Meet The Rochester Simon MBA Class Of 2018


Natalia Escobar-Mejia

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Creative strategist and values-driven professional, who firmly believes in the power of people to enact change in the world. 

Hometown: Manizales, Colombia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I named my beautiful black cat Agatha Christie (#adoptdontbuy), after the crime novelist (my mother’s favorite author). Also, I am a Harry Potter buff. 


Undergraduate School and Major: 

  • J.D., Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia);
  • Degree in Capital Markets Law, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia);
  • LL.M. in International Business Law, Tilburg University (Netherlands).

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Deputy Superintendent for Insurers & (Re)Insurance Brokers, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia.
  • Associate, Posse Herrera Ruiz.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Leading the team in charge of designing and implementing the early intervention strategy of a general insurance company that had outstanding performance bonds for the largest infrastructure projects in Colombia. After two years of hard work and coordination with the liquidation team, we managed to successfully place the company in receivership, and assign 98% of the outstanding insurance policies, minimizing the negative impact on policyholders, insureds and creditors, before liquidation.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?

  • Know thyself. Be honest with yourself about what you want to achieve with an MBA degree. Whatever your motivation, this initial process of soul searching and self-awareness will help you rock the behavioral questions during the application process and center yourself during the job searching stage.
  • Plan in advance. Getting an MBA, especially if you are an international student, entails a major life change. Prepare yourself for every aspect of it. From GMAT Prep to getting to know the admissions team at the university and securing funding, it takes time to walk the path to an MBA.
  • Be relentless. During the application process, you may not get the results that you expect at times. Don’t despair and don’t give up. Learning to pick yourself up and keep going is a useful skill to thrive in business school and in life.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? First, Simon is a tight-knit community, so you get the chance to know all of your classmates, the faculty and the administration by name. Second, when I decided to pursue an MBA I sought to strengthen my technical skills, and Simon’s programs are known for their quantitative and financial focus. Third, Simon has an active involvement with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the community of Rochester, and offers electives and hosts case competitions related with social impact and entrepreneurship.  Finally, Simon has one of the most diverse MBA programs in the U.S. and as a woman, a Latin American, an MBA candidate over 30 from a non-business non-engineering background, this mindful approach to diversity has helped me feel at home.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? Ours is the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty. My dream job is making that vision become a reality by bringing together socially and environmentally minded investors with companies and projects that provide measurable financial, social and environmental returns (triple bottom line). As customers and clients place more value not only on corporate social responsibility but also on impact investing, and standards to measure social and environmental returns evolve, a market solution for a fairer, more sustainable world arises. I would love to put the sophisticated financial skills that I am learning at Simon to good use by helping clients develop a strategy for doing business while doing good.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like them to remember me as a driven leader and consummate strategist, passionate about making a difference in the world, and as the person they can call when they are looking to maximize financial, social and environmental returns.

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