“It only takes one moment to change someone’s life.”
Anyone that knows Gilbert Bareng knows that he’s a possibility guy. Which is exactly way our region is fortunate to have the Vice President and Principal Architect of Mangini Associates, Inc.
Gilbert is the Chair of the Innovate Tulare-Kings Leadership Council and was recognized by NAF (formerly known as the National Academy Foundation) for his champion-level participation on NAF academy advisory boards last year.
He also created a regional work-based learning project called INTERNNECT, an internship process that has expanded opportunities for students by establishing virtual internships that ensure a student’s residency is not an obstacle in accessing opportunities.
We asked Gilbert about his mentors, what he wishes he had known starting out, his networking advice, and about the ways INTERNNECT is changing lives.
Please describe your involvement with ITK so far, and why you decided to get involved.
I was asked to chair the INNOVATE Tulare Kings Leadership Council and graciously took the offer, hoping that there was something I can bring to the table. I wanted to get involved because I think it’s extremely important to link business and education. Students need to know the relevancy of school and how they can apply it to their eventual careers. Without this, school remains as theory and not practice.
Did someone help open a door for you in your life? If so, tell us about them and what the relationship meant to you?
I’ve been blessed to have many doors open for me in my life. My parents have always taught me that family is important, to always be respectful of yourself and others, and to always help others in need. My wife opens doors for me every day, helping me see things in many ways I wouldn’t normally. My two children opens doors and constantly reminds me what life was like as a young person and how important it is to have the right role model lead them the way.
Thinking back to when you first started your career, what is something you wish you had known?
I wish I knew how important it was to communicate with others early on in my career. No matter what you do in life, your career will require you to express your ideas and convey them in a ways that others would understand in order to have constructive conversations. I also wish I knew that distributive leadership is a much more efficient way of getting more things done rather than tackling everything on your own.
Knowing that over 80% of people find their jobs through networking, what is your best piece of networking advice?
In addition to communication, it’s important to build deep relationships with others and help them in ways you may not directly see yourself benefiting from. If your first motive is to understand how you can use your skills to help others, then everything else will follow.
Can you share with us story of how INTERNNECT has made an impact on a young person’s life.
A teacher recently shared with me that their student who went through the program and is now in college reflected upon his high school experience. Of all his courses and extracurricular activities, the student said INTERNNECT was the best thing he ever did in high school. It helped open his eyes to the bigger world that was waiting for him, and he felt more confident to tackle whatever was in his way. What an amazing and rewarding story. It just demonstrates that we don’t have to teach young students the specific industry skills they need in college and life… we only need to light the fire, inspire, and give them confidence that they can accomplish anything. It only takes one moment to change someone’s life. How amazing an impact a program this small can have on someone. Imagine if this was every high school graduate’s story…
Thank you, Gilbert, for creating a world of possibility for our region’s young people!