The College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) values the partnerships established within the business community and with other academic institutions. The Business Partners program helps these connections flourish.
“Business partners can become involved with college activities in many ways,” said Melissa Izquierdo (BBA ’10), the college’s coordinator, corporate and community relations. “They can join our Speaker’s Bureau, help facilitate corporate tours for our students, participate in the Master of International Business (MIB) student consulting projects, sponsor events, mentor students and student groups and even review curricula.”
In addition, many partners serve on advisory boards for the college, the Chapman Graduate School and various academic programs.
“The advisory boards provide invaluable assistance in student recruiting, curriculum design, student placement and in setting the overall strategic direction for the college,” Izquierdo said.
Claudio Ramirez, consul and trade commissioner with the Consulate General of Canada in Miami, was introduced to the Business Partner program by Irma Becerra-Fernandez (PhD ’94), vice-provost, academic affairs, when they collaborated on the Americas Venture Capital Conference.
Ramirez sees value in his participation as a business partner for four reasons: people, programs, partnerships and perspective.
“I greatly enjoy my involvement with the faculty and staff of the college,” he said. “I encourage others in the Miami areas to consider joining the Business Partner program.”
According to Izquierdo, Ramirez supports the program in just about every way a business partner can. He mentors students and coordinated a student tour of the Consulate General offices. He also recently presented to the International Business Honor Society (IBHS) and will host an upcoming dinner event.
Active participants receive an invitation to the annual Business Partner “Thank You” Luncheon held every fall. They are also acknowledged in the college’s annual report.