» STUDENT SPOTLIGHT
College Expands International Immersion Programs
Business students traveled around the globe this summer participating in international immersion programs. More than 50 students were funded by the College of Business to participate in immersion programs to China, Italy, Morocco and Spain.
The College of Business hosted the inaugural immersion program to Morocco. Eleven business students visited Tangier and Rabat in a 10-day immersion program led by Dr. Jan Clark, professor of information systems, and Dr. Nandini Kannan, professor of management science and statistics.
The students attended academic presentations, visited local corporations and participated in cultural experiences.
“I wanted students to appreciate the custom, culture and business world of Morocco,” said Clark, who had taught in Morocco for six years. They also visited a rural school established by the BMCE Bank Foundation. Following the visit, they presented the school children with satchels.
Twenty-four students participated in the college’s largest immersion program to Spain this summer. The undergraduate and graduate students visited Madrid and Barcelona and toured two of the largest multinational corporations in Spain. The program was led by Dr. Dennis Lopez, assistant professor of accounting, and Dr. Lisa Montoya, associate dean for undergraduate studies.
“This is a life-changing experience for the students,” said Lopez. “While we are learning about Spanish business, we’re using that context to apply to other international experiences. I want to give them the basic tools that they can apply in any country.”
Academic courses were taught by faculty at Escuela de Administracion de Empresas business school. The students participated in five corporate visits, nine academic lectures and five cultural experiences during the 10-day trip.
In partnership with the Honors College, 11 business students visited Beijing, Shanghai and Xian, and concluded their trip by participating in the World Expo.
“I believe these cohort travel programs are important milestones in our collegiate careers,” said Ryan Zapata, a senior majoring in international business and executive director of the college’s Global Business Club. “During our adventurous milestone we scaled the Great Wall, tried new cuisine, converged with generational peers, engaged the local population, strolled through historical monuments, established global networks and explored the World Expo. I have returned to UTSA with a new global perspective that will aid my success in future endeavors.”
Seven business students also participated in an immersion program to Italy, in partnership with the Honors College, to study the culture, architecture and business of Rome, Florence, Siena and Venice.
Business Students Receive National Internships with HACU
Six business students received prestigious national internships this summer with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
The HACU National Internship Program recruits college students for paid summer and semester-long internships at federal agencies and private corporations in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country. These 10- and 15-week internships give students direct experience in a diversity of careers in the federal and corporate sectors.
The recipients were graduate students Jeremy Davila, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; Selvin Guevara, U.S. Census Bureau; and Luis Rivera, U.S. Department of the Attorney General.
Undergraduate participants were Marcela Cabral, Sodexo; Peter Flores, VA Veteran Benefits Administration; and Kevin Villatoro, Department of Treasury.
In addition to these internships, over the past year more than 250 companies have posted 525 unique internship opportunities for business students. Students received positions at AT&T; Frost Bank; H-E-B; IBC Bank; Methodist Healthcare System; Rackspace; Security Service Federal Credit Union; Spurs Sports & Entertainment; Tesoro; U.S. Global Investors, Inc.; USAA; Valero Energy; Wells Fargo Bank; Westin La Cantera Resort; and Zachry Construction Corp.
Finance Students Named Regional Finalists
College of Business finance students Will Jones, Addison Lofton, Andre Moreira and Rafael Velez were named regional fi nalists in the Texas CFA Investment Research Challenge.
The undergraduate students had to analyze, write and present a report recommending “buy,” “sell” or “hold” positions on a publicly traded company.
“The experience allowed me to use the tools learned in the classroom for a real valuation project,” said Velez, chairman of the Investment Society. “Our research was no different from the street research published by investment banks. This competition was a true application of rigor with relevance.”
The students were mentored by Dr. Cheryl Linthicum, professor of accounting, and Ron Sweet, lecturer in finance and Investment Society adviser.
Ten teams competed in the competition. Additional finalists were Louisiana State University, Southern Methodist University, University of Houston and the University of Texas at Dallas.
The Investment Society was established in 2007. The group, which has almost 50 members, strives to educate future business leaders about the financial markets and the economy.
Students Win CCIM/UTSA John Vogel Award Competition
Business students in faculty member Leland Rocchio’s Principles of Real Estate Development course learned the theory of real estate development, and they put their newfound knowledge into practice by formulating their own real estate development project.
