Imagine: you’re at your graduation in Ross-Ade Stadium after completing your undergraduate degree. You were afraid you wouldn’t be able to walk in a graduation ceremony due to the pandemic, but luckily an outdoor ceremony commences. Mitch Daniels is about to give his speech to the students when suddenly you see him arrive on one of Purdue’s greatest inventions: the couch that can travel anywhere. You see the remote-controlled couch drive up with a graduate and President Daniels beside him. You might think this story is complete fiction, but it isn’t -- it was my graduation ceremony. I not only got my undergraduate degree from the business school, but I got my master’s degree as well. With both of my graduations, Purdue did everything they could to give me some memorable experiences that I will never forget. But now it is time for me to move forward in my life, taking everything I learned with me.
Luckily, I got to leave a piece of me: the Association of Latino Professionals for America, or ALPFA. I was one of the co-founders who brought a chapter of this national organization home. Although the school gave me many opportunities and resources to grow, I started looking around and realized that there were a lot of people who looked like me and I knew there were new opportunities I could create for us. That mindset has helped me when looking for a job. I always look for a place that is inclusive, and if not, I try to find ways I can create more opportunities for everyone.
When I mentioned the idea of bringing ALPFA to the business school, they were ecstatic for me and wanted to help in any way they could. Once you have the idea and the willingness to do it, the school is with you every step of the way. ALPFA would not have been created if it weren’t for Charlene Sullivan and Wendy Dukes who immediately volunteered to be advisors for our student chapter. Charlene was very well-connected and knew how to run an organization effectively. Wendy was a strong advocate for diversity and helped us bring our vision, of building a meaningful and people-focused organization for all students, to life. Even when we shared our big goals and plans for the chapter, they were both on board and helped us manage our resources to make it possible.
Bringing ALPFA to Purdue has given me many experiences and one of my favorite memories is my first official event as president. We put together the first ALPFA Diversity Symposium, an event where 8+ companies and 100+ students listened to our guest speaker talk about showing up as our true selves and participated in a speed-networking activity. Some companies that attended were Nestlé, Morgan Stanley, and Procter & Gamble, just to name a few. After the event, the company representatives approached us to share that they were very impressed with the event and told us to reach out to them for future events with ALPFA Purdue any time. Having these amazing companies impressed with our work was a dream come true for me. This moment made me realized how lucky I was to be working with my executive board and advisors; we were the dream team.
Now that I have graduated, I am taking all of my best memories with me to Cincinnati at Procter & Gamble. I always knew the type of career I wanted for my future, but I never imagined I would be working at my dream company as my first job and I have the School of Business to thank for that. I actually met a representative from P&G, who is now a co-worker, at the ALPFA Diversity Symposium mentioned above. I believe this helped me get visibility from P&G and allowed me the opportunity to interview for a summer internship. My advice to others is to always take those opportunities to add value and a little bit of you wherever you go, because someday it can land you your dream job like it did for me.