Jazmin Collins ’22, a double major in English and Computer Science, attended the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation’s (HSF) 2020 Finance Conference from Oct. 8 to the 11. Collins is the first Arcadia student to attend the conference.
Even though she was just one of 50 applicants chosen out of thousands to attend the conference, Collins hadn’t thought much about finance before. Collins, a Las Vegas native, has been a HSF member since graduating high school.
“Honestly, the interests or the experience that I've had with finance has really just started coming about within the last couple of months,” Collins said. “I am more than certain that it is through my Computer Science major, because a big portion of things that I've been doing with it have been with data analytics, which is like a little bit of Google Search overlapping with financial analytics.”
Approximately 88 percent of the HSF 2020 Finance Conference attendees are from the largest, most competitive schools in the country, including many this year hailing from Ivy League universities.
“At first it was pretty scary for me,” Collins said.“I felt so insignificant compared to all these people who were coming from the big major universities and the large universities that they'd got into.” But that feeling didn’t last for long. Over the course of the conference, Collins was able to take pride in herself and her University. She knew that her work outside the classroom got her into the conference, but her work inside the classroom helped prepare her for it.
“I felt very proud to be from Arcadia, and to be from a smaller school, especially once I realized that I could easily hold my own against all of these other scholars. I know what they're talking about. And I can talk with them. And I can impress them just as much as they impress me. So I felt like I was just as impressive as they were.”
Traditionally, conference attendees are flown to New York and the conference is hosted by a Wall Street executive. This year the conference was held online and consisted of networking and professional building opportunities, and talks by industry leaders. Collins was not only able to get resume tips and practice interviews, but to establish personal connections with CEOs in the finance industry.
It’s those connections that got Collins a part-job offer.
“At the closing of the event, I connected with one of the speakers that we had been meeting with on LinkedIn,” Collins said. “She actually sent me an offer for a part-time position on a team at her company, L3Harris Technologies. It was an expansive marketing and entrepreneurial based team. So she sent me an offer to become a trainee and then a member of that team afterward.”
Unfortunately, Collins had to turn down the offer due to other personal responsibilities. However, the recruiter said if Collins ever changes her mind the door is always open.
Collins is still looking toward the future, and now a potential future in finance. One thing Collins is certain of though: she plans to work in Japan after graduation. In order to achieve this goal, she has a minor in Japanese and is looking into internships based in Japan, including recently completing a bilingual interview.
Outside of the financial conference, HSF also hosts a media summit and other professional conferences. The HSF also provides college preparedness camps and professional training and resource programs. The HSF works to support students of Hispanic heritage through college and into their professional lives.