They teamed with mentors from the San Antonio South Texas Chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM). Mentors included Ernest Brown, Grubb & Ellis; Trove Gilbert, Koontz McCombs; Steve Monroe, CB Richard Ellis; Maggie Nigro, Grubb & Ellis; Nick Prater, 4M Realty Company; Tom Rohde, Rohde Ottmers Siegel; Jason Schnittger, Stream Realty; and Cynthia Stevens, Koontz McCombs.
Their final assignment consisted of presenting their projects to a panel of real estate leaders and competing for the CCIM/UTSA John Vogel Award. The winning team was Billy Deiri, Nicholas de la Garza, Robert Garza, Eric Neumann, Javier Paredes and Chris Taubert.
“We had a dynamic team that worked well together,” said Paredes. “Without the help of our mentor, Steve Monroe, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Business Students Win Global Business Plan Competition
Seniors Christopher Abowd, Ryanne Vela and Ryan Zapata won first place in the Free Trade Alliance Future Global Leaders Business Plan competition. The team developed an internal marketing plan for H-E-B.
Their program, Global Cooking Connections, initiated an internal strategic alliance between H-E-B Cooking Connections and the Global Sourcing Department. The students were mentored by Sarah Sanchez, an H-E-B team member in the global sourcing department.
The winners received a $2,500 cash prize and a one-year student membership in the Free Trade Alliance.
The Free Trade Alliance Business Plan Program was created in collaboration with community
partners to encourage international awareness, help students develop a global perspective and foster entrepreneurial spirit in local students.
Kyle Seale Leadership Scholars Chosen
Through the generous support of benefactors Kyle and Billie Seale, UTSA’s College of Business named nine Kyle Seale Leadership Scholars. Students were selected competitively based on their application and personal essay that explained their goals in business and how they would apply the leadership skills learned.
Recipients were Paola Fiallos, Jennifer Langlinais, Cesar Lopez, Nora Ramirez, Olanrewaju Reis, Erik Villarreal, Di Wu, Ashley Yong-liy and Elaine Yong-liy.
The students attended the annual four-day Adelante Leadership Institute Conference, which focused on active leadership, professional communication skills and motivation.
Giving Back to the Community
Giving back to the community is a common trait found in students in the College of Business. Whether it is part of a class project, a student organization or a personal mission, business students are making a difference throughout San Antonio and the nation.
Seniors Jay Elizalde and Javier Paredes spent spring break in New Orleans participating in the Historic Green rebuilding project in the Lower Ninth Ward. Elizalde spent the week pulling down aluminum siding and working on the home of resident Don Edwards.
“In college you think a lot about yourself and your future,” said Elizalde, the president of the Real Estate Entrepreneurs and Leaders student organization. “It was rewarding to do something completely selfless. Being able to change lives one house at a time. I was proud of myself and my school.”
Historic Green’s mission is to assist and lead in the transformation and restoration of distressed communities through education and service activities focusing on heritage conservation and sustainable design.
In addition to this project, more than 800 hours of community service work was completed by students in the college’s Real Estate Finance and Development Program including working with Habitat for Humanity, Graffiti Wipeout and the Animal Defense League in San Antonio.
Students in Dr. Lisa Montoya’s Latino Financial Issues program learned about the importance of a college education by working with 110 eighth graders from Wrenn Middle School in the Edgewood Independent School District.
Twelve business students conducted workshops at the school discussing the importance of a college education. Following the workshops, the students visited the UTSA Main Campus to experience firsthand a college environment. The program was sponsored by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
“The best financial decision that an eighth grade r can make is to attend college,” said Montoya, associate dean for undergraduate studies. “We encouraged students to consider the importance of a college education.”
“The experience was not only beneficial to the kids I worked with, but also to me,” said Alvaro Fernao, a senior majoring in economics and finance. “Activities such as these go beyond the typical educational experience of learning about supply and demand or stockholder wealth. It is about doing something that will ultimately change lives.”
Promoting wealth and asset building among Latinos is the goal of the LFI program. The yearlong integrated academic and service learning program exposes students to community economic development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
Business students in the college’s Leadership Challenge program have also joined forces with students across campus to form For the Kids (FTK), a registered student organization dedicated to fundraising and social support for the Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.
The students develop their leadership skills as they take responsibility for managing and organizing activities to benefit children battling cancer. The students hosted a carnival in the fall and a four-hour dance marathon in April, modeled after a similar event held at Penn State University. “The goal is to develop a new generation of caring and mindful leaders who appreciate the delicate balance of serving others and leading a full and balanced life,” said Dr. Robert Lengel, associate dean of executive education and director of the Leadership Challenge program.