UTSA business students selected to attend Nestle Leadership Symposium

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UTSA students Michelle Banks and Salma Mendez

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(April 22, 2013) -- UTSA College of Business students Michelle Banks, Salma Mendez and Victor Camino were among only 30 students in the country selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants to participate in the fifth annual Nestlé USA Leadership Symposium for Diverse Leaders of Tomorrow.

Held in Glendale, Calif., at the Nestlé USA Headquarters, the symposium was a four-day intensive business program where a select few minority undergraduate students had the opportunity to network with the Nestlé USA executive leadership team, take a customized course in leadership development and showcase their leadership skills by volunteering in the community.

Having recently returned from the leadership symposium, Banks, Mendez and Camino found the experience to be rewarding.

"My experience at Nestlé USA is one I will never forget. It opened my eyes to so many possibilities for my future," said Banks. "Along with the connections I made with my fellow participants and the executive leaders, my biggest takeaway was the Leadership Challenge course. It allowed me to look at my leadership skills from many different perspectives, and that's something I had never considered until now."

Banks, a junior studying human resource management, was named one of the UTSA College of Business "100 Best" students. Already with extensive experience in the field of human resources management, she has served in internships with Travelers Insurance and USAA and will complete another internship position with USAA this summer. Additionally, Banks is active in the Golden Key International Honor Society, the UTSA Society for Human Resources Management and UTSA Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service (V.O.I.C.E.S.).

"Nestlé DLS '13 was an invaluable conference that taught me to fearlessly empower others to struggle for shared aspirations and to always align my actions with my values," said Mendez. "As a result of the Leadership Challenge course, I am inspired to liberate the leader inside and use my skills to keep UTSA moving forward. I am honored to have had the opportunity to build connections and share success stories with highly ranked employees at Nestlé and with student leaders across the U.S."

Mendez is a first-year UTSA student studying international business. With a grade point average of 3.96, she takes advantage of nearly every opportunity that comes her way. As an interested future member of the UTSA Investment Society, she went to Costa Rica over spring break with UTSA professor Ron Sweet and a group of students to learn about micro-lending. In May, she will travel to Italy for a May-mester course through the Honors College. She also is active in the UTSA Business Student Council, Terry Scholar Student Organization, Student Leadership Center and the Honors College Advisory Board.

Banks and Mendez are part of the Business Scholars Program, a one-on-one mentoring program for first-generation college students offered by the UTSA College of Business Center for Student Professional Development. It provides academic, leadership and professional development through mentorship and community service activities.

"The symposium taught me to have more confidence in my abilities and that I can do whatever I put my mind to," said Camino. "I also learned the importance of always being thankful for the people who help us get to where we are."

Camino, a business administration management and marketing major, also is a first-generation college student. He holds the title of Mr. UTSA for the 2012-2013 academic year and is active in a number of organizations including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, UTSA Ambassadors, UTSA Global Business Club and the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos.

Nationally ranked and internationally recognized, the UTSA College of Business offers a comprehensive curriculum that expands the boundaries of a traditional business education. With more than 5,700 students, the college portfolio includes traditional degrees in accounting, finance, management and marketing as well as programs in entrepreneurship, information assurance and security and real estate finance and development. Internationally accredited by AACSB International, the college is nationally ranked by BusinessWeek, Hispanic Business and the Princeton Review. For more information, visit the UTSA College of Business website.