Spring Into Action 2018 provides opportunities for minority business students

Miles Eackles

Students who are typically underrepresented in business settings found themselves in the majority at Spring Into Action 2018 — a chance for minority students to network with recruiters and hear from a prestigious speaker.

The Texas Association of Latino Professionals for America, the Black Business Student Association and the Management Information Systems Association partnered to host the event as part of the McCombs School of Business Career Week, which connects employers with undergraduate students through workshops and seminars.                                                                              

Several McCombs students said they were excited to hear from someone of such a high caliber in the business world and connect with business recruiters. Isaac Turrubiate, government and economics sophomore, said the event gave visibility to minority students who might otherwise go unrecognized.

“In a gigantic school like McCombs where diversity is minimal, it can be hard to make yourself known,” ALPFA member Turrubiate said. “The purpose of this event is to connect underrepresented students with well-known businesses.”

Hosted in the Shirley Bird Perry ballroom of the Texas Union, Spring Into Action housed more than 100 students and multiple recruiters from prominent businesses.

Keynote speaker Barbara Dugas-Patterson, managing director of JPMorgan Chase and UT alumna, said bouncing back from setbacks is key to success. Dugas-Patterson, who has worked in banking for 25 years, outlined five characterstics for success: Dare to dream, have the courage to face the unknown, be willing to take a risk, be introspective and be empathetic.

Companies recruiting at the event included Deloitte, Google, Dell and Wells Fargo. Southwest Airlines recruiter Kristen Gatz said Southwest was excited to network with UT students and seek out new talent.

“Southwest Airlines as a company loves going out to universities, such as the University of Texas to help promote our internship program and full time opportunities,” Gatz said. “I’m very excited to see what these students have to offer.”

Kastina Fishback, finance senior and BBSA president, said corporate America lacks diversity, especially representation for minority women, but minority-centered organizations can play an important role in mitigating this issue and promoting inclusion.

“Our key mission is incorporating diversity in corporate America,” Fishback said. “Kicking off career week with Spring Into Action is a good way for minority students to have intimate conversations with recruiters and really put themselves out there.”