National convention

UHD ALPFA Student Chapter Attends National Convention

The toll of the pandemic has affected in-person events across the country; however, for the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) convention, attendance continues to grow.

ALPFA’s UHD Chapter traveled to Orlando, Florida to attend this year’s convention, “The road traveled, the road to be traveled” which also celebrated 50 years of the national organizatione anniversary. The event attracts more than 2,500 attendees over five days, with Latinos making up 75% of attendees – 60% professionals and 40% students.

“The convention provides a forum for students to connect with industry professionals for mentorship, internships and job placement,” said Dr. Christine Poleski, associate dean of the Marilyn Davies College of Business (MDCOB ). “It also gives students the opportunity to engage with professionals in the roles they aspire to. For many of our students who are the first in their families to attend university and become professionals, connecting with organizations such as ALPFA is essential for them to get the guidance they need to succeed. after graduation. Poleski served as chaperone to the 13 student members who attended the convention.

The annual convention is a win-win for professionals and students. According to its website, professionals engage with ALPFA: “to achieve all employee lifecycle goals, from recruitment to promotion, as well as opportunities to create an engagement experience to engage and inspire your existing employees. while making your organization the place to work for entry-level and executive Latinx professionals.

According to Maxine Todd, deputy director of the MDCOB Career Center, UHD ALPFA members were interviewed by companies such as Crowe, Deloitte, JP Morgan Chase, PNC Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Amazon and Walmart, for to name just a few.

“These students deepened their knowledge of the competitive skills needed in their field through various lecture sessions. Many got professional contacts and some got full-time job and internship offers,” Todd noted. “If a student doesn’t have a lot of work experience or background, employers accept a professional student organization to participate. »

Todd explained that being involved in a student organization, like ALPFA, demonstrates to employers the key skills companies seek – initiative, drive, teamwork, communication skills, leadership and critical thinking. “Employers value students taking responsibility for their future by seeking ways to enhance their personal and professional development, and this is demonstrated by the experience of student organizations,” she said.

For new grad Kimberly Castillo (’22), joining the UHD ALPFA chapter has offered so much more than she bargained for. “I first got involved with ALPFA in my sophomore year during Welcome Week. At the time, I was an introverted student, but I wanted to stand out and start being more open-minded. I knew for sure that I wanted to be a part of something where I could embrace my culture and ethnicity.Last spring, Castillo, who is vice president of the UHD chapter, earned a BBA in management and is currently pursuing a master’s degree. in finance at UHD.

“It is gratifying to see that our students remain connected to the ‘ALPFamilia’ after graduation,” said Dr. Zahir Latheef, Associate Professor of Management and Academic Advisor for the UHD ALPFA Chapter. “Many are part of the leadership team at ALPFA Houston where they now give back to our students as professionals. Growth and development through ALPFA is a continuous cycle!

ALPFA at UHD was established in 2016. Gator alumni joined ALPFA Houston, a local chapter that supports working professionals. In fact, “these alumni enjoyed the camaraderie and networking experience they received from ALPFA so much that they encouraged our students to start a chapter on campus,” Latheef said. “To graduate and be successful in their careers, students must acquire knowledge about their course content,” Latheef emphasized. ” But this is not enough. They also need a strong professional network as well as industry and community mentors who can support them on their journey, nationally, regionally and locally.

UHD ALPFA Chapter President Gabriela Perez (’21) echoes fellow Gator and friend Castillo. “Once I started attending UHD, making friends and joining ALPFA, I realized that UHD is a giant family and a beacon of hope for many students in Houston. to have an affordable way to go to college without sacrificing the quality of education,” said Perez, a first-generation college student. “ALPFA is a great way to help me achieve my career goals because meetings like the ALPFA convention and symposium are amazing tools for networking and a starting position to get your foot in the door. Join a student organization is essential to the academic and professional university experience.

Clarissa Barboza (MBA, ’19) is an alumnus of UHD and a professional who gives back through ALPFA. “I always wanted to get involved with ALPFA as a student, but I never did,” said Bail USA’s assistant general secretary. But it was a serendipitous moment at an event that encouraged her to get involved. “I was attending an event and met a woman who was wearing an ALPFA badge and on the spot she convinced me to apply for a position on the board. I knew ALPFA was a leading organization within the Hispanic community and I have always wanted to be part of its legacy.

Barboza’s MBA with a concentration in leadership has served him well as a board member of the ALPFA Houston Chapter. The success of the Houston chapter was recognized at this year’s convention as one of the best chapters in the country.

“ALPFA Houston works hard in everything we do, from corporate sponsorships to our social events, and it was evident during the awards banquet at the ALPFA convention!” said Polesky. “While we are deeply touched by this award, it is gratifying to know that our efforts are being recognized. The best is yet to come for the student sections of ALPFA, UHD and ALPFA Houston! We are leading the way to bring more diversity, equity and inclusion to our workplaces and communities.

Latheef highlights the power of ALPFA. “Student organizations like our ALPFA UHD chapter play a key role in developing the leadership of our students. This gives students the opportunity to hone their organizational skills and apply the management and business concepts they learn in class.

As a first-generation student, Castillo has some advice for her fellow Gator students and alumni: “Join an organization, connect with your peers, and share ideas to help you grow together, learn together, and succeed together. Not only do you gain friendships, but you are also exposed to career opportunities, networks, mentors, sponsorships, and ultimately job opportunities right out of college. Joining UHD ALPFA was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

She added, “ALPFA has opened up a different world of new possibilities. It helped me form new friendships with students who became my study partners, who taught me what an elevator pitch is, how to network with professionals and how to dress for success, the difference between public and private companies and different sectors within companies. . ALPFA has been my ultimate guide to surviving college and becoming career ready.

‘, ‘window.fbAsyncInit = function() {‘, ‘FB.init({‘, ‘appId:’216372371876365′,’, ‘xfbml:true,’, ‘version: ‘v2.6” , ‘});’ ]; ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK.push(‘_ga.trackFacebook();’); ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK.push(‘};’); var ppFacebookSDK= [
‘(function(d, s, id) {‘,
‘var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];’, ‘if (d.getElementById(id)) return;’, ‘js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;’, ‘js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”;’, ‘fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);’, ‘}( document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));’ ]; ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK = ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK.concat(ppFacebookSDK); ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK.push(‘‘); ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK = ppLoadLater.placeholderFBSDK.join(“n”);