2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Nancy Hinojos, MIT (Sloan)

Nancy Hinojos

MIT, Sloan School of Management

“Mexican-American aspiring leader in technology who also loves the performing arts.”

Hometown: San Pedro, California

Fun fact about yourself: I ran two Los Angeles marathons before graduating high school with the program Students Run Los Angeles!

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (SFS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Palantir Technologies, Deployment Strategist

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? I had the incredible opportunity to intern with EY-Parthenon’s Software Strategy Group (SSG) supporting software due diligence for private equity investors.

Where will you be working after graduation? As a joint-degree student, I will be completing my Masters in Public Administration degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

MIT Sloan Hispanic Business Club, Co-President – HBC is Sloan’s affinity group for Hispanic/Latine identifying students and allies with the goals of building community across Sloan and MIT; fostering professional and personal development; and encouraging leadership at Sloan and beyond.

Sloan Follies, Co-President – The Follies are Sloan’s Sketch Comedy Group that coordinates an annual hilarious, celebratory, and memorable two-hour long year-in-review comedy show on the last day of spring classes.

Movers & Shakers of Sloan, Co-President— Sloan’s Movers and Shakers is Sloan’s Dance Team. The team offers performance opportunities at various Sloan events, and Master Classes of various genres to offer creative, technique-oriented, and movement opportunities for Sloanies.

Camp Sloan Director—Camp Sloan is an annual retreat for Sloanies to hike, enjoy the outdoors, and meet new people—a reported highlight of the MBA experience for many.

Sloan’s DEI Audit Reviewer—The DEI audit team reviewed all core curriculum cases for diverse representation in the protagonists and reported findings to the student body and administration.

Sloan Senate, Senator – The Sloan Senate is the main interface between the Sloan student body and the administration tasked with the goal of advocating for the student experience.

MIT Sloan Finance Certificate Leadership Board Member – The Finance Certificate leadership board regularly reviews the finance certificate experience for members and provides feedback for improvement.

MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing Scholar (SERC) Scholar—SERC is a premier fellowship for both MIT graduates and undergraduates to engage with the ethical implications of various computing use cases.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It has been an honor to serve as Sloan’s Hispanic Business Club (HBC) co-president! HBC started the academic year strong with a monumental celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), bringing together the entirety of the Sloan community to uplift and reflect on the incredible contributions that the Hispanic/Latine community has made socially, economically, and culturally to the United States. From hosting an Ask Me Anything panel, to a community function c-f(x), to a spotlight on the US Hispanic/Latine experience at The Yarn (Sloan’s storytelling platform), the month was a spectacular way for all of Sloan to honor and celebrate the HBC community.

Further, HBC invested in the well-being, development, and leadership of our community. This included hosting small group dinners, career-oriented events with alumni, and collaborative functions with Sloan affinity groups such as the Latin American Business Club, the Black Business Students Association, the Veteran’s Club, and the Africa Business Club. It has been thrilling to be part of a team that’s celebrated, honored, and amplified diversity at Sloan.

Lastly, being in this role has enabled me to bring my voice to the table with Sloan administrators. I’ve been able to advocate for our community, bringing with me the experience of HBC members at Sloan and the testimony of all the incredible contributions we’ve made.

It has been an amazing ride, and a true treasure of an experience. HBC has been a monumental experience for me that will continue to resonate long after graduation.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Prior to enrolling in business school, I helped elevate the institutional recruiting framework for each of the three firms I previously worked for. I engaged with leadership at each firm to diversify the talent pipeline, with a focus on supporting first-generation, low-income students. This ranged from designing and deploying mentorship programs between current employees and underrepresented students at various colleges and universities to facilitating partnerships between nonprofits that support first-generation low-income students and the company. I am really proud of each program’s results that are still in place today. I am passionate about my contributions to equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace, especially in professional services where the industry itself can facilitate social mobility.

