***Editor's Note: The "I Became An Engineer" blog runs every Friday. To share your story email***

This week's story comes to us from ECN reader Joe Blaschka Jr.

I started playing around with electronics when I was about 10 years old. Of course back in those days, most electronics were powered by 110 VAC. My mom was always concerned I would somehow electrocute myself taking radios and TVs apart. Admittedly, there were more than a couple of times I was slightly jingled by 110 VAC—but seemed to survive!

I had gotten my ham license when I was about 14. My neighbor was a researcher at Crown Zellback and a ham radio operator. He got me started in ham radio. He also said I should study electronics more since I seemed to like it so much.

I was an avid reader of Popular Electronics. When I was about 15 or so, I saw an employment ad for Raytheon. The ad had a guy dressed in a suit with a briefcase surrounded by missiles, airplanes, and boats. He was a Raytheon Field Engineer! The ad was about solving technical problems with advanced technology communications systems.

That was it! It was like my life fell into place. I was destined to become an electrical engineer working on communications systems. The rest of my high school years were focused on getting into an engineering school. I went to Seattle University, where I obtained my EE degree.

I spent time with a couple different companies working in communications. When I was 29, I started my own consulting engineering company focusing on communications systems. I have designed and worked on hundreds of systems over my (almost) 40 years of consulting, and am still going strong. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning—besides my alarm clock.

I feel blessed I was able to see a career path that clearly. There are so many people I know who have never really felt like they knew what they were born for!

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