Honors Summer Snapshots: Jacob

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Instead of doing “traditional” blog posts this summer, Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their summer routines via photos. Jacob Johnson is enjoying big-city life in Des Moines:


A day in the life of Jacob Johnson typically begins with an early morning commute into downtown Des Moines for work with MODUS Engineering. I am living in West Des Moines for the summer so, traffic permitting, the trip only takes around twenty minutes and is a good opportunity to mentally prepare for the day.



Upon arrival, I am greeted with a three story hike up to my office. MODUS operates out of a recently renovated historical building which formally housed a tractor factory so each floor is twenty feet tall which makes for beautiful decor and a healthy alternative to the elevator when I am able to conjure up the will power.



Once at the top floor I am customarily greeted by our production assistants. Everyone at MODUS is incredibly friendly and I am treated like a regular employee rather than an intern, something I appreciate greatly. In the end, contributing to the successful completion of innovative engineering designs matters more than employment type.



The majority of my day is spent here at my desk designing, implementing, and distributing software solutions to design problems. Applying the concepts of software design and computer engineering to real world problems is extremely rewarding and has taught me a great many lessons traditional education simply cannot cover.



Weather permitting, I usually eat my lunch on top of MODUS’ roof garden. The location affords an incredible view of the capitol building, river, downtown, and even Principal Park – home of Des Moines’ AAA baseball team the Iowa Cubs. Conversation with other employees varies widely but is always very enjoyable.



When I am not soaking up the sun on the roof or programming at my desk I typically spend my time problem solving with my Mentor in the low voltage electronics and technology division. It’s an incredible privilege to be working with so many extremely talented individuals. It’s also worth noting that our office lighting changes throughout the day to reflect circadian rhythms which apparently helps keep me focused. That said, sometimes we like to get a little crazy with the lights which tends to cancel out any additional focus gained by the system. Morale, however, is always high.



After work I either commute home or up to Ames. The traffic at rush hours tends to be a little crazy but navigating all the cars is something of a sport for me. Growing up in Spencer, Iowa didn’t afford many challenging driving opportunities.



At the end of the day I frequently find myself back in Ames. As a Technical and Worship Arts leader for Iowa State’s Salt Company campus ministry I am heavily involved in coordinating, organizing, and executing the technical components of weekly services. It is an extremely rewarding experience and an excellent hobby.



Of course, no hobby is complete without some fun toys. This is the mixing console I frequently use as an audio engineer for the ministry. Sometimes compared to a space shuttle by the non-inducted, the console can be an extremely powerful tool for producing incredible live audio experiences.


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