Monthly Archives: October 2009

My First Week on Twitter

As social networking becomes more and more a part of our lives, particularly our working lives, the medium can literally change the way we think about everything. After a few months of blogging, I decided about a week ago to jump into the realm of Twitter. Not knowing what to expect, frankly I was a bit hesitant and reluctant. How would my perspective and focus provide any value to this surging community?  A week later and close to 120 followers later , I’ve become a huge Twitter advocate.   

With this new perspective, come new opportunities to use this resource with other online technologies to engage those that can benefit from my contributions. And more importantly, I have so much to learn from them. I’ve experienced how technology is changing rapidly the fundamentals and practice of college recruiting. Whether you are a career center or employer, college student or college graduate, those that are proficient in the use of social networking tools and incorporate them into their day-to-day activities stand to learn something new everyday.

For small businesses like mine, being part of the social-media environment is no longer a novelty; it’s a necessity. While Twitter and other social online tools are new to me, many have already leveraged them becoming experts and are already looking toward the next generation of online networking tools. I hope to catch the next wave with them. Research has already shown that Hispanics are early adopters of online and mobile technology. In only a week, I’ve seen how the Hispanic online community mirrors our face-to-face social interactions. I’ve already been befriended by a welcoming community that, according to Google Analytics at least, has been interested in my services and efforts.

With respect to my focus, I hope to continue to fill a small niche in the online community: the need to provide organizations meaningful and practical information related to Hispanic college students entering the workplace.

Thank you to all of you that have made my arrival beneficial!

Time to Step Up

With the increasing Hispanic population, there comes a need to increase their participation in healthcare industry. According to a recent article in Nursing Education, Hispanics account for only a small percentage of those enrolled in nursing programs. I’ve noted the same trends in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) careers. These statistics again demonstrate need to overcome barriers faced by Hispanics in regard to healthcare and STEM careers. Research is growing in this regard and the good news is that stakeholders from educators to employers have taken note and are addressing this issue nationally. I’ve discussed many times the need to change the “pipeline” model when addressing educational and career development of Hispanics. Since the challenges and barriers that face Hispanics in this regard are wide, it will also require a complete paradigm change in tackling the educational and career achievements of Hispanic college graduates in these areas. Since the Hispanic population is the fastest and youngest ethnic group in U.S, Hispanic college graduates have the chance to make a significant contribution in these high demand fields. Moreover, the United States has a greater interest in addressing and supporting this goal in order to confront the economic needs of the country.

Update: Talk about fast action! ; )

College Recruiting: Changing the Model

The last couple days I came across two perspectives on the same topic. First, comments from Jonathan Hilley at the TAG blog discussing the need to change the college Career Services model. I could not agree more. Changes need to be made to a much antiquated approach of helping college graduates. Jonathan mentions Sheila Curran at Curran Career Consulting who advocates the same need for change. Second, there’s this post from Laura Gargolinski via her post on the ERE Community Blog. Laura is asks what employers are doing to demonstrate that even entry-level jobs are providing meaningful work. She makes her case for what employers should be considering.  Each of these posts reminds anyone involved in college recruiting that the environment is constantly changing. Considering the perspectives of every stakeholder is essential in providing value-added services.

Thoughts on CNN's Latino In America

The inclusion of all ethnicities, cultures, and creeds is crucial for representation of a society to be absolute. The history of the United States cannot determined to be accurate if it overlooks the true story of a minority group or perhaps only portrays a portion of that group’s whole story. The consequences of doing so instill, at best, ignorance and indifference to the group in question. Misconceptions and baseless information would not be changed and society would continue to scatter the same stereotypes. At worse, sharing an unbalanced portrayal of a minority group can result in perpetuating condescension of whole group of people.

Although the largest minority in the United States, Hispanic Americans still receive little attention from the main stream media. And unfortunately, when Hispanics do make news, it’s usually not due to inclusiveness, but rather involves negative social issues such as immigration or crime. CNN’s “Latino in America” provided an opportunity to examine Hispanic Americans in a new light. Indeed, it was an opportunity to tell the story of Hispanics overcoming barriers, inequality, and discrimination. The focus should have been on success and about a bright future. Continue reading

Weathering the Perfect Storm

Over the last couple years, it seems college students are in the midst of a perfect storm. Whereas incoming college students are facing increased college costs, current college students are loaded with debt, and college graduate salaries are either meek or decreasing, the short-term outlook for those attending college is dubious. From a Hispanic college student perspective, it adds yet another wrinkle to other challenges such as delayed college entry, attending less selective schools, caring for children or other dependents, and working while attending college. 

However as challenging as these obstacles seem there is a ray of hope: overcoming these barriers turn challenges into opportunities. For example, prospective employers seek those college graduates who face significant challenges, take steps to overcome them, work to put themselves through school, and engage themselves in a positive direction of growth. You get the idea. I’ve known many Hispanic college graduates that share these qualities. The motivation and passion to succeed despite the challenges.

Join a Hispanic Employee Resource Group

Limited social ties within an organization are seen as a significant barrier faced by professional Hispanics; formal and informal network channels are seen as critical to organizational success. Ibarra (1995) concluded although minorities had racially heterogeneous professional networks, they had less intimate network relationships. Hispanics and other minorities perceived as high performing were those who had forged networking relationships outside of their racial profile. Hispanics have the most to gain from this professional opportunity; once formed Hispanics are known to maintain these networks more than other minorities (Mehra, Kilduff, & Brass, 2001). Having these social ties increases the chances minorities will acquire a mentor to help support and manage their career related decisions. A broad network also enhances the opportunity for better professional opportunities and higher salaries.

Hispanics often feel that attaining similar qualifications, education, and experience still does not make them as successful as their White counterparts; this perceived discrepancy creates a sense of social and organization isolationism (Smith & Calasanti, 2005). Research shows that minorities consistently perceive unequal access to promotion and leadership opportunities in organizations; the absence of Hispanic representation at higher levels of organizations cast doubt on traditional promotional systems (Chow & Crawford, 2004). This perceived disparity is further exacerbated by the lack of Hispanic role models in leadership positions. Continue reading