SAN ANTONIO (June 18, 2012)– Two Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) students, Norma Fraga and Juan "Eddie" Ortiz, were selected earlier this year for a $2,500 scholarship and internship position with State Farm Insurance. These two students were selected out of 90 applicants. They just successfully completed the internship by giving a final presentation to State Farm leadership.
Their presentation, "The Youthful Hispanic Market," featured research and recommendations by Fraga and Ortiz on how best to serve the insurance needs of the Hispanic population in San Antonio and throughout the state. They gathered data on the youthful Hispanic community's buying habits and preferences, and conducted research to better understand their perspective on insurance.
Ortiz explained that their goal for the project was to show ways that "State Farm can not only be the number one auto insurance company in the nation, but also be the number one auto insurance company for the ‘Youthful Hispanic Community' in San Antonio through innovation." They surveyed fellow OLLU students to come up with their findings for the final presentation to State Farm.
From left, State Farm Vice President Rita Howard, OLLU Corporate Relations Officer Roxanne Sanchez, State Farm Agency Field Executive John Babiarz, Professor Kathryn Winney, Norma Fraga, State Farm Zone Marketing Manager Dane Larson, Eddie Ortiz, OLLU Career Services Director Rhonda Boyles, State Farm Field Executive Lorena Villa and State Farm Development Field Consultant Dan Ater.
"We were impressed with the hard work, creativity, and vision Norma and Eddie showed through their internship and the results of their research. We plan on discussing their findings with our Marketing team for implementation consideration," said State Farm Agency Field Executive Lorena Villa. "We know Norma and Eddie will continue to accomplish great things."
Kathryn Winney, assistant professor of accounting at OLLU, guided the two students with their project. Both are pursuing degrees in accounting.
"We are proud of the partnership we have forged with State Farm Insurance, said Robert Bisking, PhD, dean of OLLU's School of Business and Leadership. "Our partnership has been mutually beneficial in that we look upon State Farm for their guidance in helping our students become more business-savvy students, as we help guide State Farm in becoming more prominent in the Hispanic market."
Fraga and Ortiz will finish up their last semester as undergraduates at OLLU this upcoming academic year, while they continue to be part of the University's intercollegiate athletics program. Fraga has been a member of the Saints volleyball team since 2009 as an outside hitter. She is a graduate of San Antonio Reagan High School. Ortiz joined the inaugural men's basketball team in 2009 as a shooting guard. He graduated from San Antonio Wagner High School. Upon completing their undergraduate degrees, they both will continue at OLLU to pursue their MS in accounting. After that, they will tackle the CPA exam.
Earlier this year, Ortiz received the Financial Executives International organization's Dr. Keith A. Russell Memorial Award for Academic Excellence. In addition, Ortiz will tackle the Capitol One Entrepreneurship Challenge. The program allows students to design and run their own businesses. Twenty students from OLLU will be divided into four groups, and each will be given seed capital to develop, launch, run and grow a business. Local bankers from Capital One Bank serve as mentors and provide professional business and financial management advice and guidance to the students.
OLLU has the highest percentage of Hispanic enrollment at both the graduate and undergraduate levels of all Catholic universities in the U.S., and it awards the highest percentage, per total student enrollment, of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to Hispanics of all Catholic universities in the U.S. In addition, OLLU's total enrollment is more than 60 percent Hispanic.
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