Stories and Articles

Andrew Esparza (’81, Management)

Andrew Esparza and the Montezuma statue


When it was time to go to college, Andy Esparza’s mother handed him a California State University catalog telling him the family could afford to send him to any CSU school. He chose SDSU. “I was looking for a good business school, a nice city with good weather and a chance to meet a lot of girls,” he said. “SDSU was a good match on all counts!”

As a management major, Andy delved into classes that centered on human resources (HR) and organizational behavior. His favorite professor was the late Professor David Belcher whom Andy recalls “taught compensation and really made it interesting. He provided a great view into the HR profession.”

An Extraordinary Career

Professor David Belcher


Once Andy earned his degree in 1981 he embarked on an extraordinary career in the field of human resources. His outstanding track record as an industry leader came to the attention of Dell Computer Corporation, who recruited Andy to join the company in 1997. After serving in several senior HR positions, he was named chief human resources officer where he reported directly to chairman and CEO, Michael Dell.

After working at Dell in Austin, Texas for 13 years, Andy left the company and started the next phase of his career as an HR consultant in 2010. A year later, Andy became involved with the newly formed Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) chapter at San Diego State University.

An Unwavering Commitment to SDSU

Andrew Esparza with Dean Dennis Cradit and Professor Michelle Dean


With support from Andy and the guidance of SDSU management professor, Michelle Dean, the SDSU chapter of SHRM grew quickly in both size and status. In 2014 – only three years after its founding - the chapter had 75 members and was recognized as an “Outstanding Student Chapter” by SHRM’s national organization, an accolade they repeated in 2015.

Andy was honored that year for his commitment to SHRM and its student members with the Aztec Achievement Award for Outstanding Alumni. In 2015, he received the Monty from the SDSU Alumni Association for his work with SHRM, his support for the Institute for Inclusiveness and Diversity in Organizations (IIDO) as well as his participation in SDSU’s Campanile Foundation and membership in the Austin Regional SDSU Council where he is a founding member.

Helping the Next Generation of Aztecs

Now the chief human resources officer at oil services and technology company Baker Hughes, Andy is grateful for the education he got at SDSU and enjoys giving back to the university. “My college education impacted me in a big way – a lot of good things happened to me while I was at SDSU,” he said. “The opportunity to help the next generation of Aztecs maximize their potential is incredibly rewarding and it’s a huge amount of fun.”