A Q&A with Tomas Mauricio – Giving Back

What a difference maker can do in the workplace

Tomas Mauricio Enlarge

Tomas Mauricio spends a lot of time behind the scenes, but when he steps out front this intern makes a big impression. Helping coordinate events like ECE’s Electrify tech camps and the recent ECE Expeditions, participants always remember their cheerful guide. Now he has a year with the division behind him, and Tomas looks forward to working on at least one more round of Electrify this summer.

Learn more about Tomas and the varied work he does to help ECE.

How did you hear about the job, and what do you do?

I used to work at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and my boss was a friend of the former Alumni Relations staff here, Jason Davis. At the time Jason was looking for a camp coordinator to help out with the ECE Electrify camps that year.

I was a bit nervous, but I came in and there was plenty to do. In the end I learned that I wouldn’t just be here for camp coordination, I was actually assisting with logistics, corporate relations, development, and some planning efforts. So I helped the grad staff with a few assignments, I attempted to do some marketing strategy, reservations and other external organization, and connecting with high schools to give students an overview of ECE and what we do and what our camps provide. I do a lot of everything!

What was your involvement in preparing for the ECE Expeditions, and what were some highlights from the trip?

I assisted Ann with logistics support – reserving restaurants for the students, making sure they get their hotel rooms set up, and contacting some of the companies (CEOs, alumni) to coordinate.

My favorite  company was KLA-Tencor. We were there for four hours, and met the CEO Rick Wallace (an ECE alum). We got to go on two tours – in the cleanroom we saw silicon wafers, suited up in full gear, got washed down. On the other we went to a packaging simulation and saw a risk assessment, dropping heavy weights on products to show that a small piece of foam was enough to protect them.

Some companies brought down their whole staff who graduated from U-M to network and talk about which classes helped them out the most.

The students meeting the CEOs and VPs and realizing that they came from the same institution they came from was inspiring for them. The tours and the realization that this one company was like an Ann Arbor campus – you’re going to graduate with an EE degree, but your field of work is going to involve so much.

Tell us about what you’re doing now.

I’m going to graduate in 6 weeks with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in marketing. In the long-run I want to get my master’s in social psychology and get certified as a councilor for adolescents or parent-child relations. I just feel I want to give back in some way – that job isn’t a money-maker. But to me it’s all about helping those that I know I can guide to the right door, help them succeed.

I feel that this job right now – going on the expedition, showing these kids what kinds of jobs are out there, helping them have a blast – empowers me to do more. And when we throw events like Lunar New Years, or Nowruz celebrations, the appreciation that the students give back to our office is great. It’s great to bring these communities from near and far and make them one.

But in the short-term, I’m taking a year off before I apply for my master’s to find a full-time job.

Tell us about your Difference Maker Award.

A Difference Maker, for the University of Michigan, Dearborn, is someone who goes beyond the call of duty socially, morally, or academically. You’re a well-rounded person who can give back every week, stay involved in social clubs, and stay on top of your grades. So I’m a part of a fraternity (Tau Kappa Epsilon), give back to St. Jude’s Research Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network, have good grades, and stay involved on campus, know the students, faculty, and staff personally and helping them out. I think they saw that I make a good impact on the community.

What do you do with St. Jude and Children’s Miracle Network?

I do a lot of philanthropy and fundraising for them. My fraternity has a bowling mixer coming up. It’s $5 a bowl and all of the proceeds go to St. Jude, and then on top of that we get 25% of the food and drink sales that night. Last year we made a couple thousand. We also work the Renaissance Festival every year and make around $15,000 from that. We collaborate with three other organizations to work turkey and snack stands.

Does your fraternity have a mission?

Ours is “better men for a better world.” We try to enable gentlemen who come in to realize themselves first, and then to realize that they can make an impact on the world. Some kids come into college and then go home, and to me that’s a bit boring. Your GPA may be great, but you lack those social skills you need later on in life. What we offer is that social aspect, but we also have mandatory study hours, test banks, and a strong connection to some professors.

What do you do for fun?

In the summer I play golf and baseball, go kayaking, I’m generally an adventure seeker. I enjoy wildlife, nature; I’m actually going to the Smokey Mountains for my spring break for hiking. I love anything that puts adventure in my life, I don’t like to sit at home much. I’ve always been like that – I did ROTC for all four years of high school and a semester in college. I couldn’t go the military route when I realized I have asthma, but they instilled in me a motivation to keep moving and adapt. You just have to keep on finding new things. I want to see the world and the beauty that nature has.

November 23, 2016