Making Her Passions a Career | Kristy Esquibel ’08

Kristy Esquibel

UCCS was a destination for Kristy Esquibel – a destination that allowed her to achieve more after obtaining not one but two degrees.  

Kristy started college knowing marketing was her passion. She loved the creative aspects but also discovered a love for finance.  

“I always had a passion for marketing because I am super creative. I quickly learned I also enjoyed finance after taking commercial banking and finance courses at UCCS,” Kristy said.  

Her love for both areas kept her excited about the future and her interests in finance became more prevalent with time. Kristy graduated in 2008 with degrees in finance and marketing from the College of Business. 

Today, Kristy is applying what she learned as a first-generation student at UCCS to real world scenarios. She was recently named the chief credit officer and executive vice president of First Southwest Bank in Alamosa, Colorado – a bank she’s worked at for the past 10 years.  

In the press release announcing Kristy’s new appointment, she shared: 

“I’m beyond excited to support First Southwest Bank in my new role as chief credit officer. Having worked for First Southwest Bank for 10 years, I have seen firsthand our impact in rural communities. Working for a mission-based CDFI bank allows me to support small businesses and contribute towards economic growth in rural communities which is my passion.” 

Garnering that passion was a combination of course work as a UCCS student, but it also came from the internships that gave Kristy insights to the accounting world. 

“While at UCCS, I had an internship with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and that taught me a lot,” Kristy said. “I also learned quickly to apply myself. Every role I’ve worked in, I’ve walked away with nuggets of information that have helped me on my career journey.” 

That journey encouraged Kristy to expand her thinking and consider how she can apply her skills and talents to her current role.  

“I remember when I first started at the bank, I was asked to write a proposed business plan. I completed that plan in one day and presented it to my leadership,” Kristy said. “From there, they gave me the opportunity, not having all the experience as a credit analyst, to go in and be a manager of the department.” 

Kristy quickly discovered that banking was the right path for her. And returning to her hometown of Alamosa to work was just the right move to open more opportunities.  

Some of those opportunities have meant selecting her own team members and providing the support they need to flourish. A key to Kristy’s success has been how she demonstrates she is an active member of the team, and she is there to contribute. 

“I believe you have to show people you will work alongside them and you’re not above them,” Kristy said.  “You are coming in with a different perspective and encourage how you can challenge the process and find efficiencies. I do know how to create partnerships to figure out how we can complete projects together.” 

In her new role she will lead efforts at First Southwest Bank, and she plans to stay just as active in her involvements outside of her career.  

“I am the President of the Alamosa Chamber of Commerce, I am a mother of two, and my husband and I own a small business,” Kristy said.  

Being active in her local community is a priority. Kristy knows that she is making a positive difference within her organization, but she is also making a difference within her community.  

“Investing in my community is important to me,” Kristy said. “Because investing gives back, and it also means that I am giving back to my children.”  

Kristy believes anything is possible with a UCCS degree and she is proof of that. When asked what advice she would give to current students, she shared this: 

“You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room. You want to showcase your abilities and what you can do. But shining through your own work will create opportunities for you. Show people what you’re capable of. Lead with good intentions, with listening, and lead with your heart.” 

About the UCCS College of Business

The College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Executive Doctor of Business Administration degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. Learn more about the College of Business at UCCS.