Our interviewee today is a young entrepreneur in marketing. His name is Thomas Guardado.
Tell me a little about the origin of your last name? “Well, from what I’ve heard, it’s of Spanish origin but my father is from El Salvador, specifically from Chiltuapan. I honestly like it, because it is rare and people can quickly distinguish me.
Tell me about your parents. “They met here, when they were studying at a school of English as a Second Language. My father, as I mentioned before, is Salvadoran and came to the United States in the eighties fleeing from violence in his native country. What he explained to me was that the political, economic and social situation was not very good and, being very young, he understood that if he wanted to survive and do something with his life, his best option was to emigrate. The truth is that he is a man who does not surrender to anything and has a very kind heart; I cannot imagine doing the same, especially considering that he only received a high school education. Today, he has his own plumbing business, which has prospered because he is responsible and cares not only about completing a job, but doing it well. With him, I learned that the best advertisement is a satisfied customer and that quality must always be offered to maintain a good reputation. As for my mother, well, I could talk about her for hours. I admire her as a mother and even more as a human being. She, like my father, arrived from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to this country, without money, family or friends, but with a strong will to work and the unwavering strength and desire to succeed. What I admire most about her is that she cleaned houses for almost ten years with the goal of helping my father educate my brother and me. When we were a little more independent, she finally told my father that her greatest desire was to have a university degree. His response was that he would simply work a little harder. Today, my mother has a college degree as an elementary educator from the University of Western Connecticut and a master’s degree in bilingual education and English as a second language from Fairfield University, proving to me and my brother that it is never too late to fulfill the goals that we set for ourselves. On the other hand, I think she studied her career with the aim of helping others who, like her, come to this country without knowing the language and often get trapped in low-paying jobs because of it. My parents have taught both my brother and me that success does not knock on your door; rather, you have to go out and work to find it.
As for you, what is your dream? “I’m about to get a degree in business administration with a minor in marketing, so I can continue growing my marketing company. I have always been extremely independent, so my parents were not surprised that I wanted to become an entrepreneur. I feel a great passion for what I do. With my social media marketing agency, I seek to provide optimal growth for our clients’ social media accounts. Our mission is to make their brand more relevant in a very crowded world! Currently, everyone is on some social platform, including our grandmothers. Being aware that sometimes it is difficult to keep up with the latest trends and hashtags, we manage social media accounts, so that customers worry about running their business, and we let them know all the changes, activities, events that occur in their business.
What do you do in your free time? “Like my parents, I like to help others, so I’m a high school soccer coach. I love physical activity and to also help. I think young people need to keep busy and sports teaches us many things. We learn to work in teams, the importance of perseverance, practice, as well as punctuality. On the other hand, we also develop our abilities to interact with others and it is an opportunity to meet people.
Do you think your parents made a good decision to come to the United States? “Of course; otherwise, I would not be here.”
What would your final message be? “The right work for you is the one that you are passionate about, have fun, get entertained and one where you can invest all your knowledge to develop yourself as a professional and help others succeed.”
María Danniella Gutiérrez-Salem practiced law in Venezuela before going after her own American Dream and becoming a writer in the United States. mdgutier@gmail.