Growing up, Nick witnessed the nation’s triumphant endeavors to explore space. He saw himself as a member of a generation being challenged to progress the fields of exploration and technologies. Encouraged to push new boundaries, Nick appreciated the opportunities for research that Virginia Tech provided, so he enrolled as an Aerospace Engineering major. He then came to rely on faculty mentors to guide him through his coursework and undergraduate research. With their help, he excelled in his studies and became introduced to undergraduate work with data from the wind tunnel. During this work, he underwent the transition from manually marking data to computerizing data once the technology became available.
During his graduate studies and his work with the Naval Surface Weapons Center, Nick realized his interest in computers and he eventually began his own computer business around the time when personal computers were being introduced. At the start of his business, Nick supplied software to papermill companies and to close friends. His company quickly grew as he began supplying software to more and more people, and this growth eventually allowed him to meet contemporary up-and-comers in the field, such as Bill Gates, at conferences and presentations.
As an employee at Tech years later, Nick notes the incredible changes that have taken place since the time of his attendance, such as the population size and the continued construction around campus. He also comments on the fact that even though technological advancements and overall development have changed the university, Virginia Tech still holds on to a spirit of community that encourages alumni involvement.