The Latino Business Student Association (LBSA) seeks to equip the next generation of business leaders through professional development, networking and community involvement. President Berenice Guillen ’18 (finance) discusses the club’s activities and how you can get involved.
September 15 marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the nation’s estimated 56.9 million Hispanic and Latino residents, the nation’s largest ethnic minority. By 2060, one-third of all Americans are expected to identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. The Latino population has a major impact on the nation’s economy, with $500 billion in economic activity every year due to Latino-owned businesses. Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than the broader population to become entrepreneurs.
Cal State Fullerton’s Latino Business Student Association (LBSA) seeks to connect students with career opportunities through networking with the local business community, fostering professional development and making a positive impact through service activities. While focused on the campus Latino business student population, the club is open to students of all ethnicities and all majors.
“Our goal is to develop diverse leaders who conscientiously care about the community and the triple bottom line, which encompasses the social, environmental and financial aspects of life” says LBSA President Berenice Guillen ’18 (finance). “We are dedicated to networking, community involvement, leadership development and diversity.”
Hispanic and Latino – What is the Difference?
Many people use the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably, but there is a difference. Hispanics are individuals with a background in Spanish-speaking parts of the world, including most of Latin America and Spain. Latinos can have a background anywhere in Latin America. This includes Spanish-speaking countries, but can also be nations with a Portuguese background, namely Brazil.
Guillen notes that Cal State Fullerton has been at the forefront of educating Latino business leaders. The university ranks first in the state and fifth in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics.
The LBSA began its 2016-2017 year with a kickoff meeting on Sept. 12. Weekly meetings are held each Monday at 4 p.m. at the Titan Student Union with updated room locations provided on the club’s Facebook and Instagram. Meetings cover such topics as dining etiquette, sales pitches and various industries discussed by guest speakers. The club’s largest event each year is the Annual Leadership Conference, which will next be held in March 2017.
Three scholarships are available through the club: the Sam Mendoza Scholarship, the LBSA Scholarship and the Francisco J. Valle Scholarship, which was founded by MBA alumnus Francisco Valle ’85. These awards are given based on a points system of club involvement.
LBSA has partnerships with a number of on- and off-campus organizations, including Mihaylo’s Sales Leadership Center; Cal State Fullerton Alumni Association; the Orange County Hispanic Youth Chamber of Commerce; and United Latino Students Association, a network of Latino business students at colleges and universities throughout the state.