FIN Alumni Messages

Success Stories

We like to tell our students, prospective students, and their parents, that earning a business degree with a major in finance from NMSU will set that student on the path toward a great career and a wonderful future. Here are just a few examples of finance graduates who are already on that path to success.

Jocelyn Camuñez Bartz

Jocelyn Camuñez Bartz

Jocelyn Camuñez Bartz, Class of ‘1991

Growing up in a small farming town in Southern New Mexico, I never dreamed of the experiences my business degree in Finance from New Mexico State University would afford me. Attending NMSU on the Presidential scholarship opened doors for me that I would not have had otherwise. Participating in the work-study program helped grow my time management and interpersonal skills which have not left me since I moved away from the valley right after graduation. The business school faculty intellectually prepared me for the working world, my advisors guided my knowledge development and Career Services brokered me with unbelievable career opportunities in various industries. NMSU delivered it all to me so I could go out and execute on my life plan.

Although I thought Law School was my next step right after graduation, the allure of putting my Finance degree to work in practice within the real world was my true calling. I was recruited after graduation into a phenomenal petroleum job in Houston, but it was my scholarly love for economics that pulled me into the Federal Reserve Bank system with positions in Denver and Dallas. The timing of the telecom boom ultimately landed me at SBC/Cingular Wireless/AT&T in Dallas where I continue to use the things I learned at NMSU on a daily basis. As a Senior Technical Director supporting telephone call center solutions for Fortune 100 clients, I have been fortunate to have witnessed and supported the transformation of the telecom arena. My telecom career started with long-distance cost management of land-line telephones. I was then given a front-row seat to the mass market adoption of wireless phone usage and now I get the privilege of partnering with a global team managing digital experiences and mobile first applications. All those classes I took during my college years in which I thought “I’ll never use that” have truly paid off in the diversification of my career.

Technology drives our world which is constantly changing. My advice to NMSU students is to always think, plan and execute the next way to do things better, faster, smarter. It is not just delivering what is expected but adding the extra value in order to raise the bar. This is what will set you apart from others competing for the next job or the next life experience. Today in my profession, I am fortunate to work amongst the brightest in the world. I am also proud to say that my NMSU undergraduate degree developed my business foundation and critical thinking which now allows me to usher in the next competitive edge for tomorrow’s technologies.

Monica Bonilla-Romero

Monica Bonilla-Romero

Mónica Bonilla-Romero, Class of ’11

I am originally from Cd. Juarez, Mexico, and I moved to the United States when I graduated from high school to continue my education in the U.S. In 2011 I completed two BBAs at NMSU with majors in International Business and Finance.

I believe finance gives you the ability to shape your career in a way that few majors can. Finance provides you skills and knowledge that can really be applied to any type of job in any industry. It is up to the student to learn how to connect them. Many students don’t realize how many resources they have available at NMSU. My advice to students is to make sure that you know that you are aware of all the tools the department and the college of business have available.

Mónica Bonilla-Romero is presently an analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. A recent article she co-authored on the New Mexico Economic Recovery can be found at http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/crossroads/2012/cross1201.pdf.

Questions for Mónica can be sent to Monica.BonillaRomero@gmail.com

Updated November 26, 2012

Todd L. Bisio, Class of ’94

Todd L. Bisio

A graduate from NMSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Management, I am currently the President, Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors for Qynergy Corporation. Qynergy is an Albuquerque-based multidisciplinary technology development engine focused on developing concepts into manufacturable products. In 2011, I was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for the NMSU College of Business.

I have been a founding contributor in two small business start-up companies in Albuquerque and I’m extremely interested in the growth and sustainment of the overall economy. In light of that, I have maintained an active role on various boards and other leadership committees over the last several years. The one I find most rewarding to be a part of is the NMSU Business Advisory Council, as it allows me the opportunity to advise and influence the next generation of businessmen and women.

My favorite thing about my work is that I love what I get to do on a daily basis. I truly appreciate my education and experience from NMSU and I feel that it has enabled me to come together with others to build a team oriented culture that is extremely rewarding. At Qynergy, we engage in opportunities, provide focused energy with our team, facilities, expertise and focus, and empower the development of technology by championing and building an executable business plan for success. Every day is different and challenging — what could be more rewarding than that? We are building a company that is uniquely positioned in the marketplace to make a positive impact in the community by creating well-paying jobs, quality product and giving our time & talents to worthy causes.

My advice to students looking to get a job is to get involved in the outside community and to get real world experience through an intern program or part-time employment. As an employer, I look for prior work experience and I like to see that the prospective employee has an expressed compassion for others. It is also important to take the time to get to know the company that you are applying to, so that you can provide a tangible example about how you can add value to the organization in a meaningful way.

