From internship to mentorship, Moe Garcia builds close-as-family talent pipeline from University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Moe Garcia

Surrounded by swaying palm trees, steps from white sand beaches and in proximity to his family and friends who still live on the island, the work that brings Moe Garcia to the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) several times a year might seem like an idyllic assignment. But it's the chance to give back to his school and our company that has driven him to stick with it for eight years.

"It's very fulfilling to help out students at the university,” said Moe, a systems and applications manager. “They’re highly valued by our company, so it’s important for us to give them a closer look at industry work experience.”

Moe has a passionate commitment to the 20-year partnership between UPRM and our company. As campus manager since 2010, He brings our engineers to the campus for talks, arranges scholarships, and coordinates our participation in an "Industrial Affiliates Program" that provides mentorship and funding for student projects and helps to get needed equipment, parts, and tools for UPRM's engineering labs. His strong relationships with faculty have paid off for TI as well as for the students.

"Moe’s efforts have brought talented engineers to our staff who help make our company a more culturally diverse place to work,” said Carrie Hunter, a recruiting manager at our company. “He has such an influence and a strong trust with the professors. Their students are excited to work on the cool, innovative projects that we offer through our summer internships and rotation programs. It's a win-win."

An ever-expanding family

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Moe earned his electrical engineering degree from UPRM in 2000. As a student there, he worked on TI projects with Professor Rogelio Palomera before securing a seven-month internship at our Dallas headquarters, followed by a full-time job as a test engineer. Now, he’s helping students follow in his footsteps, and growing a pipeline of diverse talent at our company.

"Since UPRM's bachelor of engineering degree is a distinguished five-year program, we're essentially getting master's level students from a bachelor's degree program, and the Mayagüez campus is known for STEM,” Carrie said. “These students have dozens of companies recruiting them."

Under Moe's management, the TI-UPRM family has continued to expand. In 2000, he was our company's third hire from the school. Today, at least 60 UPRM graduates work here. In 2017 alone, 17 students from the campus accepted offers to join us. Counting those who've done internships and moved on since hiring, Moe estimates 100 UPRM engineers have joined us over the course of our partnership.

“The students have questions and are nervous about the interview process,” Moe said. “Some students who I guided through the process now work at TI, are married with children and set up meetings with me to get mentoring on their next career move. It's a family-type relationship with some history behind it that I feel proud of."

Lyanne Magriz Cortes, a physical verification engineer, attests to the close-as-family relationship. She was doing undergraduate research for the SPICE modeling lab in Mayagüez when she met Moe.

"I was majoring in electronics and semiconductors and TI was top in the world,” she said. “There was no doubt I wanted to work here. Since I've joined TI, Moe has been very influential. He's a mentor and a very resourceful person.”

Moe has been known to help UPRM interns with travel arrangements and even helped an intern in a medical emergency to fly home. On the UPRM campus, things are even more familial. Other early hires from the university often join Moe’s missions to the campus for support and to give technical seminars, including Charles Parkhurst, a senior analog design engineer and the very first intern our company hired from UPRM . "They're like the right-hand men," Moe said. During their visits to Mayagüez, Professor Palomera treats them like his own grandchildren and his wife makes dinner reservations and plans the menu.

“Those dinners are more like family meals than professional meetings,” Moe said. "We include spouses, and on one trip I took my daughter and Charles took his son," he says.

A new lab on campus

Coinciding with the 20-year anniversary of the TI-UPRM relationship, our company sponsored a total renovation of UPRM's integrated circuit design laboratory. The newly-reconstructed lab was set to open last fall when Hurricane Maria struck. With minor damages repaired, the formal ribbon cutting and celebration took place this May.

Charles also attended the 20th anniversary celebration in Mayagüez. He says Moe, with whom he shares a birthday and considers "like a brother," possesses a true engineer's mind.

"If he doesn't know how to do something, he'll find a way,” Charles said. “By networking, by talking to people he puts pieces together to solve problems, and he knows how to put people together to make things happen. He is a very good leader; he's somebody who makes you want to follow him."

Moe, who exemplifies how our company is equipping today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators, is featured in our company’s 2017 Citizenship Report, which was released today.