ALPFA Annual Convention 2012: Shining the Light on 40 Years of Latino Leadership

This summer has come and gone a little too fast (can’t believe my senior year as an undergrad is already here), but nonetheless I am so thankful for some of the awesome experiences I have been a part of, including my internship at MARS Advertising in Bentonville, Ar. (more on my internship experience to come soon)

Just two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel with the NWA Chapter of ALPFA to Las Vegas, NV on scholarship (thanks to the many incredible sponsors) to attend ALPFA’s Annual Convention. ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting) celebrated its 40th year of Latino Leadership. Nearly 3000 attendees (from all over the U.S.) were in session and benefited from a variety of events including: karaoke night, student & professional workshops, talent show competition, networking events, sponsor luncheons, career fair & interviewing, and even the chance to win a Mercedes-Benz!

The convention, which was held at Caesar’s Palace August 11-16, 2012 provided many opportunities for students and professionals from day 1. My experience as a student participant was phenomenal. I attended a variety of workshops including: learning more about the GMAT exam, how to prepare pivot tables on Excel (which was so helpful), defining leadership and self-branding, and helpful advice preparing for interviews, job hunting and post-grad life.

As an advertising/marketing major, it was definitely a great experience to meet so many brand representatives from Macy’s, Microsoft, Disney, Mercedes, Walmart (just to name a few) and get to know more about each company. I definitely learned a lot from each day’s exposure. Here are a few of my takeaways:

1. ALPFA not only strives to grow as an overall organization, but provides the right resources & guidance for each member to grow with ALPFA, to grow as a proud Latino leader and to grow within their professional realms.

2. The culture within ALPFA is rich. It’s rich of diversity. It’s full of dynamic individuals. And it’s fulfilling as a student member to see so many people excited about the organization!

3. I met & heard so many high-ranked & successful individuals give speeches about their careers. I was and still am in awe of them. Something that still resonates with me, ‘there is always someone to impact [everyday] in a positive way’. And during this convention, every speech impacted me in a positive way. I hope that someday, I will be able to impact someone in a positive way (just like these individuals did to me).

4. And lastly, community & contributions. It still amazes me how many sponsors support ALPFA. It’s definitely a great feeling to know that you are a part (no matter how small) of something bigger and greater. And that sums it up. People will contribute to something they know is great. Right?

Want to learn more about ALPFA? Plans to attend the convention next year in Washington, DC? Check out their national website: http://www.alpfa.org/

Btw, Vegas is a beautiful city (very hot) and there are many sites to see (sadly I didn’t get to see it all). I sure hope to go back!

Here are a few of my pics from the convention. Enjoy! 🙂

NWA ALPFA Chapter [group shot]

Caesar’s Palace

View from hotel room

Bellagio Fountain Show

View of Eiffel Tower

Have a great week everyone!

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