The Search For His Interests: Derrik Bustos, Class Of 2009

After leaving the hallways of GGHS in 2009, Derrik Bustos’ path was far from direct while zig-zagging from a project coordinator at Amazon to clinical medicine and health care administrator. During his Sophomore year, he was elected ASB President, to which he assumed the role all the way until he graduated. As president of his cabinet, Derrik had to grow up pretty quickly and develop important life/professional skills- from learning to earn the trust of peers and delivering/receiving feedback, to leading meetings and networking. Derrik was recognized among the Most Worthy Argonauts in the first year GGHS. In the end, Derrik was on the stage as Co-Most Worthy Argonaut alongside with fellow Johnny Umanzor, someone who he “respects tremendously and is still a personal friend of his.”

Although Cal Poly Pomona wasn’t his first choice, growing up, Derrik always intended to pursue a degree in biology specializing as Life Sciences and Human Anatomy. Cal Poly Pomona was far enough away from home for him to be independent, but close enough for an easy drive back to his family if he missed their cooking.  However, now that he’s working at Amazon as a Project Coordinator, being responsible the curriculum development and direct training for Amazon 

recruiters. After working with Amazon for almost a year and transitioning into his current role since mid-August, Derrik is incredibly happy with his current work-place environment. He expressed, “Amazon is an incredibly innovative place to be. My passion has always been growth, development, and empowerment. The team that I’m on at Amazon is relatively new and affords a ton of flexibility to create curriculum that is not only informative but empowering for the recruiters I work with.” Outside of his workspace at Amazon, a Program Manager at COPE Health Solutions, Derrik manages a clinical internship for hospitals in Riverside, CA and Seattle, WA. COPE Health Solutions partners with the health system and payer clients to provide them with the tools, services and advice they need to be leaders in the health care industry. As a consultant for these hospitals and having to wear a suit and tie everyday while learning to take command of meetings with folks twice his age, made him grow up really fast. The reason why he landed the role was because his program director identified his skillset as an intern; and she recommended him for a role managing internship.

The greatest struggle for Derrik is his alternating path. It’s veered far from where he thought he’d be when making life plans and drafting his personal statement in high school. Since he was 6 years old, he’s had told everyone, “I’m going to be a doctor.” However, Derrik admits, the most difficult thing that he’s had to overcome is that – though his passion is to empower – doctor isn’t the only profession where he’s able to do that. “I’m still sifting through what I want to be when I grow up.” As long as Derrik is continually moving into spaces where he’s empowering others, it’s easy for him to push forward and look for personal and professional growth. A word of advice to those that are considering to follow Derrik’s situation, is to figure out what your passions are. “Come up with a plan that allows you to live your passions to the fullest. And be okay when that plan deviates (because it definitely will). But you will inevitably find a way to live those true passions out – it just might not be in the exact same way as you had originally intended. Everything happens for a reason!”