Contact information: todd.bisio@yahoo.com

Updated October 17, 2012

Emanuel Green, The Man in the Green Shoes, Class of 2012

Emanuel Green, The Man in the Green Shoes, Class of 2012

Emanuel Green: The Man in the Green Shoes (Class of ’12)

I am from the small town of Deming, New Mexico. Before I went to NMSU I started off in entertainment as a recording artist and after many setbacks in the industry I went to college. I graduated with my BBA in Finance and now I am in California pursuing my aspirations to be a professional speaker and entrepreneur.

I am still on my journey but if there is any advice I can give to anybody that is to not be a victim of circumstance. Go after your passions and your dreams; a business degree opens the door to a wide array of opportunities. You have to pursue them with everything you got especially now in this type of economical environment. Regardless of what you aspire to do always tie it to a purpose. If you desire a Mercedes-Benz once you get a Mercedes-Benz your journey is over. If you aspire to buy a dealership then you have something to really work toward. Do not let fear be a driving factor in anything you do; go for it and know that the education you got at NMSU is just as good as one from UCLA. You define that piece of paper, not the other way around. I have chosen to go after my purpose. Keep a lookout as I carry out my mission of “Showing the world how far you can go in a pair of green shoes.”

See Emanuel’s video log.

Updated August 17, 2012

Dongcao (Martin) Wu, Class of 2011

Dongcao (Martin) Wu, Class of 2011

Dongcao (Martin) Wu, Class of ’11

I studied at NMSU from 2008-2011 and graduated with the Alumni Association Award in Finance. With the good education I received at NMSU, I was able to land a career in Shanghai, China, with Essex Lake Group, an international consulting firm with branches around the world. NMSU provides high-quality education which made me capable of conducting a high-standard analytic approach to business problems and successfully delivering good presentations.

Advice: There are tremendous opportunities for NMSU Finance Majors. If you could certainly pursue those opportunities with your best capabilities, you will grow tremendously. To current students: Show your talent as an Aggie by working diligently!

Advice for getting a job: Whether you could find an ideal job really depends on what you did in college. Work hard on your professional skills development and also keep broadening your professional networks. Don’t be disappointed by rejections and keep moving forward!

Updated September 27, 2011

Skyler N Ocheltree, Class of ’10

Skyler N. Ocheltree, Class of ’10

I grew up in the rural town of Gila, NM. I studied Finance at NMSU from 2006 to 2010 and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree. I was also a teaching assistant in the Finance Department for 3 semesters. NMSU has a wonderful Finance program that will develop a repertoire of skills applicable to a wide variety of careers. I believe Finance is one of the most diverse degrees you can have.

I currently live in Denver, CO, and work with the Farm Credit Administration as an Associate Examiner under the Department of the Treasury. Our agency is an arm’s length regulator of the Farm Credit System. We conduct examination activities such as loan review, compliance examination, and institution oversight for over 100 associations across the country. FCA’s mission is to ensure a dependable source of credit for agriculture and rural America.

Advice for getting a job: “Opportunity seldom lies in the obvious.” Getting a job is a game of numbers; it’s a function of how much effort you put into getting the job. Be aggressive, Look for internships! Don’t be too picky!

Updated June 27, 2011

Paul McHorse, Class of ’09

Paul McHorse, Class of ’09

Earning my Master of Business Administration-Finance from NMSU in the summer of 2009 has since allowed me many professional options. In my current position working for AMERIND Risk Management Corporation I operate to reduce the significance of loss exposures within Indigenous American communities. I am very happy to be serving in such a meaningful capacity.

Advice to current students: Life is even more fragile than a miracle. Don’t stress over the deadlines of life; rather enjoy the freedom of its journey.

Advice for getting a job: It is important to network with potential employers before and after graduating. Participating in internships, career fairs, and professional organizations are great avenues toward obtaining your desired profession. Good Luck!
Updated April 13, 2011

Sasha Seams, Class of ’08

Sasha Seams, Class of ’08

I graduated with honors, from New Mexico State University, in December 2010 with Bachelor of Business Administration degree, in Finance and Human Resource Management. Upon graduation, I accepted a full-time position with ExxonMobil as a business analyst in the Controllers function.

I am responsible for managing $81M budget, providing analysis to line management, submitting accruals and accounting transactions, leading global benchmarking study, coordinating asset verification for site, and much more.

New Mexico State University has provided me with necessary tools to be successful. With the knowledge and support of NMSU’s Business teachers, I was challenged in the classroom, gained experience through hands-on activities, and had adequate resources to develop a broader business perspective. I am truly grateful for everything that New Mexico State University has done for me.

Career Advice: Get involved in student organizations, actively seek internships or work experience, work hard, build an academic network with peers and teachers, follow your passions, continue your education, and give back.

