BDX 2010!!! (Business Diversity Exchange 2010)

Since I am currently in the process of switching to the college of business I took part in the 2010 Business Diversity Exchange which took place November 5th and November 6th. I was informed about the exchange through ALPFA, which is the business organization of which I am currently a member.  I heard numerous stories from students who had previously attended the exchange and they expressed positive experiences. I was definitely looking forward to the event. The exchange is basically an opportunity for students to interact with business professionals and representatives from many well-known companies and firms. The numerous companies that participated at the event include: Caterpillar, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, BP, Navigant Consulting, State Farm, Bosch, Country Financial, Grosvenor, Grainger, The Neilson Company, and Marathon. As you can see, this is definitely a long list of well-known and prestigious businesses. It blew me away that business students at the University of Illinois have the opportunity to participate in an event with the opportunity to interact with all these businesses.

The event was a great opportunity to network with the various businesses and possibly land an internship. On November 5th a pre-night was held, which is a chance to have a one-on-one interaction with representatives from these businesses. I definitely enjoyed the pre-night because I was afforded the chance to talk to many business leaders and also seek their advice on numerous topics. The leaders I talked to were very helpful and welcoming as well. Among the business leaders I met were Barbara Hodel, who is the Finance Transformation Director for Caterpillar. To top it all off, a variety of dishes from countries from around the world such as Mexico, Italy, Japan, Vietnam, etc were served. Each company had their own room with their own dish from its respective country. The food was very delicious, but in my opinion any free food is delicious: )

On November 6th the whole day was comprised of three workshop sessions led by a certain company with a certain theme. The three workshops were: Caterpillar-Gender in the Workplace, Navigant Consulting- Cultural and Global Diversity, and Ernst and Young-Diversity in leadership Styles. The opening of the event was addressed by the Dean of the College of Business followed by an address from Barbara Hodel.  After this, the workshops took place followed by a lunch. I will admit I found the lunch to be very appetizing. We were given sandwiches with a bag of chips, a fruit, and a brownie. During lunch we were addressed by Darryl Cheeks, who is an Illinois Alumnus and is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Sister Companies, Chicago land Barbecue, Chicago land Foods Military Consortium & The Shire group. He is also in charge of Black Rhino Financial Group. Darryl Cheeks definitely has numerous achievements under his belt and his experience was evident through his inspirational address. After lunch the students attended the third workshop and then proceeded to the closing ceremony to thank all the sponsors.  Personally, I truly enjoyed the program. It offered so many opportunities for students to network and become more knowledgeable about the business world. Not to mention we received a free t-shirt and a bag full of goodies such as pens, a water bottle, folder, highlighter, etc. I will definitely attend the event next year and encourage anyone else who is interested to do so as well.

Until Next Time,

Luis Miguel Alanis

BDX 2010

Students watch on as Darryl Cheeks gives an inspirational address

Lunch Time

Inside Look into One of the Workshops

Inside Deloitte Auditorium

The BDX Committee giving out gifts to the BDX 2010 sponsors

Hope you guys enjoy the pictures:)


Please note that comments close after 90 days.

Phyllis Miller

November 9, 2010, 9:42 am

Luis, I am so very proud of you. Keep on doing whatever it is you are doing. You are a GREAT role model. Thank you for sharing.


Matt Huges

December 30, 2010, 11:36 pm

What a great way to express!