Where Are They Now: University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Sam Panini

Sam Panini grew exponentially through his experience as a member of the University of Tennessee FutureTruck team. Panini graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a concentration in power electronics. While working with FutureTruck, his knowledge was a huge benefit to UTK’s Telematics team, which went on to win a Visteon Award for their work. The challenges he faced in the FutureTruck Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) were highly memorable – he recalls, “I remember being very interested in using the computer display to control and monitor the activities of the car. I have vivid memories of the challenge of integrating a custom built CPU into the arm rest that ran on the vehicle’s power supply.”

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Sam Panini

After graduation and his AVTC experience, Sam moved to Chicago, Illinois to work as a community organizer in immigrant and low-income communities. Here he met his wife, who had immigrated there from Mexico City – and he now speaks fluent Spanish. His wide array of knowledge eventually led him to be hired by Accenture as a member of their Information Management Services group. While holding this position, he was able to work on system implementation projects and project management for many clients, including Chevron, Walgreens and JPMorgan.

Sam now lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil, implementing JPMorgan’s strategic wholesale loan system as part of the firm’s Global Corporate Bank expansion in Latin America. His current profession and location have motivated him to learn Portuguese, and the international experience has provided with extensive knowledge of the risks and rewards associated with working globally. His current success owes a lot to his work with FutureTruck; Panini says that “working on team projects like FutureTruck early on helped me to better understand project dynamics, how to play emphasize the strengths of team members, and how to recognize good ideas in a brainstorm.” Sam Panini learned valuable skills while working on an AVTC team, which he uses to advance his career path everyday.