In May, we welcomed Michael Vander Wal to the Lean Tech family for the summer. He has been a valuable asset to our team and are going to miss him as he heads back to Sioux Center. We asked Michael to answer a few questions so that Thrive users could know a little more about him and his contributions to the platform this summer.

1. Tell us about yourself, where are you from/what are you studying?

My name is Michael Vander Wal. I was born and raised on a small dairy farm outside of Pella, Iowa and have lived there all my life. I am going in to my Junior year at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa and am majoring in computer science and mathematics with a minor in general business. When I’m not working or doing school work I enjoy watching and playing golf, baseball (go Red Sox!), and basketball. I also love going out with friends and playing the occasional video game, reading medieval themed books, or listening to and playing music.

2. What do you love most about working at Lean Tech?

One of the biggest things that stood out to me when I first started at Lean Tech was the people that work here. Not only are they always happy to help, but they are also enjoyable to work with and be around. Coming in to this job I was a little nervous about how I would fit in and do. With the help of the others here I got adjusted pretty quickly and have learned even more than I hoped to this summer.

3. What did you like about a project you worked on? What did you learn?

I think the best project I worked on this summer had to be the custom project for Timpte. The goal was to set up a page where they could make a schedule and then have alerts go off when they needed them to. It was very neat because we got to mesh both the stuff that we had used previously and incorporate a bunch of new things with it. It was also the first project that was built completely from the ground up. There was not really a starting point, we just had to start with a blank slate and go. I learned a lot and had fun with the challenges that it brought.

4. What are your goals for the next years?

My goals for the next few years are really to just learn as much as I can. I hope to become knowledgeable enough to make a big impact on wherever I end up and try to use my strengths to benefit others. I appreciate that Lean Tech has helped me learn so much and I am thankful for the opportunity I have had here.

5. Words to live by — What are yours?

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)