A Few Words About Me

Nothing beats having a blank digital page on which to write stuff. That (was) the fun of the early internet – add your own style, your own thought, your own spin on things. No need to be efficient with words… this is my page to shamelessly ramble.  :)

I suppose my life until the present could be seen as a series of dualities: North America Mike, South America Mike. English Mike, Spanish Mike. Pre-digital me, and now-digital me.

The Pre-Digital, Northern Hemisphere Me

This part of my so-called life spanned about 30 years and is more and more distant to my current memories, so I’ll summarize and be relatively brief:

  • I was born & raised in Westmont, Illinois, (in the north-central part of the United States).
  • I went through the high school routine and passed through the university as well. Studied a few things – if you’re interested you can see my CV.
  • At the university, lots of books were read, many tests were taken. Some things were learned and, as happens sometimes, the things I learned didn’t have much to do with the books.
  • I had the opportunity to spend 3 months in the south-central part of Chile, in San Pedro de la Paz (Which is next to Concepción, an even larger city).
  • I discovered the computer lab in the basement of student housing.

The trip to Chile would stoke my interest in Latin America in general and would play a key role in moving me to where I now reside.

My adventures in basement computer lab land found me searching on the internet (pre-Google) for information on how to create a website. Little by little I began to piece together HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP….  I always had a fascination with computers from an early age, being fortunate enough to have had access to one. Started with Windows (Windows 1, to be precise) and after more than 20 years of that, I hopped on over to Apple. Lots of programs have come and gone. If you’re interested, check out some must-haves that I recommend.

But the internet – this was different. Now I could connect with other people, places and information.

The Now-Digital, Southern Hemisphere Variant

After a more than 14-hour trip which involved sleeping a bit in the Atlanta airport and lugging around my wordly possessions in 2 suitcases, I arrived in Chile in August of 2008. I was able to come thanks to TeachingChile, a company that helped connect English-speaking teachers with schools and institutes in Chile for over 15 years. I began working in the central-ish city of Chillán, where I met my wife.  Two years and an 8.8 earthquake later, our child was born!

An unexpected turn of events saw me transition away from teaching and brought me to work with TeachingChile, the same company that helped me arrive here. What started as periodic website creation and maintenance began to expand into freelance work. My persistent pastime began to morph into a full-time profession.  At this time my time working in language institutes came to an end in Valvidia – to this day, it's the last time I had to physically go to an office.

In 2017 I had the chance to join the wonderful team at Optuno working as a Web Designer and later Project Manager, which I continue to enjoy to the present day.

In recent years, I’ve also enjoyed exploring new places, traveling extensively around Chiloé and the Argentine Patagonia.

My Résumé

2017- Present

Web Designer / Developer, Project Manager – Optuno

I help Optuno create websites from start, customize existing themes and manage project content and client requests alongside a wonderful, world-wide remote team.

2022 - 2024

Front-End Web Designer & Developer – yo walsh!

I build interesting and entertaining digital stuff from the countryside near Villarrica, Chile, for national and international clients. My favorite projects tend to be websites, but I also work on graphic designs for print, such as books, labels, and business cards. I am also fond of translation projects. For 2024 the yo walsh! brand was eliminated and design projects brought to my personal website.

2007 - 2022

Digital Product & Experience Designer – Imaginalgo

I make websites and do print designs for books/e-books, business cards, invitations, etc. My principal focus is on clean, fast, organized web coding and design which will remain relevant and modern despite changes in design trends.

2012 - 2020

Program Coordinator - TeachingChile

Empowered with the design, development, expansion and maintenance tasks of the website, publicity and digital presence of TeachingChile.

2015-2018

English Professor - eClass

I executed online, one-on-one English classes of all levels, from the very first steps in English to the most advanced offerings the company provided. I performed my job very well and was considered highly reliable by my coordinators.

2010 - 2012

English Professor - Wall St. English, Valdivia, Chile

I was responsible for the execution of all levels of English classes, ranging from 1-4 students. Also carried out conversation and language reinforcement classes.

2007 - 2008

Spanish Professor - Teutopolis H.S., U.S.A.

Designed, developed and utilized material for first- and second-year Spanish classes to create a dynamic and multidisciplinary presentation of the Spanish language and culture.

Design & Development Projects

More Projects Here

Publii CMS: Spanish Translation

Publii is an amazing program that makes it easy to create and manage your website. Over the course of a month, I reviewed and translated more than 1,300 lines of code into Spanish, both for the main program and for the text editor.

Modern, Clean Website For Professor & Chef

Geraldine Ovalle is a chef and gourmet who lives in the south-central part of Chile. She wanted to redesign her old website and update it with some of the new services she offers. Geraldine was also hoping to combine in one website her work and education history, her personal writings, and her past and present projects.

Education


2007 - 2008

Teacher Certification K-12 - Spanish

Eastern Illinois University, USA

1995 - 2003

B.A. Foreign Languages (Spanish)

Eastern Illinois University, USA

1995 - 2003

B.A. History, Minor Latin America Studies

Eastern Illinois University, USA