Latin Club members talk with president of Honduras
Porfirio Lobo shares insights on global economy, democracy
It would be the equivalent of an investment club getting to talk shop with George Soros, or the soccer team trading free kicks with David Beckham.
On Friday, Oct. 7, members of Brandeis International Business School’s new Latin Club walked through the doors of Lemberg Academic Center, shook hands with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, and proceeded to sit down with him for nearly an hour to present the club’s goals and hear the president’s insights on the global economy.
Lobo has taken on executive duties during a tumultuous time in the history of his country. Since his election, Lobo has made strong strides to reconcile Honduras’ political factions, from giving political opponents key government roles to creating a new “human rights advisor” position.
“President Lobo’s leadership is responsible…for helping to restore constitutional order and democracy and a commitment to fair and free elections,” said President Barack Obama after a meeting with Lobo earlier this month.
On Friday, Latin Club students expressed excitement about the opportunity to engage in an in-depth discussion with a world leader about economic issues.
“It’s not often that you get to meet the head of a country like that,” said Jaime Vergara MBA ’12, who presented about the club to Lobo and the business school's dean, Bruce Magid. “Talking to him was great – we got to be in his shoes for a while and get a glimpse of how difficult his job is.”
Lobo talked to students in Spanish about the importance of social responsibility, corporate sustainability and economic growth through public policy. He also applauded the business school for its “great atmosphere and diversity” and spoke at length with Magid, who spent several years working in Brazil and Venezuela before his career in academia.
Students founded the Latin Club this past spring after the success of their first cultural event “La Latinada.” The club’s chief mission is to actively promote Latin American issues and enhance understanding of the region’s business environment through events like career fairs, case competitions, guest speakers and networking mixers.
“President Lobo told us that in Latin America, leaders are needed to manage, develop and export the richness of the region to the rest of the world,” said Vergara, who cited the fact that the club’s 17 students hail from 11 different countries. “At Brandeis IBS we are the ambassadors of our countries, and it is our goal to show the value that we as Latinos have in Latin America.”