For me personally, I think the best way to answer that question would be to split it up into two aspects, academic and life experience. On the academic side of the house, I started out in science in college, and then went onto Industrial Design school at a local university. I left after one year of design school, for many different reasons, It would take a long time for me to explain why I left but I think I can sum it up by saying, I'm the kind of person who just likes to work on my own projects and I just felt that I could accomplish a lot more, with more hands on experience, working on projects that I was interested in, instead of taking a lot of superfluous courses. I played it safe and finished up a BA in business in 2004 at the University of Ottawa, 4.0 averages. That's the extent of my academia career.
With regards to my life experience, I'm a natural talented artist, I paint, sketch, draw cartoons and I've been doing this since young. All I ever did when I was young was make my own stuff, I designed my own ghost busters costume out of cardboard on one Halloween, I would strip my bike frames down and repaint them and put new logos on them, I had various different comic characters and comic strips, I would build my own furniture and get in trouble for drawing at school when I wasn't supposed to. Creation and design was just a part of life, like second nature. So, as I got older, I was able to experiment with things I couldn't do while I was young, I bought a welder and started welding aluminum and steel and gained an immense amount of knowledge in this area. I've always been into mountain bikes and motorcycles, and I've always had a knack for "fix'n" stuff. I would rebuild my dirt bike engines and learn all about how the transmissions worked (which are remarkable pieces of engineering by the way, I recommend everyone try to learn how a small, six speed, manual transmission works) and then I would apply all this knowledge to my designs and art. It all builds upon itself over the years and becomes this huge "tool box" of knowledge that you can access and use at anytime.
I mainly focus on modeling motorcycle components, mechanical components but I learn something new everyday. I work with solid works as a hobby at the moment but I would love to get paid work to use the software to help clients design parts, hopefully an opportunity will present itself in the future for this. I would consider my skills with the software to be intermediate to advanced and getting better with every model. I really like to take a real world object and model it to the thousandth of an inch, and bring it into the virtual world. Being able to play around with a model in 3D is so amazing. It's unspeakably cool to be able to model a big heavy motor for instance, 50lbs and then be able to just turn it, flip it, position with ease as a virtual file, where as otherwise it would be almost impossible to maneuver the real product in real life to assess for fitment etc.
For professional firms viewing my work, I would love to see how I could help you with your projects. I would love to do a collaboration with other designers for projects, preferably automotive, mechanical and motorcycle related but I'm open to anything related to design, building, creation related, heck, I even have killer ideas for movie scripts. ---> Open to NDA agreements etc. Just love designing! can't get enough!