News at Smith

Diversity and Personal Brands

Apr 05, 2012


BradfordBanquet2Guests at the 19th Annual William D. Bradford Minority Awards Banquet were encouraged to embrace their diversity last night.

“It is important to remember that your diversity adds value to your personal brand,” said Henry Hernandez, a diversity consultant and the event’s featured speaker. Hernandez has worked with some of the nation’s top organizations including SAIC, American Express, the CIA, Pitney Bowes and others.

Hernandez encouraged the audience to step out of its comfort zone at work.

“Sometimes, minorities allow their culture to hold them back,” he said. “They may not volunteer for projects or interject comments into a business meeting. But it is important to show others your energy and your desire. At times, because of our culture, that can be difficult but I encourage you to take that step.”

Over 100 Robert H. Smith School of Business students, alumni, faculty, staff and corporate partners attended the event hosted by the School’s Black MBA Association and Latin MBA Students Association. The banquet was held at the University of Maryland’s Samuel Riggs Alumni Center.

Hernandez said a personal brand is a promise professionals make to others. He shared a number of tips to help audience members build and grow their personal brands:

  • Be aware of the brand you are selling.
    2012 Award Winners
    Latin Community Involvement Scholarship
    Beatriz Ariza (MBA '13 - LAMBASA)
    African American Community Involvement Scholarship
    Ian Cruse
     (PT-MBA - BMBAA)
    African American Community Involvement Scholarship
    Ian Cruse
     (PT-MBA - BMBAA)
  • Know all aspects of your business.
  • Be an energetic, balanced, solution driven professional.
  • Network constantly and leverage the contacts you make.
  • Your network is not about quantity. It is about quality.
  • Your brand follows you wherever you go throughout your entire career.
  • Burning bridges will follow you. Leave the bridge intact and walk away.
  • Avoid career limiting moves.
  • Volunteers for projects other are avoiding.
  • Know what makes the boss happy.

    After Hernandez spoke, the 2012-2013 officers of the Smith School’s Black MBA Association and Latin MBA Students Association were introduced to the audience.


    The new BMBAA officers are: John Bernier, president; Stephanie Cary, executive vice president; Nicole Orhue, vice president of finance; Ugonma Onukwubiri, vice president, external relations; Bayo Togonu-Bickersteth, vice president, marketing and communications; and Cynthia Osueke, vice president, programs and events.

    The new LAMBASA officers include: Adrian Sanchez, president; Beatriz Ariza, executive vice president; Isabel Caruana, vice president of finance; Marcus De Paula, vice president of marketing; Ana Castro, vice president of external relations.

    The Banquet was sponsored by GE and Choice Hotels International. Dean Anand Anandalingam and club leadership presented plaques to the sponsors.

    More information on the student clubs is available on Linkedin at Smith Black MBA Association and Latin American MBA Students Association – Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.