Jesus Parada Perla exemplifies values USF holds dear: inclusion, diversity, academic excellence.
A native of El Salvador, Parada graduated with an undergraduate business degree in 2017, cum laude, earning these honors while racking up an impressive list of extracurricular activities. Now Parada aims to earn a second USF degree — an MBA, with honors.
When Parada first arrived at USF, he joined the Latin American Student Association but found it to be somewhat insular. It did not collaborate with other multicultural organizations. Parada thought the organization was missing opportunities. A firm believer in inclusion, Parada proposed opportunities for several multicultural clubs to collaborate. He coordinated the inaugural Noche Latina during Hispanic Heritage Month and worked with other organizations to create the Mr. & Ms. Latinx contest. Parada went on to become president of LASA and soon the group became a de facto umbrella organization for several multicultural clubs. Under his leadership, the association received USF’s Outstanding Organizational Collaboration Award.
Parada served as a student assistant for USF’s Center for Leadership Civic Engagement and was named 2018 Student Assistant of the Year. He helped the Association of Future Professionals in Business Management grow by 100 members. And he is in his second term as president of LASA.
Outside of campus, Parada took on a sales job at American Freight/Sears Outlet. Parada was recognized as “Best of Outlet” for three consecutive months as he brought in 600 new leasing accounts. He briefly served as acting manager, filling in for a to-be-hired leadership post. He now works as a supervisor there, working full-time while pursuing the MBA in the evenings.