Students of ALPFA FIU learn about Latino leadership at Las Vegas convention.

Contrary to the advertising slogan, business student Gillyana Santos hopes that what happened in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.

“I want to remember everything I learned and keep the contacts I made,” she said concerning the annual convention of ALPFA, an organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities in business, accounting, finance and related professions for Latinos and members of all cultures.

Santos was among the more than 50 members of ALPFA FIU, an organization in the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU), selected to attend the annual ALPFA convention, expenses paid. The group, along with chapter advisor Tessie Brunken (EMST ’86, BBA ’81), traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for the August 11-16, 2012 event.

Members of ALPFA FIU proudly wore their FIU Business shirts.

“The outstanding opportunities I had included interviewing for an internship,” Santos said. “I applied online in advance and met with people from PwC and Deloitte.”

With the theme of “Shining the Light on Latino Leadership,” the convention offered a career fair with representatives from Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and other big names. Santos said she perfected her “elevator speech,” the short summary job candidates use to quickly and effectively introduce themselves.

This honors student also participated in seven skill-building workshops, was a guest at the Women of ALPFA luncheon and enjoyed convention fun.

The ALPFA FIU contingent at the closing gala

Activities this year included a case competition, talent show, the raffle of a new Mercedes-Benz and, of course, seeing Las Vegas sights.

The 3,000 attendees pay tribute to one of FIU’s shining stars.

At the convention’s closing awards gala, a surprise announcement was made: ALPFA’s “Student of the Year” award is now permanently renamed the “Daniel Zamora Student of the Year Award.”

Daniel Zamora and Manny Espinoza, ALPFA CEO, during the 2009 convention at which Zamora was named ALPFA National Student of the Year

The designation honors FIU alumnus and former ALPFA FIU president Daniel Zamora (MACC’ 12, BACC ’10) who himself earned the national student of the year designation in 2009. He passed away in early August.

“The announcement and the standing ovation for Daniel was an emotional time,” said Santos, who also reported that Daniel’s parents and brother Kevin, the chapter’s consulting officer, were at the convention. “I will always remember that moment, too.”

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