Spotlight: Meet your Navigator Peter Rafael Ferrer
This spotlight focuses on Peter Rafael Ferrer, who recently joined NeuroNav as a Service Navigator!
Can you tell us about your education and background?
For high school, I went to a medical academy, so from there, I started on a path of science-related experiences. I got my bachelor's degree in biology with an emphasis on human health. I also got one in chemistry. At the time, I wanted to get involved in making medical technology that could assist people who need prosthetics. I also got to work for a production company specializing in agriculture, where I did genetic testing for produce. I did my own experiments, which ended up winning some awards—one of them was on physiology and another was on the relationship between the genome and intelligence.
After I graduated, I got my Emergency Medical Technician certificate and jumped around a bit because it was hard to find a job with a biology degree. I also worked in a retirement home with people with dementia, and did other small jobs. I eventually started working for a company which specialized in giving ABA to clients. When I first applied, I didn't really have any experience with autism and didn't know much about it. At first, I was questioning myself, but I stuck with it; it clicked in my head when I thought “if I were in their shoes, I’d want people to give me the same treatment of kindness.” After about a year, I got promoted to a behavior support role, where I helped with the more serious and aggressive behaviors. After that, I was promoted to a manager position; I was in charge of analyzing a lot of behavioral data, making charts, and giving presentations to social workers and parents. The company closed down due to COVID, so I started researching other companies and ended up here at NeuroNav.
What drew you to becoming a Navigator for NeuroNav?
From a personal perspective, I really enjoy challenging myself and learning new things. I saw this position as a chance to grow in not only areas that I'm strong in, like general knowledge of how the system works, but I'd also be able to strengthen my weaknesses and learn skills like sales consultations, which I haven’t had any experience in. Although I did do a lot of talking in my previous jobs, it wasn't like the type of talking that you do here with Person-Centered Planning.
On a more practical side, I was drawn to remote work because I will be moving to Massachusetts in July to go to graduate school for computer science, specializing in artificial intelligence. I’m glad that this job is not only practical, but is also interesting and challenging.
What have you enjoyed about NeuroNav so far?
I really enjoy the culture that people have here—it’s very positive and encouraging since we always have opportunities to both give and receive feedback. Events like team lunches and team wins help facilitate a healthy work relationship and wishing for the success of not just yourself, but also for others. I also enjoy the situation of being in a startup and being part of something new and innovative.
What motivates you?
Inside of work, I think one of the things that motivates me is the belief that everyone deserves their own choices and the ability to walk their own path. I think that’s something I’ve believed in ever since I was little—that everyone has the right to make their own choices and figure out what works best for them. And even if we do fail at that, the ability to try again and try new things is important.
What else are you passionate about?
Outside of work, I am passionate about writing—I’ve done contests in both prose and poetry. I’m currently writing a book; it’s a social commentary, which I won’t get too in detail on. I love learning languages—I know English, Tagalog, Spanish, and American Sign Language, and most recently have been studying Japanese. I think part of being a writer is seeing how words can be used; it’s interesting to learn different connotations and meanings.
I also enjoy music, cars, cooking—I think some of my best dishes are Japanese and Indian. I like exploring new ingredients; I have good taste buds, so I can easily figure out what ingredients have been put into it if I've tasted it before.