Personal statement of career goals and experience

I just sat there listening to the river.  I listened to the molecular flow in the turmoil of its waters, rocking in every direction and colliding with the dampened grasses of the park.  Only the ducks dared to break its majestic chaos, swimming in every direction that was opposite to the clashing sounds.  The river never stood still.  It kept forever moving with a diminishing grace, ever reflective in a wavy pattern of all that shines above.  That is when I saw it.  I noticed that the concave sky, which was always so distant and so far above, was hereby being pulled into the Grand River and dragged to the same altitude as my mortal life.  The heavens that had always been smooth and so perfect, the very same that were unreachable, untouchable and beyond sight, were now distorted, opaque and within my grasp.  The river kept flowing, resounding and reflective, showing me what was possible and what I could someday touch: the sky.

The river changed its patterns and reflected something new, as if it were trying to tell me, “This is why you could.”  Behold, a memory surfaced on the water in the form of my physics teacher’s words.  “You always come up with the most unorthodox solutions,” he said.  “Everyone here will stick to the book and come up with the same type of device, but you always come up with ways of doing things that I, in my many years as an engineer, would never even think about.”  I was never sure if that was a compliment or not, until they day when I was offered my first professional job.  Human resources needed to verify organizational hierarchies on the fly.  Two teams spend months creating software and reports that never worked with the same simplicity as mine.  My software, created in just a couple of days during the last month of my internship, was point-and-click and resembled a map.  This was unlike anything anyone had created, or even thought about.  It was a unique, even unorthodox, way of manipulating seemingly unrelated data and presenting it appealing to the user’s eyes.  “I am sorry that I didn’t learn sooner about how talented you are,” said my manager over the phone, referring to my software, as she offered me the job.  Then, like bubbling champagne, the memory splashed away into the waters as a new one surfaced.

Statistics was always my favorite type of math, not because it was useful but because of the complexity that it tried to explain.  It modeled pure chance and explained the impossibility of things.  Statistics showed me the way to quantum mechanics, or the impossibility of the very small, and cryptography, or the likelihood of hiding information with unmet strength.  So, when the time came to plan my capstone project, I had statistics in mind.  I was to improve upon or invent a device, a network or another technology and make it secure.  What no one ever told me was that this secure network had to be comprised of computers.  So here I came, with my unorthodox way of thinking, now inventing a secure communications network for robots while the rest of my class drowned in the unchallenging computer networks of the time.  I made three little robots and programmed them to talk to each other wirelessly.  One was a leader, one was a follower and the third was a vicious attacker.  I made the follower obey the commands of the leader in such a way that it could differentiate with statistical probability between commands originating from the leader and commands faked by the intruder.  Although the communication was encrypted, the follower was still able to detect the attacker and respond accordingly.  But just what could these toy robots do for my future, or for the future of humankind?  They could put me in a position to research medical nanobot networks, design rescue robots, or create intelligent space robots that talk securely through the vastness of space.  Yes, space, the very same space that the river reflected upon its face and had showed me was more reachable than ever before.  “This is why you could,” said the river to me in its watery voice; “because you are already closer than you realize.”

At that moment, out of the water surfaced the memories of two servers impregnated with my unmatched creativity and programming strength.  The first held three complex pieces of value-added software that I alone had developed or setup:  An asset management system that kept track of hardware and software in thousands of systems enterprise wide; a business intelligence suite that provided on-demand insight into IT procurement and license compliance; and a half-hacked, half-reverse-engineered and fully secured web application to update LED signs.  This server also gave life to complex business reports and data load and transformation tasks so extreme and complete that they soon become a source of truth.  The second server was rich in media and the latest of Web 2.0.  It hosted OakPages.com, an international online community designed for families and friends to keep in touch.  I created the system alone in less than a month, even its most intricate features like multi-user blogs, video mail, photo albums, dynamic family trees and tight privacy settings.  These servers, as the waters showed, together with their intriguing systems served to prove that sending robots into the infinitude of unexplored space was definitely within my grasp.

I sat there watching my memories surface one by one.  Some were good, and some were bad, but they all seemed to lead my mind into the same place each time: the sky.  The sky is where my future resides.  The river kept showing me reasons for creating, programming and securing robots that go into the limitless heavens.  The wavy reflection of the sky was now caused not by molecular strikes, but by the impeding distortion of human knowledge that I was about to bring about by exploring up high, so high among the evening stars.  Up there, that is where my dreams reside.  Up there in the concave sky, never again unreachable, are my robots to fly.  I just sat there listening to the clashing sounds of the water, while watching upon the river’s face the reflection of an ambitious future now within my reach.  The river kept forever flowing, while I kept moving closer and closer to the sky.

About Gabriel Mongefranco

Gabriel Mongefranco is your software developer for all things data: extraction, integration, analytics and security. He is also a blogger, a poet, a proud father and a faithful Christian. He is always eager to contract with faith-based nonprofits! Learn more.