Ruben Abarca is currently a business development manager at DePaul University. He has been a very active HACE member who is always willing to help with any project. Our communications and marketing intern, Emmanuel Lopez, connected with Ruben to ask him a couple questions.

How did you get involved with HACE?

“I was a little familiar with HACE many years ago, I remember attending an event about 20 years ago. I started to connect with HACE again about 5 years ago, when I realized Rocio, an old friend worked there. I was working at DeVry at the time and we collaborated on some projects. As I transitioned to DePaul University, I continued to work with HACE and the relationship has flourished.”

How is HACE preparing the next generation of latino leaders?

“I think that HACE has various programs that address a need in the market place. Latino leaders are needed and we are underrepresented in the business community. The good news is that these factors create multiple opportunities to assist and guide the Hispanic community move to the next level. I believe the HACE programs help to address some of these needs.”

What do you value the most about HACE?

“I would have to say that the networking has been key while working with HACE. Through this organization I have been able to meet dozens of professionals who have become valued business partners. Many of which I am now happy to call friends. However, I have also enjoyed and benefited from the conferences. Both as an attendee and speaker.”

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?

“I feel that I am learning lessons all the time. The most important business lesson is keeping your eyes open to opportunities and when necessary, create those opportunities. Earlier in my career, I missed opportunities because either I didn’t see value or didn’t have the vision. I am impressed when I am attending networking events and I see young people working the room, asking questions, making connections and looking for opportunities. Remember the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

What is the best book you’ve read that has impacted your professional development the most?

“I like reading business books. I am a believer that one has to be continuously learning. If I had to pick one book, I would go back to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book provided me a strong foundation which I have since been able to build upon. Its lessons are simple, effective and true.”

As busy as Ruben is, he sees the value in mentoring young latino professionals. He finds time throughout his week to mentor students in need. Mentorship is a key component of HACE. We appreciate Ruben’s leadership, because like HACE, he is creating a culture of empowerment.

Learn more about Ruben on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruben-abarca-8395124

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