Armed Forces Day – United in Strength

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armed Forces Day salutes the unification of all the military forces under the

Department of Defense. Necholas Gomez of Redwood City represents the best of the US Marine Corps. Nick will graduate in December, 2011, with a business degree and concentration in Finance. He describes his time at Sequoia High School as “undisciplined and wild,” though he graduated with a 3.2 GPA.

Nick then joined the Marine Corps, trained as a fireman / EMT, and within four years, rose to the rank of E5-Sergeant, an unusual achievement in such a short time. By competing in meritorious promotion boards, Nick was able to secure the rank of E-4 corporal meritoriously and further his achievements within the Marine Corps.

Then 9/11 happened. In December, 2002, he was sent to Kuwait, where he was present at the beginning of the “shock and awe” in Iraq. His unit was attached to the 7th Marines infantry, one of the many units that broke through the walls of Iraq. His personal unit was responsible for creating FARPs (Forward Arming and Refueling Points).

“Being a Marine gave me self-confidence, structure and most of all, discipline. I now tend to aim for perfection rather than settling with just getting by. The Marines taught me to set higher goals, and gave me a greater outlook on life.”

Nick left the Marine Corps in 2005 when he was offered a job with Halliburton in Afghanistan. He continued in his career as an airport fireman, providing fire protection at Kandahar airfield. The perks of the job included great monetary compensation and company-sponsored travel to places like Amsterdam, Australia, Thailand and Costa Rica. After two years, Nick decided that he wanted a better life someday with a wife and kids, so he came home, attended College of San Mateo, and earned AA degrees in general studies and in Business.

Arrival at Menlo College

Following CSM, Nick enrolled at Menlo College, recommended to him by his cousin Angie Cuevas '10. Menlo was convenient, affordable, highly touted as a good business school and provided close contact with teachers in a small-class environment. Nick thoroughly enjoyed both CSM and Menlo College. Trained as an EMT, he continued to combine study with travel by volunteering on two medical missions (India and Brazil), doing exams, and serving as the front man, screening every patient and providing triage. His professor, Leslie Sekerka, helped him arrange his schoolwork in order to do these missions.

Since Nick envisions a career in business, he has his eyes on an American company that would offer a global enterprise, allowing him a chance meet people, try different foods and travel the world. After graduation, Nick plans on moving to Brazil for a year to experience the culture and learn to speak Portuguese. This year, Nick was inducted into Delta Mu Delta, the business honor society, and also into Alpha Chi, honoring the top ten percent of Menlo students. His current GPA is nearly 3.9. This summer, Nick continues his work at Bayshore Ambulance, hoping to complete a summer internship by working in the finance office. He credits the Marines and his college education as transformative experiences, providing the skills and global perspective that match his determination to succeed.