It’s probably a stretch to say that the Latinx Business Association in the Colorado State University College of Business wouldn’t exist without Jasmine Gaxiola, but it certainly wouldn’t be what it is today without her.
When the business major, concentrating in organization and innovation management, became the organization’s student coordinator, the LBA was just getting established. As her first order of business, Gaxiola applied her management skills help the idea of a place for Latinx business students to connect become a reality.
“It was nice to get in some practice of all the things that were taught in class and build up this program that I think a lot of people would benefit from,” she said. “It really helped me step out of my shell. I am a little introverted and shy sometimes, and so getting up in front of a huge group of my peers was a little scary.”
Her presence was critical to defining the direction of the organization, which was established in 2018 to provide opportunities for academic support, professional development, and community outreach for students who identify as Latinx. It now serves 23 students in the College of Business.
“Jasmine was Latinx Business Association’s very first dedicated student coordinator and LBA couldn’t have asked for a better person to charter the position,” staff coordinator Cody Dozier said. “She took the foundation that was set and worked to further establish LBA by changing the organization’s meeting structure, adopting new means of communication, and encouraging students to be open and share their journey with each other.”
The LBA’s ongoing efforts – and Gaxiola’s legacy to fellow students – are succeeding in making the college feel more hospitable to all students.
It’s a feeling with which Gaxiola can identify. The graduate of Arvada West High School ultimately found her place in the college community, but having an organization like LBA to welcome new students would have eased the transition when she changed her major – and college – to business.
“Sometimes it’s hard, feeling like, ‘I don’t know if I fit into the College of Business.’ I feel [the LBA] is going to help a lot of people who may be feeling that way,” Gaxiola said.
With graduation looming, Gaxiola is preparing for a few more weeks of studying. She’ll sit for the FINRA Series 7 and insurance licensing exams to prepare for her job as a personal banker with KeyBank, where she was an intern last summer. Placed on the management track, Gaxiola plans to become a retail or commercial banker with the company.
Gaxiola has a final piece of advice for the Latinx students she worked so hard to support.
“You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be,” she said. “You should never let anybody make you feel as if you don’t belong. There’s definitely a place for you in the College of Business and the business world. The potential for us is immense.”