In this edition of the Vertical Measures interview series, I speak with account manager Josh Bernstein about his Orthodox Jewish roots, his Apple obsession and his time living on the Mexican border.
Michael Schwartz: What do you do here at Vertical Measures?
Josh Bernstein: I am an account manager extraordinaire!
MS: What was it like growing up in an Orthodox Jewish home?
JB: Like the TV show, The Nanny, except with more praying and gefilte fish. Add in a touch of South Park, some Family Guy, a little bit of My Big Fat Greek (Jewish, whatever same difference) and you have my life.
JB: Well I think it all goes back to being left-handed. I primarily use the opposite side of the brain as opposed to other people who are right-handed. As a result, I just see things a little differently. You can call me a modern-day Albert Einstein. I mean, both of our names end in stein, coincidence, I don’t think so.
MS: There’s a rumor going around that you kind of like a little fruit-themed technology company. Tell us about your devotion to all things Apple.
JB: It all started in college when I bought my first iPod. At the time, it was the “iPod Photo,” which was the first iPod to have a color screen. I was in love with the ability to carry my music around with me wherever I went. From there, I slowly began learning more and more about the company and its products. Everyone used Apple computers in elementary school, but I never really appreciated the company itself. Even though I began to love the company and its culture, I didn’t put much stock in their computers. Once they started the Intel transition in 2006, that’s when I really started to covet a Mac. I finally made the switch myself in March of 2011 and there’s no going back for me. I now have a MacBook Pro, iPhone, AirPort Extreme, and I can safely say that there is an iPad in my future.
MS: What do you do as a part-time employee at the Scottsdale Quarter Apple nights and weekends?
JB: I am a part-time Specialist and I help customers with a variety of things. If they are interested in purchasing products, I help them figure out which product is best for them. I also help set up their new Mac or iPhone and add a bit of cheer to the Apple family.
MS: How many Apple shirts do you own?
JB: It’s a funny thing in fact. I have four short-sleeved shirts and two long-sleeved shirts, but I did ask for more since I seem to wear them often.
MS: Do you have any special talents?
JB: I have two unique talents. The first one is my ability to see a movie once and be able to quote anywhere from 75-90 percent of it. My second talent is my ability to interpret vanity license plates. I have around an 87 percent success rate.
MS: As a proud graduate of THE Ohio State University I understand you never received any free tattoos (too soon?) but you do love everything about being a Buckeye. Tell us why you think OSU is the best university known to man.
JB: Settled along the Olentangy River sits one of the best university in the world. Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is rich in tradition and most importantly, football. Our campus is full of Buckeye spirit and that is also reflected in the city of Columbus. Our university is renowned in many areas and has a culture that is truly unique. With over 1,000 student organizations, there is a place for everyone and they already have one thing in common; that they bleed scarlet and grey.
MS: How did you enjoy your experience living on the Mexican border for a year?
JB: I was expecting an experience like Weeds during the fourth and fifth seasons. It was nothing like that. I lived in a nice, quiet border town full of friendly and inviting people. I learned a lot about myself that year as well as achieved a huge amount of personal growth. I moved across the country to a state that I had never even visited to live in a rural area, so it was a large personal challenge, but something that I can look back on with pride and knowing that I made an impact through the national volunteer service program that sent me there.
MS: What other exotic locales have you spent some time living in?
JB: I have spent time in Buenos Aires studying the mystic ways of Argentine Tango and Tel Aviv learning about my roots. Both places are full of great things to see and do. I would recommend that everyone visit Argentina and Israel at least once!
MS: I understand you can speak five languages. What are they and how did you learn them?
JB: I can speak English, Hebrew (which I learned in religious school), Yiddish (which I learned in religious school and from The Nanny), Spanish (which I learned over the course of my life in school, including university), and Japanese (which I’m teaching myself…by watching a lot of anime).
MS: Finally, what do you like about working at Vertical Measures?
JB: I think Vertical Measures has a really great culture and supporting working environment. Everyone is willing to help and has been very welcoming. I can learn something from everyone here and they are all contributing to my continuing growth and development in the internet marketing industry.