Thank you and GO AGGIES!

Sasha Nashee Seams
Updated October 28, 2010

Justin A. Sims, Class of ‘07

Justin A. Sims, Class of ‘07

Justin A. Sims, Class of ‘07

Hello Aggies! I graduated from NMSU in May 2007 with bachelors degrees in Finance, Marketing and German. I started with clubs and activities that interest you, and to seek a leadership role in those organizations. I would also take advantage of the career fairs offered on campus, and to be open to the various employment opportunities that they offer. The opportunities that you have in mind may not always be the best fit, and it’s important to keep an open mind when exploring career opportunities.

Lastly, I would strongly encourage you to use the open door policy that many of the professors maintain to glean from the wealth of knowledge and experience they possess. While what you learn in the classroom is important, the relationships and advice you receive outside of the class setting can be invaluable to your educational experience.

I wish you all the best in you scholastic and professional endeavors, and please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Contact information: Justin.A.Sims@ConocoPhillips.com

Updated November 16, 2009

Morgen Wright, Class of ‘08

Morgen Wright, Class of ‘08

Morgen Wright, Class of ‘08

Morgen Wright joined First Command Financial Services as a Financial Advisor in January 2009.

Previously, she served as an intern for Merrill Lynch, where she researched companies and stocks for advisors.

A 2008 graduate of New Mexico State University with a degree in finance, insurance and risk management, Morgen holds Series 6 and 63 securities licenses plus state life and health insurance licenses.

A member of Gamma Iota Sigma Fraternity and Legends of the Southwest Racing Club, Morgen enjoys racing her legend car at the Southern New Mexico Speedway and El Paso Speedway Park.

Updated November 16, 2009

Maria Schick, Class of '98

Maria Schick, Class of ’98

Maria Schick, Class of ’98

Maria is a Director of Commercial Development and Planning in the Gas & Power Marketing business at ConocoPhillips in Houston, TX. Maria provides long-term fundamental analysis on the natural gas market to identify and support commercial opportunities for storage, transportation, power as well as for acquisitions and other corporate initiatives. Maria began her career with ConocoPhillips 11 years ago in the Finance Function and has worked in various roles within Finance, Treasury, Upstream, Human Resources and most recently in Commercial. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelors degree in Finance and Economics in 1998.

My advice to students is to take advantage of all NMSU has to offer, both in and out of the classroom. Get to know your professors and advisors as individuals. When it is time to look for a full-time position, be aggressive and know what you want by doing your research. And lastly, don’t take a job on the basis of money alone, but take a job on the basis of the career you can see yourself building from it.

Contact information: Maria.Schick@conocophillips.com

Updated November 12, 2009

Sam Castaneda, Class of '06

Sam Castaneda, Class of ’06

Sam Castaneda, Class of ’06

Hello fellow Aggies! I was a part of the May 2006 graduation class from the Business College. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance along with a Minor in Accounting. I began employment with The Vanguard Group immediately after holding the position of Client Relationship Associate, Retail Investor Group Division. I have since transitioned over to Vanguard’s Flagship Services, focusing and managing clients who have $1 million+ in Vanguard assets. In addition, I’ve also enrolled myself in Kaplan’s Certified Financial Planning Program to increase my investment knowledge to pursue a career of providing financial advice.

Currently, upcoming graduates are faced with the daunting task of finding employment in a difficult economic environment. With that being said, keep an open mind with any opportunity that you see which could be appropriate for your ultimate career path. Don’t be afraid of taking an entry level position with a reasonable compensation level. After being hired, show determination and the willingness to learn and grow within your company. Positive results are likely to follow.

I wish you luck in developing a successful career and continuing the success of many NMSU alumni in the workforce.

Contact information: samuel_j_castaneda@vanguard.com

Updated November 6, 2009

Kristin Grassham, Class of '08

Kristin Grassham, Class of ’08

Kristin Grassham, Class of ’08

In February 2009, I joined Lockheed Martin’s Financial Leadership Development Program, which is a three-year curriculum comprised of job rotations, leadership training and a requirement to complete a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA).

The job rotations include program control, contract cost estimating, proposal pricing, program finance, investor relations, contract negotiation, auditing, and other business development areas.

My advice for obtaining a job is to thoroughly research the company you are interviewing, and have a unique passion, hobby or club to distinguish you from the rest of the applicants.

Most importantly, enjoy your time at NMSU and take advantage of all opportunities available.

Contact information: Kristin.R.Grassham@lmco.com

Updated October 22, 2009

Joseph L. Salcido, Class of ’06

Following my graduation from NMSU in 2006 I launched my career with The Vanguard Group as a Client Relationship Associate in the mutual fund side of our business. I have since transitioned into our Brokerage division, first as a Client Relationship Associate and now currently work on the Block/Option trading desk.

