If you ain’t first you’re last

Ricardo Saldivar

Ricardo Saldivar

My name is Ricardo Saldivar, and I am a Chilean Chemical Engineer. At least that is what the diploma says…

It is always hard to explain my resume, people ask me all the time, how did you end up here? What happened to your degree? and to be honest, most of the time is hard to say why. The reason is simple, I never wanted to be an Engineer. But I hate saying it.

I am from Chile, and I always been good at school, smart? maybe, I like to think that I am responsible, and I never give up, if I start something, I don’t want to just finish it, I want to be the best. Like Ricky Bobby‘s dad said when he was high, “if you ain’t first your last”.

High School was great, I was terrible at basketball, soccer and volleyball, but I still had a good time: chased girls, was in a band, played guitar and loved life. Suddenly, the time came.

So I was 17 years old, and I had to take one of the most difficult decisions of my life, I had to decide and pick something that it will stay with me for ever, there was so many options! Ricardo the Architect, the Lawyer, the Teacher… I just didn’t know, I was only 17!, I couldn’t decide, I was just a kid. I wanted to be a musician, and play guitar until I die, be a rockstar, but since I was good at school, that wasn’t an option, and when you are good at school, in those days there was two options in Chile: Engineering or get kicked out of your house.

I was good at Chemistry, and bam! Chemical Engineering it was.

Did I love it? not really, I though it was interesting, I always found interesting the way that molecules behaved, the relations, the way they attract and repulse, the way they get together to form something new, the way that temperature and pressure affected their behavior. Chemistry was great, fun, interesting, and a good way to expand your mind and think differently. There was some nights where my brain couldn’t imagine so many abstract things, it was just amazing.

I graduated and it was great, finished with good grades, just like Ricky Bobby’s dad would have liked, everybody loved me and it was a relief. I was free again, free to do whatever I wanted, add to that, that it was 2008 and then you have the perfect storm for someone who was looking for an excuse to not become an Engineer.

This story will continue…

One response to “If you ain’t first you’re last

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