Having been with New Mexico State University for 18 years, Debra Cardinali, program adviser for the Master of Business Administration in the College of Business, is leaving behind her mark at the university and looking forward to retirement.
In 2004, she started her career at NMSU in the former College of Health and Social Services, advising pre-nursing students.
“When I saw an advising position open at NMSU, we were thrilled to move to Las Cruces,” she said. “I was so excited to work as an undergraduate adviser, which was new to me and a perfect fit.”
She eventually moved to the College of Business in 2010 as an undergraduate advising coordinator. In 2017, she transitioned to the MBA program. MBA advising was second nature for her. Cardinali was previously the director of admissions for the MBA program at Keller Graduate School in Chicago and Dominican University, her alma mater.
When it comes to what she’s most proud of during her career in the MBA program, Cardinali said it was receiving the “Excellence in Academic Advising” award in 2015. In 2021 and 2022, the program was named one of the best online MBA programs by U.S. News and World Report.
One of her biggest rewards was playing a role in helping students make the most of their academic journey, graduate and start their careers.
“We have had outstanding students throughout the years. Many have gone on to Fortune 500 companies and became CEOs, entrepreneurs, project managers, marketing directors, financial managers and consultants, to name a few,” she said. “Many of the MBA alum keep in contact mainly to recruit our MBA graduates for their companies as they think that highly of the program.”
Now that Cardinali is at the end of her career, she said academic advising has been her passion and incredibly fulfilling.
“Several of our MBA graduates have chosen academic advising as a career field. It was the greatest career decision I made 24 years ago,” she said. “I’ve loved working with our students, and I’m proud of the advances the College of Business has made. As I look forward to a new chapter in my life, I will truly miss being part of this great institution!”