Overcoming Fears in the World of Finance: Daniela Cuevas ‘20 BSBA (Finance)

Dec. 6, 2019

Daniela Cuevas

Fear sometimes makes even the best of us question our dreams. Daniela Cuevas ’20 BSBA (Finance) feared rejection, change and new environments during her college journey, but she didn’t let any of them stop her from taking risks and turning them into learning experiences.

Cuevas’s parents originally lived in Mexico and moved to the United States to give their children a chance for new educational opportunities. Upon high school graduation, Cuevas made the decision to attend the University of Arizona to study finance, moving out of her family’s home. The change in her home environment brought up unexpected challenges for Cuevas. Since neither of her parents attended college, this was a completely new experience for both her and her family.

“In Mexico, it is not common to move away from home for college, and this situation created a much different experience for me than I was accustomed to. Not having my family at my side to help navigate the daily hardships of college life was scary. I got to the University and didn’t know where to go or what to do,” she says. “There are a lot of students and it was difficult for me to connect originally.” Putting her fears aside, Cuevas joined a sorority and reached out to her chapter’s president for advice and help.

The president invited her to an Eller Investment Club meeting, where Cuevas’ interest in finance turned into a passion: “I strongly believe in empowering women and when I saw that there were not many women in the field, it pushed me to work harder. On top of that, my family has struggled in the past with managing finances, so I wanted to become more knowledgeable to help.”

Little did Cuevas know that she would eventually become a member of the Wall Street Scholars Program, a prestigious organization in Eller’s Department of Finance that bridges the gap between the academic and professional skills needed to land internships on Wall Street. Though the program does not normally accept first year students, Cuevas did not let that stop her from attempting an interview, ultimately becoming the second first year to join the program.

This dedication helped her secure an internship with JP Morgan on Wall Street. Since then she’s landed a job at the firm, where she starts as an investment banker in the Media and Communications team after graduating in May 2020.

“The experiences I had at Eller taught me not to be afraid to connect with people or be ashamed of my background,” she explains. “I learned to always raise my hand, ask difficult questions and introduce myself to anyone and everyone—because opportunities arise from making connections.”

Cuevas plans to take this perspective everywhere she goes from here on out. “I know now I can overcome my fears and step out of my comfort zone," she says, "so that I can make the impact I want."