Krystal Ramos - ALPFA Orlando
2007 National & Regional Student of the Year Shares her Convention Experience
This year's ALPFA Convention in Orlando, Florida was the event of a lifetime. It was the culmination of two successful semesters working hard alongside ALPFA Miami's student and professional chapters. As I navigated the Career Fair, networked, and witnessed the magic of ALPFA in motion, I reunited with a lot of ALPFA friends I have made nationwide and made a lot of new friends as well.
Receiving the recognition of South Region Student of the Year and National Student of the Year, are two of the most honorable distinctions I have received in my life. It felt so rewarding to be recognized for my hard work and to see tears streaming down my parents' faces because they were so proud of me. I was nervous at the idea of giving a thank you speech to a room of over 2000 professionals and students at the Gala, but with the support of the ALPFA Miami student and professional chapters and mentoring of Zameer Upadhya, ALPFA Miami President, I did it!
ALPFA keeps proving time and time again that it is the best organization I could have ever gotten involved with, as it has opened many doors for me and has helped develop me as a leader and future professional.
Diana Narvaez - ALPFA Chicago
I was first introduced to ALPFA in August 2005 when I joined the ALPFA Chicago Chapter after attending an informational meeting. As a result of my positive impression meeting a number of Latino professionals and other students, I made a commitment to become a founding member of the ALPFA Student Chapter at Northern Illinois University. My other fellow founding members and I wanted to provide current and future Latino students at our university with access and links to ALPFA professional members and corporate partners. I served on the Executive Board first as a Treasurer and then as the Chapter President at my university from Spring 2006 to Fall 2007.
In addition to my local student participation in Chicago, I have also been fortunate to attend the last two ALPFA National Conventions in Fort Worth, Texas and Orlando, Florida. At the week-long Conventions I had the opportunity to develop great mentors and friends while learning key technical skills and discovering the unlimited opportunities for Latinos in Corporate America as well as the benefits of networking with other professionals as a component of success.
As a result of ALPFA I recently became employed by JPMorgan Chase and thus changed my membership from student to professional status. My goal currently is to become a top-performing young professional and to establish an ALPFA Chapter in Delaware.
In summary, what I found to be the most meaningful about being a member of ALPFA, is that it has greatly contributed to my development as a leader and professional while helping me establish long-lasting and valuable mentor relationships, and it has given me the opportunity to become a mentor for others as well. I am extremely passionate about ALPFA’s mission and constantly dedicated to raise awareness of the organization and committed to the organization’s future.
I call ALPFA my second family! And feel proud to be part of an organization that improves lives by inspiring and motivating individuals to pursue their dreams and by contribute to the welfare of our communities.
Diana Narvaez graduated Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University where she received a Bachelor's of Science in Accountancy in 2007. She recently joined JPMorgan Chase as a Financial Control Analyst in the Delaware office and became part of the Securitized Products Group. Diana has been the recipient of various scholarships that financed her college education, including the Presidential Minority Scholarship and the AICPA Women of ALPFA Scholarship. While in college, she received various awards including the Jr. Leadership Award and the COD Honors Scholar recognition.
César A. Lostaunau - ALPFA Chicago
Little did I know that joining a Latino business association would have such a profound impact on me both on a professional and personal level. I joined ALPFA in 2001 seeking professional development and the opportunity to “rub shoulders” with other successful Chicago area Latino/a professionals in my profession. Like a lot of other young aspiring professionals, I was hungry for more knowledge than what my employer was providing and I felt a real need to connect with Latino/a professionals that I could culturally relate to given the lack of diversity at my place of employment. I’m very glad I found ALPFA and grateful a few of the past Chicago board leaders made an extra effort to recruit me into the association.
The amazing connections and wonderful relationships that I have developed with other members, have left an everlasting impression on me. At the chapter level, I work with an amazing team of dedicated professionals and student leaders who truly lead and inspire others to live the mission and vision of the organization. With tremendous enthusiasm, every year I look forward to reconnecting with the other successful ALPFA Latino/a professionals I now consider dear friends from across the country at the national conventions.
