People of Stanford Research Park: Oscar Gonzalezby SRP on September 19, 2023
Get to Know: Oscar Gonzalez: Daring to Dream Big and Forge a New Path
Safety and Security & Transportation Coordinator, Rubrik
Oscar Gonzalez was born in Mountain View. It was a very different Mountain View from the one we know today. A pre-Google Mountain View. His corner of it, in particular, was plagued by crime and gang violence. As he grew up, Oscar watched as scores of internet companies opened offices in Mountain View and transformed entire swaths of the city. He saw tech bring jobs and prosperity to the area. Observing this new economy take root right in his backyard lit a spark in Oscar.
As with most communities, it’s commonplace for those in Oscar's to help each other find jobs, often in construction. With a booming tech economy around him, Oscar wondered if he might be able to tap into that network and open himself up to new options. Never far from his mind was the awareness of where he was—the middle of Silicon Valley, abundant in opportunities, rife with knowledge just waiting for him to learn. What would he squander if he didn’t take advantage of what surrounded him?
He was determined. He would find a way. He would resist the naysayers, including that voice in his head that occasionally filled him with doubt. Somehow, he would chart his own path to the tech industry.
After a few years of gig work, Oscar did it. In 2019, he was hired in shipping and receiving at Rubrik, a data security company in the Stanford Research Park. While it was a contract position, he fully committed to it. His dedication clearly impressed the higher-ups. In March 2021, Oscar was offered a full-time position in the safety, security, and transportation department. Today, he is a valued member of the facilities team responsible for the numerous programs and services that ensure Rubrik employees are taken care of, that the grounds remain safe, and that the company assets are secure.
Oscar reports to the Director of Safety and Security, with whom he has a fantastic relationship. His manager encourages him to reap the benefits of a full-time job, especially those that can help enable a long, fulfilling career. Oscar has completed multiple classes and received nine certifications to advance his knowledge relevant to his role, including safety and security, industrial hygiene, and sustainability. His manager keeps inviting him to learn and do more, and Oscar keeps rising to the challenge. Most recently, Oscar has become passionate about sustainability. He asked if he could support Rubrik’s transportation program, which encourages Rubrik employees to utilize commuter services in order to reduce carbon emissions—work that provides Oscar the opportunity to collaborate with the Stanford Research Park team.
Oscar is a reminder that, when we open our minds and work hard, the sky really is the limit. He let himself imagine a life beyond what he knew. He dreamt of a career despite not having a college degree. He set his sights on tech, and he made it all happen. No doubt, Oscar’s star has only begun to rise.
We’re excited for you to get to know Oscar Gonzalez, yet another person who makes Stanford Research Park a unique and special place.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of becoming a full-time employee at Rubrik. I was a contractor in shipping and receiving for a little over two years. When I was offered the safety and security job, I thought, Wow, they want me here! I had this big smile on my face. Of all my jobs, I’ve dedicated myself the most to this one, and I’m really proud of myself for getting here.
Just getting the chance to be around the amazing people who work at Rubrik—especially the leaders, including my manager—has really changed my mindset around what’s possible with a career. They’ve been great mentors to me. I understand how this role can open so many doors.
I love seeing all the different cultures represented in Mountain View. It’s just an amazing place. And it’s the place that showed me all these tech companies and made me think, Why not me?
Oscar Gonzalez, Safety and Security & Transportation Coordinator, Rubrik
What is a risk you took that paid off?
Taking this full-time role. When I got the offer, I thought to myself, What am I getting into? It wasn’t the field of work I’d been in, and I was nervous. But something sparked in me, and I decided it was time to try something new. I wanted to expand my knowledge and my portfolio, and this opportunity was going to allow me to do that. I took the risk, and I’ve never looked back.
What is something that has surprised you about this stage of your life?
The most surprising thing is that I’m here at Rubrik. I did not attend any college, and I didn't pursue any kind of additional education out of high school. I was just kind of bouncing from job to job, and I was sometimes unsatisfied with these jobs. I always wanted to work in tech, and I took the first step to get my foot in the door. But I still had doubts. And some people in my life doubted me, too.
In a way, I never expected to get to a role like this. I also didn’t expect how it would change me. It’s really expanded my knowledge and my goals. I feel very accomplished in ways I never would have imagined. I’m thankful for all the opportunities and guidance I’ve been given. I feel more mature and capable. Just knowing I can build a career out of this experience is what motivates me to keep learning, keep striving to do my best, and keep showing people my potential.
What skill would you like to master?
Eventually, I’d like to be able to do risk assessments on my own. Risk assessment means looking at data around a decision a company needs to make and determining if it’s a good decision or not. For example, researching potential locations for a new office building, or researching locations where employees will travel and determining the safest options. Through Rubrik, I’ve done some local risk assessment. I’d really like to do risk assessments out of state and internationally, as some of my colleagues do now. I find it really interesting, and I’d love to build this experience.
What city do you consider your hometown?
It's always going to be Mountain View. I was born in El Camino Hospital. I was raised here, and I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve seen it change, develop, and grow. When I was a kid, gangs were active, and you had to be careful not to wear certain colors on the street. Now it’s safe to live and walk around, and I think it’s great. I love seeing all the different cultures represented in Mountain View. It’s just an amazing place. And it’s the place that showed me all these tech companies and made me think, Why not me?