27th Birthday

iPhone blog post #2

Well, in a couple of hours I’ll be 27 years old. Since my 21st birthday, I haven’t really make a big deal of my bday, and really haven’t been home to celebrate it most years.

Nowadays, I find that I am more reflective on things (side effect of getting older!). What is important to me is being with friends and the people I love, and that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow for my bday. Not a huge event in the grand scheme of things, but I know I’ll have a great time. 😀

If you want to join us and are in the area, just text/call me and I will hook you up with the info.

Fun fact: I share my birthday with Christian artist Aaron Shust.

Going back to School… Degrees #3 & 4!

Well, as I discussed in my first post, I recently started attending school again to get my M.S. in Management, with a concentration in Technology Management.  My goal after that is to continue and get the MBA.  I estimate the whole process to take about 3 years. 🙂  To put things in perspective though, I think we need to go back to my MIT days.

Grad School 2004-2007

As some of you know, I initially applied and was accept to MIT for the Doctoral program.  After suffering through quals and my thesis proposal, I was noticing that this really wasn’t a path that I wanted to be going down.  I much preferred the work I did in undergrad and my internships as opposed to the research lifestyle, so I decided to forgo the PhD and instead switch to M.S. CEP (Masters of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice).  Looking back now over 3.5 years later, I 100% believe I made the right decision.  However, I do not regret at all attending MIT.  In fact, the experiences there made me a much more well rounded individual, both socially and technically.  It was the first time I had lived away from home, and I was able to experience that for 3 years (I even learned how to cook :P).  In addition, the method of approaching situations was different at MIT than NJIT, and at the end I was able to draw on both experiences to tackle problems.

Another benefit of the M.S. CEP was the experience of a lifetime of Practice School.  I won’t bore you with all the details (click here if interested), but it allowed me to travel with other students for 4 months, two in Minnesota, and 2 in London (Fall-Winter 2006).  It was my first real experience of completing a project in an industrial setting in a small amount of time, and even though some weeks were crazy (70-80hours), I enjoyed it.  You can find some pictures of London here (then scroll down to the London/Cambridge pics).

The Call Back to School

So, suffice to say, after graduating and then starting at Picatinny, I wasn’t exactly looking to go back to school right away, haha.  After a year of working (which I must say I love my job), I felt like I wanted to go back to school.  Call me a nerd/geek (I know I am, you won’t be insulting me :D), but I always liked school, and it is something I excel in.  After looking at different programs closeby, talking to my mentor, supervisor, etc., I decided to chose Stevens and do it online.  This was a brand new experience for me, and I was a little leery of how the setup would be.  I really liked the curriculum and how it focused on managing technical people (who by the way, are completely different than other professions), I thought this would be a good fit for where I aspire to be in the future.

Today

So, now 2 months in, I have to admit I really do enjoy the classes.   Right now, I am taking Managerial Accounting, which is pretty basic and not too difficult for someone with an Engineering background, and Introduction to Project Management.  The best part is being able to read and interact with other professionals, all in different organizations and companies.  It allows you to compare and see what things your group does well, and what it needs to improve and/or incorporate to stay on the competitive edge.  So, even though I initially had misgivings, I really enjoy the online format.

Sure, you might hear me complain about the homework, lack of time, etc. (a good friend once said that “Anyone notice that the word “studying” is derived from a mix of “student” and “dying””, which has a lot of truth to it) but just to be back in school and in learning mood again is fun. 🙂

How Jessica and I Met

Ok, the long awaited post!  Ever since I mentioned in my first post that I would tell the story about how Jessica and I met, a couple of people have asked me when is it coming.  So here you go 🙂

Jess and I at Governor's Island

Jess and I at Governor's Island

Initial Setup

Back near the end of 2008, I had been wanting to get on an online dating site to meet someone.  I was extremely busy with work at the time with traveling to very exotic places (i.e. Kentucky and Arkansas), but when Christmas break arrived, I decided to sit down and write a profile.  My brother Eddie had met his current wife Patricia met online at Match.com.  Inspired, (and they also nagged on me to get on a dating site :P) I wanted to follow a similar approach, but instead try a dating site specifically for Christians.  After doing some web research, I chose Christian Cafe, and filling out the profile (which took like a week to think of good answers!), I posted it sometime near the end of February/early March.

