This is the first time that the BALAS conference, hosted this year by The University of Texas-Pan American, has included an International Job Exposition.
According to Derly Guajardo, job exposition coordinator and director of the Office of Placement, Testing and Cooperative Education at UT Pan American, companies that have confirmed their attendance include Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, AWC Inc., Black and Decker Corp., H-E-B Grocery Co., Hewitt Consulting, Homes of America, Inroads, Kraft Foods, McLane Company Inc., ServiceMaster, The Home Depot and Tyson Foods of Arkansas.
"All graduate students are welcome. Their 'admission fee' will be their resumé, which will be included in a resumé book and distributed to host corporations," said Dr. Gilberto de los Santos, BALAS conference coordinator and professor in the College of Business Administration at UT Pan American. He added that top undergraduate students from selected universities in Texas and Mexico also have been invited to participate.
"By top undergraduate students, we mean students who have work experience, are bilingual, are active in extracurricular activities, have a minimum 2.8 grade point average and are highly recommended by their professors and university administrators," he said.
Corporate representatives from Fortune 500 companies in the United States, executives from other companies in Latin America grossing sales of more than $100 million per year, and other companies needing bilingual, bicultural employees will set up booths to interview the students for full- and part-time positions and internships.
BALAS is the first national business and economics professional association to focus exclusively on the study of commerce and industry in Latin America and the Caribbean. Membership consists of academicians with primary interest in any business-related topic and managers of business firms and not-for-profit organizations, plus anyone who has an interest in Latin American business or economics topics. The organization is strongly international in character, with more than 600 members from 24 countries.
Conference activities will include peer reviewed paper presentations and special topics forums in English, Spanish and Portuguese, a Ph.D. students' consortium, an M.B.A. students' consortium and a tour of a modern maquiladora manufacturing plant in Mexico.
In addition to 250 to 300 faculty researchers, 30 to 40 representatives from corporations with a strong presence in Latin America (those earning more than $100 million in annual revenue in Latin America) and top graduate students from all over the United States and Latin America are expected to attend the conference, which will be held in the Sheraton Fiesta Hotel.
Recent conferences have been held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Monterrey, Mexico; Washington, D.C.; and Miami, Fla. Next year's conference will be in New Orleans, La., hosted by Loyola University.
For more information on the upcoming BALAS conference, please call de los Santos at 956/381-3389.