Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bi-Cultural in the Nation’s Heartland

A University of Nebraska-Kearney Latina student shares her story of what it’s like to be a bi-cultural college student in the nation’s heartland:

I experienced people who didn’t want to deal with me because they didn’t think I could speak English – when honestly I can hardly speak a lick of Spanish.  I’ve had people give me dirty looks at my job for helping a Latino family.  I even have co-workers who cannot stand to be around Latinos because they can’t understand them and are so short fused with them.  It breaks my heart to see such a disconnect between the people of my two cultures, especially because everyone is honest-to-God just trying to get by.

Forward. Back. Forward – Maybe

I wasn’t familiar with the term “reverse transfer” until I read this study about college students that transfer from their original four year institution to another college (four or two year college). There are some differences in completion rates depending on when and where students transfer:

Students who are the true reverse transfer students – those who severed ties with their four-year institutions to enroll at a two-year institution then went back to a four-year school – have an extended time to degree attainment and have lower rates of degree completion.

Hidden within these findings I think is the plight of Latino students who might find themselves in four-year institutions that lack the services and infrastructure that support their needs. Since previous reports show that Latinos face a number of different barriers as compared to the general population, it would be interesting to see the demographic data on this particular study. I’ll post the data if  I find it.

Reality Check: Here Come the Latinas

Nielsen tells of the growing Latina demographic:

U.S. Hispanic women, also known as Latinas, have recently and rapidly surfaced as prominent contributors to the educational, economic and cultural wellbeing of not only their own ethnicity, but of American society and the consumer marketplace. This rise of Latinas is driven both by strong demographics and a healthy inclination toward success in mainstream America

Cyber Social Latinos

I’ve written about the recruitment opportunity organizations have in engaging Latinos via social media channels – here’s more proof that Latinos are leading the way to social media engagement. According to eMarketer, Facebook was the “top social site among Hispanics, followed distantly by LinkedIn. Twitter reached just 15% of Hispanic internet users, compared to 64.1% for Facebook.”

Gustavo Razzetti, EVP and managing director of Lapiz, the Latino unit of digital agency Leo Burnett argues organizations adds some context to this trend:

We know that Latinos show a higher engagement with brand pages versus non-Hispanics. But that doesn’t mean that they will follow any brand. People don’t engage with brands. People engage with a purpose. And the most successful case studies are precisely those that embrace this approach.

Four Years and Still Here!

With recent busy days and an upcoming two-week vacation, I failed to recognize that my blog turned four years old two days ago!

Happy birthday to me and thanks so much for your support.

Off to a much anticipated vacation.

See you in a couple weeks!


Kiss Your CIR Goodbye

I agree with Inc. Magazine’s analysis here, comprehensive immigration reform will die a slow death in the House.

The House Republicans’ two-hour meeting yesterday on immigration reform was supposed to be private, a chance for the party’s pro-reform establishment and its anti-reform hardliners to exchange views away from the prying eyes of voters and the press. But enough noise leaked out from behind the closed doors to make clear what was happening, and it was this: the “long, slow death” that hardline Republicans  promised for immigration reform has begun. It’s hard to imagine a more disappointing outcome for business in general and entrepreneurs in particular.

Not All Latinos Salsa

From the annals of Yolo County Court in California comes this astonishing anecdote. According to court records, it seems some leaders at a local Target store compiled a tip sheet aimed at helping supervisors manage Latino employees effectively. The tip sheet entitled, “Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips,” included some interesting advice for managing Latino employees. Here’s a few of those gems:

a. Food: not everyone eats tacos and burritos;
b. Music: not everyone dances to salsa;
c. Dress: not everyone wears a sombrero;
d. Mexicans (lower education level, some may be undocumented);
e. Cubans (Political refugees, legal status, higher education level); and
f. They may say ‘OK, OK’ and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face.

I must give them credit for item b, indeed I am a terrible Salsa dancer.

I realize this was probably a few rogue supervisors attempting to provide a cultural resource for their managers; however, it once again proves the point that organizations, even those as well known and well managed as Target, can still miss the “cultural train.”

Latinos’ Unequal Opportunity

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance shares an update on how changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) can negatively impact low income students including Latinos and African Americans. Rising college costs, decreasing completion rates, shifting enrollment rates, and fewer Bachelor degrees could be the long-term outcomes of redesigning federal need-based grant aid; an escalation of inequality of opportunity. The Advisory Committee’s 2010 counseled Congress against making changes:

In particular, the 2010 report cautioned that the steady erosion in the purchasing power of Pell Grants must be reversed if any progress is to be made in ensuring equal educational opportunity and success in higher education. Without such increases, inequality in access and completion will steadily worsen – as will inequality in national income.

Looking for Extroverts via Social Media

Most recruiters will tell you they check applicant social media profiles to either confirm or find contradictions on their resumes. But what does social media activity also tell recruiters about candidate personalities?   An interesting study from North Carolina University regarding prospective employees and social media sheds some light about what employers can learn from applicant social media postings. After examining the social media activity of 175 job applicants, the results are surprising. From the study abstract:

Participant self-reported social media content related to (a) photos and text-based references to alcohol and drug use and (b) criticisms of superiors and peers (so-called “badmouthing” behavior) were compared to traditional personality assessments. Results indicated that extraverted candidates were prone to postings related to alcohol and drugs. Those low in agreeableness were particularly likely to engage in online badmouthing behaviors. Evidence concerning the relationships between conscientiousness and the outcomes of interest was mixed.