José Gomez Marquez knows a thing or two about taking risks and starting over. He made the decision of moving him and his family from the country of Peru to Miami, Florida in 2003 for better employment opportunities.
Things were better in Miami, but only slightly. Marquez wanted more opportunities to work in manufacturing and wanted to strengthen his English. He did this as he researched for smaller cities that focused on plastics manufacturing.
Marquez made another worthwhile decision to move him and his family to Fort Wayne, Indiana to work at Mullinax. He eventually left to pursue an opportunity at D&W Finepack, where he discovered Ivy Tech and Next Level Jobs.
As he wanted to advance his career at D&W Finepack, he knew he would have to continue his education. He was able to get his tuition and fees paid for while attending Ivy Tech Fort Wayne through Next Level Jobs. Marquez earned his certificate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics in fall of 2019 and is working on his associate’s degree in spring of 2020
While attending Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, Marquez has excelled. One of his biggest accomplishments was winning first place as part of a multi-college team at the Conexus Case Competition in Oct. 2019 where he problem-solved a real-life scenario faced by the Caterpillar corporation.
“The Conexus Competition was an amazing experience! Working on a real case with students from another college was challenging, but definitely enriching,” says Marquez. “The feeling of being the winning team was so exhilarating! I was very nervous because other teams seemed so well-prepared, but thanks to the good experiences that I’ve had with my Ivy Tech instructors, I was right there with them, ready to compete at a high level.”
Marquez worked hard and moved across the country and across the world to not only improve his life, but his family’s as well. He wrote a poem (which won first place in a competition for National Distance Learning Week) that reflects his emotional and educational journey from Peru to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne:
Virtual Reality Becomes Reality
by Jose Gomez Marquez
Stuck in a dead-end job
no light at the end of the tunnel
aspirations, creativity stifled
a dump truck full of ambition
poured through a small plastic funnel.
My time and my sweat daily wrung from me
hardly a moment, a drop left for my family.
Is this why I left Perú, to live in a snowy city?
Then an ad comes my way, by heavenly algorithm sent
Level up your job with Next Level
See? Your tax dollars are well spent!
I’m nervous, I’m worried
Can I handle work, school, more stress?
My kids push me towards the goal
I say “maybe,” they chorus “yes!”
Distance learning is the key, the internet is my friend
my mind catches fire, though my posture suffers
hours with a book and a laptop I spend.
The pieces fit together, good grades come my way
my confidence rises
I can finally put all my skills into play.
One more challenge arrives
the Conexus contest in logistics and supply chain
I’ll show those punks from West Lafayette
how we do things in Fort Wayne!
My team poses for the photo as we hold the big check
fifteen minutes of fame, a new job and more
courtesy of online Ivy Tech.