Scarlett ‘22 (Finance, Economics) and Andrew (Finance, Economics) Nunez Roa spent the earliest years of their childhood in Mexico, just next door to their grandparents. “We could easily walk over, and they always tried to teach us lessons,” Scarlett remembers.
Andrew says their family prized genuine curiosity and balance over straight A’s. “It was more important for us to be well-rounded and to get involved,” he says.
That’s one of the reasons they moved back to the U.S. while Scarlett and Andrew were nearing the end of elementary school. “Our parents were comfortable in Mexico,” Scarlett says. “But they believed to be what we truly are—Mexican American—we had to experience both countries.”
Fast-forward a decade to the UNC Greensboro Bryan School of Business and Economics, and the impact the Nunez Roa siblings have had on the School is hard to miss. From their placements on the Bryan Gold leaderboard to their involvement with the Spartan Investment Club, they’ve put their own spin on what it means to get involved—and how important it is to work together.
They believed to be what we truly are—Mexican American–we had to experience both countries.”
Scarlett and Andrew Nunez Roa
‘22 (Finance, Economics) (Finance, Economics)
When Scarlett started her freshman year four years ago, she anticipated a question that might come up in a job or internship interview: What do you do outside of class? She chose to dip her toe into the Spartan Investment Club, and liked hearing about all the career possibilities.
The more she learned about finance, the more she was drawn to it because of the opportunities to use math. “When we moved to the U.S. and I had to learn English, I did not understand the language at first. But I understood math,” she said. “Even then, I understood that numbers are universal.”
Scarlett hoped the Investment Club would help solidify her career path, but she didn’t anticipate the boost it would give her leadership skills. “Immediately that fall, I became an officer. At first, I was afraid to apply because I was just a freshman, but that’s when I learned not to let fear get the best of you,” she says. Scarlett went on to serve as the president of both the Investment Club and the Bryan Student Ambassadors, as well as the founding vice president of the Association of Latino Professionals For America at UNCG.
Andrew joined her at the Bryan School three years later. He followed in her footsteps and joined the Investment Club, where Scarlett helped him overcome his hesitance to take risks. The result: he applied and was accepted to an internship with a commercial real estate firm. “It was such a wonderful opportunity,” he says.
Naturally an introvert, Scarlett was happy to arrive on campus and discover Bryan Gold, an app-based challenge designed to bolster the personal and professional development of undergraduates. It gave her a bird’s-eye view of activities and events, making it easy to make the most of her time at the Bryan School. She quickly established herself as a regular on the leaderboard, winning the competition most recently in Spring 2021.
An extrovert who’d spent his senior year of high school in a pandemic-driven virtual world, Andrew was hungry to make connections despite the big shoes to fill. “Climbing the Bryan Gold leaderboard is thrilling,” he says. “It’s like a video game.”
During his first semester in Fall 2021, Andrew took encouragement from his professors and nabbed his own first place finish – in a Top 5 rounded out by four of his new friends in the Investment Club.
Scarlett and Andrew sometimes meet other siblings who feel resentment or jealousy over each other’s successes. Andrew understands that tendency; in fact, he experienced it in high school. “We went to the same school, and everybody recognized me as Scarlett’s younger brother. I was a little rebellious before I realized it wasn’t a bad thing!”
Their parents helped, too. “They never put us in competition with each other,” Scarlett says. “They told us to imagine what a family can do together when everyone is committed to pushing and helping each other.”
Unsurprisingly, Scarlett impressed right through to commencement, graduating in Spring 2022 with two degrees – a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics. Soon after, she started a rotational program with JP Morgan in Charlotte as a commercial banking analyst.
Meanwhile, Andrew will enter his sophomore year also pursuing a double major. He’ll miss his sister – he believes having someone to back you up helps push you forward. “But Scarlett is just a phone call away, and our one year together allowed me to be the most successful I can be.”
They told us to imagine what a family can do together when everyone is successful individually and committed to pushing and helping each other.”