There’s a pretty good chance that you own something with their logo on it. Apple is one of those companies that new college graduates are dying to work for, and as for MTSU graduate Blake Merryman (‘13), he credits his college education for helping to get him there. He is currently living in California, working as an iOS Software Engineer on the Health team at Apple. You know the app that shows your steps that you are quick to check after a long day on campus? That’s his territory. The Student Voice had the opportunity to learn more about Blake’s college experience and his current endeavors, so brighten those screens and read along!
Thanks for agreeing to share your MTSU story! Where are you from originally?
I am from Hartsville, TN, in Trousdale County – the smallest county in the state of Tennessee.
What was your major and when did you graduate?
So, you work for Apple, a company that tech people dream of working for. Tell us about what you do and your experience so far.
I’m an iOS Software Engineer on the Health team at Apple. We’re the team that builds the Health App and the HealthKit SDK for third-party developers. My time here has been amazing! I fell into app development as a hobby while at MTSU and I was able to turn it into a career after graduating. I had always dreamed of working for Apple but honestly wasn’t sure if it would ever happen… until it did. I’ve been here for over six months now and everything is going really well.
Since you live in California, go ahead and make us jealous of how nice the weather can be.
The weather is really nice here: mostly blue skies and fair temperatures. The temperature can vary quite a bit depending on the time of day though, so you have to dress in layers. Lately, the air quality has been extremely poor due to the wildfires up north. Luckily, we did get some much-needed rain (the first in 6 months or so) that helped to contain the fires and cleanse the air.
California is great and all, but do you miss Tennessee?
I do really miss Tennessee. My closest friends and family are now thousands of miles and two time zones away from me. It’s been tough to be so far away but I have an awesome partner (my fiance Samantha) and three silly cats (April, Fred, and George) that have made the transition easier. We’re making the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Why MTSU? What drew you to Murfreesboro?
Growing up, I always wanted to be involved with airplanes so MTSU’s aerospace program was a strong pull. I also have deep family ties to Middle. My father, his sister, and his mother all graduated from MTSU. My little brother (undergrad and grad) and I are third generation Blue Raiders!
Were you heavily involved on campus as a student? Were you a part of any organizations or groups? Did you work on campus?
I was pretty involved on campus. I worked in the Library’s Digital Media Studio (now the MakerSpace) helping students wrangle microfilm and navigate Photoshop. I worked as a Resident Assistant at Lyon Hall for two years and as the Resident Director at Cummings Hall for my last year on campus. I served as a Student Ambassador for two years, and I also spent a lot of time with the intramural sports folks (playing, officiating, and organizing leagues).
What is your favorite memory from MTSU?
No single memory comes to mind but one thing has really stuck with me over the years: I had a really amazing group of friends at MTSU. We were very close and would do everything together, from studying to soccer. We used to have these weekly potluck dinners and everyone would take a turn hosting. After dinner, we’d carpool over to Mellow Mushroom for trivia night. We did that every week for an entire year. The core members of that group are some of my closest friends to this day. After graduation, we continued the weekly tradition of meeting up and we started collecting new members. Until I moved to California around six months ago, we had been meeting almost every week since 2014. The group is still going strong back home!
What advice would you give to a current MTSU student, especially one in your field?
Take chances and don’t be afraid to fail. It could be as simple as leaving your comfort zone to apply for that Student Ambassador position you saw on the flyer… or as daunting as disrupting your entire life to move across the country to follow your dreams. You only get one life. Live it!