Guest Post: Moving Forward is About Building Something Bigger Than Yourself
HBA Presidents Past and Present (from left): Michael Pages ’11, Jaclyn J. Martinez ’14, Diogenes Mejia '14, T.Sean McKean ’12
Jaclyn Jade Martinez '14 and Diogenes Mejia '14, Co-Presidents of the Hispanic Business Association
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 9:30am

The theme for the 2013 Hispanic MBA Summit was “Juntos Adelante,” which translates to “Moving Forward Together”. Our goal was to create programming that would help attendees achieve their professional goals in business school and beyond by offering access to diversity recruiters from top firms. We wanted to create a “platinum network” of Hispanic MBAs and facilitate access to other Hispanic MBA students across the country.

The first Hispanic MBA Summit was held two years ago, and was the idea of two former presidents of the Hispanic Business Association (HBA), T. Sean McKean ’12 and Michael Pages ’11. The motivation for creating the Summit was to help build a platform for US based Hispanic MBAs to recruit at top firms and to build a network of Hispanic MBAs from Columbia Business School and our peer schools. Hispanic MBAs are an underrepresented population at all of the top business schools, and we wanted to address the issue by starting a network of Hispanic professionals that transcended any one school.  


            Networking Lunch with corporate partners at the Summit                   Keynote Address from Felipe Dutra, CFO of Anheuser Busch InBev

This year’s Hispanic MBA Summit, held at Columbia University’s Italian Academy, had 125 attendees from 12 different schools: the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, UCLA Anderson, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College among others. Out of the 125 attendees, about 35 were from Columbia Business School and the rest were from our peer institutions. We attract strong attendance from peer schools through the event’s reputation of attracting top recruiters and by partially subsidizing travel and lodging expenses for students. We garnered support from 11 different corporate partners, including JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bain, McKinsey, American Express, Anheuser-Busch InBev, among others.  Having strong Hispanic attendance from different schools is what makes this event both special and worthwhile – both for the students and for the companies that participate.

The programming for the Summit was focused on recruiting. A panel called “Ascending the Corporate Ladder” featured representatives from PepsiCo, Citi Velocity, BAML, and Deloitte Consulting and was followed by networking events and three hours of sponsor breakout sessions where companies could present whatever they wanted to interested attendees. Our Keynote, Felipe Dutra, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Anheuser-Busch InBev, spoke about personal leadership and his experiences over the years at InBev.

The Summit successfully created invaluable recruiting and networking opportunities while reminding people that increasing opportunities to diversity-talent is a responsibility everyone has to carry. 

The team that made this dream a reality: the 2013 Hispanic Business Association Board at Columbia Business School



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