Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Patricia Fernandez de Castro, Stanford GSB

Patricia Fernandez de Castro

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“A driven young woman that is always in high spirits.”

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: I had the incredible opportunity to serve as the co-protagonist in a theater production alongside Austin Swift, under the direction of Patrick Vassel, the Associate and Supervising Director of Hamilton. To top it off, we had Taylor Swift in the audience at one of our shows.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University of Notre Dame. Majored in: 1. Economics, 2. Finance 3. Film, Television and Theatre.

Graduated from Centro de Educación Artística Eugenio Cobo (CEA), one of the most respected acting schools in Mexico.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Televisa, News Anchor & Amazon Studios, Screenwriter

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Stanford GSB’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Ultimately, what made me choose Stanford was realizing it is a campus that fosters innovation by bringing together different minds and disciplines. Here you don’t have to be – shouldn’t be – one thing. You are encouraged to be many. To me, Stanford is not only a university, but also an incubator to brainstorm and execute what’s next. A place where I can be a former banker, turned anchor/writer/actress, soon to be anything I dream of.

What has been the most important thing that you’ve learned at Stanford GSB so far? The art of organization, decision-making, understanding people, and reflection. I’ve learned to handle 600 daily emails, perpetually weigh the opportunity costs of each hour in my day, discern the inconsistency between rhetoric and action when people claim ‘grades don’t matter,’ and find comfort in existential crises as I evaluate just how big I can dream.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Stanford GSB? My favorite course at Stanford GSB has been the Leadership Lab. It’s a first-quarter course where theory meets practice. In small groups of 5/6 MBA1s and an MBA2, we engage in role-playing exercises and simulations that mirror real-life leadership challenges, complete with urgency and ambiguity. After each simulation, we reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what new approaches we want to try either individually or as a team. This experience has deepened my understanding of my leadership style, taught me how to further master the art of adaptability, and provided valuable insights into how others perceive me. But what I treasure most are the lasting friendships formed during the Lab—relationships I know will endure far beyond my time at Stanford.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far? Give an example why this is true. Their humanness. Despite the array of remarkable backgrounds. From the athletic heights of a former professional soccer player and an Olympian skier, to the intellectual rigor of a NASA engineer, and the entrepreneurial spirit of numerous founders—they share the same basic human desires: to connect, enjoy life, and belong. From the outset of the MBA program, we were all eager to make new friends, learn about and from each other, party, study, and connect. We embrace vulnerability as a strength both inside and outside of the classroom. We ask each other about our greatest fears with the same ease that we discuss a class project. No matter how extraordinary their pasts or how ambitious their future plans, my classmates are, at their core, relatable individuals with the same desires for friendship, enjoyment, and belonging as anyone else.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment has been transitioning from a career on Wall Street in New York to becoming a live news anchor for Televisa/Univision in Mexico. Despite always having a passion for the media and entertainment industry, I initially chose a different path to adhere to what others considered success. After graduation, I embarked on a career with Citigroup, believing that a stable, well-paying job in banking would make me feel like I had made it. But it didn’t

So I leveraged my triple major in Economics, Finance, and Film, Television, and Theatre, and returned to Mexico to pursue my passion for media and storytelling. Venturing into the unknown was daunting. My future filled with uncertainty, but that felt better than staying in a place I already knew I didn’t want to be in. This leap opened doors to work as a news anchor for Televisa, a freelance correspondent for “Real America with Jorge Ramos”, a screenwriter for Amazon Prime, and an actress in several TV shows. My biggest accomplishment is thus embracing uncertainty: pursuing what your heart tells you to might be the only way to achieve true satisfaction and fulfillment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Being cast in the GSB Show. This experience aligns perfectly with my passion for entertainment. The show is a revered tradition that captures the spirit of creativity, collaboration, and community, bringing together first and second-year MBA students to write, direct, and produce a musical parody reflecting the unique GSB experience. My participation in this activity is quite meaningful to me, as it allows me to continue harnessing the power of storytelling to connect, inspire, and entertain. It also shows the multifaceted nature of our program, striking a balance between academic rigor and extracurricular passions, highlighting the holistic approach to business education that values diverse talents and perspectives.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? An unforgettable trip I organized for a group of classmates to Mexico over the Christmas break. Besides celebrating my 30th birthday, it was a chance to introduce my classmates to the food I love, the music I dance to, my country’s stunning natural landscapes, and the spark of my people. In doing so, I shared a piece of my own identity. This trip was particularly meaningful as it allowed me to connect with many classmates that I hadn’t interacted with during my first quarter at the GSB. My blind Turkish friend showed me the meaning of redefining perceived limits as he trekked through the challenging terrain in Hierve el Agua. At a lively street fair in Oaxaca City, I bonded with three classmates from India, Georgia, and Egypt. And while chatting about Aztec history in Monte Albán, I found my future Stanford Class of 2025 Co-President running mate. This experience embodies what the MBA Program is all about, where learning stretches beyond academics to the people we meet and the moments we share.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant looking to join the Stanford GSB Class of 2026? My simple advice: Apply to Stanford GSB. As we say in Mexico, “El no ya lo tienes,” akin to Zuckerberg’s advice, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” Take this opportunity to craft your story. Reflect on the choices you’ve made, the experiences you’ve lived, and the individuals you’ve befriended. This process of introspection will not only strengthen your application but also prepare you to fully engage with the experience of any MBA program.


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