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Live to Inspire: Eloy Martinez ‘02

February 24, 2014

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It’s hard to imagine someone who’s the staff director for the senate democratic steering and outreach committee in Washington D.C. admitting he didn’t have an interest in politics back in college. While Eloy Martinez ’02 does admit he wasn’t too concerned about politics when he was at Texas Lutheran University, he said his professional journey reflects what many recent college graduates face today: your first job might not be your dream job and that’s OK.

Originally from San Antonio, Martinez called TLU his home away from home. Martinez, a double major in English and communication studies, said the TLU community gave him the tools to cope with challenges he faced as he climbed the professional ladder.

"My years at TLU were a great time in my life," Martinez said. "I had great friends and mentors, and I was involved in dramatic media and a member of Omega Tau. I really grew as a person there. I studied in Spain and encourage all TLU students to go abroad and take internships in other places. Be open to new things. I learned that it was OK if I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do the rest of my life, to work hard and to be positive."

Before moving to D.C. in 2004 to intern for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Martinez worked as a substitute teacher, a mailman, a security alarm technician and moonlighted at a public relations firm. Although he was initially hesitant about relocating to a city far from home, his internship helped him eventually secure a position as director of governmental relations for TerraCom—a full-service communications and event planning firm. While at TerraCom, Martinez also served as director of communications at the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.

The connections he made there put him on the path to his current position as staff director for the senate democratic steering and outreach committee. The committee hosts meetings and events throughout the year where advocates, policy experts, and elected officials discuss key priorities that influence the Senate democratic agenda.

"In my office, we provide opportunities for the democratic caucus to host a group of people like veterans, the Jewish community, the business community, et cetera," Martinez said. "This is a chance for these people to meet with Senate democrats and share their perspectives in candid conversations. This provides an avenue for individuals who might not otherwise have a voice. The platform is amazing because they are able to share what’s happening in their lives with members of the Senate. This helps the senators make decisions based on what people across the country are advocating."

After a decade inside the Beltway, Martinez still credits TLU with guiding him to where he is.

"I wouldn’t be here without TLU," Martinez said. "Most of my colleagues have degrees from Ivy League institutions. It’s important to remember that just because you went to a smaller university, you shouldn’t feel limited or discouraged. The truth is, you can prove yourself just as much as anyone else."

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