Miami Herbert Business School establishes The Latina Project, aims to support female students

The Miami Herbert Business School launched The Latina Project this year to help women build social capital, succeed in their professional careers and launch their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Professor Susy Alvarez-Diaz and business students at the launch event.
Professor Susy Alvarez-Diaz and business students at the launch event.

The program primarily offers mentoring and career preparation to first-generation Latina women and is led by Susy Alvarez-Diaz, senior lecturer at UM. It was established with the support of Ana Teresa Rodriguez, chief executive officer of ATR Luxury Homes, Coldwell Banker Realty and her husband Luis Garcia of Adonel Concrete.

“Its very existence is predicated on inclusivity. Every Miami Herbert student will be further honed for this cohort of women,” Alvarez-Diaz said.

Scholars chosen for the project will attend weekly events where they will learn about numerous topics pertaining to career success and entrepreneurship. Topics can include team building, negotiation, presentation skills, networking and more.

Courses will be taught by university professors and corporate professionals. Participants will have weekly milestones to move on to the following week’s lesson. The Latina Project five-week intensive will be from Jan. 24 until Feb. 25, 2022.

Alvarez-Diaz explains the difficulties first generation students face when being the first one in their family to attend college.

“First-generation students usually lack the social capital to understand how to navigate all the resources available to them at the university,” Alvarez-Diaz said. “The Latina Project will prepare these women to not only be resourceful, but also to leverage resources they didn’t even know were available to them through the university. This program could potentially propel them a whole generation ahead in terms of social capital.”

The long-term goal of The Latina Project is to improve the odds of success for first-generation Latina women pursuing professional careers through Miami Herbert Business School.

The first cohort of Latina Project Scholars in 2022 will be established in the upcoming months as the organization aims to promote representation in the corporate world, such as through a professional career or an entrepreneurial endeavor.

“This resource is going to be beneficial to both it’s targeted population and the university since it is inviting diversity in a traditionally male-dominated industry,” said Tatiana Alvarado, a junior majoring in business law and political science. “By giving young Latina women the platform to feel supported by the university and the community they will be empowered to do more with their time as students and with their degree.”

Alvarado says that this initiative is one-of-a-kind in the history of the Herbert Business School and will leave an impact on many students.

“It will surely leave an impact in the lives of many women like myself trying to represent both aspects of our identities,” Alvarado said.

The first-generation Latina college women who will be chosen for the cohort will be able to benefit from the experience and connections cultivated by other women who came before them at UM.

Latina business leaders who have thrived in their respective fields will guide the Latina Project Scholars with the wisdom and expertise they have established over decades of professional work.

“It is so important to have this resource of mentorship because studies show that those who have guidance and support start out ahead and stay ahead throughout the course of their careers,” Diaz-Alvarez said. They also tend to not quit and stay the course.”

Applications for The Latina Project 2022 Cohort are open to all female UM students from Nov. 15 until Dec. 3. If interested, applicants attach their résumé and an essay on why they would like to be a Latina Project Scholar. Program cohort will be notified of selection on Jan. 10, 2022. Feel free to contact Susy Alvarez-Diaz, director of The Latina Project at Miami Herbert Business School at salvarez@bus.miami.edu for any further questions.