Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Nanci Espinoza, University of Texas (McCombs)

Nanci Espinoza

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“Calm under pressure. For better, or for worse.”

Hometown: Houston, TX

Fun Fact About Yourself: I recently adopted a senior kitty that, to my surprise, came with a hefty inheritance! His cat-dowment stipulates daily salmon treats and weekly belly rubs, which I’ve been happily fulfilling ever since.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Houston: BBA in Finance, minor in Accounting

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: J.S. Held, Senior Analyst

What makes Austin such a great place to earn an MBA? I’ve always believed that you need to go where things are happening, and it’s no secret that the city is booming! The influx of numerous startups, coupled with established tech giants, makes Austin a thriving location full of opportunities to learn and network. Not to mention, the city is world-renowned for its music scene and other cultural attractions, making it an exciting place to be in and out of the classroom.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Texas McCombs’ MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The emphasis on experiential learning and the Fellows Programs within the MBA program were what drew me to Texas McCombs. These programs provide students with a unique opportunity to gain real-world experience in their chosen industries. This aspect resonated deeply with me because I believe that hands-on experience is invaluable for translating theoretical knowledge into practical, real-world applications.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Texas McCombs? One of the groups I’m most excited about is the McCombs Ambassador Committee (MAC). Its members were one of the many reasons I chose to join Texas McCombs. I learned so much from them throughout the application process and would love to give back in a similar way by supporting prospective students on their MBA journeys.

What has been your first impression of the McCombs MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far? Tell us your best McCombs story so far. In just a few weeks, the McCombs community has already exceeded my expectations. For example, I’ve reached out to connect with several alumni and second year students, and they all enthusiastically agreed to meet! These conversations have been incredibly helpful in identifying my target industry and function. I’m finally getting the chance to experience the community described to me during the admissions process by many students. I genuinely feel well-supported by my classmates, the alumni network, and the administration.

My most memorable experience so far has been attending The Consortium OP conference, where I had the opportunity to meet a group of my classmates before classes even began. It was a wonderful bonding experience that I would recommend students take advantage of if given the opportunity.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My mind immediately goes to my journey in the military – becoming a Marine. This decision tested my limits physically, mentally, and emotionally. It was through these struggles that I discovered the depth of my determination and resilience. I faced many challenges with my fellow Marines, supporting and motivating each other through the toughest times.

Being stationed in Japan meant being far from my family, fostering a unique bond with other Marines. We became a family away from home, relying on each other for emotional support and camaraderie. These friendships turned out to be some of the most meaningful relationships I’ve ever experienced.

Looking back, my journey as a Marine led me down a path of personal growth and transformation. This experience has shaped the person I am today, and I credit much of my development to this journey.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience at McCombs successful? For me, a successful MBA experience at McCombs would mean realizing my career aspirations by achieving a well-rounded transformation. This includes deepening my finance knowledge, developing my leadership skills, expanding my professional network, and ultimately, securing a full-time position that contributes meaningfully to the business world.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Texas McCombs’ MBA program? McCombs values community engagement, so I recommend connecting with current students and participating in admissions events. These interactions will help you learn more about Texas McCombs and gauge if the MBA program is a good fit for you.


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