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This is the first installment in a series highlighting the Class of 2017 recipients of the 1898 Scholarship Fund. Made possible by the generosity of alumni and friends, the fund to continues to expand our diverse community and further support truly exceptional candidates. Through continued generous support, we are able to help our students unlock their true potential and thereby propel future leaders to confidently navigate the uncertainties of a rapidly changing world.

Running is a way of life for Fernanda Gomez Ocejo. Beyond her success as a financial analyst, the Mexico-born athlete has competed in a half-dozen races around the world, including a 38.5-mile ultramarathon.

“At the end of the race, I cried tears of joy and tears from pain. The spectrum of feelings I experienced at that moment and the sense of satisfaction and pride I felt was worth every hour, minute, and second of training and sacrifice.”

Fernanda brings that same intensity and dedication to her work in the Full-Time MBA Program. Chicago Booth has given her a place to challenge her mind, expand her perspective, and sharpen her critical thinking.

“You really get a different perspective about how you approach different issues. Booth is not only about showing you concepts, but providing tools to help you face different challenges.”

Before coming to Chicago Booth, Fernanda was a budding entrepreneur. Partnering with her father, an interior designer, they developed a smokeless ethanol stove to help people in rural areas of Mexico access a healthier, safer in-home cooking option.

“There is a cultural issue, a tradition of cooking, so we tested it in a couple communities and they really liked it. It’s a project that still has a lot of potential and I hope to explore it further through the Social New Venture Challenge.”

Beyond her entrepreneurial aspirations, Fernanda is also looking forward to working at Nike as she heads to Portland, Oregon, for an internship with their analytics group. The opportunity will combine her personal passion with her professional expertise in a whole new way.

“I’ve always wanted to work at Nike. I wanted to get an MBA to explore new career paths that I feel passionate about and a lot of people from the Booth community helped me prepare for the recruiting process, which has definitely helped me.”