By Desiree Williams
Mike Young, 25 graduated from Hamilton Southeastern High School in 2012. He studied aerospace engineering at Purdue University, where he also ran a student news magazine and was student body president his senior year.
Q: What was your favorite subject in high school and why?
A: That’s an impossible choice for me. I liked many of my classes. My top five would include engineering (I was in the Project Lead the Way) program, AP world history, AP chemistry, AP economics and AP composition.
Q: What were you involved in during high school?
A: I was on the Academic Team and played soccer and rugby. In these things, I was good, bad and awful, respectively, but I still had a lot of fun.
Q: Who has been your most influential teacher throughout school and why?
A: This is another very tough question. I would say, in no particular order, Mr. Steckler, Mr. Mellott, Mr. Follis, Mr. Wilkins and Mrs. Otterman, who all taught my favorite classes. If we look outside high school, my sixth grade science teacher, Mr. Renckly, was probably my all-time favorite, because he was interested in so many things beyond just science in the curriculum, and because he encouraged me to keep trying to learn more advanced subjects. I still have a 1930s physics textbook he gave to me.
Q: Why did you choose aerospace engineering?
A: I chose aerospace because I grew up reading my grandfather’s old college textbooks in my grandparents’ living room whenever I went to their house. I understood none of them, but the concept of building something that would go to space fascinated me.
Q: Tell me about your path post-graduation.
A: While I was in school, I started a software consultancy called PearCircuit with a few friends to make some extra money and learn more about development. I had a terrible internship at an aviation company one year, and after that figured out that our own company would be much better.
Q: What are you up to currently?
A: Now I’m the CEO of that company and we are on our seventh year. We help companies build validated and profitable technology products from ideation to design and development to deployment, and even sales and marketing. We’re located in Launch Fishers, which is a great place to work.
Q: Do you have any advice for younger students?
A: I would recommend reading the poem “If –” by Rudyard Kipling. There’s more good advice in there than I can give in this space. But to sum it up in few words, “be tough.”
Q: Is there anything else you’d like the community to know about you?
A: Fishers is growing and developing in new and exciting ways. I love all the development we’re seeing, especially in the downtown area where I live. I’m looking forward to even more growth and momentum in the years to come.