When over 2,000 people gathered for the 2011 ALPFA Annual Convention at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California in August, the chapter with the largest representation was Florida International University (FIU).
Forty-five students from ALPFA at FIU, an organization in the College of Business Administration dedicated to enhancing opportunities in the business, accounting, finance and related professions for Latinos and members of all cultures, made the trip. They enjoyed five days of networking, career opportunities, workshops and socialization.
“From start to finish, this was an enriching and worthwhile experience for our members,” said Paola Lacouture, president of ALPFA at FIU.
Professional development opportunities included case competitions as well as seminars and workshops conducted by industry experts. Ninety firms—KPMG, Goldman Sachs and Comcast among them—participated in the convention’s Career Fair and Expo.
“We learned a tremendous amount about internships and job opportunities,” Lacouture said. “Some recruiters conducted on-the-spot interviews.”
Jose Mortimer, ALPFA at FIU’s marketing director, reported that the group worked hard during the day but evenings were dedicated to having fun.
“It was beneficial to network with industry professionals in a social setting, to be able to get to know them as people,” he said.
Travel and convention costs for ALPFA at FIU members were covered through the chapter’s fund-raising activities and by corporate sponsorship, according to Tessie Brunken (EMST ’86, BBA ’81), administrative director of the School of Accounting and chapter advisor.
ALPFA offers abundant opportunities year-round.
Nationally, ALPFA has more than 16,000 members, spanning accounting, banking and finance professionals and students.
“September 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the ALPFA at FIU chapter and more than ever, it presents a Latino business student rich opportunities for professional development while still in college,” said Ruth Ann McEwen, director, School of Accounting.
“I owe my internship this past summer at State Farm Insurance in Illinois to an opportunity I heard through ALPFA at FIU,” Lacouture said. “The organization has helped me develop my skills, build a résumé and learn how to make effective presentations.”