Micah Bobiak graduated from the Pamplin School of Business in 2016 and is happily employed at Audigy Group. While his progress has been continuous, it has not been linear! His story is one of true inspiration and determination that is to be admired and emulated.
Micah has not lived an ordinary life. He grew up with Usher’s Syndrome Type II: the most common condition that affects both hearing and vision. Growing up knowing he will lose most of his sight and hearing by the age of 40, Micah quickly learned to approach life with appreciation and an energetic and active mindset. His goal has always been to simply appreciate what he sees and hears while pursuing his other goals of earning his degree, studying and traveling abroad, and attaining his dream job—and of course, all by the age of 40! He told us, “I want to take advantage of every moment and experience that I have. I am not going to waste any time.”
During his junior year in high school, he enrolled into a science summer program at Brown University. He took courses in biology, immunology and virology, with the thought that one day he could unlock possible cures for the many diseases that plague our world. While that was a lofty and worthwhile dream, the working day-to-day life was anything but inspiring to him. With a sterile environment, the lack of interaction with other people, and one eye in a microscope, he felt like he was straying from the vision he had for his future. It just was not for him, so he decided to change his direction!
Making the decision to venture to the business sphere, Micah could picture himself collaborating with people who were making a positive influence and difference in society. He wanted a route that matched his vision; he wanted his career to give him a purpose and meaning to his life.
While he felt confident in his choice of business when he enrolled at the University of Portland, Pamplin School of Business in the Fall of 2012, he still was not sure which major to declare. So while he explored the realm of business through his classes, he decided to complete a study abroad program that took him to Australia for the summer with two weeks in Singapore to learn all about South East Asian Business and Trade. The Australian trip really opened his eyes to the exciting field of trade, which lead to his journey to Japan during the following summer, where he completed his second study abroad program, which specialized in Asian Trade Business. It was through these experiences that he decided to go ahead with a major in Economics.
During his third summer at UP, Gwynn Klobes, the Director of the Pamplin Professional Preparation Program (P4), helped Micah with two potential internships. Though he was very grateful to her for her assistance, he was not very excited about the fields in which these two companies were in. Through a longer application process, Micah sought out and achieved the opportunity to complete an internship for Expeditors International.
Expeditors is a Fortune 500 service-based logistics company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Expeditors generates highly optimized and customized supply chain solutions for their clients with a unified technology system that is integrated through a global network of 331 locations in 108 countries on six continents. They work with clients and companies like Nike, Adidas and others to source and move shipments.
Micah worked for Expeditors as their Global Distribution Operations Intern, and he loved it! It was everything he wanted. He learned how the company worked from the higher level echelon of operations and logistics. He loved it so much, he thought he would continue working for them at their Portland Oregon branch. Unlike the headquarters in Seattle, the Portland branch of the company was at the ground level of operations where shipments were tracked and stacked in a warehouse. He learned a tremendous amount from working at both the headquarters and now the branch level; however, his new location focused more on logistics and Just in Time shipping. Through these experiences he came to the realization the field of logistics was not for him either. So, he quit his job in Portland during his 4th year to focus on his studies.
In the meantime, he started to research analyst positions in various fields to see if any of them were a fit. During this time in his senior year, Mason Walker, the President of Audigy Group gave a speech at UP, which left an impression on Micah. He was inspired by their work and the difference they were making.
Audigy Group is a nationally recognized hearing care management company comprised of the largest group of elite private audiology practices. Audigy group provides comprehensive data analytics, strategic recommendations based on top practice benchmarks across every aspect of the business: operations and business intelligence, digital marketing and website support, branding and creative, learning and development programs, HR and IT, and superior technology infrastructures.
Since Micah had been wearing hearing aids since he was a child, he understood the importance of the service that Audigy and Mason was providing.
He was lucky enough to put his focus into electives during his senior year and chose to go with three Operations and Technology Management (OTM) classes. He found a mentor in Professor Bahram Adrangi, who told him, “you can learn all the theory you want but at the end of the day you have to take action.” Taking action means you take a chance on doing something and possibly failing. But if you don’t try, how will you ever succeed? So Micah, took another look at the list he had created with the companies he was sending his resumes to. He realized then, he had not considered the one thing that he had set out from the beginning to do: to work for a company that’s making a difference for people just like himself.
While Expeditors wanted to hire him back after his graduation in May of 2016, Micah turned them down. He knew he had to try a different path.
Micah thought, “if I don’t try, I won’t succeed.” He pulled out the business card that he had from Mason Walker, President at Audigy Group and contacted him directly for a meeting. Mason agreed to meet with him and loved Micah’s ambition and drive. Mason also realized that Micah would bring more than just his education and experience from his internships to the position; he would bring his personal experience with Usher’s Syndrome too.
When Micah came to Audigy Group, he had fulfilled a dream of working with the people who gave him the opportunity to achieve everything he had achieved, and every sound that he had heard. That personal, passionate, dream had come true.
He is now traveling the country to tell his story and speaks on behalf of Audigy’s core mission – “Patients for Life.”
While Micah has already accomplished more than most, he is on a mission to change the hearing care industry entirely! So look for his name to be on the 30 under 30 listings in Forbes or Inc. in the future.
We are very proud of Micah and wish him much continued success in every endeavor he chooses to follow.