Alexandra Aguilar, an incoming senior at Iowa State University this fall, recently joined Coopera as a summer intern in marketing. This column is the latest in our getting-to-know-you series.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you arrived at Coopera.
My parents are both from Mexico and wanted to come to the U.S. to find better opportunities and start a better life. They both arrived in California, but met in Iowa, where I was born and raised. I am going to be a senior at Iowa State this fall, majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship. I first learned about Coopera through a college roommate who knew [Coopera Client Relations Director] Kenia Calderon. I have significant experience in research and this opportunity really interested me.
What will you be doing at Coopera this summer?
We will be tapping into my educational and research background to conduct a survey of Hispanic members from various credit unions. We are interested in finding out why members choose a credit union over a bank to do their primary financial business. I will also be looking at how Hispanics like to be identified by their financial institutions and how credit unions can best relate to this community. This appears to be an unexplored area as we have yet to find an existing study like this one.
What is Coopera’s purpose and how do you see yourself fitting into the firm’s goals and objectives?
Coopera exists to help better serve the Hispanic market in credit unions through the process of growing Hispanic memberships and business within the community. My educational experience, as well as being a person of color who understands the culture, will help a lot in this area.
Do you have a personal or business philosophy that guides your efforts?
My personal philosophy is to help others and give back to the community. At Iowa State I served as secretary for the Multicultural Business Network this past year, which helps students network with organizations, helps them find internships with companies, and connects them with resources they otherwise may not know about. It’s important to me to do the very best I can to help others.
How can credit unions better serve the Hispanic community?
Understanding Hispanics goes far beyond merely translating marketing materials into Spanish. Not every Hispanic culture is the same and credit unions will experience greater success if they learn to understand and address the cultural differences among their members.
What do you like to do outside of work hours?
I like to travel a lot, have been to a variety of different countries and have had opportunities to study abroad. I have been to France, Spain and Italy and would very much like to see Greece and maybe Japan.
What is the best-kept secret about you that most people don’t know?
If you were to meet me you may not realize that I have a hearing disability and wear hearing aids. I have challenges with it, but I always find ways to overcome those challenges and keep on going.Leave a comment