word to describe me, it would probably be sarcastic. I love to joke around and make people laugh.
How would you describe your family?
Incredibly supportive and fun, but also competitive. I’m the youngest of 5. We’re a close-knit group having all been raised in the same cozy house in Flint. We spend the holidays together and also vacation together up at our family place in Northern Michigan every summer. We golf during the summer and play family football games at Thanksgiving or Christmas—whoever wins has bragging rights, so it gets pretty competitive. We also regularly play Halo, Call of Duty: Black Ops, or Rock Band together online.
What are the values that drive you (to succeed, in life, as a person, etc.)?
The main ones that drive me are passion for what I’m doing (either professionally or personally), compassion and kindness for others, hard work, and honesty. Spirituality is a big part of my life, too, and this absolutely influences those other values mentioned.
What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?
Back in 2013, I was looking for a new TV show to binge on and came across Orange Is The New Black. It was completely unlike anything I had watched before (or have watched since) but for whatever reason, I clicked play. By the end of the first episode, I was hooked, and it remains the one show that I will binge on as soon as a new season is released.
Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?
I’ve never done any of these, but sky diving or bungee jumping sounds fun. I actually want to do one of these two on my 30th birthday. I don’t think you’ll ever catch me shark diving, since I have a little bit of an underwater phobia.
Where would you like to go on vacation if you had a month off and money was no object?
This is such a tough choice. Earlier this year I decided to look further into my family’s ancestry, so I think I would take a vacation exploring my heritage. This would include visits to France, Austria, Scotland, Poland, and Ireland. I’d probably spend 5-7 days in each country seeing all of the most recommended attractions and also checking out the cities that my distant relatives are traced back to.
A close second would be taking a month to go to different concerts around the world for artists/bands I like. Hopefully this would mean crossing some bands off my must-see list, but at the least I’d hopefully get to take in a lot of great concerts!
What is your favorite tech tool and why?
Probably my MacBook Pro. It’s the most reliable laptop I’ve ever had—two years later and it’s still just as good as day one. I’m able to breeze through work with it and also use it to research anything I’m interested in. It’s also been a fantastic tool for learning to play Bass.
My next favorite tool would be my Pebble Time smartwatch. My Pebble allows me to quickly see and respond to notifications without being glued to my phone.
My favorite software tool would be TickTick, which is a fantastic task manager that is supported on pretty much every phone or platform imaginable. It is the one thing that helps me to stay organized.
Where is your favorite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?
If I’m up north at our family’s place, I’d go for a walk and take in the scenery or go to the beach. If I’m at home, I’ll either go golfing, stay home listening to music, or learn a new song on Bass.
What is your secret to remote-work success?
Having a good reliable laptop, fast Internet, podcasts/music to listen to, and a good schedule/routine. My pets are a great distraction as well, particularly on stressful days. Like Sean said, having a routine with remote-work is so important for success. Without it, you’re floating around aimlessly and not getting enough stuff done. It can be tough to get into a good routine, but once you do, everything goes smoothly and remote-work becomes really enjoyable.
What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?
I have a bit of a scar/discoloration on my nose from a second-degree sunburn. I was on an amazing vacation in California and visited Venice Beach for the first time in 2014. I was super excited to finally see the Pacific Ocean and to walk around on the beach. I had sunscreen in my purse. However, I’ve been insanely pale my entire life and decided to see if I could tan in the hot California sun. Big mistake. When I woke up the next morning, my entire face was so red and swollen that I could barely open my eyes and my arms/legs were badly burnt. Needless to say, the plane ride home was very uncomfortable and being stuck indoors for the next few weeks (to avoid further damage) sucked. I learned that day that I don’t tan—I burn, horribly.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
This is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. Music has had such a huge, positive influence on my life that it’s impossible for me to pick just one song. So I guess I’ll try to narrow it down to just a few songs.
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 definitely has to be mentioned. For me, it describes an eternal hunger and longing for more. I’ve experienced a lot in life and while I’m pretty happy, I still feel like there’s more out there to seek. I also feel that Bono has pretty much written the soundtrack of my life over the last 15 years. I have yet to find a song of theirs that I don't relate to on at least some level.
Likewise, “Runnin’ Down A Dream” by Tom Petty perfectly describes what my attitude has been and continues to be when I approach the unknown. I don’t know if my plans will exactly work out, but I know that there’s something good waiting down the road even if it’s not necessarily what I’m expecting.
Considering I was named after a Beatles song (thanks dad!), I have to include “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by the Beatles. My sister would dance with me to this song when I was a baby, so I suppose the song was sort of ingrained in me from an early age. As an adult, the song has taken on another meaning: bad stuff happens, good stuff happens, but life goes on regardless, so enjoy it while you still can.
Michelle started designing and building websites at age 12, and still enjoys building websites for fun in her spare time. A self-described music addict, she has been front row at many concerts (even some for artists that she does not like) and plans on attending many more concerts in the coming years.
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