Checking In

Hello!

In the last couple years there have been a lot of changes in my life and I realize that I haven’t done the best job at keeping up with everyone. Life gets busy and we often forget to follow up with the friends we used to see daily. While we may be connected online via facebook or twitter, it can be hard to really see the big picture of what I am up to. That’s why I’d like to share some recent events and highlights of my life since we last saw each other.

If you are not aware, I am a student at Brigham Young University, in Provo Utah, and I am studying Mechanical Engineering. I will be set to graduate in April 2012. School is very challenging, and each semester I wonder if I will ever graduate a qualified and competent professional. The support of friends and family is very helpful. I have also recently declared a minor in business, which I am excited to pursue.

In my studies as an engineer, I had the great opportunity to do an internship with Varian Medical Systems in Salt Lake City (Jun-Aug 2011). The experience humbled me and stretched me, forcing me to grow and provide technical value in a fast paced R&D environment. I learned that when all the exams are over, some of the best skills you can have is the ability to be communicate well and connect with people. Working alongside engineers gave me a real taste of the professional world I will one day be a part of. Now, I continue to work part time in an IT support position at the Missionary Training Center on BYU Campus. I do computer support, software training, and knowledge base management. I love working there. It is a great fit because I enjoy solving problems, interacting with people, and learning new and interesting things. My future career path is a bit unclear. There are many options for me but I am still hunting for the exact career position that will fit me perfectly. I am confident that I will know it when I find it.

As of 15 months ago, I was married to my beautiful wife and friend Holly. She is caring and patient and I was very lucky to find her. Together we have battled through school, served in our church, and scraped by as “starving students” (don’t worry… we get plenty to eat). We were happy to welcome our first baby, Heidi Adele Braun, on February 11th of this year. She is precious and loved. We find that we have to be flexible to accommodate her needs but we are happy to have her. I have posted lots of pictures of her on my website.

On the side, I have spent time in a variety of activities. I have played intramural volleyball, sung in a choir, and joined a variety of clubs on campus. I ran my first marathon in 2009 with my brother Jeff, and I am preparing to run another one in May 2011. I also taught myself to do some web development. I have designed several websites from scratch (like upsideprovo.com and strawberrybuttonjewelry.com) and I purchased my own domain where I post my thoughts once a week (bryanbraun.com). I think it is fun to create and design things that the world can see on the web.

There is lots more I want to do. The short list includes returning to South Africa, attending a TED conference, running an ultramarathon, and being part of a start-up. If you know anyone who can help me with these goals, just let me know!

Again, thank you for your friendship. I still remember you and wish you well in your endeavors. And if you ever come by Provo in the next few years, call me up and I’ll take you to lunch. It’s on me.

Sincerely,
Bryan Braun

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