Dereck Mendoza ‘05
Dereck Mendoza ’05 (East Providence High School) attended Bentley University. He graduated in 2009 with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and a minor in Management. “I chose this major because I've always had a passion for computer technology,” he says. “Before I even started taking classes, I had built a few computers, solved many of my own technical support problems, and disassembled, repaired, and reassembled many devices such as digital cameras, laptops, and personal computers. It was an easy choice for me to pursue a degree in something I enjoyed and had already learned a lot about.”
Dereck is employed full time at FM Global, the largest property insurance company worldwide, with corporate offices based in Rhode Island. He is a Senior Research Technician on the company’s local research campus. “The research campus consists of fire, natural hazards, explosion, and hydraulics laboratories that test the potentials and dangers of various risks,” he explains. “My job involves working out of the control room for the large-scale fire lab (the largest of its kind in the world!), controlling many aspects of the fire tests as well as the data acquisition and instrumentation systems that monitor the results produced by each test. It's a really fun and interesting job!”
As a student at Bentley, Dereck discovered an environment in which he could thrive. “The campus was absolutely beautiful, and all of the professors were incredibly helpful and personable. They were willing to do anything to help you out and be more than just a teacher, and there was a very strong work ethic among most of the students, clearly showing a true passion for what they were doing and building themselves up to be. I always had help and support somewhere if I needed it, and it was really a place I could be proud to say I attended.”
Dereck is also thankful for the help he received as a Crusader. “The Crusade program helped inspire me toward my goals,” he says. “It set the precedent for me that going to college and establishing a strong career was not simply an option to consider, it was something I was expected to do and that I was able to do.” He remembers one particularly inspiring afterschool program when he was in middle school. “Recently graduated college students came to the school to meet, befriend, and run activities with Crusaders,” he says. “It was great to meet people who had recently gone through school and ask them questions.”
Now that Dereck is out of school and embarked on a career, he has his own advice for Crusaders. “My best advice to a new high school graduate starting college would be to take a little bit of time to really establish your goals, both short and long term. Most importantly,” he adds, “write them down. I'm sure you've heard this many times by now, and I know every time I heard it I rolled my eyes and thought of it as more of a homework assignment, but it is unbelievably helpful. You'd be surprised how even the toughest of goals will come to fruition just from something so simple. College can be very overwhelming at first, so having a good idea of what your short- and long-term goals are as you walk in the door is a huge step in the right direction. Write them down and place them where you can see them every day. Most of all, though, never give up! Don’t ever be afraid to use the resources of your college, friends, and family whenever you need help.”
In his free time, Dereck plays soccer for a local team with friends from high school, loves to travel and explore new things, and of course continues to mess around with all his favorite technology stuff.