home Q&A Marcus’ Wisdom and Life Path: A Q&A

Marcus’ Wisdom and Life Path: A Q&A

By Leslie Mezquita

Marcus Marshall. Photo by Elian Mendoza-Davis

The Dragon conducted an interview with Marcus Marshall, d.tech’s Athletic Director. Like some of us, he didn’t know what he wanted to do when he was older, and went through many twists and turns to get here.

Marcus’ previous careers include…

  • Juvenile officer 
  • personal trainer
  • Worked for a gym in Las Vegas called Phase One Sports
  • Worked with professional athletes
  • Football coach for Hillsdale High School, Chico State, and Foothill
  • Duck mascot in San Francisco
  • Red Cross getting people to donate money.
  • Cooked in the kitchen of a hotel
  • Started trying to be a cop, but bad economy made it too hard
  • Ran his own boot camps

Q:  Did you have a lot of motivation while in high school or did you know what you wanted to be when you were older?

I don’t remember what I wanted to be, because it always changed, but I was always motivated to do something big. I remember in college, I wanted to work for the FBI, I wanted to be a firefighter, a pilot; I always wanted to be something that was bigger than me. All my life experiences got me here.

Q: What advice do you have for those who don’t know what to do after high school?

My advice is to reach out, ask questions, try things, experience things you don’t know because you’ve never tried them before. There’s no right answer out there, so don’t worry about it. You have time. I didn’t get into this career until I was 28 years old, and I still don’t know what I really want to do. I don’t think we ever do, that’s what pushes us and motivates us to go find it. For those people who do know exactly what it is that they want to do, that’s great for them. There is no need they have to satisfy in order to work. That’s all it really is, satisfying some kind of need or some kind of insecurity through your job. Just try things, ask questions to people in positions that you have an interest in. Don’t just talk to your parents or somebody who has no knowledge about that topic. Talk to the people who are the most successful in that field, and they’ll give you useful information about that topic.

Q: You went through many different life changes through your careers. How did you end up working at d.tech?

When I finished my education, I was looking for new opportunities. I had other goals outside of my professional working life, regarding my family. Those careers were taking up too much time for not enough money. I had a buddy who referred me to Christy, and I came and visited. I was honestly just very impressed. I’d never seen anything like it, and it excited me, because it made me feel like anything could happen. I wanted to take it over and make it my own. I wanted the challenge. I also felt that it would give me a lot of good experience. I would still be working with sports, but now I’m more of a leadership position which I like, because I enjoy responsibility.

Q: Is there anything that you regret having done in the process of changing careers?

I don’t really hold regrets, but I do learn from what I’ve done in the past. There was probably some situation where I might have given up too early, or maybe I didn’t finish something because I had an alternate interest. For example, I was playing football for a junior college while attending Chico State, all my friends in the dorms would be hanging out creating these new bonds, and I kinda wanted that, so I chose to stop playing football in order to hang out with them. It was the right decision, but I never played football again. I don’t think it’s right to hold regrets; just learn from what you do.


Q: How did you get from one point to the next?

Sometimes opportunities come up and it’s all about situational awareness. Sometimes a situation is in your favor and you find a good opportunity. I think more more often than not, you should go with it. If you keep hoping that the next opportunity will be better, most of the time that same opportunity won’t come around again. Sometimes you fall into things through your experiences and people that you know. As long as you’re just putting your effort forward and trying hard, and talking well with people, showing people that you care, that you tried, that you’re motivated, and that you want to do something, usually things come back to you. 

As long as you’re just putting your effort forward and trying hard, and talking well with people, showing people that you care, that you tried, that you’re motivated, and that you want to do something, usually things come back to you.

Q: When you were growing up, you faced some troubled times. Did the trouble in your life slow you down, or did it push you forward?

I had a lot of support from my friends and my mom, but staying motivated… that was all just me pushing myself. That’s what I wanted, and I found a way. I don’t really know how I did that. It might have started out wanting to satisfy people, or wanting to do things for others, but eventually it turned into an internal motivation where I wanted it myself. I always held myself to a higher standard, because I’ve seen people mess up in life, and I didn’t want any of that to happen to me, or anyone that I care about. That’s kinda what pushed me through – these overwhelming feelings of responsibility for myself and others that I cared about.

Q: You said you had some friends that helped you through rough times. Were there any other relationships that helped you, and how did you find them?

My varsity football coach when I was younger. I wasn’t playing, but he supported me ’cause he saw a lot in me. After that, I didn’t really have any support from any coaches or teachers. Family friends supported me, brought me in, and fed me when there were problems at home. It’s actually very important to get support from adults, because they have a lot of advice to offer.

Q: You have people that ask you for advice and some support when they have trouble. Where do you get that knowledge from?

I’ve read books, I’ve listened to a lot of smart people talk, and I’ve had interesting and different experiences than others. When I was younger, my dad was in prison, a drug addict, and did some crazy things. That made me grow up and learn to be responsible at a young age. That made me take ownership and do better for myself. I think since then, I always looked for ways to help myself and others.

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