(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell)
Ashley Rose Rivera
On September 22nd, the Latin American Student Association (LASA) will be holding an alumni networking event that focuses on introducing under-graduate students to career and networking conversations. The event provides an opportunity for all underclassmen, in particular Latinx students, the opportunity to engage with successful Latinx alumni.
The event offers an opportunity for students to receive advice, with the intention of showing underclassmen real world examples of people who share similar lived experiences that it is possible to strive and achieve. Some of the alumni who will be attending the event are a senior cyber risk analyst, an attorney that founded her own law firm, an onboarding specialist, a consultant at Bain and Company/PHD candidate and the dean of FAHSS Luis Falcon.
LASA plans to tackle topics like career advancement and graduate school. Focusing on general advice for undergrads, a lot of the topics that are being delved into with more detail speak on the anxieties regarding graduate school and academic life. The event will touch on the pressures of succeeding whilst being from a marginalized community, with a focus on how people of color navigate the world in these settings.
Resources for students will be discussed as well, with alumni being asked which resources they believe current students should take advantage of while attending school. Interviewing advice will be given, with networking tips and tricks spotlighted. First generation students can expect a more intimate experience at the event, with their exposure to knowledge being one of the main goals of the event.
“Sometimes, if you are first gen, or like a minority, there’s things out there that you don’t know…or you don’t know the extent to which using or doing something matters for your future.” said Douglas CorreaOspina, the vice president of the Latin American Student Association.
Knowledge of how to access higher education is scarce and not easily accessible to those from disenfranchised backgrounds.
“For example, when I was in high school, I knew that you had to take the SATs to get into college, but I never realized the SATs also determine your financial aid and if you get a scholarship or not. It’s those kinds of things where if no one tells you, you can’t go ask anyone. “said CorreaOspina.
A major purpose of the event is to have someone from a similar lived experience to the students talk about themselves and how they got to where they are. Another main purpose of the event is to offer opportunities to network with alumni and to provide an open dialogue between students and professionals in the field they’re interested in. This annual event has occurred every year, even last year during the pandemic over zoom.
“Knowledge that may not be easily accessible to first gen, or racial minorities, or anyone who feels like they need knowledge about careers and graduate school and…networking, that’s what I want them to take.”
The alumni social event will be held on Wednesday, September 22nd 2021 from 6:00pm to 7:30 pm in Alumni Hall, located at 84 University Avenue. There will be free food available and prizes as well. Poetry, music and more will be showcased from students within the Latinx community. RSVPS can be made on the UMass Lowell engage website.