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Latin Business Student Association offers professional development opportunities

Members of the Latin Business Student Association are pictured. (Courtesy of Joseph Hernandez)

By Javier Murillo Jr

Feb. 14, 2024 9:47 p.m.

The Latin Business Student Association aims to promote professional excellence within the Latino community at UCLA as the university works toward earning the Hispanic-Serving Institution designation.

Manny Franco, a fourth-year public affairs student and the co-vice president of recruitment for LBSA, said the UCLA chapter of the club began in 1994 with the goal of helping students develop the skills necessary to transition from college to the corporate world. The club usually meets every two weeks and welcomes anyone interested in business or seeking professional development, Franco said.

Last quarter, LBSA hosted events with recruiters from Adobe and Deloitte, among others, said Matthew Rodriguez, who is a fourth-year economics student and the co-vice president of finance for LBSA. LBSA also hosts resume, cover letter and interview workshops in an effort to help members understand the interview process and corporate world as a whole, Franco said.

“Just walk in and make yourself feel at home. We’re all very welcoming,” Rodriguez said.

The club, although tailored to Latino students in particular, seeks to provide the necessary resources and skills for success in a safe space while being welcoming to all students, Rodriguez said.

Kelvin Hernandez-Orozco, a third-year economics transfer student interning for the association, said he was first drawn to the club because he wanted to meet other students looking to go into business.

“The Latino community here at UCLA is marginal, so being exposed to those individuals, people from the same background, and also individuals that are seeking to be in the same industry post-academia is what basically attracted me to it,” he said. “It’s been a really great experience in terms of professional development.”

Hernandez-Orozco added that he has been able to use his experience from his time in the United States Air Force to help individuals in LBSA grow in their professional development as well.

“The Latinx population here on campus – we are a historically underserved population, especially in the business world, and our club really is here to bridge that gap,” Franco said

One of the club’s aims is to prepare its members for recruitment season, a period where companies hire students for summer internships, Franco said. Since the season is now coming to an end for most businesses, preparation for the next round of recruitment season has already begun, he said.

A person’s experience with the club relies heavily on their involvement, as the more time one invests in attending events, the more they will get out of it in return from networking and opportunities, Rodriguez said.

“Our goal is to really include everyone, especially Latinx students. We want our own community to succeed and excel in the corporate world by giving them those skills,” said Franco.

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