For some, it will be moving away or starting a career. For others, graduation marks the beginning of a gap year – when someone takes a year or longer to travel, volunteer or work at an unusual job.
Dynamic young entrepreneur Matt Bergwall recently urged young adults to take a gap year, insisting it’s a better use of time than any internship at an MNC. Matt Bergwall is a full-stack software engineer and entrepreneur currently based in Miami. He has significant experience managing development teams & running startups and currently focusing on his role as a full-time student. Matt is excited to expand his business knowledge at the University of Miami.
When his father passed away during his high school, Matt decided to work to be financially independent. Those days, there were several gap programs to serve every interest of students leaning toward international relations, economics, or global studies. The gap year program at American University provides classes for credit along with internships on Capitol Hill, at the World Bank, or Amnesty International, among many others.
By providing a year of compelling work experience and intentional learning, a gap year can strengthen a university application or give weight to a resume, which explains why they are also popular with post-grads considering graduate school.
Matt worked as a software engineer in high school. He was offered a lucrative job to take a gap year, work full time, and start his career. When a summer internship at Mirador, a financial services company in Darien, turned into a 40-hour per week consulting job during his senior year at Darien High School, Matt Bergwall was thrilled. Then he started receiving more bids for his software engineering services, which led him to contract with a second company. He worked every day and all day, even on weekends, he says. I loved it—and I got good at managing my time. In his second semester in college, he started a private investment firm that manages over a million dollars in private capital.
Six months later, Flipside’s blockchain data analytics company gave him a full-time job offer with equity and benefits to work as a full-stack engineer, doing front- and back-end web development. It was very attractive, says Bergwall. And he contracted for 40 hours per week, so he also worked 20 to 30 hours for Mirador.
Now is completely financially independent, the moral of the story is that gap years are an amazing option, and work ethic after bad things happening in life is important. He now has a full career as a software engineer at 19 years old. He is working on major crypto projects, all in his teenage years.
As a result of more than a year in software development, Bergwall is well on his way to his goal of finding the sweet spot between business and computer science. He enjoys the fast-paced environment of startups and hopes to earn an MBA.
To get more information and inspiration about your future, visit Matt Bergwall on Linkedin.