The ultimate professional development experience I was originally seeking was recently realized while serving as Chapter President. The challenge tested almost all the skills I had acquired through my years of educational and practical knowledge. As most leaders can attest, it’s extremely demanding to successfully manage a full time career, your personal relationships with friends and family, and dedicate countless volunteer hours to ALPFA. But in the end, La Pasion got me through it all. At the same time, the amazing rush I would experience as I helped my fellow members succeed in their professional and personal aspirations, made all the sacrifices one makes as a volunteer leader of ALPFA well worth it.
Luis Silva-Behrens - ALPFA Seattle, HBSA-UW President
My first experience with ALPFA took place during the ALPFA Seattle Student Summit in 2006. I was a junior at the University of Washington, where the Student Summit was held. At this event, ALPFA hosted a variety of workshops with topics ranging from “Selling Yourself” to “Top Ten Tips during the Recruiting Process.” To this day, I refer to that day of the Student Summit as the day that transformed my entire collegiate experience, and the beginning of what would become a great junior year.
I had heard about the importance of networking, and being proactive since the first day of college, but it wasn’t until the Student Summit that I became confident that I possessed the tools and abilities to make both those things happen. One of the speakers ALPFA Seattle invited to speak at the Student Summit was, Alejandro Cabrera, Global Advertising Product Manager at Microsoft. His presentation on “Selling Yourself” left a lasting impression on me. I decided to contact him a couple days after the event to see if he would be willing to meet me for coffee to advise me on my resume. One cup of coffee to discuss my resume turned into job application advice, lessons on networking, and mock interviews. I began my search for summer internships by having lunch meetings, writing letters, sending emails, and applying to all my top job choices online. JPMorgan gave me the chance to go to New York for a final round interview for their Investment Banking Summer Analyst Program. Thanks to the Student Summit, and to the connections that I made at that event, I had a great interview and was offered the job.
After spending last summer as a summer analyst and having the time of my life, JPMorgan offered me a spot as part of the Full-Time Analyst Class of 2008. After that summer, there was no doubt in my mind that JPMorgan was the company for me, and I took the offer. The connections I made, and the lessons I learned at the Student Summit continue to influence my student, professional, and personal life. Alejandro Cabrera is now a great mentor and friend of mine.
The successes that I’ve been able to experience because of ALPFA have made me a huge believer in the great opportunities ALPFA offers . My experience as an ALPFA Seattle student member has inspired me to help others achieve their own success, and create their own story. I look forward to my first year as a professional member next year, and I’m excited for the years to come.
Yaneth Gonzales - Seattle Chapter
My involvement with ALPFA began as a student in Chicago during the 2004 National Convention. I was truly moved by the passion that the leadership of ALPFA showed for its mission, goals, and future. Attending the convention also provided me with endless opportunities through networking events, workshops, and the career fair. As I transitioned from being a student at the University of Washington to a professional, I became part of the board as Student Outreach Co-Chair. This role allowed me to work with students and encourage them to develop while striving to be the best they could be.
Through events such as the ALPFA Seattle Student Summit, along with the support from the great Seattle Board team, as well as my firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, we are able to provide our students with tools to continue their success. This has also led to what is now our most successful annual student event.
As a board member you are challenged by many different things, such as multitasking your career with your volunteer work, developing innovative ideas, and continual teamwork. All of which has contributed to the development of my skills a young professional. Being part of a chapter board allows you to work through your limitations in order to create accomplishments, and then celebrate those accomplishments with the entire organization.
The biggest benefit of being a part of ALPFA is the relationships. I came into ALPFA not knowing anybody, and have been blessed to meet individuals who have become mentors, friends and, most importantly mi familia. I look forward to continuing my involvement with the organization, and hope that I can provide others the same opportunities and support that I have received through ALPFA.