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Representatives from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the World Bank spoke to Student Business Association (SBA) members earlier this semester. Montgomery College students in the SBA Club wanted to make sure they maximized their college experience. Isabela Paz, SBA president, and Rafael Isea Rodriguez, SBA treasurer and event coordinator, invited business professionals within the finance and international sectors to speak at club meetings.

Rafael Isea Rodriguez, SBA treasurer and event coordinator.

“As students, we are looking to gain real-life insights and improve the knowledge we acquire in class,” Rodriquez said. Organizing meetings with federal agencies, multilaterals, and commercial banks has helped them gain and sharpen their organizational, networking, and multitasking skills, he said: “Guest speakers are essential to our college experience.”

Rodriquez and Paz surveyed SBA members for topics they were most interested in, then they chose experts that aligned with the responses. Topics included the stock market, personal investments, crypto assets, and social and sustainability entrepreneurship.

For the SBA, having speakers from the SEC was a priority. Paz said, “We wanted to guide our members on how to protect their investments and watch out for the red flags of fraud.” Rodriquez added that they wanted to give classmates the opportunity to ask questions that can be answered from reliable sources.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a large independent agency of the United States federal government, created in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The primary purpose of the SEC is to enforce the law against market manipulation.

As students, we are looking to gain real-life insights and improve the knowledge we acquire in class. Guest speakers are essential to our college experience.

“The SEC and World Bank meetings allowed me to understand both the internal and external processes of these types of organizations,” Paz said. “Learning this now gives [me] the confidence to know where I want to work post-graduation.”

Isabela Paz, SBA president.

“The knowledge I have acquired,” said Rodriguez, “will help me to better define my academic interests and career goals. I also plan to put this knowledge to the service of society by helping fight climate change.”

Paz said club members also wanted to know how the financial sector can support efforts to reduce climate change, so he and Rodriguez reached out to the World Bank Group. The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.

Paz is personally interested in social entrepreneurship and international development and would like to work for the United Nations one day. Rodriquez talked about countries and businesses worldwide that are struggling to keep up with the rigorous environmental commitments that are required of them to survive long-term. Adding that he would visualize himself “helping them to transition their investments, cash flow, infrastructure, and other aspects to a carbon-negative state.”

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