skip to main content

No. 1 in supply chain

Hispanic Heritage Month: Connecting MBA business education to identity and experience

By William Horton-Anderson
Monday, September 25, 2023

Hispanic Heritage Month elevates the voices, stories and experiences for members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. Starting Sept. 15, we highlight and honor our community members that contribute to a stronger and more connected program. In this Q&A, five current Full-Time and STEM MBA students discuss what it means to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and how the business community can be more inclusive of the Hispanic and Latinx communities.

Leonardo “Leo” Dominguez (he/him/his)

Hispanic MBA student Leonardo Dominguez headshot

Leonardo Dominguez (MBA Finance ’25)

Hometown: Chihuahua, Mexico

Career before Broad: Total rewards analyst within an HR department

Broad News: Why did you choose Broad?

Dominguez: When I made the decision to invest not only in my career but in myself, I wanted to ensure that where I went, I would be challenged to grow and develop new skillsets. Broad is filled with world-class faculty and staff that provides just that.

Broad News: What does being Hispanic/Latinx mean to you?

Dominguez: Being Latinx to me means that I come from a culture where hard work is embedded into us from childhood, meaning I have an opportunity to challenge myself to thrive in various aspects of life and can provide different points of view in a variety of different situations. Also, it means I have the best food!

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue Hispanic/Latinx people are facing outside the business community?

Dominguez: One of the biggest challenges Latinx culture faces today outside of business is mental health and the way it is dealt with. A lot of times, a lack of support from family and friends during difficult situations stops people from reaching their full potential.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive of Hispanic/Latinx individuals?

Dominguez: It all starts at the bottom. Being able to provide information and show representation to young Latinx students in all geographical areas about the world of business would launch new generations of Latinx students into that world.

Gustavo Dobrovolski Pereira (he/him/his)

Hispanic MBA student Gustavo Dobrovolski Pereira headshot

Gustavo Dobrovolski Pereira (STEM MBA Marketing ’25)

Hometown: Curitiba, Parana, Brasil

Career before Broad: Project manager over LATAM markets for a billion-dollar beauty company

Broad News: Why did you choose Broad?

Pereira: From my first contact with Broad, I felt that this was going to be a place that made me feel welcome and where I could belong. The sense of collaboration is intrinsic to the culture of the program, supporting students to become their best version. Also, the level of professionalism and dedication that staff, faculty and students demonstrate in every interaction is impressive, which definitely caught my attention.

Broad News: What does being Hispanic/Latinx mean to you?

Pereira: Resilient, hardworking people who use creativity and flexibility as key elements to succeed despite the obstacles ahead. People who convey joy while facing challenging times and being optimistic about a better future.

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue Hispanic/Latinx people are facing outside the business community?

Pereira: Underestimating the intelligence of Latinos can lead to isolation. I have been volunteering in Latino communities for eight years, and I have noticed that there is often a feeling of loneliness due to a lack of empathy and judgment of the language accent, which leads people to stay in their own zone and avoid further interactions out of fear of not being understandable or judged. On the other hand, I know that these people are capable and smart enough to handle any complex task. It is a matter of urgency to restore their confidence and provide opportunities to show what Latinx are capable of in helping to build a better world.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive of Hispanic/Latinx individuals?

Pereira: While the legal hiring process is fraught with challenging factors for companies to hire Latinx internationals, I wish more companies were more truthful, honest and intentional about having real diversity, something beyond just their convenience. New initiatives and efforts would be possible to generate opportunities and let meritocracy prevail.

Albi Cantor Lopez (she/her/hers)

Hispanic MBA student Albi Cantor Lopez headshot

Albi Cantor Lopez (MBA Supply Chain Management and Marketing ’25)

Hometown: San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Career before Broad: Bachelor of industrial and systems engineering and bachelor of logistics management

Broad News: Why did you choose Broad?

Lopez: Because this was the best fit for me. Broad has the No. 1 supply chain management program in the United States, and I wanted to be part of it.

Broad News: What does being Hispanic/Latinx mean to you?

Lopez: Being Latina means a lot of things to me. To point out some of them: It means a nice culture, means delicious food, we have such great music (especially when it comes to dance), and it means my language, my roots and my present.

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue Hispanic/Latinx people are facing outside the business community?

Lopez: I’d say feeling familiar with a different culture. Like different traditions, food, music and slang. Especially when it comes to casual conversation. Most Latin American countries only teach the academic language, not a daily-basis language.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive of Hispanic/Latinx individuals?

Lopez: Try to know more about our culture and traditions, show interest in different languages and show interest in different types of food.

Germán Reyes Sanchez (he/him/his)

Hispanic MBA student Germán Reyes Sanchez headshot

Germán Reyes Sanchez (MBA Supply Chain Management ’25)

Hometown: Pachuca, Mexico

Career before Broad: Warehouse and transportation, logistics, operations

Broad News: Why did you choose Broad?

Sanchez: As a professional interested in pursuing a career in supply chain management, Broad represented the ideal business school for me to get my MBA and be prepared for my next move in my professional career.

Broad News: What does being Hispanic/Latinx mean to you?

Sanchez: It means that in every community I’m a part of, I have an opportunity to demonstrate how successfully Latinx people can immerse themselves in any culture and leave a mark.

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue Hispanic/Latinx people are facing outside the business community?

Sanchez: Due to the fact that most Latin American countries are facing difficult economic, political and social situations every day, stereotypes and social expectations have become a major issue for all Latinx people, pushing them to demonstrate the opposite in most communities.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive of Hispanic/Latinx individuals?

Sanchez: By working to correct imbalances in leadership roles where Hispanic/Latinx professionals participate and increasing availability of resources and opportunities to land internships and jobs in areas where we are underrepresented.

Lucas Rodrigues Ferro (he/him/his)

Hispanic MBA student Lucas Rodrigues Ferro headshot

Lucas Rodrigues Ferro (STEM MBA Finance and Marketing ’25)

Hometown: Montes Claros, Brazil

Career before Broad: Construction manager, entrepreneur

Broad News: Why did you choose Broad?

Ferro: Since the first day I stepped onto the campus, especially into the business school, I felt a strong sense of community, a community that I could be part of — something bigger than me.

Broad News: What does being Hispanic/Latinx mean to you?

Ferro: It means being part of a group that must fight very hard for what we want to achieve. But we will overcome any challenge; for some reason this “aggressivity” to conquer is part of us.

Broad News: What do you think is the most pressing issue Hispanic/Latinx people are facing outside the business community?

Ferro: As tuitions are reaching sky-high, access to education is getting even harder for the Latin community. As a consequence, there is a probability of poverty and other social issues, such as crime rising in these same communities.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive of Hispanic/Latinx individuals?

Ferro: Information. I think the lack of knowledge is the root of any type of discrimination. A classic misconception that we still face nowadays is that foreigners are here to steal “American” jobs. So, spreading the right information and making sure people are consuming it is a big step.

MSU recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month, and our community is coming together to strengthen resources, programs, research centers and scholarships serving Hispanic and Latinx students at MSU. Learn more at givingto.msu.edu.

In Other News:

Spartan winners smile and hold oversized checks at the 2024 Burgess New Venture Challenge.
Broad Spartan teams earned first-, third- and fourth-place awards for their innovative business pitches.
Hear from two current students about what the month means to them and issues facing women in business today.
Students, faculty and staff fill the Minskoff Pavilion grand staircase during the MSU entrepreneurship program.
In its third year, the Entrepreneur Leadership High School Camp at MSU is a rewarding experience for future leaders.