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Carson College of Business Fall 2017 - Dividend

SEIZING THE GOLDEN TICKET

Alumnus Danny Navarro Shares Entrepreneurial tips for Success

By Sue McMurray, photo by Marie Mayes


Shortly after achieving his dream of landing a job at Google, Danny Navarro (’10 Mgmt. & Op.) began to focus on what he was going to do next. Soon another dream began to take shape as he realized that for him, happiness is only real when shared.

While working within the search giant’s sales organization, Navarro felt a strong pull toward Google for Entrepreneurs, a branch of the company that specializes in supporting startup communities globally and building spaces where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and create companies that will change the world.

He badly wanted to join the entrepreneurship team, a highly competitive role, but there was no availability. For one year, he volunteered during nights and weekends, with no expectations—just immersing himself in projects that simultaneously intimidated and intrigued him.

PERSEVERANCE AND CREATIVITY PAY OFF

Navarro’s patience paid off, and he eventually received his dream job offer: he now manages the brand globally for Google for Entrepreneurs.

Since then, he’s had a chance to travel the world, meeting with entrepreneurs and community leaders. He’s worked on over 15 international strategic partnerships for the company and has filmed Google’s outreach efforts in places like Ghana and China.

He also managed Google’s presence at the White House 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley. The challenge? Securing both President Obama and Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai as speakers.

Through a bit of creative negotiating, he basically convinced each leader’s support team that one would speak if the other spoke. Navarro pulled it off, and the event made the New York Times.

From that experience, Navarro says he learned that reality and perception often intertwine. “You have to be willing to create new realities for people,” he says.

THE REWARDS OF GIVING BACK

“I love to help people and am beginning to discover that it is my life’s mission to do so,” says Navarro. “If you are a giver, it will come back. I’ve learned that empathy, listening, and giving of myself make me most happy.”

Navarro shared this lesson and several others with future entrepreneurs attending the Carson College of Business’s Resource Nights, where he advised students that “when you create a goal for yourself and you tell someone, you make it real. A positive attitude is everything.”

Navarro also revealed things he wishes he had known as a Carson College student on the cusp of pursuing his dreams, such as the importance of asking questions and being self-aware, maintaining a sense of humor, and actively seeking diversity. Careers are unlikely to be linear, and that’s ok, he said.

He strongly encouraged students to take advantage of the many opportunities that supported him as an undergraduate, including study abroad, scholarships, and internships. “Treat your time as a student like a golden ticket,” he said. “Don’t wait for your dreams to come to you, just go do something right now.”

Washington State University