Why did you choose this business school? I’ve known for many years that I wanted to go to MIT Sloan. Taking two years away from the workforce is costly in terms of time and potential income earned, so I had a very particular list of criteria that I wanted my business school to satisfy. Luckily, MIT Sloan checked off all the boxes! I wanted a technical curriculum that was going to push and expand my technical skills especially in finance and data-driven decision-making (problem sets and statistical models to solve complex problems? Yes, please!). I was also looking for both a cohort and a core team experience, to have strong communities in both larger and smaller settings. Lastly, I wanted a school that prioritized a lens larger than the bottom-line, a mission-oriented school that was also thoughtful about diversity, equity, inclusion, and community building. I’ve found that MIT Sloan checked off all of these points and more.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Kara Blackburn is not only one of my favorite instructors, but also someone I consider a mentor of a lifetime! Professor Blackburn is a Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communications and an affiliate at of the MIT Leadership Center. She embodies what it means to have graceful and effective leadership. She teaches leadership by example. Most notably for me, she is constantly engaging in critical thinking on what it means to be an effective business leader (at all levels), and illustrating the power of deploying emotional intelligence skills in both challenging and ordinary situations.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? There’s a course designed by MIT Sloan’s Leadership Center known as ID Lab (Individual Development & Interpersonal Dynamics Lab). It’s only available for first-year MBA students and as a complement to the curriculum. We also had the opportunity to work with an executive coach. I appreciated how deeply this course embedded intentionality and reflection into business leadership. Often, discussions about effective business management separate activities like journaling and reflection, but this class brought them both into harmony for me and my peers. It offered opportunities to be incredibly thoughtful about how we approach leadership in both high-pressure and low pressure situations.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I’ve really enjoyed our Sloan c-f(x)’s, also known as community or cultural functions. These events are held bimonthly and are sponsored by different Sloan clubs (i.e., Black Business Students Association, Veteran’s Club, Sloan Women in Management, Latin American Business Club, Hispanic Business Club, Wine Club etc.,). These events reflect Sloan’s commitment to community and belonging. I have wonderful memories of so many c-f(x)’s including the one that I helped plan with HBC!

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have started scheduling coffee chats with my classmates sooner to learn more about their careers, what brought them to business school, and the type of impact they hope to have in the short and long term. I’ve learned tremendously from each of my peers in the classroom and through clubs and in social settings, and grabbing coffee with them has opened the door to many of the genuine friendships I enjoy today. I feel grateful I’ve been able to meet such incredible people through Sloan and feel confident that the friendships formed through this experience will last a lifetime.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The MIT connection can often allude to a more technical-leaning narrative, which is great and useful from a learning standpoint. However, it has historically perpetrated a belief that Sloan is a business school predominately for engineers.

However, I can assure you that this is not the case! The class composition from a career and undergraduate academic background is incredibly diverse and inclusive of people from technical and non-technical backgrounds. In the classroom setting, all backgrounds are embraced and celebrated.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? The world comes to Cambridge! I’ve really enjoyed living and learning here. There are no shortage of events, panels and conferences on the topics that are of interest for me personally and professionally.

What surprised you the most about business school? At Sloan, we have incredible events called “Ask Me Anythings” (AMA) which are essentially panel discussions about a particular topic. In September of my first year, there was an AMA on the US Latine experience at Sloan and Beyond. Normally, in these discussions, I find that the audience members are predominantly folks that also identify as Hispanic/Latine. It was pleasant to discover that at this AMA (and essentially all of them), the entirety of the Sloan community shows up to be part of the audience. It’s an incredible testimony to Sloan’s commitment to allyship, continuous learning, and engagement in critical dialogue.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my classmate Christina Peña, who was the HBC co-president before my tenure. She is incredibly passionate about scaling DEI in all her endeavors—from career to extracurriculars. Further, she’s amazed me and many others with the capacity to support Sloan’s current and prospective students. She managed the Applicant Buddy Program to support underrepresented minority students in their MBA application process, and got to know the school to prepare for the interview. Christina has a remarkable work ethic and has demonstrated countless times a deep commitment to our motto at Sloan: Sloanies helping Sloanies. I feel grateful that I’ve gotten a chance to both work with her and learn from her during my Sloan experience.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My top two items on my professional bucket list are the following:

I’d like to sit on the board of a nonprofit using data creatively to scale equity and inclusion; and

I’d like to become a White House Fellow to help the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy rigorously define the standards of what it means to have ethical and responsible AI.

What made Nancy such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Nancy Hinojos’ energy is contagious, and she is always ready to step in and help solve problems that improve the lives of her peers and the Sloan community. Nancy has a tremendous commitment to community building with a focus on diversity, and her leadership skills in this area were evident in her role as Community Building Chair (CBC), which supported first-year MBA students by creating community among the different cohorts. These students reported that her support made a positive impact on their lives, positioning them for success. Whether bonding with others over a delicious meal through Sloan’s Happy Belly Club or sharing insights about the student experience with Sloan administrators through her role as a senator in Sloan student government, Nancy’s enthusiasm for building community is evident in both her many leadership roles and social activities.”

Maura Herson
Assistant Dean of the MBA Program at MIT Sloan School of Management


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