Tech Group events offer students big advantages in career search.

Tech Group board, Spring 2015 (left to right): Alejandro Porras, Jeremias Cuadra, Monica Nunez, Marcela Ruiz-Paiz, Miguel Angel Mesa, Anthony Torres.
Tech Group board, Spring 2015 (left to right): Alejandro Porras, Jeremias Cuadra, Monica Nunez, Marcela Ruiz-Paiz, Miguel Angel Mesa, Anthony Torres.

Tech Group will be presenting a powerhouse of programs for the upcoming academic year at Florida International University (FIU), according to Tech Group president Alejandro Porras. This vibrant new group is a chapter within ALPFA at FIU, one of the student organizations in the College of Business.

“Students who have technical training have a distinct advantage in the competitive job market, as will graduates who have already tapped into South Florida’s business community,” Porras said. “That’s what Tech Group does.”

This energetic organization started with a simple idea. In 2012 a group of business students in ALPFA at FIU (Association of Latino Professionals for America) to get certified in Microsoft Office, to have an extra credential when job searching.

“Those students helped each other get the certification. They decided to expand that idea to other software and formed a committee which came to be known as Tech Group, officially launched in 2013,” said Porras, majoring in finance with a minor in computer science.

Under the leadership of former president Anthony Torres, Tech Group aligned themselves with the Dadeland Microsoft store and started holding Excel workshops at the store and on campus with a Microsoft certified teacher, just for Tech Group members.

Tech Group officers, Fall 2015 (left to right): Miguel Angel Mesa, president; Alejandro Porras, chairman; Adam Zahoran, president-elect.

For the upcoming academic year, Tech Group, advised by Accounting faculty member Tessie Brunken (MS ’86, BBA ’81) and led by incoming president Miguel Angel Mesa, is planning workshops on Microsoft Excel (beginner, advanced), Access, VBA Excel, QuickBooks, Bloomberg Terminal, Sage 50 and others. Workshops will be taught by professionals in the field. All FIU students are welcome to attend.

Tech Group’s members are ALPFA at FIU students majoring in finance (30 percent), accounting (30 percent) and others from the business college and elsewhere at FIU. Students from all FIU colleges are welcome to attend the workshops, no matter what their major, a tradition started by founders Yegor Nadvornyy and Adrian Cabrera.

Beyond software workshops, more opportunities are developing for 2015-16.

Once again, Tech Group will cohost the Entrepreneurs in Tech Speaker Series that last year included such local tech rock stars as Brian Brackeen, Heather Schwarz Lopes and Will Weinraub.

“Plus, we’re connecting with tech companies – Citrix, Verizon, BNY Mellon, MasterCard — inviting them to campus so students can benefit from their insight and from the networking opportunity,” Porras said.

Porras is also working with FIU’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to launch a pilot program called Tech Group Student Services.

“We would like to connect our students with small businesses, to assist with their bookkeeping, with business plans and other matters,” said Porras. “Providing these services would help the businesses — and make our students more hirable after graduation.”

For Fall 2015, Tech Group meets every Wednesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at FIU Green Library, Room 266.

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