PSEO Success Spotlight: Anthony Espinoza

Anthony Espinoza

Marketing major awarded full-ride Best Buy Scholarship to U of M

Anthony Espinoza, 18, attended Inver Hills Community College as a Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) student from Apple Valley High School. Anthony made the most of his time at Inver Hills. His dedication to his coursework earned him a Best Buy Scholarship that covers the cost of attendance for four years at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, which amounts to roughly $31,000 a year. He also received a U of M Scholarship for $1,000 a year.

Dorm life

“Inver Hills encouraged me to continue doing college-level work that eventually led me to a top university,” he said, noting how he was offered a full-tuition scholarship to the GHR Fellows program at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. The scholarship also covers a full, study-abroad opportunity, but Anthony opted to major in marketing at the U of M, where he lives on campus in Sanford Hall.

“Living in a dorm is pretty good,” Anthony said. “You feel very independent and like you can do whatever you want. The dining hall food is pretty good, and there are also floor events that we have once a month that I usually attend. I have met a lot of people from living in the dorms and we sometimes go out.”

Anthony is earning his Bachelor of Science in Business (B.S.B.) in Marketing at Carlson and is on track to graduate in 2025.

Scott Sandok, economics faculty at Inver Hills, wrote a Anthony a letter of recommendation for the GHR Fellow program scholarship. Scott taught two classes Anthony especially enjoyed, Principles of Macroeconomics and Principles of Microeconomics.

“I’m thrilled to see Anthony recognized for his hard work and talent,” Scott said. “Earning a four-year scholarship at the University of Minnesota provides a fantastic opportunity for Anthony to continue his educational journey. I’m genuinely excited to see what the future holds for this remarkable former student!”

In addition to his studies, Anthony worked while going to Inver Hills.

“My first year at Inver, I was a sandwich artist at Subway,” he related, “and then in my second year I got a job at Walmart. I worked during the summer full-time at Walmart as an electronics associate. This summer, I plan to intern with Best Buy to discover new possible careers and opportunities. I definitely plan on going go into real estate.”

More about Anthony…

Cuenca, Ecuador

Anthony’s parents are originally from Cuenca, Ecuador. His dad, Julio, works as a cook at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel; his mom, Gladis, works at Subway—she was Anthony’s coworker when he worked there.

“My mom and dad both come from farming families and only completed middle school,” he said. “They arrived in the U.S in their 20s. Around the time I was born, they were both working two jobs.”

Anthony has three siblings. His brother, Brandon, is 17 years old and is currently attending Inver Hills as a PSEO student from AVHS. His other brother, Steven, is 10, and his sister, Valeria, is 4.

In his free time, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family when he visits on weekends. On Fridays, he plays forward and midfielder on his soccer team and goes out with his friends.

“Playing video games is still something that I do,” Anthony said. “I make sure I make time to get in a few games per week on my gaming laptop. usually play GTA, Call of Duty, and Fortnite.”

Anthony was invited to join Carlson THRIVE, a program created for first generation and/or from historically underrepresented students who demonstrate a commitment to learning and leadership development.

“I like going to THRIVE events to take advantage of professional development and community-building opportunities,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of group gatherings that provide meals and a guest speaker. The most recent and most exciting THRIVE event was at YMCA Camp Ihduhapi. We did rock climbing and hiked all over the campus.”

Anthony Espinoza family gallery

More about PSEO at Inver Hills…

The Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program allows 10th, 11th and 12th grade students to earn credits that can meet high school graduation requirements while simultaneously earning transferable college credits. Dual credit courses offer high school students the opportunity to enroll in rigorous courses that further prepare them for postsecondary education.

Inver Hills allows PSEO students to take courses that are held on the college’s campus in Inver Grove Heights or online either full time or part time. PSEO offers students a wide variety of class offerings as well as the opportunity to pursue more challenging coursework than may be available at the high school level.

The PSEO program covers the cost of tuition, fees, and required textbooks and materials for college-level courses taken for high school credit. Students who continue their education beyond high school can transfer their PSEO coursework as college credits, saving both time and money to complete a college degree.

PSEO students are responsible for providing their own transportation to campus. Parking is available on campus and you do not need a special permit. Inver Hills is on the Metro Transit bus route and offers the College Pass discount. Reimbursement for transportation expenses may be available through the school district if the family’s income level is at or below the federal poverty guidelines.


Anthony Espinoza Q & A

Anthony Espinoza
How did your time at Inver Hills help prepare you for transfer to the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management?

The way classes are scheduled at Inver Hills is very similar to the University of Minnesota. Every other day you have class—and on the days you don’t you do homework and study. The way exams are run at Inver Hills also prepared me for the U of M. There are only two exams per semester at Carlson, and Inver Hills helped me study differently and find out the best ways to learn.

