Mr. Mario Diaz received a BA in Math from Humboldt State University, California, in 1983. His focus was on Applied Math and Software Development. His first computer programming class at Humboldt State was conducted using punch cards! He was hooked on software development and computer applications from the first week in that class. His first job after college was as a computer/software engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation. They had a college graduate entry-level program, and it provided a great opportunity for him to learn about computer engineering and business applications. In 1992, he started an MBA program with National University and received his MBA in 1994. Also in 1992, the management team at DEC invited him to move to a sales position, and, while he missed hands-on experience with the latest technology, he realized he had a passion for working with people and clients in a sales environment.
Since 1992, Mr. Diaz has focused on software sales supporting clients within the Department of Defense. His passion and expertise over time has evolved from more than just understanding and applying computer technology to business applications. As well, over the years he has developed an expertise in specific DoD requirements and applications. He was hired by his current employer, VMware, to lead their team of sales professionals supporting US Navy and U.S. Marine Corps clients.
The recognition he has received over the years is focused on meeting and exceeding job performance measures. He received employee of the quarter while at DEC multiple times and employee of the year (within the Southern California Government Region) three times. He received Manager of the Year while at Sun Microsystems Federal in 2007.
In his current position, he used basic business mathematics skills to calculate key performance indicators such as sales growth/decline, compound growth rate, revenue and expense targets, and net-profit estimates.
Outside of work, his passion is performing social outreach through his church community of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Oceanside, CA. He has supported various programs within the parish, including assisting migrant workers, refugee resettlement activities, and protesting unjust border immigration policies over the previous years.
There are two thoughts Mr. Diaz would share with undergraduates as they plan their entry into the workplace. First, “find an application/industry you can be passionate about. If you see your job as a chore you are in the wrong job. He recalls thinking to himself that he could not believe DEC was paying him to do the work he was assigned. And to this day, he still thinks – VMware is actually paying me to do this!” Secondly, “know that nothing will ever stay the same – change in our professional lives is a constant. Technology, employers, governments will all change over time so stay focused on what you are most passionate about”.
“I am very proud of my Hispanic heritage. Having Hispanic Heritage Month set aside on the calendar brings to mind two distinct, but complementary thoughts. First, I am so proud of my parents, my grandparents, and my ancestors for working so hard to make life better for each succeeding generation. I have traced my roots back to the late 18th century to Tarma, Peru – a small town located deep in the Andes at 10,000 ft. of elevation. I am so thankful for my antecedents' hard work and love of family that allowed me to arrive at this place – here and now.
Second, I am very happy that my adopted country of the U.S. has set aside time during the year to acknowledge the contributions of Hispanics living here. It makes me quite grateful that this great country gives immigrants the opportunity to make a better life for ourselves and our future generations!”