Loyola Marymount University’s Latino Business Student Association is back in business. Though dormant for a few years, the organization’s seven-student executive board is planning events under the LBSA banner as they seek to support Latino students in becoming business leaders.
“Preparing ourselves for what comes after college, that’s what LBSA is really working on,” said Javi Reyes, a senior sociology major and one of the executive board members.
The board is working on a dual strategy of recruiting students, especially freshmen, and reaching out to alumni. The aim is for the LBSA to serve as a bridge between business-minded Latino students and company leaders who can coach, mentor and perhaps hire them. Among the contacts the LBSA has made so far is the Spanish-language sports media broadcaster Fox Deportes through Alan Gutierrez ’02, who was a co-president of LBSA during career at LMU. Gutierrez is a marketing associate with Fox Global Networks in Los Angeles.
“My time at LMU was critical,” said Gutierrez. “I secured my position at Fox through LBSA.” Gutierrez said that when he meets with students, he stresses that in today’s job market, an important factor is who know you, so making many contacts is vital. “And in today’s market, be that person that others want to be around.”
The idea to resurrect the association came from Kathleen Soto-Gomez ’07 and her husband, Jonathan Gomez ’04 during a retreat. “The more [Soto-Gomez] filled me in about the benefits that came with the organization, the more I wanted to become a part of it,” said Reyes. Resume-writing workshops, alumni guest speakers, and networking events are in the planning stages to reach Latino LMU students, Reyes said, including a Dia de los Muertos barbecue in coordination with the cultural student group MEChA. They are also considering dances and soccer game nights.
The board also plans a strong presence on social media. They have set up a Facebook site for students, Latino Business Student Association @ LMU, to complement the LBSA page for alumni and the Latino Alumni Association page. They also have a Twitter page and are planning to join Instagram.
Connecting with alumni has been on Reyes’ mind lately. He has read many of the distinguished alumni profiles that hang in the Von Der Ahe Building – he said his goal is to read them all – including the profile Alex Martin Chaves ’86, an LMU trustee, president of the Latino Alumni Association and the chief executive of Parking Company of America. “And two months later, I meet him,” Reyes said. “It was amazing.”