I facilitate large trades, options trades and foreign trades for our clients here at Vanguard. It is a great place to begin your career as there are numerous opportunities throughout the organization and continuing education of employees is highly encouraged here. Vanguard has provided me with a stable job and the opportunity to grow and broaden my knowledge of the financial industry.

It is never too early to begin planning your next move after graduation.

The best thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to start early by networking, drafting a resume and practice interviewing. The more you are able to practice the interview process, the more comfortable you will be with prospective employers during actual interviews that count. Be active with organizations on campus and in the community by volunteering your time with local organizations not only to help others, but to build your resume and separate yourself from other prospective employees. First impressions are crucial in the business environment and you want to ensure that you start off on the right path.

Joseph L. Salcido
Vanguard Brokerage Services
Updated October 22, 2009

Miguel Marquez, Class of '05

Miguel Marquez, Class of ’05

Miguel Marquez, Class of ’05

After graduating in 2005, my first career job out of college was with The Vanguard Group in Scottsdale, AZ. While there, I worked my way up to the trading desk as an equities trader. After a little over two years with The Vanguard Group, I decided I wanted to enter the world of financial sales, obtaining a position with Fidelity Investments as a mutual fund inside wholesaler in Dallas, TX.

Best Career Move: Taking the job with The Vanguard Group in AZ outside of my NM/TX “comfort zone.” It set the groundwork for my career and where I am now.

Advice for getting a job: Practice interviewing as much as you can using the behavioral method. Mock interviews are a great way to get you acquainted with what recruiters are looking for. And dress as nice as you can for an interview. You only get one chance at a first impression.

Favorite thing about my work: I talk to financial advisors on a daily basis that I get to know very well. I learn things from them about the industry that I could never have learned in school. I also get to listen to some of the smartest portfolio managers and analysts in the world here at Fidelity. In turn, that makes me sound much more intelligent when having those conversations with financial advisors about current market conditions.

Contact information: Personal email michaelmarquez75@gmail.com; personal phone 214.335.6759.
Updated October 22, 2009

Susan Long, Class of '76

Susan Long, Class of ’76

Susan Long, Class of ’76

I was born and raised in Carlsbad, NM, and am a 1972 graduate of Carlsbad Senior High School. After obtaining my BBA in Finance from NMSU in December of 1976 I moved to El Paso, TX. I worked in banking for 25 years and then for a home health agency 3 years before retiring in 2005. In banking I worked in the accounting department starting out at the bottom as a bookkeeper and moving my way up to internal auditor, assistant controller, controller, and finally Chief Financial Officer. I was hired as the Director of Finance for the home health agency and was the Chief Financial Officer when I retired.

Advice to current students: When you get out in the work world, be prudent and pay yourself first! Set aside an amount of money into an investment account every payday and watch it grow for you and your future. I have been able to retire early and have flexibility in this stage of my life because my spouse and I did exactly that. As finance students, you know these basic principles—so practice what you’ve learned!

Best career move: There are several! Whenever I found myself working in a position in which I could obtain additional accreditation, I did. When I was in internal auditing, I became a certified internal auditor. When I transferred back to accounting as the assistant controller, I took additional accounting classes to qualify me to sit for the CPA exam and obtained my CPA. I also joined professional associations related to my work field and I was willing to serve in leadership positions in these groups. All of this gave me additional creditability and confidence for the promotions and success that I had in my business career.

Advice for getting a job: Don’t rely solely on working through career placement or employment agencies for that first job after college. The agency I was working with was not sending me to any of the banks so I went on my own to inquire about employment opportunities. While I did not find immediate employment at any of them, I was remembered by one bank officer who referred my resume to the accounting department when a position opened up. That’s how I got my foot in the door! Also, present yourself well and be willing to start at an entry level position.

Favorite thing about my work: I really enjoyed reviewing the financial statements after the month (or year) was closed and comparing results to prior periods and budget and explaining the differences. I was not just looking at numbers, but I was able to tell the story of the business as well…learning a lot in the process!

Favorite NMSU memory: Well, it is not class! Actually, learning to live away from my family and develop friendships with roommates, suitemates, and classmates is what I am nostalgic about the most. That, and going to Aggie basketball games!

Class most useful after graduation: Speech class. I was a shy person and I dreaded getting up in front of a group of people to give a speech. This class not only taught me how to do it, but also that I could do it and I actually enjoyed giving a speech or presentation once I got over the initial jitters. That’s good because in my career, I continually found myself giving financial presentations to small and large boards of directors and employee groups.

Contact information: snlbowl300@hotmail.com
Updated: Oct. 22, 2009