2020 Best & Brightest: Elizabeth Augusta Longacre, University of San Diego

Elizabeth Augusta Longacre

University of San Diego School of Business

I am to business what Elle Woods was to law; determined and well dressed.”

Fun fact about yourself: I jumped in to 28-degree water in Antarctica.

Hometown: Stillwater, Minnesota

High School: Tri-City College Prep High (Prescott, Arizona)

Major: International Business

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Intro to Microeconomics was what inspired my love for business!

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College


  • Recipient of USD Alcalá Scholarship awarded for superior academic performance
  • Recipient of Dean’s list first honors all four years

Co-Leader of West Campus Ministry, San Diego International Church of Christ: In this role, I mentor young Christians through the “discipleship” program in order to inspire, guide, and challenge them in their spiritual walk. I also organize bi-weekly meetings to encourage member camaraderie, build relationships and aid senior leaders in planning and executing special events for the fellowship.

Director of Events/Outreach Chair, International Business Club at USD: I had the honor of serving the International Business club by directing the board to ensure executive meetings were run efficiently and professionally. I also worked with local companies to organize hosting guest speakers for maximum member engagement and organized logistical details such as where and when the general body meetings would be held. Furthermore, I managed club finances to ensure funding for a variety of events and applied problem-solving skills to challenges created by a new funding system that was still in the troubleshooting stages and negotiated solutions that served all parties involved.

Co-President, Student Vegans United, USD: As Co-President I planned semi-monthly meetings with catered food from local vegan restaurants and furthered the mission of the club by recruiting guest speakers from the Humane  League to further explore the ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. I assisted in establishing the reputation of the club as a “Changemaker Club,” an award given to clubs dedicated to social innovation and creating positive change on our campus.

Social Media Coordinator, Student Vegans United, USD: As a freshman in college, I grew a newly-founded club from having 12 members to be the second-largest club on campus with over 120 students through the use of various social media campaigns.

Where have you interned during your college career? I am currently interning at the World Trade Center of San Diego. In this role, I support the implementation of plans, strategies, and activities to maximize San Diego’s economic prosperity and competitiveness through increased global engagement.

Where will you be working after graduation? I have been offered a few positions, which I have chosen not to pursue. I am currently interviewing for a Client Associate position at Merrill Lynch.

What company do you admire the most? I love Etsy because of its mission to “Keep Commerce Human.” They are an amazing example of a company that is focused on bettering their supply chain, the marketplace, and the planet through its focus on social responsibility initiatives. Like every company, they have had their high points and their low points, but their combined focus on profit and corporate social responsibility shows that companies don’t have to sacrifice on either front.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. (Deborah) Kelly has been the most influential professor I’ve had at the University of San Diego School of Business. Her enthusiasm for teaching was so inspiring and I loved her teaching style so much that I ended up taking her for three classes. She has continued to mentor me throughout my time as an undergrad and has been instrumental in assisting me with my job search for after graduation!

 What did you enjoy most about your business school? The emphasis on experience at the University of San Diego is incredible. As an international business major, I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad three times, which has given me a perspective that I could have never had from staying in the classroom. Furthermore, the passport program—a professional development program required for graduating from the USD School of Business—has forced me to step outside of my comfort zone by encouraging me to develop my job application and networking skills. Finally, the classes offered at USD are very oriented towards real-world applications, which has helped me feel very prepared for entering the workforce!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I’ve realized that business is so much more meaningful than just numbers. It’s helping individuals achieve their dreams, empowering companies to think beyond making a profit to making a positive impact, and it has the power to shape the future of our world.

 What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is so much broader than I realized as an undergrad. What I would recommend would be to start with broad-overview introduction classes, then find what sparks your passion and pursue that.

 Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my extensive travels and cultural emersion. I have been to 35 countries on 6 continents, and I’ve frequently had the opportunity to stay in local residencies for extended periods of time. I’ve spent over a month in London, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Morocco individually, three months in Guatemala, and four in Nepal. Within my travels, I am most proud of the fact that I completed an 18-day trek to Everest base camp as a solo female traveler.

Which classmate do you most admire? Hopefully, it’s not against the rules to choose a student who has already graduated, as my top choice is Mckenna Sakamoto who graduated as a junior with a Major in Psychology and a minor in both Education and Philosophy. Her ability to connect her studies across disciplines is inspiring and one of the best examples of a liberal arts education. She even took a business class that was not in her major because she felt the need to have a basic understanding of the field.  She has been an amazing example of working hard and playing hard, as she maintained a high GPA but also encouraged our friend group to get out and explore San Diego while doing so. Now she is working at UCSD as a Neuropsychology research coordinator studying the effects of PTSD in veterans.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? As cliché as it sounds, my mother has been the biggest factor in my success. Considering her career, I’ve learned so much through watching her successes and mistakes as a high-powered attorney; her honesty about her experiences has helped me to understand what I want out of my career. Her numerous accomplishments have inspired me to work harder and dream bigger than I ever would have without her example. On a personal level, she knows exactly when I need to be pushed and when I need to take a step back and encourages me to be true to myself even when it seems to go against what others might be saying.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • I want to retire early and become a professor of business so that I can inspire others in the same way that my professors have inspired me.
  • I want to spend at least 6 months employed abroad!

What are your hobbies?

  • My number one hobby is travel. At age 17 I took a gap year on which I spent three months living in Guatemala with my childhood au pairs and four months volunteering and trekking in Nepal. I have been to 35 countries on 6 continents (Ironically, I have been to Antarctica but not Australia yet!).
  • I love investing in the stock market and maintaining a diverse personal portfolio.
  • I have been a violinist for 17 years.
  • I volunteer at Urban Angels Food Kitchen for San Diegans who are food and housing insecure once per week.

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

“Elizabeth Longacre is an exceptional example of a changemaker committed to using her business skills and global mindset to make the world a better place. As an honors student studying international business at the University of San Diego School of Business, Elizabeth has maintained a 3.85 GPA while leading student organizations within USD and the broader San Diego community. Elizabeth has enhanced her classroom learning by studying abroad in Paris, Buenos Aires, and London and through having traveled, lived and/or worked in 35 countries on 6 continents! Her cross-cultural awareness and social consciousness greatly contributed to class discussions and even influenced her senior thesis, which is focused on helping leading firms in the global fashion industry become more sustainable. Elizabeth is an outstanding graduate from USD’s class of 2020 whose business skillset, global perspective and community engagement have uniquely prepared her to lead responsibly in today’s international business environment.”

Eileen Daspro
Clinical Professor of International Business
University of San Diego School of Business


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.