SDSU’s Fowler College of Business spotlights the Black Business Society and its President, Hanna Mesfin
Fowler College of Business is proud to highlight the Black Business Society (BBS), a student organization that helps students develop skills and gain experience that will benefit them in the business sector. BBS offers professional workshops, networking opportunities and certificate sponsorships. Hanna Mesfin (Senior, Finance), President of the Black Business Society, describes how BBS helps students prepare to enter the professional world, find opportunities for campus involvement, and more!
About the Black Business Society
Q: What are your organization’s goals?
The Black Business Society (BBS) encourages professional development through academic and leadership opportunities. We strive to create a professional environment for the black community by strengthening our networking, academic and social skills. We provide students with networking and professional development opportunities that will continue to benefit members even after graduation.
Q: Why should students join your organization?
Students should join BBS as we provide a surplus of resources that develop students in different aspects. We host informational meetings, social events to connect with like-minded peers, guest speakers, professional development workshops, a mentorship program and a certification sponsorship program. This year we launched the BBS Mentorship Program which enables graduates and experienced business professionals to mentor and support our members on their professional journey. We hope to provide our members with resources they can use to build their resume and knowledge. Through our certification program, we are able to sponsor students to become certified in any field and learn the skills needed in the corporate world. Not everything can be learned in class, so obtaining a certificate allows our members to stand out when applying for internships or future jobs. We are open to all majors as we are primarily focused on growing the professional development of our members.
Q: What events, gatherings and activities does your organization organize?
The Black Business Society hosts several events throughout the semester, including credit workshops to ensure financial literacy, professional development events with companies such as Google, and influential speakers. We have our annual alumni panel event where former BBS members share their experiences and advice on the corporate world and life after graduation. We host community service events throughout the semester and currently sponsor an elementary classroom. We also host social events where students can bond with each other.
BBS General Assembly on Zoom.
Q: When does your organization meet?
Our general meetings take place every two weeks from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. via Zoom or in the Metztli Suite.
Q: How does your organization connect with the community outside of SDSU?
As we prioritize maintaining quality relationships, BBS connects with many organizations and professionals from different aspects of the business industry, including finance, accounting, marketing, management, and more. With our Virtual Framework last year (and the current Hybrid Framework), we have taken the opportunity to partner with companies across the United States. We also connect with young people in San Diego by presenting to high school students at the Afrikan Student Union’s annual high school conference and participating in service events.
Q: How can a student get involved in your organization?
Check out our Instagram and our website. Be sure to fill out the interest form to stay up to date on our events and resources!
Q: What are your organization’s social media handles?
Instagram, website, LinkedIn page and LinkedIn networking group.
Q&A with Hanna Mesfin, President of the Black Business Society
Q: As a student leader involved with an SDSU organization, can you explain why you got involved and what your experience has been so far?
During my freshman year, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and explore as much as possible. Therefore, I got involved in student leadership because I believe in growing and adapting as a leader, especially beyond the classroom. The Black Business Society has made me a better professional, which has led to a plethora of valuable relationships, experiences, and opportunities. For me, the biggest part of going to college is meeting all kinds of people and building and investing in something bigger than me.
Q: Are you involved in any other organizations on campus?
I am a member of the Finance & Investment Society and treasurer of Black Campus Ministries.
Q: What experience with your organization has been the most impactful so far?
Our alumni panel last year was very motivating as we were able to connect with former BBS board members who were in our shoes not too long ago and excelled in their professional life. Seeing former alumni (who looked like me) progress in their careers and share their experiences motivated me in many ways because it changed my perspective. It was a monumental moment for me.
Q: What was your favorite event you attended at SDSU? Why?
BBS encounter with Sigma Phi Omega.
Last year we hosted an event on mental health with Deloitte, which was very refreshing because big companies don’t often discuss the importance of mental health in finance and accounting. The transparency of the speakers helped me connect with them and reminded me to take a moment for myself before experiencing burnout, not after.
Q: Why is it important for you to get involved on campus?
Getting involved on campus pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you find people to connect with, even after you graduate. I started getting involved once I realized how important it is to seize opportunities here, as they won’t always be available in the corporate world. Additionally, I appreciate being able to provide opportunities and resources to our community.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you received while at SDSU? Get rid of the noise and stay focused on your goals, your passion and your brand on the world.
Leaving my mark is something I continue to think about every day. However, it can be, whether it’s making people feel heard or just being a good person.
Q: What’s the best advice you have for future Fowler College of Business students?
Take it one day at a time. As students, we have so much to do that it can get overwhelming at times. Trust yourself and build your future by taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way. What is meant for you will find you. So don’t worry about your future, it’s a marathon and as long as you take that step to start challenging yourself, you’ll be on your way.
Q: Are you involved in internship opportunities?
Yes, I am currently a CFO intern at a start-up, and being part of the process from the beginning has been very enlightening.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
I would like to get a finance position in a big company and advance my skills, but I am open to other opportunities.
Q: What career aspirations do you have after your time at SDSU?
I aspire to continue to adapt, learn and challenge myself. Ultimately, I hope to help people with whatever I choose to pursue.
BBS Professional Workshop with Target.
Q: Pancakes or waffles? Waffles
Q: Favorite group? Boyz II Man
Q: Instagram or TikTok? instagram
Q: Horror movie or comedy? Comedy all the way
Q: Sunset Cliffs or La Jolla? LaJolla
Q: Pancho’s or Trujillo’s? Trujillo’s
Q: Fun fact? I love to cook and try new vegan dishes.
4th anniversary of the Black Resource Center
Monday, February 28 | Noon – 2 p.m.