2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Nayeli Aguirre, University of Denver (Daniels)

Nayeli Aguirre

University of Denver, Daniels College of Business

“A bubbly, energetic, and ambitious individual who enjoys a challenge to push my comfort zone.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’d rather hold a tarantula than let a butterfly get close to me.

Hometown: Brighton, Colorado

High School: Brighton High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Computer Science

Favorite Business Course: FIN 3300: Investments with Prof. Alex Petkevich. This was the first class I took that I knew was challenging and may not have totally aligned with my interests. After passing the class the reward at the end of the quarter emphasized that I could do hard things and helped me with future success in difficult classes.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Microsoft Office Certification Program Teaching Assistant Coordinator
  • Hornbeck Scholars and Dean’s List Recipient
  • Daniels College of Business Student of the Week Recognition
  • Finance Club Member
  • Community Change Initiative in partnership with Nourish Colorado through the Pioneer Leadership Program

Where have you interned during your college career?

Head of Institutional Sales at NuRange Coffee in Denver

IT Integration Support at High Plains Bank in Longmont

Where will you be working after graduation? After my undergraduate graduation in Finance, I will spend my Summer as a Tech Assurance intern at KPMG in Denver and return to DU in the Fall to pursue my Master’s in Accounting, Technology, and Analytics.

Who is your favorite business professor? On the first day of class, Professor Tom Hall gave all his students some advice that has stuck with me. Honestly, if I had received this feedback earlier in my college career, it would not have resonated so deeply. He told us to be smart enough, work hard, and have good people skills.

Following this first day of class, I chose to delete all social media and start reading every day. I developed stronger self-discipline and a larger capacity to do hard things. I wanted greater satisfaction from doing things I didn’t think I was capable of, but had let the fear of failing stop me from pursuing this for most of my college career. Professor Tom Hall is a great example of what it looks like to be a self-disciplined and kind individual who truly does want to see his students succeed.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I have found the most satisfaction from taking the difficult opportunities. Whether it was an intimidating course or an interview I was nervous about, the opportunity seemed scary at first – but once I made it to the end, the reward was worth it. As I have progressed in my business journey, I have started taking more challenging classes with professors who have high expectations. This is something I wish I had started earlier in my Daniels career.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? When I started studying business, I wasn’t aware of how in-depth the courses could get. I wasn’t sure what getting a degree in business looked like and what type of job opportunities this would lead to. I most enjoyed the diversity that I have been exposed to. I’ve worked at a startup company in which the founders were quite insightful, great to work with, and exposed me to an environment that not many get to experience – the hustle of starting a company! The following summer, I started working at a bank’s technology department, which is what pushed me to pursue my Master’s. Majoring in business has helped me understand that I appreciate a challenge and that I can venture outside of the roles typically associated with being a “Finance” major. As a business student, I have been able to explore various career paths and have not been limited to new adventures.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I wouldn’t avoid the topics that scare me. I’d shy away from my accounting classes because I thought it would be too difficult and I would fail. My fear of failing held me back from pursuing difficult experiences. I would have started my Computer Science minor sooner. I would have taken classes with a daunting course description. Now that I am taking the classes that challenge me and I am required to learn new ways to study, it is more rewarding, and I will continue to take advantage of the opportunities that expand my capacity to do hard things.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I have invested most of my time at DU working within the Undergraduate Microsoft Office Specialist Program as a TA Coordinator. I have enjoyed working with the team of 22 TAs and with students in labs. I have seen the culture of the team flourish and create such a welcoming and inviting environment to be a part of. I truly have loved being part of this great program and supporting the TAs within it.

Which classmate do you most admire? I met Hannah McDonald early in my college career through the MOS program. She first saw my potential as a leader within the MOS program and helped me grow into the person I am today. She inspires me to become a more balanced leader and motivates me to grow and be a better version of myself. Hannah is great at handling conflict and helping those around her grow to their full potential. She continues to push me out of my comfort zone, is there to encourage me in my professional and personal life, and reminds me to take things slow with a level head.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my parents for being there to push me when I needed motivation and encourage me when I didn’t know what to do next. They have always been there to remind me that at the end of the day, all that matters is if I am proud of the person I am becoming and the decisions I am making. They inspire me to work hard and to keep growing and learning by pushing myself to redefine my comfort zone.

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

  1. Get my CPA by Summer 2025
  2. Contribute to a platform dedicated to enhancing financial literacy and fostering self-discipline among individuals

What made Nayeli such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“I had the privilege of working with Nayeli Aguirre as both her former academic advisor and former supervisor for her TA Coordinator role with the Daniels College of Business Microsoft Certification Program. Nayeli is the rare kind of student who is not only naturally curious about a wide variety of disciplines, but seeks challenges in all of her classes. Her unwavering passion for learning coupled with highly ambitious goals eventually led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance, a minor in Computer Science, and a Master of Science in Accounting, Technology & Analytics. Nayeli’s high standards for herself and her learning environment encourages her peers to also challenge themselves in both classroom and co-curricular settings. As a natural leader, Nayeli seamlessly transitioned into her role as a TA for the Microsoft Office Specialist Program (MOS), quickly establishing herself as one of the team’s most capable TAs. What sets Nayeli apart is her unique blend of advanced technical expertise and genuine concern for the student experience. In her leadership position with the MOS team, Nayeli encouraged TAs to elevate their own technical skills (including developing and teaching an exceptional XLOOKUP lab), while also advocating for an inclusive and equitable space for TAs and students to develop essential business skills. Nayeli is fiercely passionate about following her principles and ideals, and not afraid to speak her mind about opportunities for continuous improvement. She was an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024 because she made Daniels a better place for her peers, the students she taught, the TAs, and all of us lucky enough to interact with her.”

McKenzie Mohler
Director of Student Success Operations


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