Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Alissa Oropeza, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Alissa Oropeza

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“A collaborative, ambitious, and quick-witted leader.”

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a proficient cook who specializes in Italian food, but loves cooking different cuisines.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of San Francisco, Finance major

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Nextdoor, Senior Accountant

Aside from your classmates, 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? One of the biggest factors was the class and culture of the university. I wanted to be a member of a tight knit community in order to have a home away from home with my classmates, university faculty, and administration. The University of Notre Dame is known to be just that family I was searching for. Apart from providing an environment of building my network and relationships, Notre Dame also provides the foundation of incorporating ethical values within its program and community atmosphere. The Notre Dame education is one like no other. I am incredibly appreciative to be a part of it.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? My classmates are the epitome of genuine. I cannot think of a better way to describe them. Before even coming to campus, Zoom calls were being sent out to come together as a class to create that bond and learn about one another. Besides virtual bonding, they are the easiest people to ask for help. When asking for help, people genuinely care to help you. If they cannot, will get you the help you need. They are the most genuine, friendly, and well-rounded community I could ask for.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? The Finance and Investments club excites me the most as my focus is in Investment Banking. Through the application process, I met a second year MBA who completely took me under her wing and updated me on all the opportunities the F&I club has to offer at Mendoza. I am looking forward to working with her and contributing to the club this year.

Mendoza is known as a purpose-driven MBA program that asks students to “Ask More of Business.” What is your mission and how will Mendoza help you realize it? My mission is to become an ethical, global business leader who can share my financial expertise nationally. Mendoza is an institution that not only creates financially skilled business leaders, but instead creates leaders of the mind and heart. By using my ethical values that Mendoza has provided me, I plan to create a non-profit organization geared towards aiding neuro-diverse individuals gain a variety of skill sets to apply to post-education employment. In this world we live in, knowledge is power and Mendoza has and continues to teach me that everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was developing as a leader during my time at Ernst & Young. The firm gave me the financial guidance to aid clients, but also gave me the tools to become a flexible, strategic, and quick-witted leader.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Gaining an MBA was always a goal of mine. I received my undergraduate degree in Finance; however, I spent the last five years in assurance and accounting. After gaining a financial foundation from an auditor’s and internal accountant’s perspective I knew it was time to pursue my true passion – finance. By gaining an MBA, I would be able to gain more skills in financial modeling and assessment to utilize post MBA in a career in Investment Banking.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question was, “Tell me about yourself.” I think many people hesitate when this question comes up. Once it did, I found that one just has to be open and genuine. After you accept being yourself, the question becomes an opportunity rather than a hesitation.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? When determining fit, I prioritized the following elements: small class sizes, ethical and genuine community, and dedicated and experienced professors. As I went through the application process, I found Mendoza not only checked off those priorities, but offered so much more. It’s incredibly important to ensure the Institution not only meets your “essential” criteria but instead offers opportunities and experiences one could not get anywhere else.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school?

A defining moment struck during my adolescence, specifically during the financial crisis. Like many others, my family needed financial aid and guidance. Experiencing financial uncertainty struck a chord in me. From then on, I became incredibly determined to become a financial leader, not only for my family but to help educate others in need. This challenging experience gifted me with determination, ambition, and grit that prepared me to persevere through any challenge, including business school.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? I think an interesting company would be Apple due to their dynamic and ever-evolving innovation. I think business students could learn from their marketing strategies as well as their evolving business plans to captivate consumers.


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