Frank Gonzalez, Director of Product Management at Abalta Technologies: “Learn how to negotiate and learn to enjoy it”

In a series of interviews, we will feature prominent business experts coming from various industries. We now introduce you to Frank Gonzalez, Director of Product Management at Abalta Technologies. He visited campus this month together with Doroteya Valeva (‘04), Customer Success Manager at Abalta, to meet with AUBG students as part of Professor Rossen Petkov’s Marketing class. 

Frank Gonzalez has over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry, covering both the aftermarket and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) markets. He is passionate about providing a great user experience for customers by interweaving the power of technology, entertainment, social networks, and mobility. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and performing live with his band Dub8.

Founded in 2003 and based in San Diego, California, Abalta Technologies is a global leader in automotive-grade software design and development. Connected Vehicles, Digital Maps, Smartphone Connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT), Embedded Application Development, and Mobile apps are just some of the cool things that Abalta focuses on. The company is a pioneer in the navigation and mapping industry and has worked with over 100 global brands with over 800 successful program launches since its inception. Backed by Zenrin since 2016, Abalta continues to pave the way for the next generation of connected services.

What are the top three skills employers are looking for today?

  • Someone who is enthusiastic about learning and developing their skills.
  • Someone who is able to work well with others and especially in team environments.
  • Someone who can think critically and analyze problems to create clever and unique solutions.

If you could give your younger self just one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Learn how to negotiate and especially learn to enjoy it. Negotiation is part of daily life and very important in the workspace. You’ll need it not only when negotiating a salary, but also when trying to convince your peers or customers that a solution you are offering is the best.

What business leader — past or present — inspires you the most? Why? 

Steve Jobs has been a big inspiration as he was relentless with developing truly useful, beautiful, and easy to use products. He transformed the lives of millions of people across the world with his vision of how simple and beautiful products should be designed and built. His story of how he transformed Apple and developed products which I personally enjoy daily is truly inspiring.

he liberal arts education emphasizes discovery, creativity and critical thinking: by exploring a lot of disciplines rather than focusing on just one. In what ways do people who have received a liberal arts education bring value to business? 

Businesses are looking for well-rounded individuals who can create solutions to difficult problems. Having an education that focuses on discovery, creativity and critical thinking provides a strong foundation for being able to think of solutions that would be beneficial in a wide variety of industries. Doroteya Valeva, an AUBG alumna, recently joined Abalta. She joins us from a completely different industry of consumer goods but has been able to provide great insights and solutions on how to solve critical issues. Her expertise is helping the company find solutions that help us complete our mission of being a trusted partner in the development of the digital vehicle experience.

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