My name is Adrian Fonseca and I am a third-year Business Administration student concentrating in Information Systems at the University of California, Riverside School of Business. I am passionate about technology and understanding how it can help improve business practices at an organizational level. Over the course of the 2019-20 academic school year I developed an interest in analytics utilizing business intelligence tools like Tableau to better interpret and present visualized data. When on campus, I devote my time to the UCR TRIO Scholars Student Support Services program and serve as the President of External Affairs with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA UCR).
In high school, I began to develop an understanding for the challenges that minorities faced in higher education. I was determined to get through those obstacles and receive guidance on attending a four-year university straight after high school. In middle school, I decided to apply for the Puente program, a two-year english and college preparatory course for freshmen and sophomores, that helped first-generation minority students navigate through high school and prepare students for higher education. I credit part of my success to our cohort’s teacher and program counselor who contributed to providing first generation college students with adequate resources to prepare for college. With the help of this program, I was able to attend a 3-day college trip that allowed me to discover UC Riverside and with the help of our program's leaders I was admitted to the university for the Fall of 2017.
The Puente program taught me how to prepare for being an undergraduate at a four-year university and exposed me to some of the great opportunities offered at university campuses. A program that I knew I would take advantage of at a young age was the study abroad program. I was always intrigued with Italy and knew one day, when the opportunity presented itself, I would apply for the program. I spent the entirety of 2019 attending workshops, seminars, and filling out various applications for the UCEAP program. In May of 2019, I was admitted to the 2020 Spring semester program at the University of Commerce, Luigi Bocconi located in the capital city of Lombardy in Milan, Italy. I arrived in Italy late January (2020) and spent my first couple of weeks learning the home language at the university. Our semester didn’t begin until mid-February however, I began taking courses in Marketing, Management, and Information Systems. Two weeks into my program, courses were abruptly suspended on campus and within a week I received communication from our program coordinators and campus advisors that our program had been suspended. The following day I found myself returning back home to self-quarantine for 14 days as COVID-19 began to devastate the entire world.
Since joining the Center for Social Innovation, I have worked on projects such as the: 2019 Inland California Rising, Riverside summit; IE Nonprofit Fellowship; and Douglass Washington Leadership Program. What I most enjoy about my position with the team is the collaborative environment and contributing to programs that aid in professional development in the nonprofit sector. It can be an uneasy time for undergraduate seniors, master’s students, and full-time career individuals looking for opportunities to hone their skills within their areas of interest. Through the IE Nonprofit Fellowship and Douglass Washington Leadership programs our center’s contribution allows the community to develop and grow new sets of skills that will allow them to continue doing impactful work in the Inland Empire. I look forward to continuing my contribution to projects that will benefit the region’s community and understanding the nonprofit sector.