I also took many business classes at Inver Hills, which really confirmed that I wanted to be a business major. The Inver business classes gave me an introduction to business that has helped me adjust to university coursework.

What motivated you to major in marketing at Carlson?

I was a part of AVID in high school. In my freshmen year, we took a field trip to a large company in Minneapolis. During the field trip, we were introduced to different careers such as medicine and financial analysis. This was the first time I found out about financial analysis and the many career fields in business.

From then on, pursuing a degree in business has always been my goal. Furthermore, the business classes I took in Inver Hills—such as economics and managerial accounting—allowed me to discover that I really feel passionate about earning a degree of marketing.

What are the main reasons you’ve chosen your future career path?

I would say that social media has played a huge role in what career I want to pursue. Many people online post about what they do on a daily basis according to what job they have. I found an interest in real estate when I watched a video someone posted on what realtors do.

Real estate is not a basic job where you go in from nine to five and work for a daily rate; real estate is a job that I believe has many opportunities and benefits if you can learn how to do it properly.

Apart from that, I am not set on a career just yet, but I hope with the Best Buy internships I will be taking during the summer, I can find a good fit. However, I hope that no matter what specific career field I get into, I will be able to make my way up to a managerial position to have more freedom and flexibility in what I do.

How can college students increase their chances of receiving scholarships?

I would say standing out is a huge factor in receiving a scholarship. Making sure that you maintain a good GPA and taking on some outside activities can help increase your chances at scholarships. When writing an essay for a scholarship, it is important to make your essay stands out; have other people look over the draft before you submit your essay.

I would also say making the effort to really look for scholarships is a big factor as well. Many people from my graduating year were more focused on getting into a specific college and ignored the cost. There are many scholarships out there for diverse students, and the effor can help you save a lot.

What advice would you give Inver Hills students thinking about transferring to a four-year school?

Join clubs and events because that will allow you to gain new friends and give you the experience of a four-year college. Make sure that you have time for yourself. Going outside or exercising is something huge that many people forget. Many first-year students often get very stressed with their schoolwork, and it’s important to make sure you give yourself time off when you are falling behind.

What person has influenced you the most in life and why?

My cousin Magaly. She has helped me through my educational career, and she also did PSEO at Inver Hills back in 2010. She helped me with my college application and gave me many tips on what colleges look for in an application. Magaly is currently a Spanish instructor and graduate student at the University of Minnesota, pursuing her Doctorate in Language Arts.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I see myself being in a managerial position and working for a big company. I hope to have traveled a lot and even have moved to a larger state like New York. By then I hope to have started a family and have settled in a nice home.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills:


Anthony Espinoza 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Soccer
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Japan
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Going to Ecuador and visiting all the amazing zoos and museums that they have.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Take my whole family to travel around the world  2) Donate a lot of it to charity, including “feed my starving children”
    3) I would also invest some of it for future generations to keep some wealth
  5. Time period you would explore if you could time travel: Ancient times like Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt to get a better idea on how civilization started
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Venom: Let there Be Carnage
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Travel to at least every continent
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Owl
  9. Dream occupation: Being CEO of a successful business
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Elon Musk
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: How to play piano
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: I took a class in Inver Hills called The Research Paper, and my topic was about the poverty in Somalia; not only did I learn about the malnutrition and poverty that Somalia faces, but I also learned a lot about poverty around the world; richer countries need to start recognizing the need that poorer countries are facing and help out before things get worse
Learn more about attending Inver Hills by contacting:

Admissions Team
College Center

Learn more about the Transfer Pathway Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Economics at Inver Hills by contacting:

Scott Sandok
Economics Faculty

Learn more about PSEO at Inver Hills by contacting:

Mary Kadrlik
PSEO Admissions Advisor

More about Economics at Inver Hills

Economics courses at Inver Hills give you a strong foundation in economics, covering areas such as the world economy and microeconomics. If you are considering economics or a related field as your major, you can transfer your Inver Hills coursework to a four-year college or university.

Transfer Pathway A.A. in Economics: 60 credits

This Transfer Pathway A.A. degree program offers you the powerful opportunity to complete an associate degree and transfer with junior-year status to designated economics bachelor’s degree programs at one of six Minnesota State universities.

Earning this A.A. degree requires completing the Economics Pathway curriculum (14 credits), additional general education courses (26 credits), health and physical education courses (2 credits), and electives (18 credits) to bring your credit total to 60.

If you plan on transferring to a non-Minnesota State university (including the University of Minnesota), we recommend that you to consult with an Inver Hills academic advisor or counselor and someone at intended transfer school to determine the transferability of the courses in the Economics curriculum.

To guarantee admission to a Minnesota State university designated bachelor’s program in your major, you must first meet the admitting institution’s minimum transfer GPA and then the admission to major GPA.

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