BankUnited Partners with FIU to Build Talent Pools and Break Down Barriers in STEM | FIU News

For college students preparing for life after graduation, there’s always a question: what’s next?

FIU prepares students to excel in their careers after going through this stage and in their new lives through academic programs, world-class instructors, and paid internship opportunities.

A partnership with BankUnited exemplifies CRF’s efforts to help students reach a new level in their careers.


For BankUnited, a successful team encompasses a diverse talent pool ready for career advancement and opportunity within it. That’s iCARE™, BankUnited’s inaugural program that encourages employees to grow from their current position through mentorship and career guidance.

Talent Development Network and BankUnited Host iCARE™ Internship Lunch Meet & Greet

It’s also what sparked BankUnited’s iCARE™ internship program and a new partnership with the Talent Development Network, South Florida’s leading internship center and career development program housed in the engagement office of the CRF, to create the spring 2022 iCARE™ internship program specifically designed for current seniors.


Roberto Hernández, Bank United

“One of my favorite experiences of the program was the workshops we attended every Friday with the Talent Development Network,” said 22-year-old CRF alumnus Roberto Hernandez, who just got a job. at BankUnited as a Credit Products Analyst. “We met with different industry leaders and professionals who gave us great advice and taught us valuable skills, like how to create our LinkedIn profiles or how to create a great resume.”

Through a cohort-style model, interns worked with managers and department heads – ranging from credit center to investment director – and learned through hands-on training and weekly professional workshops, which has helped students develop valuable skills for their professional, academic careers. , and personal lives.

“The iCARE™ program is totally different, extremely unique,” said Diana Garcia Aponte ’22, a CRF alumnus and now a junior securities portfolio analyst at BankUnited. “I was placed directly in the Chief Investment Office, where I was able to work with portfolio managers and senior executives. Everything was convenient.

Diana Garcia Aponte, Bank United

After a semester of training, four CRF students were offered full-time jobs with BankUnited upon graduation. They have accepted and will begin full-time work at BankUnited next month.

“We have been so impressed with the dedication and commitment of CRF students to excel throughout their internships,” said Angelica Coronel, Vice President, iCARE™ Program Manager. “Their desire to learn and grow has opened opportunities for CRF students to secure permanent positions at the bank. We look forward to onboarding the new iCARE™ 2022 interns at the end of this month!


Not only is BankUnited working to expand its diverse talent pool through paid internship opportunities and internal career advancements, but it is also working to empower women in STEM through the think tank FIU’s ATOM, a technology-focused organization led by faculty from FIU College of Business’ Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics.

The ATOM Think Tank, a six-month leadership development program, creates space for female STEM students to hone their data analysis skills and create projects focused on real-world business challenges.

FIU Business ATOM Pink Tank students

Throughout the program, students are mentored by high-level STEM business leaders, aka the “Pink Cabinet,” and at the end of the program, students participate in a hackathon/Shark Tank-style challenge to showcase their creative solutions, with the chance to win scholarships that can be applied to their CRF tuition.

“This program was born out of our desire to create a forum to educate, inspire and help women reach their full potential,” said Jackie Bravo, Senior Vice President, BankUnited (MACc ’05).

The first ATOM Pink Tank launched in November 2021 consisted of teams of students tasked with reviewing three datasets, which included data on high school students, US college students, and CRF-specific data, to identify discrepancies between hiring men and women in STEM professions. They were then tasked with sharing their findings and proposals for improving women’s participation in STEM with BankUnited representatives and judges. The competition took place live in April.

ATOM Pink Tank Final Presentations, April 2022

Students found extremely low participation rates in most STEM professions, with the exception of healthcare. They found that girls are discouraged from taking math and science lessons at a young age and don’t have mentors to help them along the way, and they also found that girls describe themselves as bad at math. , resulting in lower enrollment in STEM degree programs. in South Florida colleges.

Their solutions?

There’s more than one: the teams offered exposure to specific toys for young girls that can improve their engineering skills at an early age, develop interest and love for engineering while strengthening their confidence in problem solving. Teams also showcased more scholarship opportunities for girls in STEM fields; websites and social media support groups for young women interested in STEM; and educational apps that include resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

“Students in the program shone, some even got internships at BankUnited,” Bravo added. “I’m proud of the impact this program can make for our community, the ladies of CRF, and the future of women in STEM.”

Loud N Cloud (l. to r.) Anais Dardinier, Laura Borrero, Tatiana Summerall, Victoria Chomorro

So when you’re ready to take that step to graduate, don’t ask “what’s next.”

Instead, ask, “How can the CRF and its partners help me achieve this?” »

The BankUnited team will begin recruiting interns for the Spring 2023 iCARE Internship Program by Fall 2022. For more information about the iCARE™ Internship Program, contact Alina Parbtani, Director of Talent Development Network, at

For more information on the ATOM Pink Tank at FIU College of Business, visit the website.

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