TSC helps Information Technology alum find career success

By Amanda Sotelo

From Deep South Texas to Minnesota, Texas Southmost College alumnus Carlos Martinez got his start in Brownsville and now finds himself in the Twin Cities with a successful career in Information Technology.

The 37-year-old, now an Information Technology Specialist with CSM Corps, a leading Minnesota company that acquires, develops and renovates residential, commercial and industrial properties across the country, said TSC helped him turn his hobby into a career.

“I was a gamer who learned how to work on and improve my computers, and somehow I was able to turn that into a small business,” said Martinez. “Without any formal education though, I struggled. I had clients, but still had to work minimum wage jobs. There came a time when I had to say enough was enough. I wanted more for me and my family.”

For several years, the husband and father operated his business Neozion IT Solutions out of his home serving local businesses, clinics and schools with his IT services.

It was a visit to Texas Workforce Solutions to find additional work that changed his life.

“When I walked through that door, I was approached by a TSC advisor who was on site talking about TSC and its programs,” he said. “It was there where I realized TSC offered an associate degree in Information Technology. This was the chance I needed to turn my life around.”

Martinez immediately enrolled at TSC, earning his associate degree in information technology (now Computer Information Systems) in 2012, eventually completing his bachelor’s degree a couple of years later.

“The experience of becoming the first in my family to be a college graduate was a humbling and proud moment,” he said. “Knowing that graduating was going to allow me to support my family and give them a better life is an amazing feeling.”

Although Martinez said it was difficult missing important family events, the second family he had created at TSC, especially with his instructors and peers, kept him going towards the finish line.

“Not only did our instructors teach and provide us with hands-on training that fully prepared me to begin my career, but they genuinely cared,” he said. “They greatly impacted my success with their encouragement and motivation and inspired me to keep going.”

Martinez now leads a successful, nearly 10-year career in information technology, but how did he settle on Minnesota?

“I took a trip to visit my sister, applied for a job out of curiosity and within three days I was hired,” said Martinez. “My family and I immediately moved to Minnesota, and I was only confident in this move because TSC gave me what I needed to start my career.”

Martinez has worked for higher education, banking and energy companies but has never forgotten that he is still a business owner, although he is currently taking a hiatus.

“After TSC, every door of opportunity started opening for me,” he said. “Without it, I would not be where I am today – able to provide for my family, travel, especially to visit our family in Brownsville, and buy our own home within the next year. And of course, someday I’ll reboot my business. TSC has created success and I am living proof.”

For more information about TSC’s Information Technology program, now known as Computer Information Systems, visit tsc.edu.