Natalia Elizabeth Espinola Lopez
“I am perseverant, dedicated and passionate about increasing my knowledge for working in development.”
Hometown: Asuncion, Paraguay
Fun Fact About Yourself: I sang in an Oxford student band in Jericho Tavern, where Radiohead played their first gig.
Undergraduate School and Major: Economics at Universidad Católica “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción”, Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Inter-American Development Bank, Consultant
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment so far has been leading the creation of the public policy for youth in Paraguay while working with the Minister of Youth – and with the participation of young people across the 17 departments of Paraguay. Having experienced the eagerness of students across the country to participate in the design of policy has encouraged me to further take a position in leading change in my country and in the Latin American region.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diverse. I have met MBA classmates from all over the world, and find that every story is different and fascinating. That is what makes every conversation interesting, socially, as well as in-class discussions.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? A key part of the programme that led me to choose Saïd Business School, is the focus on how business can create a real impact in finding solutions for social and environmental problems. This is important to me because studying the Master of Public Policy at Oxford has led me to believe that leaders both in the public and private sectors have a responsibility in tackling world-scale problems.
What is the most “Oxford” thing you have done so far as a full-time MBA student? Walking on the roofs of Lady Margaret Hall. While playing music in the college with a group of friends, we met an undergrad studying biochemistry who also happened to be a music conductor and led us that night to walk on the roofs of Lady Margaret Hall.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I was asked was to give an example of a time when I had to handle conflict under a leadership position.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment was when I did a summer internship in Eritrea during high school, where I experienced the results of the authoritarian regime still in place today and witnessed extreme levels of poverty throughout my work. This is when I decided that in the future I was going to work for emerging economies in the field of economic and sustainable development.
Where do you see yourself doing ten years from now? Ten years from now, I see myself working to reduce inequality in Paraguay from a high-ranking government position or leading a development organization.