Serving as the director of the Division of Employment Services at the CNMI Department of Labor as well as an adjunct Sociology professor at Northern Marianas College, NMC graduate Eugene Tebuteb is an inspiring example of many NMC grads who are playing multiple roles in our island community.
Tebuteb graduated from NMC in 2003 with his AA in Liberal Arts. He describes his time at NMC as one that has helped him develop the critical thinking and analytical skills that served to be invaluable to his personal and professional life.
“I also believe that NMC, being in and of itself, an institution predicated on fostering a culture of learning, reasoning and problem-solving, prepares young adults to step into the real and unadulterated world with a particular set of cognitive skills,” Tebuteb states. “Those skills have been instrumental to past and present successes.”
In his decision to attend NMC, he recalls how NMC’s “start smart” advocacy was not as common during his college years.
“Retrospectively, the start smart ‘maxim’ could not have been truer for me. Essentially, I chose NMC because – even if I didn’t quite grasp it at the time – it was the smartest way to start my life.”
Tebuteb went on to enlist in the Army in 2004. After his military service, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Sociology at Texas A&M University in 2011, and furthermore earned his Master of Science in Sociology at the University of Texas in 2014.
His motivation for pursuing his degree came from personal goals and values combined with the fact that he comes from a family of educators.
“My motivation for pursuing my occupation has a lot to do with my individual disposition to give back to my community every chance I get and ‘pay it forward’ when the opportunity arises,” he noted.
Today, Tebuteb oversees one of six divisions within the CNMI Department of Labor, where he ensures that various operations such as job placement, assistance, and referral services run smoothly and conform to the rules and standards within local labor regulations.
“One of the division's primary services is job placement. This is done systematically through job matching procedures, where we match job seeker skills to employer needs,” Tebuteb explains.
“We also coordinate resources for job readiness (e.g., training, internship, education) and also conduct, from time to time, follow-up services to make certain that workers are protected during employment.”
Additionally being employed by NMC, he shares, “As an adjunct professor, my primary goal is to assist students with the exploration of sociological concepts, theories and methods to understand human behavior in a systematic and scientific manner.”
In advice to current students, Tebuteb advises that they are on the right path just by being there, and to get back up and try not to look back despite failures.
“My college professor once said, ‘sometimes, you won’t really know what will become of you after you’ve obtained your degree…interestingly and somehow, your calling always seems to find its way to you,’” he recalls.
Moreover, in advice to those who have achieved their goal of a career or occupation, Tebuteb shares a quote, “Tim McGraw could not have sung it any better: ‘Always stay humble and kind.’”
On a final note, Tebuteb states, “It is true that issues will persist within the educational milieu long after my time and yours, but success is and will always be the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. My faith in our tiny island’s educational system will not falter as long as every now and then, NMC produces alumni that are willing, able and motivated to give back to the community they so adore.”