Panthers in Tech: Andres Vasquez, Assoc. Account Manager, Google | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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Panthers in Tech: Andres Vasquez, Assoc. Account Manager, Google

In this new blog series, brought to you by the Pitt Tech Ambassadors, we shine a spotlight on Pitt students and alumni who are forging inspiring paths in the technology industry. From groundbreaking innovations to transformative careers, Panthers in Tech celebrates the achievements of our best and brightest. In the first installment, we are highlighting Andres Vasquez’s journey to Google.

Get to Know Andres Vasquez

Andres Vasquez, a Class of 2024 graduate of the College of Business Administration, majored in Business Information Systems and Marketing, with a certificate in Business Analytics. Throughout his time at Pitt, Vasquez distinguished himself as a leader within the University. He was active in Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Roberto Clemente Minority Business Association, and the Latinx Student Association, where he was a peer mentor. Vasquez also worked to enhance the student experience as a resident assistant (RA) in Bruce Hall and worked as a student technical consultant with Pitt IT. 

Vasquez’s hard work and determination were sharpened by overcoming injuries during his high school soccer career. Pushing beyond these challenges enabled him to train with FC Barcelona's official trainers in Spain. This same resilience drove him to move across the country to Pittsburgh without any prior connections, to forge a new path in business and technology. After four years in Pittsburgh, Vasquez is beginning his new journey as an Associate Account Manager at Google in New York City.

Words of Wisdom — A Q&A with Andres

What were the key experiences that helped you secure a position at Google?

The pivotal moments in my journey unfolded during my sophomore and junior years, such as my acceptance into the MLT (Management Leadership for Tomorrow) program. Being selected for the Google BOLD Immersion and Internship program was really transformative and had the most profound impact. It was an intensive three-week program that delved deep into Google's diverse non-technical and business roles. I not only expanded my professional network, but also gained a crucial understanding of technical interviews, uplifting my confidence to pursue these competitive roles in the industry.

How did your experiences at Pitt prepare you for your current role?

In addition to all my academic experiences at Pitt, serving as a residential assistant profoundly prepared me for my current role. That role provided me with invaluable opportunities to develop essential skills in handling challenging situations, navigating tough conversations, and fostering empathy and leadership in others.

What skills are essential to work in your field, especially at a company like Google?

In my opinion, the essential qualities for thriving in a dynamic company like Google are intellectual and empathetic curiosity, coupled with adaptability. The landscape is ever evolving, whether it's advancements in technology or novel client approaches. At Google, this adaptability is paramount, given the constant flux.

Are there any emerging technologies/trends that you find particularly exciting or significant?

The utilization of artificial intelligence is particularly exhilarating and significant. Many of my clients are either in the process of implementing AI or have already integrated it into their operations. My role involves leveraging AI to deliver optimal outcomes for their businesses, making it a compelling aspect of my work.

How would you describe the culture at Google?

The culture at Google is vibrant, innovative, and collaborative, much like what I expected … but with some surprises that exceeded my expectations. Coming from internships in more traditional companies, I was used to hierarchical structures and formal communication. At Google, however, the environment is much more open and flat. There’s a strong emphasis on teamwork, and everyone is encouraged to share ideas, regardless of their position.

How does Google support your professional development and career growth?

Google is deeply invested in the professional development of its employees. From the very beginning, I’ve had access to a plethora of resources aimed at enhancing my skills and career prospects. The company offers various training programs, workshops, and courses through platforms like Grow with Google and Coursera. There are also opportunities to attend conferences and obtain certifications, often sponsored by the company.

What do you find most rewarding about working at Google?

One of the most rewarding aspects of working at Google is the sheer impact and scale of the projects I get to be a part of. As a kid, I remember watching "The Internship" and being fascinated by the idea of working at Google—it seemed like a dream come true. Now, actually being here, I can confidently say that reality surpasses those expectations. Working at Google allows me to contribute to products and services that touch millions of lives daily, which is incredibly fulfilling. The collaborative and inclusive culture here makes it possible to bring those ideas to life in ways I never imagined.

What advice would you give to students who aspire to work at prestigious tech companies?

My advice is to start early and be ready for serendipitous moments. As the saying goes, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Seize every chance to grow and diversify your skills during your college years. It's a time brimming with possibilities, so embrace it fully to cultivate your uniqueness.

Are there specific strategies that helped you stand out during the application process?

I employed several key strategies that proved highly effective. I actively reached out to current employees within the company to learn about their experiences and gather insider insights, which helped me understand the company culture and expectations while building a network of connections. Additionally, I meticulously prepared for potential interview questions by creating a comprehensive document of all possible questions I might encounter, based on my research and discussions. For each question, I crafted detailed example responses based on my experiences and achievements. When it came time for the actual interview, I was well-equipped with thoughtful and relevant answers.

How does Google fit into your long-term career goals?

In the next five years, I see myself advancing into a management role, where I can leverage both my technical expertise and leadership skills to drive impactful projects. I want to get an MBA, which will equip me with the business acumen and strategic thinking necessary for higher-level management positions. Google fits perfectly into these plans because of its strong support for employee development and its culture of continuous learning. Google's internal mobility program will allow me to explore various roles and departments, giving me a well-rounded experience that will be invaluable.

How do you stay updated and continue to learn in a rapidly evolving tech landscape? 

That is crucial. At Google, I take full advantage of the available resources to keep my skills sharp and stay informed about the latest industry trends. I regularly participate in internal workshops, training sessions, and tech talks hosted by experts in various fields. These opportunities provide deep insights into new technologies.

Pushing Forward with Passion and Perseverance

Vasquez is confident that his competitive edge, intellectual curiosity, and passion for building meaningful relationships will help him achieve his career goals. As he continues to grow and take on new challenges at Google, he carries with him a simple yet powerful philosophy: the only limits are those we place on ourselves. His story encourages us to break barriers, embrace potential, and relentlessly pursue our dreams to make the world a better place, one innovation at a time.

-- By Brandon Bowman, Pitt Tech Ambassador