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NSHMBA Cleveland awards scholarships, celebrates one year

By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent


National Society of Hispanic MBAs Cleveland celebrated its one year mark as a charted chapter on Dec. 4, 2008 by presenting two scholarships and introducing its new president. “We want to bring the value of the national organization to Cleveland and give back to everyone who has supported us,” said Carlos Chinchilla, Cleveland Chapter President.


Carlos Chinchilla
Photos By Arooj Ashraf

The group has made significant strides towards accomplishing its mission to promote leadership, education in graduate management, development and networking opportunities for Latino business professionals in Northeastern Ohio. But “there is a lot of room for improvement,” said Chinchilla.

In the years ahead, the chapter will seek to increase its member base of 108 by 10 percent and stress active participation. Chinchilla said the goal is to diversify the sponsors and partners, build stronger relationships with regional universities, and create opportunities of mutual benefits to members and sponsors.


“We want to bring national NSHMBA events to Cleveland, increase revenue to the city, and showcase Cleveland to the nation,” said Chinchilla.


Education promoted
Promoting education is an integral mission of the organization and it awarded $1.5 million in scholarships to 200 MBA students nationally. The Cleveland chapter is already emphasizing their commitment to promoting higher education among Latinos.


In partnership with Akron University, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University, NSHMBA Cleveland awarded its first Fulbright scholarship to Pablo Rojas, a first year MBA student at Case.


Rojas was attracted to Case’s ‘think-out-of-the-box’ approach of teaching. He completed his undergraduate degree at Ohio State University, where he also served as president of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. He said the Cleveland chapter taps into the local talent and provides a great networking opportunity.

Also honored was national scholarship winner, María Guzmán, second year MBA student at Carnegie Mellon University, PA. She is a four year member of NSHMBA and joined to find out if she was a good MBA candidate.


Guzmán found a great network of mentors, participated in academic workshops, and won a free preparatory course for her Graduate Management Admission Test. She encouraged anyone curious about the organization to join and try it.

NSHMBA Cleveland Chapter awards scholarships, celebrates one year—see story by Arooj Ashraf on page 13. In the Arooj Ashraf photo are: (back row) Darryl R. Chajón, Alexandra Vera, Pablo Rojas, National CEO Lourdes M. Hassler, Chapter President Carlos Chinchilla; & (sitting) Giovanna M. Carrillo, Marcia V. Morenon, Maria Guzmán,
and Carolina A. Schneider.

“There is nothing to be on the fence about; you’ll find amazing people that will open up a lot of opportunities for you,” Guzmán said.


Guest speaker, Lourdes M. Hassler, CEO of NSHMBA, offers her personal guarantee the organization will impress. “You will be infected by NSHMBA, get involved, come to our events throughout the year, you will walk in and get the ‘familia’ feel that just captures the sprit of our community,” Hassler said.


She said the annual conferences have a reputation as the best career fair to obtain a job and attendance has doubled in the last few years, attracting other minority groups as well. The 2008 conference in Atlanta, GA attracted 8,400 members.


Hassler attributes the success to the organization’s commitment of catering to its sponsors’ needs as well as the members. “We want our partners to yield high returns on their investment … we don’t just accept their money if we can not help them achieve their goals,” she said.


Hassler said the organization is reaching out with Top 50 Universities with the highest enrollment of Latino MBAs to increase their participation at the conferences by including the conference dates on the university calendars, encouraging professors to schedule tests around the event, and by offering financial assistance to members.


She also stressed the organization’s success depends on more Latino students graduating from high school, pursuing their undergraduate degrees—it encourages members to be actively involved in mentoring and motivating students, especially first generation college entrants.

“Every parent wants the best for their child, but many may not know how to go about it,” Hassler said.

She congratulated the Cleveland chapter on successful establishing their chapter and applauded its Board and officers for their passion and commitment.


The National business organization publishes The Business Journal of Hispanic Research, which was launched 3 years ago. The Journal serves as a conduit between academic research and practice and allows corporate partners to conduct focus groups and market nonprofits. [Visit: http://bjhr.nshmba.org]

NSHMBA National C.E.O. and speaker Lourdes Hassler

“The Journal provides a venue for more research pertaining to Hispanics in management, and leadership to be conducted and published,” said Hassler.


The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) was created in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. NSHMBA serves 32 chapters and 8,000 members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Visit www.nshmba.org and visit NSHMBA Cleveland at: http://cleveland.nshmba.org


Editor’s Note: The Ohio Latino Affairs Commission (formerly, the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs) and The Ohio Business Connection co-hosted its own 2008 Summit Agenda for Ohio’s Latino business associations and organizations, in a networking gathering on Dec. 4-5, 2008, at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus.


Invited were: Lorain Multicultural Business Center, Cleveland’s Hispanic Roundtable, Cleveland’s HBA and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Ohio, Canton-area Hispanic Business Community, Northwest Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA, Dayton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Columbus, and Ohio Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.  



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