Corporate America took notice as Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Business made its mark as lead academic sponsor at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) convention, held October 3-5, 2012, in Orlando, Florida. From Roary and the Dazzlers at the ribbon cutting to sweet pastelitos and a warm welcome at the booth, FIU enjoyed a new level of name recognition from Fortune 500 companies that came in search of talent. Strong impressions led to real opportunities for FIU Business students, whose NSHMBA contacts have already yielded job offers from major employers like IBM.
“Recruiters from top U.S. corporations were coming to us, seeking out our students,” said Barry Shiflett, the college’s director of Career Management Services (CMS). “We have built our relationships with companies at NSHMBA over a number of years, and this was a new high point.”
Jean-Louis Balaguer (MSF ’12), seeking a career in corporate finance, had booked interviews before the conference with GE Capital, Wells Fargo and General Motors, among others. At the event he received an interview with IBM and the following week was called back to IBM’s New York headquarters for a second interview.
“This was a whole new level of job fair,” Balaguer said. “We were competing with students from the top business schools in the nation, and FIU held its own.”
Pastry and persistence go a long way.
With signage proudly announcing FIU Business’ 599 Hispanic graduates in 2011-2012, the FIU booth drew attention throughout the event. National brand leaders, including the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, came seeking students to interview.
Balaguer said that as potential employers approached the booth, both Shiflett and CMS Associate Director John Nykolaiszyn identified students for interviews on the spot.
“They were fantastic,” he said.
Shiflett was particularly gratified to see the strong interest in students from companies outside Florida, opening up career options nationally.
NSHMBA Scholar Gabriela De la Llana had made several connections at the scholars’ event. With governmental work her primary interest, she connected with State Department and CIA recruiters on hand for informational interviews. With the assistance of CMS Associate Director Elsie Florido (MSHRM ’09) and Shiflett, she interviewed with Procter and Gamble, Humana, Ford Motor, General Electric and Target, and received an offer for an internship.
“I found that recruiters from all over know about FIU,” she said. “The word is out.”