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Spotlight on Commerce: Brian Gomez, IT Specialist, Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

Blog post by Brian Gomez, IT Specialist, Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

I serve as an IT Specialist at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) in Boulder, Colorado. In my job, I have the opportunity to support several teams of telecommunication engineers and staff across a variety of functions and research. I feel truly grateful to be in the position to contribute to the research conducted at ITS, but more so for the amazing people that I get to work alongside.

I am from San Bernardino, California, but grew up moving around various areas of the Inland Empire with my mother and two sisters. At 18, I joined the U.S. Coast Guard where I had the privilege to work in the Polar Sea on the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the United States' only heavy icebreaker, for nearly three years. Following that, I spent my final four years with the Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group participating in anti-terrorism operations.

While I love all of the usual Colorado activities like camping, hiking, and biking, what truly makes these hobbies special is doing them with my family. Getting to instill in my kids a love of the great outdoors and an active lifestyle is incredibly rewarding, and my favorite way to spend my free time.

I have a degree in Information Systems and an MBA in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University in Ontario California. While education is important, I do feel that experience and the wisdom gained from that experience can be far more valuable. The most valuable lesson I ever learned was not from a book but was instead from a conversation a teacher had with me after class. Growing up, my sisters and I were not forced to be in school, so we often didn’t attend class. One teacher in particular took notice, and one day pulled me aside. He told me if I hold on to anything from my education, it should be the word initiative. He told me that only I could mold my future and that initiative would be the thing that could help me reach my goals. We talked for a few minutes about the importance of the word’s meaning. It still amazes me that such a small conversation had such an impact on my life. I am so grateful for that teacher, and for the time he took to speak with me.

I really enjoy my work as a career civil servant and I am very thankful for the excellent team I am a part of. I’m not usually one to give advice, but if asked, I would say to try to listen to everyone and accept that there are others out there that can teach you, or help you gain a greater understanding of a different perspective. This can be difficult at times because we are all human. I constantly have to tell myself to stop thinking about what I’m going to say next, and just listen. Hispanic Heritage Month is a reminder to me to stop and listen to others. I am proud to celebrate it each year. 

Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce Hispanic employees in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15--October 15).