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Photo Credit: Christina V. Rodriguez/ Latinas with Masters
Latinas with Masters empowering the next generation of leaders. Photo Credit: Christina V. Rodriguez/ Latinas with Masters

‘Latinas with Masters,’ a community beyond academia

Founder Christina V. Rodriguez is empowering and educating the next generation of Latinx leaders and students.

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Christina V. Rodriguez is a first-generation Nicaraguan-American Latina entrepreneur, scholar, educator, and creator.

Rodriguez is also the founder of Latinas with Masters, whose mission is to inspire, empower and educate the Latinx community and future generation leaders with equitable pathways, academic advancement, and professional growth in a safe, positive and supportive environment.

The San Francisco Bay Area, born and raised, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Latino/a Studies from San Francisco State University and a Master’s degree (MBA) with an emphasis in Marketing at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Mills College in Oakland, California.

“I am a personable and compassionate person who values loyalty, integrity, and authenticity,” explained Rodriguez in an interview with Al DÍA. “I’m the biggest cheerleader, supporting Latinx success from all walks of life.”

Latinas with Masters offers career and internship opportunities for its members through partnerships it has established with recruiters. Additionally, assisting graduates with resumes, curriculum vitae (CV), and personal statement revisions.

Photo: Latinas with Masters

She also offers Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) consultations for higher education programs and businesses and participates as a keynote speaker for events, podcasts, and workshops.

Latinas with Masters wouldn’t be possible if not for Rodriguez’s experience with imposter syndrome. She adds that “the lack of Latinx representation in my graduate program and not feeling like I belong in graduate school were all inspirations to create Latinas with Masters.”

Creating a space that was indicative of DEIB and the lived experiences of individuals like her, allowed for awareness of higher education intuitions requirements and the need for Latinx representation in graduate programs.

Rodriguez adds that Latinas with Masters “provides validation, representation, and embraces to preserve our Latinx heritage, culture, and identities while navigating higher education.”

Photo Credit: Christina V. Rodriguez

Advocate for Change

Rodriguez shares how as a Latina professional facing micro-aggressions, she was “conditioned to believe were normal business practices.”

“Being told to wear natural makeup, refrain from wearing hoop earrings, and having a preference of me wearing my hair straight were all physical characteristics I was told needed to be changed [for] me to look ‘professional’ and be considered for upcoming positions,” recalls Rodriguez.

Photo Credit: Christina V. Rodriguez

She understood it was inappropriate for her non-BIPOC supervisors to tell her what was deemed professional.

“Keep showing up the way you are and be confident in who you are and what you have to offer,” Rodriguez assures. “Know your worth and what you bring to the table but don’t give it all away because you will one day buy the table so others can sit with you.”

Photo: Latinas with Masters

Latinas with Masters Podcast

During the pandemic, Rodriguez created the #YourMarketingHomeGirl Podcast sharing marketing tips for business owners. Later, she developed Latinas with Masters Podcast focusing on storytelling academic journeys of Latinx graduates. It is an inclusive podcast that welcomes everyone.

Her audience, 20,000 followers from across all social platforms: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and streaming podcasts, have joined the movement #RepresentationMatters.

“Latinas with Masters is more than having a degree, it's a community beyond academia. A movement. A brand. A counter space. A community. It’s a representation of Latinx and everything it means of being Latinx,” she assures, as she credits the support and guidance of Dr. Lorena, Founder of DoctorHood, and Dr. Mora, Founder of Academic Mujeres and Dr. Ce’Sari, Co-Founder of Latinx Education Coach.

Her final words are “sí se puede y si se pudo.”

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