The Felician sports information office started a new online initiative in September 2015. In "Where Are They Now?" we periodically attempt to catch up with Golden Falcon athletics alumni who have gone on to interesting and successful career paths.
In the fifth installment, we visit with Michael Burghoffer '08. A three-time all-conference cross-country runner for Felician, Burghoffer has founded several start-up companies and runs PicoTurbine International, a STEM education product supplier with roots in renewable energy.
Name: Michael Burghoffer
Year of Felician graduation: 2008
Sport(s): Men's Cross-Country
Major(s): Management & Marketing (concentration in Accounting)
Twitter handle: @PicoTurbine
LinkedIn Address: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelburghoffer
Hometown while in high school: Stockholm, N.J.
Currenty town/city of residence: Lyndhurst & Jersey City, N.J.
List any post-graduate studies or certifications
NASM-certified personal trainer
Current full-time employment
Self-employed at multiple companies:
- President and CEO, PicoTurbine International
- Founder and President, Green Mile Outreach (501C3)
- Founder and President, Scale Up 123 Consulting
- Founder and CMO, Virtual Fitness World
- Co-Founder, STEAM Rocks
Other positions held since Felician graduation
Internal Auditor, Pearson Inc. (Aug. 2008 - Feb. 2010)
Trainer, Crunch Fitness - I learned how the fitness market works and enjoyed being educated by one of the best gyms in the country.
Trainer, FaceTime Fitness - Sole trainer at my own personal training company. I was able to use the earnings to found my start-up, PicoTurbine.
Any other life events you would like to tell us about?
Married in Bali in 2011 to my beautiful wife, Ziqian
My son, Logan Ryan, was born on March 5, 2013, precisely four years after my wife and I met.
Founded Green Mile Outreach to give back to the inner-city schools. In 2011 we sponsored a student in the Philippines, and he is set to graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree!
Working with the Urban League to create a job skill training program to give adults 18-30 another chance at a 21st century career.
Learned the research & development process. Have twice brought a new product to market by creating a Wind Turbine and a Hydro Turbine for the classroom.
For the past three years, I have run the Edison Invention Challenge, and have grown it from a New Jersey-only event to a virtual competition, allowing anyone in the world to enter.
Coordinate an annual 5K race in Liberty State Park with a unique Parent-Child category. The race serves as a fundraiser for Green Mile Outreach.
In 2010, I bought my first property, Canco Lofts, in Jersey City. It was a conversion of the American Can Company. It's amazing to be part of a great part of history!
I am currently learning Chinese.
I read at least 40-50 books per year in an attempt to keep advancing my skills.
How have you applied your experience participating in college athletics to your current employment?
Athletics has always been the core and foundation of any success I have. The concepts of being a team player, leadership, commitment, the ability to overcome hardships, realistic goal-setting, and patience are just a few of the areas that help me as a serial entrepreneur in accomplishing what I put my mind to.
How has your Felician academic coursework and other extracurricular activities impacted your life, especially professionally?
Classes like microeconomics, macroeconomics, managerial accounting, entrepreneurship, business ethics, and marketing are the ones that I took the most out of. While designing business plans, models, new companies, and strategies, these all play a strong role in the development of the processes and procedures to make them all successful.
What advice, about any aspect of college life, would you give to a current Felician student-athlete?
Time management is the key to success! It's best to take on enough of a workload that you "feel the pain," but not enough to create unnecessary stress.
The greater your ability to balance your college workload and athletics, the better it will set you up for the real world!