Finance, friendship, and fulfillment

LSBE student Marisol Martinez creates a welcoming environment on campus. 

When Marisol Martinez picked up her mentee from Lake Superior Hall on the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) campus, the two had never met before. Paired through a mentorship in UMD’s Multicultural Center, they were sitting in Martinez’s car introducing themselves when her mentee mentioned that it was her birthday. Martinez was shocked. She had been planning on a drive around campus, but Martinez scrapped those plans and immediately said, “we have to celebrate!”

So she took her mentee out to lunch, because celebrations away from family can be hard for the first time. “I wanted to make it memorable,” she says.

A daughter of immigrants (her parents arrived in the U.S from Mexico in 1997), Martinez “wanted to pursue higher education for my parents and their dedication to having a better future.”

Martinez is a junior in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, majoring in finance, with an accounting minor. She enjoys finance because of its broad applications in the corporate world and “growing up bilingual, numbers are universal,” she says. “I learned that I was good at math. It came naturally, and I fell in love with it.”

Martinez works to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it shows through so much of what she does on campus. She’s involved in multiple organizations and has held a number of leadership positions. Among other roles, she serves as a Cultural Outreach & Retention Effort (CORE) Mentor in the Multicultural Center. CORE focuses on matching student mentors with incoming students of color to help make the transition smooth and welcoming. That’s how she met her birthday mentee. The two are still friends to this day. Martinez was proud to be a part of the remodeling of this program during 2020. 

A group of students and faculty pose for a photo with mascot Champ, a bulldog.
UMD Student Government Association representatives, including Marisol Martinez, pose with Champ the Bulldog for a photo. 

UMD has given her a wealth of opportunities, from thought-provoking courses, to engaging groups and organizations. She’s also an ambassador for CORE, where she helps with campus tours and serves as a panelist to answer questions for campus visits. Martinez is also the Office of Diversity and Inclusion intern, and holds many more roles that have helped her feel prepared for life after college. She’s especially grateful for her time as Chief Financial Officer for Student Government Association (SGA), which provided an opportunity to work through real life situations before going into the field.

And that’s an experience that she’ll be putting to use this summer at an internship with Hormel Foods, where she’ll work in their finance and accounting department. “This will be my first corporate sitting,” she says.

After Hormel, Martinez will be back at UMD for her final year. From there, she’s looking forward to going, “wherever the wind takes me,” she says.

Though she’ll explore, her roots will stay strong. “I know the importance of family will always help me find my way back home.”

"We must prioritize representation and support diverse voices in the Multicultural Center. This work is integral to our education, relationships, and personal growth." -- Marisol Martinez, LSBE Student

Marisol Martines, a student in LSBE, stands for a portrait in the business school. Photo by Eva Moua for the University of Minnesota Duluth.