National Society of Hispanic MBAs to celebrate annual conference in Philadelphia
Manny Gonzalez, CEO of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), visited Philadelphia to promote the annual conference the organization will be celebrating Sept. 24 - 27 in the city of brotherly love.
NSHMBA was born 26 years ago with the objective of promoting the advancement of Latinos in corporate America. According to Gonzalez, back then there were few platforms for that purpose. Ever since, both the Hispanic community and the corporate world have changed dramatically.
“It’s not only about the Hispanic community, it is that by growing at this rate the Hispanic community carries on its shoulders the future of the United States,” Gonzalez said. “It is extremely important for everyone, not just Hispanics, to look at the Hispanic community.”
On the one hand, NSHMBA works to develop the Latino workforce by connecting members of this community to corporations. It also provides training, for example, how to revise resumes and develop interview skills. On the other hand, it promotes entrepreneurial spirit and provides help on how to access capital or how to develop a business plan.
“Probably the fastest growing group among small businesses are Hispanic businesses, but they need help,” Gonzalez said. “Our businesses are not formalized at the level that they need to be, and hopefully the entrepreneurship programs partnering with MBAs will help create those building blocks”.
For González, who has headed NSHMBA for four years, one of the main objectives is to guarantee that the 5,000 Latinos who enter an MBA program each year, complete it, and increase the number of professionals in the market.
To that end, he says it is necessary to engage Latino youth even before they begin their master’s degree.
Besides the services that NSHMBA provides to Latino MBAs, the organization has extended its outreach to undergrads and high school students.
“There is a gap in high school students trying to get into college and that’s where we’ve decided to start,” Gonzalez said.
The organization has its own foundation, which is looking for strategic ways to expand the number of scholarships it provides.
“This year we created a scholarship program to help our Hispanic students prepare for the GMAT exam — a GMAT prep that we are paying for 100 students — so now that we are paying the scholarship, it’s a $2,000 program,” González said.
For students set to start an MBA, the score obtained on the GMATs, can make a big difference.
According to Gonzalez, the average score for Latinos ranges from 500 to 550, but it is after 650 that the doors to scholarships start to open.
This year the organization will also provide 200 scholarships to cover the expenses of attending its conference, including air-flight and lodging.
More than 200 companies will be recruiting employees at the national conference in Philadelphia, but Gonzalez said that more than an opportunity to find a job, it is an opportunity to develop a career and a network.
NSHMBA helps its members find out who they are and what their principles and values are, he said. The second step is to find out which industries and companies are aligned to their members’ principles and what those members’ roles can be at a company or within an industry.
“The most important thing is the network that we create for our attendees,” Gonzalez said. “It’s an opportunity to learn what’s out there, what these companies are about.”
The organization has 40 chapters that connect 27,000 Latinos across the nation, and a variety of programs to connect them with corporations.
The network that Gonzalez talks about is not just to benefit Latinos, but rather for the rest of the corporate world to understand the Latino community, employee and entrepreneur.
“The best way to help the Hispanic community is creating a platform for the rest of the world to learn what the Hispanic community is about, to tell the world that we do have Hispanics prepared for corporate America, to teach other communities that this is the future of the United States.”