“A magnetic Latina who uses humor and optimism to embolden others and foster positive change.”
Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a board member and Educational Director with the National Hispanic Institute, a non-profit dedicated to building our communities’ future leaders.
Undergraduate School and Major: Rice University, B.A. Political Science
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte Consulting; Human Capital Consultant
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? In a recent Poets & Quants article from August 2019, the McCombs Career Management team was applauded for their outstanding tenacity in using market intelligence to inform adjustments to curriculum and services. As someone looking to pivot my career, I gravitated towards McCombs’ strong reputation for fostering company relations and alumni connections as this would be vital in my journey to beginning a new career in business. I am immensely happy with my decision to attend McCombs, and I know that I am being guided and taught by the best. McCombs Career Consultants, Hon Lam and Cara Polisini, were especially helpful in preparing me for summer recruiting through the Consortium Orientation Program in June.
What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am most excited about Marketing Fellows and McCombs Ambassador Committee (MAC). Marketing Fellows is an application-based program that provides opportunities to develop marketing skill sets through in-class curriculum and external based projects. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn from top executives and strengthen my ability to think critically about real-world challenges. MAC is also an application-based program that serves as a student arm to the admissions team. Throughout my time at Rice and Deloitte, I constantly served in positions of recruitment, orientation, and inclusion – so I’m thrilled about the potential to extend a “virtual” embrace to those applying to McCombs this fall.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: When I was 14 years old, I received a letter to join an organization that takes top tier Latinx students into summer programming to create our community’s future leaders. After three years as a participant, I transitioned into a Senior Counselor role dedicated to supporting and uplifting future participants to continue growing their strengths and developing their opportunities. As I became a working professional, I returned to the program to serve as an Educational Director for our Collegiate World Series program. In spring of 2019, I was nominated by one of my mentors to join as a board member. Words cannot describe the feeling of giving back so wholeheartedly for over a decade to hundreds of students who I look forward to embracing every summer. This accomplishment was something I thought would never be possible until I reached my 40’s or 50’s, but the organization gave me the chance at 25. I’m beyond proud of the mission of NHI and look forward to taking my new MBA skillset to create an everlasting presence in the lives of our Latinx communities.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I had a powerful wake-up call the summer of 2018 where I experienced one of my highest highs (promotion to consultant) and one of my lowest lows (dismissal on a project) within a period of two weeks. It was at this point that I thought about whether continuing with consulting would bring life-long fulfillment. While the years were extremely beneficial to my growth as a professional, I knew consulting wasn’t the endgame. I wanted a change in lifestyle, a change in perspective, and another path to flex my creative skills.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Yale SOM, UCLA Anderson, and Rice Jones.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? UCLA Anderson asked, “Given your interest in the entertainment industry, how would you create closer connections with our entertainment industry partners and the school?” I answered along the lines of thinking about giving back to the Los Angeles communities via volunteering at schools to offer creative programming based on the partner’s expertise (i.e. filmmaking, acting, producing).
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I determined my fit based on my relationships with friends from undergraduate school, mentors at Deloitte, and my own research of reaching out to various school leaders and ambassadors. I was able to visit McCombs in November 2018 for Women’s Weekend, which provided a wonderful view into student life, extracurricular activities, and values. I attended Rice Jones Diversity Weekend in October 2019 and was reminded why my alma mater held a special place in my heart – the programming was incredible. I capitalized on every conversation I could have in order to find out what types of career opportunities I would have with each school and how I could take advantage of their services to set out on my own path.
What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? My preparation this summer was focused on securing an internship for summer 2021. I interviewed with several companies and found the right fit at Frito Lay. While this may not be the norm for those who are not a part of MLT, Consortium, Forte, or Jumpstart, I am ecstatic to have additional time back in the fall to focus on the core curriculum (Financial Management, Economics, Statistics, and Accounting). My preparation for school involved managing the stress of the pandemic and keeping a positive attitude going into the program. A strong mental health is incredibly important!
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? In summer 2018, I experienced what I perceived to be my biggest failure. After two weeks on a project, I was unexpectedly asked to leave without warning or an opportunity to improve. Because I was recently promoted to consultant, I was excited to interact directly with clients; however, instead I was met with verbal admonishment on issues I was never made aware of prior to the meeting. I left feeling utterly beaten down, but I made a promise to myself that I would never treat a team member or colleague like that. Thus, the seed of business school was planted. I used this negative moment as a catalyst for positive change that would lead to applications to start my new career journey. Furthermore, my dismissal turned into a blessing as I bounced back on another project and mentored a new hire who ended up becoming one of my dear friends. I understand that business school will also have its share of ups-and-downs, but I’m ready to embrace all that is yet to come with the same tenacity and yearning to constantly improve.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? While I’ll be working at a new company next summer, I’d have to say that Deloitte is my favorite company because of the way it shaped who I am today. I learned the value of being on the ground but also appreciating and maintaining a bird’s eye view. I can create stunning visuals, or keep them simple. I know how to project manage to avoid potential hiccups and project manage while in the midst of a fire drill. I conquered the power of listening to shift client morale and successfully change a “no” to a “yes.”
Most importantly, I found strength and enlightened values that ultimately gave me the courage to extend a heartfelt and gracious farewell as I set out on a new and daunting journey in my career. I am thankful for my time at Deloitte and will always cherish the way they supported me and my decisions. Deloitte knows how to treat their employees. Even though I’m no longer there, I am not referred to as an “ex-employee” but rather, a colleague for life. While small, this distinction encourages a life-long connection and respect between the company and its employees, something I think all businesses can adopt and use for success.