Paul Alvarado, a maintenance mechanic in the W. P. Carey facilities department, remembers working alongside his father painting or woodworking as a child. From an early age, his dad instilled advice Paul has carried ever since: take pride in your work; take pride in a job well done. Paul says that no matter what task he approaches, he now takes that mindset. “Your work is what represents you. It’s what you get to say to the world,” Paul shares. We get to see that pride manifest throughout the halls of W. P. Carey, where Paul helps configure offices, install new furniture, set up for events, and more.
One of Paul’s favorite things about his job is creating a positive work environment for others. “If we do our jobs well,” he explains, “then it makes it easier for faculty and staff to do their jobs well, too.” This has always been a feature of Paul’s work. Before starting at W. P. Carey, he was a custodian for the Chandler School District and previously worked in new home construction. “At the end of the day, if the customer is happy, that is a great gift to me,” Paul says.
This approach aligns well with W. P. Carey’s “business is personal” approach. Not only does Paul try to create a positive environment for everyone who works here, but he also appreciates that his role allows him to get out from behind a desk and into hallways and offices to meet people. “I like getting to move around the school and get to know people from all the different departments. I’m never stuck on one floor or one building. I interact with people from every part of the school.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
I worked at a video store in my teens. It’s crazy that those don’t even exist anymore. My sister had worked there, too, so that’s how I got the job when I was only 15. But it definitely helped teach me customer service and the importance of helping people through an issue. This was when people had a VCR, so I would help troubleshoot if they were having problems with that. I also learned some basic business skills—how to balance the cash at the end of the day, some of the numbers, stuff like that which has been useful.
If you could have another job, what would it be?
I would have liked to be a teacher I think. Maybe a science teacher.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I think I'd like to go to somewhere in the Caribbean. I've never been that way, but I think that'll be one place. Somewhere with a nice beach!
What are some things you enjoy doing outside of work?
I really like to spend time outside hiking and camping. My whole family — my four sons, my parents, my in-laws — we all go up camping near Payson and just spend a weekend away together. It’s a great break.
What’s something you’re afraid of?
I would have to say spiders. Or really any insect-like creature.
Do you remember participating in any fads growing up?
I grew up in the 80’s, so I was really into skateboarding. Acid wash jeans and parachute pants, too, like the MC Hammer pants. And I worked at the video store, which is pretty dated now. Just thinking about VCRs is a throwback.
What is your favorite season?
Winter. But Arizona winter! Nothing too drastic. I did drive in a blizzard one time though. That was pretty crazy.
Salty or sweet? Salty
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Cat or dog? Dog
Board games or video games? Video games
Book or movie? Movie
Apple or Android? Android
Morning person or night owl? Morning person
Hot or cold? Cold
On time or late? On time