2020 Best & Brightest: Daniela Cuevas, University of Arizona (Eller)

Daniela Cuevas

University of Arizona, Eller College of Management

“Latina boxer and bad karaoke singer that wants to inspire others to find their voice.”

Fun fact about yourself: I once sold my car to go to a Bruno Mars concert.

Hometown: Glendale, AZ (Family originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX)

High School: Mountain Ridge High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Spanish

Favorite Business Course: Financial Modeling

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Leadership Roles

Bobcats Senior Honorary – President

13 seniors are chosen as student representatives for the University of Arizona Alumni Association and student body that uphold the traditions of the University of Arizona.

Association of Latino Professionals for America – President

A club dedicated to the professional development of young Latino business students by providing workshops to develop interpersonal and technical skills.

Wall Street Scholars Program – Investment Banking Scholar

Mentor 7 Investment Banking sophomores by providing guidance within this student-led financial development program to help them attain an internship within high finance.

Other Extracurricular Activities

  • Alpha Phi – sorority member
  • SEO Career – success participant
  • Investments Club – member

Community Work

  • Youth On Their Own – Fundraised over $500 by selling Valentine’s Day cards throughout my business college through the Association of Latino Professionals for America.
  • Ben’s Bells – Volunteer

School Awards and Honors

  • Arizona Assurance Scholarship
  • Dean’s List with Distinction
  • Eller’s Scholar of the Year and Eller’s Collegiate Woman of the Year
  • Intel Corporation Minority Business Scholarship
  • McCord Scholarship
  • University of Arizona Wildcat Excellence Scholarship
  • William J. Sheoris Scholarship
  • Will and Catherine Jenkins Scholarship

Where have you interned during your college career? Sophomore and Junior summers:  J.P. Morgan – NYC, NY – Investment Banking Summer Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation? J.P. Morgan, Media and Communications Investment Banking Analyst

What company do you admire the most? The company that I admire most is my aunt’s company. It is called Mary’s Auto Sales. Her company is a used car dealership that has two different locations in Phoenix, Arizona. The story about how this company was created is what makes it so great. At 15 years-old, my aunt lost her mom in Mexico and decided to migrate to the United States. This courageous decision allowed her to pursue her dreams of becoming a business owner. Through several years of ups-and-downs, she was able to – without a high school diploma or college degree – create a business of her own. Mary’s Auto Sales is a successful small business that has given me the opportunity to learn more about how to take risks and has first-hand taught me important skills such as perseverance and determination.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Alice Bonaime, who teaches Corporate Finance. Aside from being an incredible professor, Professor Bonaime is someone who truly cares about the success of her students. She has the capability to teach the same concept in at least three different ways, adapts her class to her students’ needs, and even goes as far as to create a question bank with interview questions that her students have received in order to help her future students. She is a professor who is passionate about helping others and is invested in all of the aspirations of her students.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The thing that I enjoyed most about the Eller College of Management is the sense of community that it has. Although there are thousands of students in my business school, it has always felt like home. The amount of support that is given to every student is tremendous. There are also more than 30 clubs that allow students to find their niche and find friends and classmates who share the same interests.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson that I have gained from studying business is that storytelling is a very important skill to have to be successful in a business-related field. Whether it was telling a recruiter about who you are or presenting a pitch to a company that should follow your strategic advice, it seemed to be that it all came down to who can tell the better story. The technical analysis is important, but how you communicate what you learned through your analysis is even more important.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The opportunity is endless, so do not close any doors. I think one thing that I realized while studying a business-related field is that your degree does not define what you have to do as a career. Business skills are used in every profession and majoring in any business-related field will give someone transferable skills that can be applied to any profession.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? At the end of the day, it’s all about the people. When I was little, I always thought that business was about crunching numbers. It wasn’t too long after I entered college that I quickly changed my mind. A major part of business is learning how to communicate with others, assess their needs, and identify what is the best way to cater to those needs. Sure, all the analysis is important, but it does not mean anything if there is not someone who can correctly tell the story. It amazes me how much people matter in business.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of becoming the president of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). This club is dedicated to the professional development of young Latino students by providing workshops to develop their interpersonal and technical skills. As a first-generation Latino student, myself, I am very grateful to be able to interact with so many individuals that share a lot of the same cultural values. I am proud to be able to promote diversity within my college and help Latino students reach their professional goals.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate that I admire most is Kameron Peyton. Kameron is a Neuroscience and Cognitive Science major with a Neurobiology Emphasis as well as a minor in Biochemistry. He is also on the academics’ team for the Student Office for the Honors College, the vice president of a senior honorary, the vice president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, just to name a few of his involvements. But even though he is insanely busy with his involvement on campus, he is a ‘Yes’ man – the best kind of yes man. He is someone who no matter, the day, time, or hour if someone needs help will always be there. But what amazes me most about him is that his quality of work never ever lessens. He is a true representation of the perfect student, who is well-rounded, studious, caring, respectful, and most of all hard-working.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my dad, Marco Cuevas, for my success. My dad moved to the United States with my mom when they were around 25 years old in hopes of providing my brother and I better educational opportunities. For this, I am eternally indebted and grateful for the actions of my father and will forever strive to make him proud. He has taught me what it means to never give up and to always seize an opportunity that comes my way.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are to get my MBA and to become a board member of a charity focused on providing educational opportunities for minorities.

What are your hobbies? I absolutely love to box. I also like dancing, studying health and fitness, attending concerts, and watching football.

What made Daniela such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Dani is a once-in-a-decade type of student. Smart and ambitious, Dani finished top of her class, all while being involved on campus and giving back to her community by mentoring others interested in finance. Dani’s passion and drive are inspiring to those around her. She serves an example to current and future students and is sure to go far.”

Dr. Alice Bonaime
Associate Professor of Finance
Philip Rhoads Fellow in Finance


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