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).