Interview with Carlos Gonzalez: CCATE Mentor and Pfizer Intern

Currently an intern at Pfizer and a senior mechanical engineering major at Widener University, Carlos Gonzalez got involved with CCATE around 7 years ago when his dad met Obed and learned about the organization. Both him and his sister started at CCATE at that time, but it was during his freshman year of college at Montgomery County Community College that Carlos got very involved when CCATE helped him with applying to universities. Last summer, Carlos started volunteering and has served as a mentor for the high school group over the past year. During the school year, he was offering help to the CCATE students with the homework and school projects that they had.

“CCATE has had a large influence on me since I started. I have seen the benefits that having a mentor can have on younger students with the help and guidance that they offer and, for me, it has been very rewarding to help those that are going through similar journeys as mine. Being a part of CCATE has shown me the impact one person can have on another.”

Carlos is also a student that has benefitted from the DACA program which he first applied to during his sophomore year of high school. Through DACA, he received his driver’s license as well as a work permit. While this didn’t fix the financial challenges that he faced in college applications because he still didn’t qualify for in-state tuition, DACA still gave Carlos the confidence to pursue education because he was no longer living in fear of deportation. Throughout it all, his parents have supported him in every way possible and he believes that he would not be in college right now if it wasn’t for them.

“While college was initially a difficult adjustment, my grades steadily rose and this opened up a lot of university opportunities for me. In the end, I was choosing between Widener University and Drexel University, and I chose Widener because they offered me a very large merit scholarship to be a part of the engineering program. So far, I have loved my time there and I plan on graduating in the spring of 2021. After working for a few years to determine what kind of mechanical engineering I would like to specialize in, I would like to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree or even a PhD.”

Last fall, Obed told Carlos about an opportunity to intern at Pfizer through an affiliation between Pfizer CRG-Latino and CCATE. The Pfizer team at the Collegeville campus reached out to him and began walking him through the process of the application to improve his chances for getting selected since it is a very competitive internship. After many resume reviews and mock interviews, Carlos successfully earned multiple internship offers from Pfizer this spring and has been working as a Business Analyst Intern under the Global Supply Chain department this summer. “I was a bit nervous at first because I was not used to working in a business field, but Pfizer was very welcoming from the start. I easily adjusted and the nerves quickly went away. I have enjoyed working on several projects and meeting many new people along the way. Pfizer really invests in and supports their student workers by giving us exposure to several fields and also with presentations from executives of the company. My mentor has also allowed me to network with other departments in Pfizer and even with companies outside of Pfizer.”

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