Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

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Photo Caption: Guillermo Vazquez. Photo Credit: NewsUSA

Guillermo Vazquez

NewsUSA

National Hispanic Heritage Month is here! Microsoft shares inspiring stories about Latinos driven by passion, determination, faith, love – and everything in between. Join the celebration sharing your story using #MicrosoftLatinx and #HispanicHeritageMonth. 

From Fisherman to Senior Program Manager: A Life Full of Perseverance and Hope 

Thirty years ago, I came to the U.S. from Mexico to work as a fisherman. This move represented an opportunity I had never thought of, but somehow made all the sense in the world to chase.

While I always loved life on the open sea, I knew there was more that I wanted to explore. The first step in that journey was going back to school to pursue an associate degree in computer science, and that’s when my new career began to soar.

After working in the technology industry for a handful of years, I had the opportunity to join Microsoft as an Operations Engineer – it felt like I was getting real knowledge and the hands-on experience I craved for my entire life.

Looking back on my journey of self-reinvention, I think about that moment in my life when it was all about surviving rather than thriving. Growing up, my family faced many hardships, which required me to step up at a young age and help my mother raise my younger siblings. While it was incredibly difficult, my love for my family exceeds any pain that we went through, and it moves me to see how proud they are of what I have accomplished.

Ever since I became a father of three, my dreams have shifted a bit. I can say wholeheartedly that my kids are my biggest motivator. Everything I do is for them, to raise them with a purpose and desire to make an impact in whatever they decide to be.

I feel a similar shift in work culture as well, with families integrating into the modern workplace in a way that they’re no longer perceived as external, but rather instrumental support for an individual’s success. I’ve not only been encouraged to be but also embraced as my true authentic self, which in my case, is as much a father as it is a Senior Program Manager.

If I had to give a word of advice to the next generation of Latinos, I’d point out the lessons I’ve had to learn along the way. Specifically, opportunities aren’t necessarily geographically bound – you can always find them as long as you are looking for them.

Today, serving as the chair of HOLA, Microsoft’s employee resource group for the Latinx community, I have a chance to give back and inspire others every day in the same way that I was.

Find more stories at Microsoft Latinx blog at https://blogs.microsoft.com/latinx/.

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