I was born on a bright sunny early afternoon, towards the end of April in 1976. The sky was clear, there was a breeze in the air moving a few fluffy white clouds, and flowers smelled nicely. At least thatís how I like to imagine my birth. A strong thunderstorm wouldnít be bad, either, for dramatic effect, but I still prefer the first scenario. I just hope I wasnít born on a dull, overcast day, but the weather patterns in Bratislava, Slovakia, donít suggest such a day in late April.
I remember quite a lot from my early childhood, but nothing Iíd like to share with the world. The only thing I can say is that I was universally loved and pampered. I was naturally lazy, and never physically strong, but I like to think of myself as a deep thinker. My mom says that I was simply to lazy to cry, and instead kept staring at the ceiling or playing with my fingers.
When I wasnít with my grandparents in Kuwait and later in Portugal, I spent my childhood on the edge of Bratislava. The Carpathian Mountains began right across the street, and so when I wasnít at home reading book or at school I spent my free time hiking. I knew every little trail in our area, knew where to find certain animals, and could tell you which flowers would bloom at a certain time and place. The rest of the time, I was either at school, which was only ten minutes walking from my place, or reading. I learned to read very early on, and before the age of ten I was reading long novels.
At school, I was nothing special. I enjoyed geography, history and math, loathed biology, chemistry and physical education. In addition, I studied German. Well, not exactly. Growing up, I spoke better German than Slovak, and I took German only to put some form to my knowledge, especially as far as grammar was concerned.
The Velvet Revolution came when I was in the eight grade. I didnít participate. I went to a few demonstrations, but only because it was cool; I didnít really form an opinion about it. I did do so, however, four years later when Czechoslovakia was broken apart. To this day, Iím bitter about it.
But letís go back to 1990. Thatís when I started high school. I was lucky enough to be admitted to one that taught advanced German, as well as beginning English. I started out really poorly, but worked myself up to one of the best students in my class. In all subjects, other than physical education.
Back in the eight grade, I was voted the most likely to become the countryís Finance Minister. My interest in economics and finance was apparent even then, and it grew during my high school years. It came thus as no surprise that I was admitted to the University of Economics in Bratislava, to study in the prestigious foreign trade program.
A year into my studies, however, my fate has changed, as a man stepped into my life. This man, who later became my mentor, has financed my three months-long trip to Atlanta, where I studied English as Second Language at Georgia Tech. With the foot in the door, my family paid for another three months, and I started applying to colleges. I had to go back home for a year, which I spent working for my fatherís international trucking company as a translator and accountant (ironically, my father is now working for my trucking company). I started my college studies anew, in January 1997, at Drew University in Madison, NJ. I graduated with a major in Economics and a minor in Political Science. I found a job at my mentorís company, SeaBridge Capital Management, where I spent four years as an investment analyst.
In 2003, I took the GMAT and scored high enough to be admitted to one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the country. Georgia Tech, however, made me an offer I couldnít refuse: be a member of one of the most dynamic and fastest growing MBA programs in the country, and help shape it. I got my MBA in 2006. During summer of 2005 I worked as a venture catalyst in a business incubator associated with Georgia Tech, Venture Lab. I took this experience with me to my current employer, CarrierWeb.
As so many people tell you, work is not everything, and Iíve been having a lot of fun over the years. I hiked the entire northwestern corner of New Jersey and created a Web site about it. I then picked up nature photography, and soon became a published author, with my pictures appearing in the AMC Outdoors Magazine. The Management Building at Georgia Tech now features some of my photographs in a permanent display as well. I played computer games and reviewed them, first for Epinions, and later for Netjak and DIY Games. One of my articles also appeared in Computer Games. I didnít stick solely to writing about gaming: my articles also appeared in the largest Slovak daily newspaper, SME.
I donít think Iíll slow down anytime soon. My current hobbies include learning PHP and MySQL. Despite my job as a Product Manager, I spent some time designing, writing and maintaining a number of enterprise applications, from a Customer Relationship Management system, through a customer support ticketing and tracking system, to an employee timesheet. On the side, I further expanded my knowledge of MySQL, PHP and XML, maintaining my own server and writing order entry systems for other companies. If that wasn't enough, I got dragged into desktop publishing and designing printed advertisments and posters for my employer. And I'm still finding time to create and maintain an online store for my designs on clothing, posters and greeting cards. On top of all that I got into running. I ran my first marathon in October 2011 in Dublin, Ireland, where I recently moved.
Since arriving in Dublin, my life changed for the better. My running bug took hold of me, and after 10 marathons, countless smaller races and an average of over 1000 miles of running per year, I'm constantly learning to slow down even further. My employer got acquired twice since I moved here, and my position slowly transformed into a QA Manager job. More importantly, though, I finally settled down. I got married, bought a house and welcomed the most amazing little boy into my life. He'll inherit this domain one day...