Prospanica Webinar Series Bios

Eric Allen is the Co-Founder of, a leading admissions consultancy, and, a free admissions social network. He is a proud graduate of Brown University and University of Pennsylvania, where he served on the admissions committee at UPenn’s Wharton School of Business.

Eric has been working with candidates for the last 10 years (both formally and informally) and loves coaching applicants through the admissions process. At Wharton, Eric was a student admissions officer, where he reviewed applications of prospective MBA students. In addition to his role in admissions, Eric was a leadership fellow and held leadership roles in several on-campus clubs. Eric is a former alumni interviewer for The Wharton School and Brown University.

Andres Pazmin is an Army Officer and Helicopter Pilot with over 13 years of leadership experience. Most recently, he served as a Military Instructor at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) training officers from 8 partner nations. Andres also commanded an Aviation Flight Company based out of Fort Riley, Kansas. He supported combat operations in Afghanistan as part of OIF 13-14 leading up to the country’s first democratic elections. Andres graduated from the United States Military Academy with a BS in Foreign Area Studies. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal. Andres is devoted to his family: wife, Lizenia, and son, Paulo Antonio.


Melissa Castro is the founder of La Conexión, a Latino gourmet marketplace that celebrates, preserves and builds community. La Conexión engages sophisticated consumers through culture and cuisine providing experiences they would otherwise not have exposure to.  It also creates a haven for minorities that proactively seek places to dine and converse with diverse representation.

She’s spent the last  8+ years in hybrid project management and client services roles focused on the financial services industry. She’s excelled in reframing team dynamics, realigning clients objectives to their goals and transforming challenges into actionable recommendations for future success.

Currently, Melissa is a graduate student at Babson College completing her MBA. She serves as the fellow for the Center for Women in Entrepreneurial Leadership. In this role she conceptualized and launched the CWEL Mentoring Program, successfully recruiting and matching 40 graduate students and 40 professional women.

Rafael Barrera was born in Chicago, Illinois to Mexican immigrant parents, He is one of seven children. Growing up, he was encouraged to do well in my academics and extracurriculars, which for him meant soccer. Luckily, both earned him a scholarship to New Jersey Institute of Technology. There he majored in Business, played all four years, and upon graduation secured the start of his career in a Financial Brokerage firm next to New York. About a year into that position, he was approached by Lockheed Martin for an opportunity that would further develop his skills and bring him closer to family in Texas. Over his seven-year career there, he transitioned through multiple roles of increasing responsibility and leadership, both within my his responsibilities and in the community. Now, he is pursuing his MBA at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, concentrating in General Management and Marketing. Outside of the classroom, he is a 1915 Scholar mentor, holds multiple leadership roles in clubs/organizations, and plays soccer when time allows.