Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Erika Nuñez, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Erika Nuñez

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

“An extroverted introvert with a slight boba tea addiction.”

Hometown: Queens, NY

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was the starting left fielder for my high school’s JV softball team. I batted a misleading .000, playing only two games where I walked on each at bat—a promising career that was cut short after I broke my foot dancing.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Wisconsin – Madison; Major: Geography and Communication Arts

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Major League Baseball, Manager – Global Media

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Coming into business school, I wanted to develop my business acumen through a marketing lens and Kellogg’s offering in the marketing sector is unmatched. Kellogg has a diverse set of courses available that target different industries, all focused on the strength of marketing in business. I also appreciate the flexibility to choose (or not choose) a major, allowing students to truly explore a range of courses without the pressure of needing them to pertain to a certain major requirement.

Additionally, I wanted a program that had a well-rounded community for my partner. The Joint Venture (JV) Club does a fantastic job at making significant others feel welcomed and integrating them within Kellogg. The level of involvement provided to partners left a great impression on me and my JV.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Northwestern Kellogg? In terms of courses, I’m looking forward to building my knowledge on personal finance. As a geography and communications major during my undergraduate studies, I wasn’t exposed to many quantitative courses that were applicable to personal finance management, so I plan on addressing that during my time at Kellogg. I want to take Capital Markets, which provides a framework for understanding how to construct a personal finance portfolio.

Regarding activities outside of the classroom, I joined the board of the Hispanic Management Association (HMA) as the 1st Year Marketing Director. I’ll be working with the 2nd Year Marketing VP on ways to promote HMA events and activities to the Kellogg community and to Latinx prospective students interested in attending Kellogg.

What has been your first impression of the Kellogg MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Kellogg story so far. Kellogg students and alumni are genuinely interested in who you are. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my peers beyond what they’re looking to recruit for or what company they’ve worked for in the past – in fact, those are some of the last things mentioned when meeting someone new. I ultimately chose Kellogg because of how welcomed I felt when speaking to folks in the Kellogg community. When attending Days at Kellogg (DAK), the admitted students event held in the Spring, I was still unsure of my decision on what school I wanted to attend. I quickly discovered that Kellogg was the best fit for me. From the guest lecturers, to the facilitated small groups discussions and evening networking events, I continuously met folks who I was inspired by and excited to be around. I strongly encourage all those admitted to Kellogg to attend DAK for a sneak peek of this community’s high impact and low ego.

What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA? Evanston gives me the perfect balance of big city opportunities mixed with a tight community feel. Born and raised in New York City, I knew I wanted a close-knit MBA experience with a metropolis in the background and Northwestern fell perfectly within that intersection.

Kellogg is known for a team-driven culture. What quality do you bring as a teammate and why will it be so important to the success of an MBA class? Warmth. I am always conscious of ensuring everyone has the chance, and feels comfortable, to share their thoughts in a group environment. Pursuing an MBA is such an interesting experience because you’re meeting individuals with a variety of skills and can learn something from everyone you encounter. Tapping into those differences and highlighting how they can contribute to the team is a skill I’ve developed and see as crucial to a successful MBA class.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The biggest accomplishment of my career so far has been the work I’ve put into creating a culture of inclusivity within sports business as an inaugural board member of the Black Business Resource Group at MLB and joining the Latinx affinity group, SOMOS, shortly thereafter. Helping organize events that look to celebrate the contributions these communities have had, and will continue to have, on the sport has been extremely fulfilling.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? With business constantly evolving and shifting with the demands of consumers, I wanted to recalibrate my skills and identify how to best navigate this exponential growth in innovation. Learning from industry mavens who are leading the charge of identifying best practices in various sectors drove me to pursue an MBA. After graduation, I hope to leverage my experience in business development and client management within the intersection of technology and/or marketing.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch. The MBA application process is a daunting journey and it will have you question what’s the best course of action for your future. In this book, Pausch walks through his life experiences and demonstrates how to find the motivation to overcome brick walls placed on your path towards success. Throughout the MBA application process, I struggled worrying if my essays were good enough, if my interviews went well enough, and if my resume was impressive enough – the list goes on and on. A mentor of mine gifted me this book as a reminder that we can only control things to a certain extent. This book reminded me to consider radically accepting results beyond my control, learning and adapting from these moments and using it as fuel towards the next stop on my journey.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UPenn Wharton, Yale SOM, UC Berkeley Haas, Duke Fuqua, UT Austin McCombs

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA program? Tell your authentic story. Don’t try to convey what you *think* admission officers want to read in your essays. Instead focus on what matters to you and what drives you towards your ambitions. Take the time to do some deep introspection on what you want for yourself and in your career, and how Kellogg can help close that gap.


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