Nickolas Gray, an alumnus of New Hope Christian Academy, has a desire to put his love for math and science to work in his hometown. After earning his degree from MTSU in Mechanical Engineering Technology, he returned to Memphis in hopes of establishing his career to shape the lives of his community through business and technology. He is currently an HVI technician at USDA and there’s no telling where his dreams will take him.
How did you decide to study Mechanical Engineering Technology?
I have always liked math and science, even when I was enrolled in New Hope, so ending up in Engineering was an easy pick. My uncle was a computer engineer, who had a great influence on me as well. I also liked taking objects apart and seeing how things work from the inside out. You are able to view the full perspective of the object.
Why did you decide to bring your talents back to Memphis?
Memphis has always been home and after I graduated college, I needed to start over and establish my next moves. Choose901 also played a great role, with helping me find myself and to maneuver me in the right direction job wise.
How has New Hope helped shape you?
New Hope’s influence was major and still has been throughout my entire life. You don’t meet many teachers who watch you grow from age 5 to 23 and still try and help you with anything you need, whether that be career wise or just for advice in general. Mrs. Ramsey was unanimously my favorite teacher, she made science and math my favorite subjects which ultimately led me to Engineering, in a way. In elementary, we would do times tables worksheets which would come very easy for me; I think my class would sometimes get mad because I would win so much.
Who are/were central figures or role models that led you to your major?
As I stated earlier, my uncle played a major role with my major. He attended CBU but passed away when I was younger. My parents also knew I loved math and science, so they knew something along the lines of engineering was bound to happen. He taught me the virtue of patience and that it was alright to be smart and do things your own way. My uncle lived in Houston, Texas, a place I could see myself moving to eventually, but he taught that no matter where you’re from if you work hard, learn, and pray, you can change your circumstances.
What is your dream job?
My dream job would be creating a shoe business, honestly. I have always loved shoes and think I could make it work, but that’s later in life.
If there was one thing you learned by growing up in Memphis, what was it?
What is your favorite thing about Memphis?
My favorite thing about Memphis must be the people and the food. In Memphis, it’s always somewhere good to eat and great people to meet. Memphis is home to a lot of creatives. My favorite places to eat would have to be Adlines Wings and Jerry’s Sno Cones. Memphis was the best wings and you find them all over the city with no problems. I also mention creatives because I love to see people creating and doing their own style. The world is full of people wanting to be other people and not building a name for themselves. The best thing you can do is be yourself because there is no one else like you on this Earth.
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