Exploring Isle Royale
A Young Engineer Ponders His Path
This past fall, my wife Lindsey and I took a trip to the nation’s least visited National Park – Isle Royale. It’s a pristine island located in the middle of Lake Superior accessible only by a ferry or sea plane. As we explored Isle Royale on foot and by canoe, it became apparent that the awe-inspiring beauty we observed was shaped by the harsh climate the island had endured over time. Isle Royale taught me a few things about life and my budding career.
Having joined the DISHER team after completing my undergraduate engineering degree, I am still very much in the formative stage of my career. My three and a half years have been amazing and I have grown exponentially, but I know it’s just the beginning.
Remember to look up and enjoy the scenery. Too often, young career-driven enthusiasts forget to slow down, count their blessings, and be thankful for where they’re at today. While hiking the trails of Isle Royale with a heavy backpack, most of my time was spent looking at the ground about three to six feet in front of me. It took a conscious effort for me to stop, take a deep breath, stand-up tall, and look around. Only then, was I reminded of the larger beautiful picture.
Goals are Great but Patience is Precious. Experience and expertise only comes through taking countless, smaller, hard-worked steps. I was reminded to be content where I am right now realizing that personal and professional development takes time. Don’t let your 20’s and 30’s fly by you without enjoying the journey!
The Terrain Can Be Rough. Isle Royale’s forests are dense. The trails are rocky. And Gitche Gummee is famous for fierce storms and wicked winters. I am convinced that it’s these unique challenges that make the island a truly addictive place to explore.
“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest and rhythmic motion, chasing everything in an endless song, out of one beautiful form into another.” – John Muir
Without a doubt, the world is a different place than previous generations. Millennials graduating today are focused on repaying immense school loans and trying to land jobs that are scarce for new hires. It can be extremely discouraging. When you begin your career, it is difficult to know exactly where you will be in 30 years. You might start out knowing what general direction you are heading, but it’s the twists and turns along the path that define your profession. The decision to travel into the unknown will challenge you to learn from your mistakes and not be afraid of trying something new. I would encourage you to remain strong, dedicated, and look for opportunities to grow and outperform. It’s the obstacles you overcome that will refine and define you in the future.
A Very Special Ecosystem. A significant amount of research has been conducted on Isle Royale because of its unique ecological environment. In recent years, the native wolves on the island have been dwindling which has caused an unhealthy moose population and food scarcity. Some may think of their career as a singular pillar in an ecosystem. Yes, a career is important. But if other aspects of life are foregone, placed aside, or unbalanced, there may be negative consequences down the road. At DISHER, one of our culture characteristics that we practice is rejuvenation. The idea of rejuvenation comes in many different forms – from socializing with friends to spending a week hiking Isle Royale! It helps ground oneself, remember what is truly important, and brings a spark to other aspects of life!
Get Out There! The pathway does not define the forest, but rather the forest defines the pathway. It is the many steps that one takes that gets you to the destination. A career is a lifetime of successes and failures. It is okay to fail, struggle, or not exactly have a clear bearing as to where you’re headed. What’s important is that you get out there!
Written By: Tyler Losinski | Product Development Engineer
Tyler has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. As a Product Development Engineer, he focuses on human centered design and idea generation. He loves sailing, biking, and enjoying the adventures that West Michigan has to offer.