In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage month, we are profiling Foster MBA students and asking them to share the importance of their Hispanic heritage. In our first post, we had elaborated on the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month and featured Myrna Barrera-Torres. Our second post put the spotlight on Kevin Strand and today we are focussing on Cynthia Vargas Hernandez.
Cynthia Vargas Hernandez
- Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Mexico City
- What did you do before pursuing your MBA?
A little bit of everything; after undergrad I started my career in Finance but I soon discovered that it was not for me. I realized that it was human relationships and developing talent that I was passionate about, so I switched functions to Human Resources. My last role before Foster was as a Talent Acquisition Manager working with clients in the technology and healthcare industries.
- What’s your cultural background?
I was born and raised in Mexico City. I have lived in the United States for the last 6 years.
- How do you connect to your heritage?
I take my heritage everywhere I go. I think the best thing I can do to truly connect with my heritage is to share it and educate others. As an immigrant, when I moved here I realized that people had so many misconceptions about my culture. People think that what they see on the news or in movies is the reality, or that Hispanics are this homogeneous group of people who are all the same. The truth is that we are a diverse bunch! So I think the best service I can do to my heritage is to help others understand how diverse Hispanics are and share the richness of our culture.
I also connect to my heritage by serving my community, and I do so in multiple ways, one being volunteering work. I currently serve on the board of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America) Denver as the Marketing Director. Through my work there I continue to educate people through social media and emphasize the importance of increasing representation of Hispanics in business.
- What leader, cultural figure, or historical moment would you like to recognize during this month and why?
I would like to recognize all the Hispanic essential workers that keep this country going and who during this pandemic have faced tremendous hardship. Have you ever thought about who grew your food? It’s not something we often think about, but the answer is that it was probably a Hispanic worker since 83% of agriculture workers in the US are Hispanic.
Who cleans and disinfects the hospitals where Covid patients are? What about the person who is taking care of other people’s children while they work? Construction workers, maintenance technicians, etc.? The answer is, in many instances, Hispanic essential workers, who for me are true heroes. Many of them are first-generation immigrants who came here searching for a better life for their families. Each one of them has a name, a family, a story, but sadly as a society we tend to make them invisible. I want to recognize all of them for their hard work and resilience, their sacrifices, and their bravery.
For the next post in this series click here.
Aarin Murray, Foster Class of 2022, and Christine Pham, Foster Class of 2022 and VP of Diversity at Foster, co-authored this post.