Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Normarie Soto, UC Riverside

Normarie Soto

“I’m an Air Force combat veteran, business owner, wife, and mother to three beautiful children.”

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Fun Fact About Yourself: During my six years serving in the U.S. Air Force, I had the most thrilling and rewarding job as an F-15 fighter jet engine mechanic.

Undergraduate School and Major: International Academy of Design and Technology, Bachelor of Fine Arts, interior design

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Anchor Wellness Insurance Agency, founder and health insurance broker

What word best describes the UC Riverside MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far?
I would describe the UC Riverside MBA students and alumni I’ve met as diverse! While working on group assignments and hearing from panel speakers, I’ve observed diverse cultural and educational backgrounds and professional and life experiences.

Aside from classmates, what was the key part of UC Riverside’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?
I am balancing family, career, and education. I knew that pursuing my degree while still caring for my family and running my business had to be sustainable and needed it to be minimally disruptive to my family. UC Riverside’s proximity to where I work and live in addition to the flexibility of the class schedule makes it all possible.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at UC Riverside?
The course I’ve enjoyed the most so far is MGT 205 Information Systems. The professor has perfected the content presentation and makes it easy to understand and apply the knowledge to our assignments and group start-up project. I’m eager to develop a mastery of business with the use of technology to make strategic data-driven decisions.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:
I founded Anchor Wellness Insurance Agency in 2013. As a health insurance broker, I am very proud to serve our senior community and Medicare-eligible clients by educating and assisting them with their Medicare health insurance coverage in Virginia, Hawaii, and California.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:
My biggest accomplishment as an MBA student has been taking the leap and starting the program. I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about pursuing an MBA in addition to everything you already have going on. You wonder where you’ll find the time, but I know I have what it takes to work through the challenges, especially with the support and encouragement of my family.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there?
Currently, I spend my free time at playgrounds and swim school with my two youngest and at the softball fields watching my high schooler play outfield and catcher for her travel and high school softball teams.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?
After self-reflection and meditation, I realized that it was OK for me to have dreams and goals. What resonated with me was recognizing that I could not be an effective advocate or example for my children if I continued to sacrifice my career, personal, and professional goals. One of those goals is to earn an MBA. It became clear that not only was it time to explore what that looked like, but it was time take the necessary steps to get here. My true passion lies at the intersection of environmental sciences, engineering, and business, and after graduating with an MBA, I plan to be a business consultant in the environmental field.

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