The educational institution has a bridge between its graduates, students, teachers, and researchers and the capital of technology.
By Andrea Menchaca and Lorena Morales | Tec Review - 12/01/2021 Photo Courtesy, Shutterstock

Guillermo Quezada graduated from the Tec in 2007 and started working in a telecommunications equipment sales company. Six months later, his company opened its doors in an office located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The graduate, who has worked for Google since 2016, had to make his own way in this region, also home to other tech giants such as Apple, HP, Microsoft, and Facebook, as well as being the cradle of startups and innovation projects.

In 2016, Tec de Monterrey decided it would be good strategy to have formal representation in Silicon Valley and established an international liaison office.

“We wanted to have an anchor in the world of technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation, because that’s in the Tec’s DNA,” says Carlos Villanueva, Director of Foreign Delegations.


Sergio Orti
Sergio Ortiz runs the Tec’s liaison office in Silicon Valley. His job is to forge ties with local universities.


The office began with a natural focus on issues regarding entrepreneurship, but in 2019, a physical space was established at San José State University in order to give it a new vocation: to become a bridge between Tec students and professors and the region’s ecosystem, as well as a link to universities on the west coast of the United States.

“From the office, we now deal with student mobility issues, we connect Tec researchers and professors to colleagues at universities in California, and we approach graduates who’ve relocated there, who help our students get to know the companies they’re working in,” Villanueva says.

“The relationship with our graduates is fundamental,” says Sergio Ortiz, head of the Silicon Valley office since 2019. “They’re the Tec’s strongest asset in the region,” he adds.

There are currently 760 Tec graduates living in California, 12% of whom hold managerial positions in tech companies. “Strengthening ties with people like Guillermo allows Tec students to find out first-hand how to get into these companies,” says Ortiz.


San José University
In 2019, a space was set up within San José State University so that the Tec could operate in the region.


The director explains that Silicon Valley companies don’t offer formal contracts for their internship programs. They announce availability and choose from applicants from different parts of the world. “Our role is to promote these opportunities and to organize seminars during which our graduates give advice to students,” he says.

Ortiz says that having graduates like Guillermo involved in these activities enabled more than 60 Tec students to be selected for online internships with companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber, and Pinterest during 2021.

What’s more, Ortiz reports that there are already eight technology-based startups with whom a professional internship program is being finalized for summer 2022, which is expected to be on-site in order to expand students’ experience in how the region operates.


“We wanted to have an anchor in the world of technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation, because that’s in the Tec’s DNA.” - Carlos Villanueva, Director of Foreign Delegations.


Connection with Californian universities

José Manuel Páez, Vice-Rector for Internationalization at the Tec, explains that they assigned Ortiz to lead the Silicon Valley office in order to benefit from his experience as an academic and researcher.

“Sergio’s job goes beyond being just an administrative role. His vision allows us to open more doors and to develop better relationships with peers in the educational institutions there,” stresses the director.

The search for research opportunities and student mobility isn’t just with San José State University, where the office is located, but also with universities in California. ´

“Finalizing research projects, for example, takes a long time. It’s a job that takes at least 8 months, from contacting top academics, seeing if they’re interested, connecting them to Tec researchers, to reaching formal agreements,” says Ortiz.

One of the Tec’s most important connections is between its Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). This relationship was established prior to Ortiz’s arrival at the Silicon Valley office, but once he found out about it, he proposed widening its scope.


Tec graduates
Tec graduates in Silicon Valley provide a link between Tec students and companies in that region.


“I spoke with Jürgen Mahlknecht from the Tec’s Water Center and Frank Loge from UC Davis, who were spearheading the efforts, and they agreed to add the mobility component, in which students and faculty carry out research exchanges.”

Another tie that will be formally established with UC Davis is in terms of gender equality and inclusion, Ortiz reported. “UC Davis is recognized around the world as a leader in these issues, which is why the Tec’s next interdisciplinary team meeting is so important.”

“We’ve gone from relationships between academics to being able to establish institutional ties. This will allow Tec to continue liaising over time,” he concludes.


Frank Loge
Frank Loge, from UC Davis, coordinates projects with the Tec’s Water Center.


By the numbers

60 Tec students had remote work placements with Silicon Valley companies in 2021.

760 Tec graduates live in California. 12% hold managerial positions in tech companies.




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