Ricky Vides (September 2022)

Ricky Vides (he/him), Department Advisor, Equity and Student ServicesPhoto of person with short dark hair, glasses, and facial hair holding a "California" banner in blue and gold.

What does your program, unit, or division do on campus?

The Department of Mechanical Engineering serves undergraduate and graduate students in pursuit of a broad technical education with an emphasis on engineering fundamentals, creativity, and innovation.

Describe your job in five words:

Exploration, depth, transformative, social, responsibility.

Why Berkeley?

Berkeley is a destination where I self-actualized. I know this is true of many students, faculty, and campus professionals. Berkeley also lives outside of its borders and follows you everywhere. The Berkeley influence is vast, which is why we are the number public university in the universe.

Over your career, what are some of the things that have helped you move to the next level and to new opportunities?

I embrace new opportunities to create relationships with anyone willing to build community. I love observing people who prepare and deliver important information while they are in their element. I never turn down a public speaking opportunity, I rehearse, and always make it count. I lean on people I trust for strategic and calculated guidance at critical stages of growth or in gametime decisions (goal setting processes, steering committees, consensus building, conflict transformations, interviews, and negotiations).

What is the best advice a mentor has given you in work, life, or beyond?

Be nice to everyone and sustain common courtesy even when it gets difficult. Not all costs are financial, some are political. Politics are neither good nor bad, they just are. Speak confidently, know when to listen and when to speak, always frame it in a positive way and build people up.

What motivates you to do your best work?

The gift of time. The returns are great once time has passed and the gratitude is fulfilled. I have many seeds to harvest encounters with former students and people that I have helped along the way. These memories are the source of my motivation. Service to one another really does multiple and makes a better world. I think back to everyone who has offered guidance in my journey, and that is typically all I need to get the extra bit of energy to support the next generation.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I worked at a hospital and transported elders and newborn children and their mothers. I felt weird having that much responsibility as a 17 year-old. However, I really enjoyed experiencing the circle of life.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?

I was once published in a book of poetry by children, the poem was called The Hit, which was a short reflection on a concussion from youth tackle football.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary with my partner, Nalui Garcia Vides.