New group plays key liaison role between current and future alumni.

“We see ourselves as the United Nations of the College of Business Administration—a place to share ideas for achieving greater success through more cooperation, and where student leaders come to offset weaknesses through others’ strengths.”

With those words, Francesco Orofino, student liaison to the college’s Business Alumni Chapter (BAC) at Florida International University (FIU) set out the core idea behind the Student Leadership Group (SLG), the brainchild of Michael Fenton (BBA ’07), BAC president. SLG capitalizes on a 2009 study done by Miguel Lugo, BAC student liaison and vice president of professional development, FIU-American Marketing Association (AMA), in conjunction with AMA. The research found that students are 30 percent more likely to join the alumni chapter after graduation if they are involved with one of the student business organizations.

From left to right: Angel Garcia, assistant director, Center for Leadership and Service; Deyanira Romero, executive vice president, Alpha Kappa Psi; Michael Fenton and Francesco Orofino

First event paves way for future collaborations.

Lugo and Orofino planned a daylong “Leadership Summit” for members of the Business Student Council (BSC), which comprises presidents and vice presidents of the college’s student organizations. The summit was packed with presentations by business school personnel and alumni as well as activities, such as teambuilding, guided by staff members of FIU’s Center for Leadership and Service.

It drew fifteen student leaders “to foster synergies, leverage each others’ strengths and broaden our audience,” according to Orofino. “The experience confirmed the need and benefits of cooperation among our organizations. For example, many of the organizational leaders proposed coordinating events to optimize recruiting and marketing efforts.”

From left to right: Paola Valverde, director of recruitment, Alpha Kappa Psi; Andrea Rengifo, president, Finance and Management Association (FMA); and Jacques Holzmann, vice president, FMA

With the Student Leadership Group acting as a liaison between the Business Student Council and the Business Alumni Chapter, Orofino is optimistic that a closer relationship between the students and alumni will evolve, which was Fenton’s hope in the first place.

Michael Fenton

“When he spoke about the chapter, many students recognized its huge potential in terms of networking opportunities and started to view it as a resource for job opportunities,” Orofino said.

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