Donovan Gomez is changing how summer internships are experienced. He does this through having a genuine interest in his intern’s life paths and exploring how he can maximize their summer in the program. “It's very important to give back to the next generation and help others along the way in their career path,” explains Gomez.
Since 2018, Gomez has been the Social Media Coordinator and Videographer at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). In 2015, he earned an internship with the SFPUC, and under his mentor Ryan Iwata, Gomez developed social media and digital marketing skills. He now manages the SFPUC social media platforms and creates content including videos, articles, photos, and posts.
Stepping into the role was seamless for Gomez. When the opportunity and position opened, he took initiative. “When Ryan left the SFPUC, there was a need to fill his position. After applying and going through the interview process, I earned the role of Social Media Coordinator and Videographer,” said Gomez.
Gomez and his team use social media to provide timely, accurate, and relevant information about the SFPUC’s programs and initiatives. Social media is also an extension of the SFPUC’s customer service. “We are a utility that provides critical water, power, and sewer services to our customers 24/7, 365 days a year. Providing help to our customers when they have a question or concern is critical,” Gomez explains.
For Gomez, it encapsulates his passion for storytelling and helping others, which he expresses through his work. Beyond the SFPUC’s programs and initiatives, social media can help highlight employees and tell the agency’s story. “We have a lot of interesting projects and great employees at the SFPUC, so social media allows us to help tell our story in the digital world.”
Gomez has been a mentor for the Project Pull Program since 2019. This program provides an internship opportunity for youth through the summer months. Giving back to the next generation is a point that is extensively expressed throughout his day-to-day.
He also built many strong connections through his internship. “I am in the role I am in today because someone took it upon themselves to help guide and mentor me. I am blessed and fortunate to be able to help the next generation and pass along the knowledge I have,” Gomez explained.
When reflecting on his years of mentoring, one experience sticks out for Gomez. It was during his first year with the program and his first intern, Tycho. Jumping through obstacles and learning from each other, Gomez credits as the motivating factor for why he continues to mentor. “My proudest moment was teaching Tycho videography. He had little video experience at the beginning of the summer and by the end of the program, he created his own video from start to finish,” Gomez recalled.
Gomez mentioned that he remains in contact with many mentors and colleagues from his internship days. Taking away the skills that set him up for his career path, he thoroughly believes in a simple rule that applies to interns for any program. Gomez said, “no matter if you are interning with the City and County of San Francisco or at Project Pull, if you show up to work and put forth your best work, you will go a long way.”