First Contact

Actually, this category goes to Jessica. 🙂  Waayyy back on April 8, 2009, she made the first move and sent me an e-mail through the site.  I unfortunately was busy with work and church with final practices for Easter, that I didn’t see the e-mail until 5 days later.  I know, I know, that was bad on my part, but she fortunately still replied to my apologetic, if late, reply.  Whew 🙂

We then spent the next two weeks reading and writing some of the longest e-mails ever.  We talked about lots of things (where are we from, family, work, church, etc.).  After that, transition to the reliable instant messanger, then finally phone and me asking her out on a first date.  She told me afterwards I should have asked sooner. 🙂

First Date and Beyond

I recommended that our first date be somewhere central and near where Jess works, so on Sunday, May 3rd, we went out to Friday’s for lunch after church.  We had only talked on the phone briefly prior to meeting up 1-2 times, so it was actually pretty exciting to finally meet up in person.  In retrospect, it seemed like it took much longer to finally meet in person, but in reality we had been talking only for a little over 2 weeks.

The date itself went very well.  We hit it off quickly, and spent over 4 hours (!) at talking about a myriad of topics.  We then followed it up next week with going to Times Square, walking around the city, and watching Star Trek, and our 3rd date was at Six Flags to see tobyMac in concert, where we had our first kiss (insert awww moment here). 😀

Today

Tomorrow (10/22) will actually be our 3month anniversary since we started going out.  It has gone fast, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  🙂 She is sweet, caring, thoughtful, and pretty much awesome.

So that is the story of how we met!  Nothing too crazy, just a good wholesome story. 🙂

Training…

Well, I downloaded the WordPress app on my iPhone, so I can now blog on the go!

A few weeks ago I signed up for a training at work to cover the material for the American Society of Quality Certified Quality Engineer exam. It meets every Monday 8AM-12AM for 10 weeks. Overall it has been pretty interesting, but today is god awful boring. We are going over some (in my opinion) very simple calculations at a painfully slow pace. I have a lot of work to do this week, so I am getting restless being here.

In other news, Jessica met my parents, brother, and sister-in-law last night. We had dinner at Bonefish Grill, and overall everyone had a great time, which I am glad for 🙂 I don’t have pics of us on my phone (which is something I’ll have to rectify!), so I’ll post a couple in my next post.

My birthday is coming up (Halloween), and this will only be my 2nd yr in the last five that I will have been home:

2005 – Boston
2006 – UK
2007 – Home
2008 – Nashville

Going to go out with family/friends, everyone is welcome to come if you will be around! Don’t have all the details yet, but a Karaoke club will be involved. Should be fun! I’ll post the plans once I know them.

Last point – Root for the Yankees! Game 3 today at 4:13PM!

First Post!

First off, let me just come out and say it, this is not the 1st blog I have attempted to maintain.  It seems that I keep it up for a few months, and then it dies.  I believe that if I set more realistic goals of the number and topics of posts, I will be successful this time.  Only one way to find out. 🙂

My name is Daniel Perez (Dan for short), and I live in Elizabeth, NJ.  I graduated from NJIT in 2004 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and then went to MIT, graduating in 2007 with a M.S. CEP in Chemical Engineering.  Afterwards, I came back home and applied to various places, finally taking a job at Picatinny Arsenal as a Quality Engineer for the US Army in October 2007, and have been there since.

I also recently went back to school at Stevens Institute of Technology.  The current plan is to get my M.S. in Management, with a Technology Management Concentration, followed by an MBA.  I am going part-time, mostly through online classes, and the whole process will take approximately 6 years (3 years for each degree), so this is definitely a long term project.  To be honest, it is fun to be back in school.  I missed being in class and learning about different topics, and in this case, this will prove to be useful as one day I would like to transition into a managerial role.

I also have a girlfriend named Jessica, and we have been going out for almost 3 months.  I’ll save the story of how we met for another post. 🙂

Well, if you actually read this far (!), welcome to my blog.  If you have any suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc., please leave a comment and let me know!

And if you use twitter, you can follow me here.