Monthly Archives: April 2010

Plan NOW for the Fall

I get emails from students now and then asking for advice on different things so today I’d like to offer them some proactive advice – time to start planning for Fall internships. If you’ve not applied or found a Summer internship by now, chances are good you’ll need to start planning for the next slew of opportunities in the Fall. A number of organizations such as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and many others are taking applications now planning for the Fall session or quarter. Now is the time to be proactively looking for that internship opportunity – what are you waiting for – go get one!

The Power of Reaching Out

One of my projects this spring is to finish up a study I started in the winter regarding the on-boarding experiences of Hispanic professionals into corporate America. Over the last couple months, I’ve been asking folks to contact me if they were interested in participating. I’m often overwhelmed by the generousity of some people to really reach out and help support my efforts. It seems over the last couple weeks, a lot of people – literally strangers – that have an interest in getting such a study done – are reaching out supporting my efforts by putting me in contact with their networks. 

Of course, I’d like to keep their names private, but wish I could thank them all individually. I’m sure they know who they are! To them a big public “THANK YOU” for helping me increase the research on Hispanic professionals. I do greatly appreciate all their support.

A Potpourri of Guest Blog Posts

Whew, still catching up on a number of things after my hospital stay (doing well btw!). Here are a few guest blog posts from the last week that you might have missed out there in the blogosphere! Enjoy!

Global University Recruiting  

The Importance of Mentors – An overview of why mentors are a vital factor to recent Hispanic college graduates.

Intern Matters (via Internships.com)

Giving Back to the Community: A post regarding how an internship program really does a lot to give back to the community.

Fully Tap Hispanic Organizations: Some thoughts about how Hispanic professional organizations can help an employer even after the recruitment process is complete.

Eye of the Intern (via Internships.com)

Back to the Future:  My thoughts on what an intern can do to avoid mistakes BEFORE they happen during his or her internship.

How Culture Can Impact Hispanics' Careers

An excellent study examining  how cultural factors (scripts) impact the careers of Latinas in the workforce. I’d encourage you to think between the lines on the findings and how they can be applied in the work environment. The study demonstrates how cultural factors can certainly play a complicated role in the day-to-day work efforts and long-term career activities of Hispanics:

Cultural scripts act as both gifts and challenges for Latinas in corporations. As gifts, they are unique resources and perspectives that Latina managers bring to organizations. As challenges, Latina cultural scripts clash with Anglo cultural scripts and their pervasive and unexamined influence as dominant scripts, which determine organizational practices, guidelines for advancement, expectations about fit, assessments about effectiveness, and so forth. Thus, scripts may result in disadvantages and a lack of opportunities because when they behave according to another set of cultural scripts, Latina managers are usually found lacking.

As in my study regarding Hispanic leadership, one of the barriers or challenges faced by Hispanic professionals in the workplace is having to manage two cultural realities: one in the work environment (the organizational culture) and the other stemming from the Hispanic experience itself. When you consider the on-going dynamics of managing these two realities, it’s easy to see how a Hispanic professional’s career is impacted.

Even the Best Solutions Still Need Great Leadership

Like many of you, I subscribe to numerous informational resources (Google, RSS, etc.) that send me alerts, emails, and links to research or studies on a given topic (if you’re not doing this you should be!). As you might guess, information that I receive focuses on the Hispanic workforce, Hispanics and college trends, and other related information. With the wealth of information that I browse daily, most of what I read discusses what “needs to be done” or “what hasn’t been done” to improve or increase the situation of Hispanics in a number of environments.  

While I don’t argue that much work is still needed on a number of fronts, I’m gratified to see how much is already being done – and done well – by people, organizations, and communities that are making a difference. However, when I read articles like this one regarding University of Texas Pan American, or Western Oregon University, or this article by Dr. Lorelle Espinosa (now one of my favorite researchers!), I wonder why other organizations and communities do not model similar paths toward success. What keeps others from using a successful solution and applying it somewhere else? I often hear people say that identifying problems is easy, finding solutions is the bigger challenge. I’m not sure I completely agree. Given the number of solutions that can be modeled, literally waiting on the shelf, I think it still comes down to commitment and implementation. In my view, even the best solutions still rely heavily on strong leadership to create change.

Jaime Escalante (1930 – 2010)

While I was in the hospital, I was very sad to hear of the passing of Jaime Escalante - an icon in the effort to improve educational opportunties for Hispanics. It was just a few months ago that I posted how a recent Advanced Placement Test report showed that Mr. Escalante’s dream was progressing.  Because of his efforts at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, Mr. Escalante showed that given the right desire and support, students of any background can thrive in any educational pursuit. And while he might not be around to see the progress future Hispanic generations will make in education, business, science, and other professions. One can only assume that if he were here to see future successes, his focus would remain with those yet to reach their full potential.

Recovery Update

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update. Surgery went well, and I’m now in full recovery mode. Today is Day 5 and was hoping to be home by now; however, there’s are few “internal process” functions that need to happen before I can leave. Thanks to all of you for your emails and notes of support via Twitter – they’ve been much appreciated. Hopefully all will continue to run smoothly and will be home by tomorrow or Monday. Take care and thanks again for the support.