Account Manager, Google
Young Alumni Board
BBA Economics and Political Science (majors), French and Italian (minors), Certificate in International Business
After spending four years studying Economics and Political Science at Iowa, as well as French and Italian, it was easy for Roberto Paniagua to understand how he wound up at a desk of one of the most innovative international tech companies in the world.
“One piece of advice I received while at Tippie was to have international experiences in business,” said Paniagua.
While studying at Tippie, he spent a summer in France improving his French language skills, a winter in India developing business plans for a not-for-profit organization, and several summers at a children’s camp in Belize where he worked with an underprivileged community.
"My education at Tippie gave me the opportunity to become a more well-rounded individual, one who not only learns from professors in lecture halls, but from the people I have met in the places that I visit," said Paniagua.
Paniagua now works at Google, where he is responsible for helping to manage a vendor team based out of Google’s offices in India.
"I've had the opportunity to travel to India to work with our team and help improve our current workflows and train our team to handle additional projects," said Paniagua. "I credit my time studying abroad in India and the lessons from my operations management class at Tippie for helping me to ramp up quickly and manage the demands of my work."
Paniagua said the best part of his job is the amount of freedom that he has to make changes to the way his team operates.
"This allows me to merge new technologies to streamline and simplify our work," said Paniagua. "I believe Google is unique in that it puts a lot of trust in its employees; we are encouraged to challenge the status quo and experiment with new ways of doing things."
Paniagua’s work keeps him busy, traveling from one corner of the world to another.
Paniagua has also traveled to Mexico to help small communities use Google products to improve their daily lives.
"It was truly a rewarding experience to work one-on-one with people accessing the internet for the first time and learning about the ways that technology could benefit their families and communities," said Paniagua "If we can create a way for communities to be self-sufficient, then we can help alleviate the world of many of its problems.”
“Many of my experiences have put me in challenging situations,” said Paniagua. “But they gave me a real glimpse into the differences in our world. I want others to experience what I did, and learn from it. You might be surprised to realize how many people are changing the world in their daily lives. That’s what I want to do.”
That’s why Paniagua is a member of Tippie’s Young Alumni Board, which helps current students develop their skills and interests through career workshops. He frequently visits the University of Iowa.
"I do make trips back to Iowa City to catch up with old friends and professors," said Paniagua. "When I talk to others about my alma mater, I always refer to the things "we" are doing at Tippie because I still feel very much a part of it."