Four students from the Multicultural Student Business Association (MSBA), supervised by the staff advisor Jessica Carrillo, recently visited Houston, to attend the 12th Annual Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference. The trip gave MSBA students the opportunity to gain skills and explore resources necessary to build diverse work environments, as well as the chance to network with professionals and other students.
Throughout the conference, the students attended networking and social events, in addition to conference sessions and a multicultural panel. The conference speakers discussed issues such as race diversity in the workplace, the roles of Americans with disabilities in our society and how education is necessary for change.
"The leaders we spoke with at the conference believe that disregarding the status quo and aspiring to influence our country's future leaders will make the difference in the fight for increased diversity," marketing major Armin Rodriguez said. "Their belief that the younger generation can make a difference has inspired me to stand up and raise my voice for what I believe in."
Professionals at the conference also emphasized the value of having a mentor or sponsor in the corporate world. Guidance is vital to an organization's success, especially when it is striving to diversify its environment. People can learn from interacting with those who have a different perspective, which students learned during the session, "Working with People Who Are Not Like Me." The session focused on how employee inclusion can dramatically change the dynamic of a workplace, in a positive manner.
"I found this session most beneficial because I learned how inclusion is essential and allows for great retention," management major Vivian Luu said. "The lessons learned throughout the conference are things I can utilize in the future when I join the professional world."
About the MSBA Students
Cayla Boardingham is a marketing major, with a concentration in supply chain management. Having been raised in Dallas, she was instilled with the belief that all people should have the opportunity to achieve excellence. Cayla has taken advantage of her opportunities at the Rawls College, where she is currently serving as president of the Multicultural Student Business Association, in addition to remaining an active member of the Rawls Ambassadors and Rawls Business Leadership Program. Cayla is also a member of the Black Student Association, as well as the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies.
Marilu Rodriguez is finishing her second year as a transfer student at Texas Tech, where she is pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree through the Rawls College's Accounting 150-hour Program. Although she was born in McAllen, Texas, Marilu was raised in Reynosa, Tamaulipas (Mexico). She has utilized her diverse experience to help advance her in her educational and career goals.
Armin Rodriguez is a sophomore marketing major from San Antonio. Being actively involved with MSBA and the Rawls College, Armin is a uniquely motivated student. Throughout his time with the Rawls College, he hopes to learn about leadership and diversity. His first priority for his education is to broaden his perceptions by gathering knowledge about the marketing industry, in relation to various cultures around the world.
Vivian Luu is a junior management major, with a concentration in human resource management, from Saginaw, Texas. Through the Rawls College, she is earning her Certificate in Leadership. Vivian chose to concentrate on human resource management because she has a desire to aid people as they reach for success in the corporate world. She is especially interested in working with minority groups, and she has acquired many helpful skills from being an active member of the Multicultural Student Business Association.
To view more photos from the Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference, please visit the Rawls College's Flickr account.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.