Esteban Lopez '01, '05

- Alumni; On Campus

The school is small enough to provide leadership opportunities.

When Esteban Lopez left his home in Ecuador to enroll in the master's degree in finance program, his goals were to earn his degree, work in the finance industry for a couple of years and return home to make a contribution to a nation undergoing "a political and economic transformation."

Instead, he stayed for more than a decade, earned two master's degrees and built a resume based on his work for a nonprofit that recruited minority students to a dozen private colleges and universities, including SNHU. He also served on the board of directors for the Community College System of New Hampshire, the Endowment for Health and other nonprofits.

"The financial industry was in recession, so I took a job in education," Esteban says.

A highlight of his work for the New Hampshire College and University Council was the "Latino Initiative," a recruiting effort that targeted Latino high school students.

"I used economic tools to help underrepresented groups get access to higher education," he says. He could speak from experience and was an enthusiastic ambassador for SNHU.

"The size is definitely right and there are a lot international students," he says. "The school is small enough to provide leadership opportunities."

Esteban, who earned a master's degree in finance in 2001 and a master's in community economic development in 2005, says he utilized the critical thinking and problem-solving skills his professors fostered. Thanks to ESL classes and his professors' support, he became fluent in English.

"Every single class was very important," he says.

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