Submitted by Eric Dykstra, Class of 2007
After graduation from Shoreline Christian in 2007, I started at the University of Washington. By age 20 I was married to my lovely wife, Haruka, and at 22 I graduated with a degree in finance. I didn't find the career outlook for a finance major to be one that suited me, so I looked in other fields to start my career. My only job offer came from a small startup company in San Francisco, so to San Francisco we went.
In total we spent three and a half years in the City by the Bay. Although not too dissimilar from Seattle, it was quite a change to be going from student in my hometown to an employee in a city I had never been to before. In an effort to become a better employee, I started to teach myself programming, and fell in love with it. I soon learned enough web development to get a job at a marketing agency as a web developer where I spent a little over half a year. To accelerate my learning more quickly, I quit to take 3 months off of work to learn at a programming school. Following that, I honed my skills working for a couple of different startups over the following year and a half.
An idea that has stuck with me is that sometimes one has to stop doing something that's going well in order to find something even better. Consistent with that line of thinking, in March of last year after finding new jobs in Tokyo we left our San Francisco life behind. I've been working as a software engineer for a Japanese media startup company ever since, and am enjoying it immensely, with the best work-life balance so far in my career. In my away-from-work time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, playing baseball, listening to audio books, practicing judo, and going to live music shows.
When I think back to my time at Shoreline Christian, I think about all the opportunities I was given to try new things: playing all kinds of different sports, serving on student councils, acting in the school play, participating in Math Olympiads, taking Japanese classes at Shorewood, and many other things I may not have considered doing if I were at a bigger school. I'd like to thank all my teachers and coaches throughout my time at Shoreline Christian for the encouragement and mentorship I received from them. The ability to try new things without fearing the repercussions of failure allowed me to have many experiences through my years at SCS, and has been key to my continued growth and learning as an adult. If anyone would like to connect, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.