Whether he’s advising peers or businesses, junior Felipe Suarez seeks to make an impact. It’s what drives his hope for a position at a tech company that embraces workplace diversity.
“I feel like I can add a different perspective and provide a different value proposition to companies,” said Suarez, a native of Medellín, Colombia. “Right now, the tech space is really underrepresented with women and minorities. I like being able to advocate for the potential of diverse human capital and how important it is to have diverse teams.”
The 20-year-old marketing major spent his summer at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in an eight-week internship created through the company’s diversity initiative. He worked on Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions Partnership Growth team and analyzed data to recommended improvements to some of the company’s revenue-growth strategies.
“Felipe has a great combination of intellectual curiosity and diligence. That’s something that makes for a great student,” said Legal Studies professor Tim Samples, who taught Suarez last year. “When you combine that with marketable skills and an affable personality like Felipe has, that’s somebody that a lot of people want to hire.”
To achieve his goals, Suarez is careful about his commitments. He looks for opportunities that let him use his skill set to further his objectives beyond building a résumé.
“I try to focus on the impact I can have,” Suarez said. “As a generation, we’re really caught up with trying to get involved in everything and show that to recruiters, but I think it should be about finding something that you’re passionate about.”
Marketing for tech companies is certainly Suarez’s passion. He participated in the Google Bold Discovery program as a freshman. Throughout his sophomore year, Suarez served as a Google Ambassador for UGA, planning events for students to gain exposure to the company. He also helped the Women in Technology club start Google CS First programs in six Georgia schools, in which volunteers teach computer science to students after school.
“I’ve gained so many skills in my extracurricular activities: managing and leading teams, providing feedback and creating an inclusive environment,” Suarez said. “I think that will be important to know in the workplace.”
Suarez also seeks to promote inclusivity in the tech sector by sharing what he’s learned with other students. He serves as a mentor in the Terry Peer Advisory Program, where he has met with over a dozen students in the past year and guided two toward internships at Google.
“I want to help students find ways to get engaged in the tech sector, so they might realize tech is something they can do,” Suarez said. “I want to be someone who can help students and impact their potential careers, and even their lives.”
Suarez’s goals to influence his peers and the tech industry at large are driven by a deep appreciation for his heritage.
“I want to be here in the U.S. and work in the tech space, specifically helping Latino businesses grow and expand their reach through marketing,” said Suarez, who moved from Colombia at 7 years old. “If I could work at a major tech company, I would use my position to give back to the Latin-American community.”