Why COLSA Wednesday: Extended – Omar Aponte-Rivera

Why COLSA Wednesday: Extended is aimed at diving deep into who our employees are, what they love about COLSA, and why they are here. Read on to hear Omar Aponte- Rivera’s “why COLSA.”  

Q: What is your job title? What do you do for COLSA?   

A: I am a systems engineer. I work on high-performance computers and the TI-20 contracts. But, more specifically, I work with programs that perform in a supercomputer environment. I provide the software for people to work in hardware-intensive jobs. I give all of this to the Army Corps of Engineers. There is nothing that the computer can’t do for them, and I help make it that way.   

Q: How did you come into your role at COLSA?   

A: I worked in a computer analyst role for over fifteen years when I found COLSA. After applying to a position, they hired me for the position I hold now. My experience was a big reason why COLSA hired me. I loved the job, and it was what I was looking for.   

Q: What was your interview like?   

A: My interview was fantastic. After being a manager for several years, I wanted to get back into the technical side of things. I loved my role as a manager, but I missed being so hands-on and the fun of being on the technical side. I was very interested in COLSA and the position from the get-go.   

Q: In the years you have worked for COLSA, what would you say is your favorite part of the culture?   

A: There are many things that I love about the culture. Number one is management. Everyone from upper management to the line managers – they’re who I want to be as a leader. The family feeling you get at COLSA is immense for me as well. Even though we’re a big company, you still get that small company feel. When you talk to our employees, you can see that they care. The care I have seen here is more than I have ever had at any company; people care not just about you as a person but also about where your career is heading. The way I have been treated since I started has not changed; it has always been nothing but respect and care. From the opportunity to advance and grow in your career to the commination skills utilized by the leadership is something I talk about a lot. When I talk to people about COLSA, I don’t have to paint a picture to make it seem like everything is great here – it already is, and you can see it in our employees.   

Q: How have the mentors you have gained at COLSA helped shape you and get you to where you are now?  

A: Billy Hill and Kevin Parker are two of the mentors I have had while at COLSA. My managers, such as Tammy Garrison, have also greatly influenced me. Tammy is the type of manager that encourages you and pushes you to be the best you can be. All these mentors welcomed me into an environment I had never been in. They did not hesitate to share knowledge or explain something I wasn’t understanding.