PC student attends corporate diversity and inclusion forum in New York City

PC student attends corporate diversity and inclusion forum in New York City

Aurelia Santoyo at the Bank of America Tower in New York City.

Presbyterian College sophomore Aurelia Santoyo’s trip to the Big Apple this semester was a learning experience. A learning experience for her. And maybe even a learning experience for a corporate giant.

Santoyo was invited to a major diversity and inclusion forum hosted by Bank of America’s Enterprise Diversity Talent Acquisition Team at the InterContinental New York Times Square in New York City.

“The hotel was located just a few hundred feet from Times Square, which was really exciting,” she said. “It was my first time traveling to New York, so it was definitely an amazing experience.”

Numerous employees from the talent acquisition team and other divisions within BofA met with approximately 250 college freshmen and sophomores from all over the country to provide insight into how the company incorporates different cultures, ideas, and lifestyles into the workplace. In addition to the employees, Santoyo said she met students from large universities like the University of Southern California and Ivy Leaguers from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Santoyo said she enjoyed learning more about the company’s corporate culture.

“It is especially important for people to feel valued in a company, as well as supported and comfortable in their work environment,” she said.

The forum was also an opportunity for the company to recruit future employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. Students interviewed for the Summer 2024 Analyst Program for several divisions – including wealth management, sales and trading, and finance.

Santoyo is the first PC student to be invited to the diversity and inclusion forum and was encouraged to apply by Vance Professor of Economics and Business Administration Dr. Suzie Smith ’82 at the behest of PC alumnus Dr. Gonzalo Asis ’14. Asis, a former PC tennis player, is currently BofA’s vice president of equity derivatives research.

Santoyo admitted she was hesitant to apply at first.

“I had just declared my major for business administration in the fall after already having declared a psychology major, as well,” she said. “Part of me felt that I was not completely qualified for this. At the same time, I knew that it was a great opportunity for me to grow.”

She did. Students heard from employees on how they view workplace diversity and inclusion. They also learned about networks within the company, like the Black Professionals Group, the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement, and Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Development for Women.

Santoyo also impressed. While she did not get hired for the Investment Solutions Group position she interviewed for, she did earn an interview and was offered a position as a Summer 2024 Analyst for Bank of America Private Bank in Atlanta, Ga.

“It was so exciting to see how corporate America worked,” Santoyo said of the entire experience. “It also opened up my eyes to different careers that I want to pursue after graduating from PC.”

Until then, Santoyo said she will continue highlighting the necessity of building diversity and inclusion in any environment.

“It allows people from all walks of life to have representation within an institution,” she said. “For me specifically, diversity and inclusion here at PC has helped me to understand different perspectives, to celebrate cultural differences, and help find where I truly belong here.”

Recruited by PC’s women’s wrestling program, Santoyo found her place as a college athlete, for instance, on the Blue Hose women’s soccer team. She has also found her place as a college student.

“PC is my home,” she said. “I love the aspect of the small campus because it allows me to build closer relationships with both my peers and professors. I always feel as though I am supported and important to my professors. ‘While We Live, We Serve’ has proved to be one of the most influential mottos in my life.”

A native of Gettysburg, Penn., Santoyo is the daughter of Tasha Santoyo and Rene Santoyo Prado and currently resides in Savannah, Ga. She is a Dean’s List student and a member of the PC NAACP, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and Jacobs’ Investment Club.