Global Benefits

Tania Vargas Agüero came to MPM from Paraguay to further her education. What she found was an international flavor that helped shape her career.

Tania Vargas

Northwestern University is a diverse place filled with international flavor.

Tania Vargas Agüero (MPM '18) recognized that as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Vargas, who hails from Paraguay, chose Northwestern Engineering's Master of Science in Project Management (MPM) program to help boost her career trajectory.  

“The key lessons went beyond the books,” said Vargas, who is now a senior project manager at MentorMate, a technology consulting company with headquarters in North America, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. “Having classmates from around the world taught me about different business landscapes and cultures, making me more adaptable and better at working across borders.”  

Vargas came to the United States and the MPM program thanks to a Fulbright BECAL Scholarship to support students studying abroad. She was attracted to MPM by the industry experience of its faculty and the flexibility to choose electives from across the University.  

Vargas credited the MPM faculty with creating a welcoming environment for the culturally diverse students in the program.  

“The MPM team was like a second family in a new country,” she said. “They not only taught us but also made us feel at home, which is especially important for international students like me.”  

Today, Vargas uses the lessons she learned in the MPM program to oversee the planning, execution, and delivery of technology projects for some of MentorMate’s clients. She routinely  collaborates with a global team of colleagues and clients with diverse perspectives and experiences.   

The stimulating collaborations, she said, mirror what she felt in MPM. 

"Understanding various business landscapes and cultures has heightened my adaptability in managing projects, particularly in a global context," Vargas said. "The program's emphasis on creating a supportive environment has shaped how I prioritize empathy and understanding in my role, which helps me better support my team members."  

But Vargas’s passion goes even further than her day job and keeps her linked to her Paraguayan roots. She co-hosts the Paraguay4Export radio show that highlights the work of Paraguayans who stand out at home and abroad. There is a deep pool of examples to pull from, she said.  

“Paraguay offers a growing economy with diverse opportunities across various sectors,” she said. “It is a leader in providing affordable green energy and maintains a robust economy.”  

On top of that, Vargas has been part of an effort to keep the rich history of Paraguay alive. She co-founded TavAR, which seeks to chronicle the nation’s oral history through augmented reality. 

The goal, she said, is to transform cultural stories into accessible summaries with images that ensure the historical narratives not only survive locally but are shared beyond borders to a broader audience.  

Recognizing how the MPM program helped shape her future and exposed her to a variety of business cultures from around the world, Vargas strongly recommends it to other prospective students — in the United States and abroad.  

“My advice is to embrace the program's diversity by actively engaging with classmates from various industries,” she said. “Utilize the international scope to gain a global perspective on project management. Cultivate a mindset of continuous learning.”

McCormick News Article