CIBS Ambassador Program
CIBS Ambassadors utilize their international experience to:
- Assist CIBS in its globalizing mission by sharing their international experiences with current and prospective business students through formal programs, informal settings, and weekly CIBS office hours
- Enrich Mays Business School’s students’ international cultural awareness and global acumen
- Recruit Mays students for the various programs provided by Mays Business School and Texas A&M University.
The following students were selected to serve as CIBS Ambassadors for the 2019-2020 academic year:
Meet the Ambassadors
Charlie Hernandez ’21
- Business Honors
- Internship (China)
Howdy, my name is Charlie Hernandez! I am a sophomore Business Honors and Finance major from the great city of Houston. I am a first generation student, the baby in a family of 7, and the proud father one one son (he’s a dog; his name is White Sox). Being in Mays is an experience foreign to not only myself, but to my family; pursuing collegiate education is in itself astonishing to my siblings and parents. When the first day of class rolled in, I set a goal for myself: at least once a year, I will travel. It doesn’t matter where I go – whether it be in the states or somewhere on the other side of the world – I will venture to places unknown to me. So far, I’ve kept up with my goal. During the summer of 2018, I was fortunate enough to intern in Xi’an, China, working with a Human Resource outsourcing and consulting company. I toured great, historic monuments, and made even greater friends, many of which I keep in touch with. This experience fueled my flame of wanderlust, and I plan to keep this goal alive throughout my life. I made the decision to act as a 2018-19 Center for International Business Studies Student Ambassador to help others realize the extraordinary experiences found abroad. Whether it be in South America, or in Europe, in Africa, India, China or other nations in the Eastern half, I would like to help Mays students expand and strengthen their global perspective. I look forward to working with the CIBS team on behalf of Mays Business School and Texas A&M, and hope to help other students experience new worlds.
Jake Billings ’19
- REEP Semester (China)
Howdy! My name is Jake Billings, and I am a senior accounting major from Tyler, Texas. My interest in China began in high school when I had the opportunity to teach English in Xi’an, China, for an entire summer. Even with that fairly short experience, the Chinese culture became so fascinating to me that I knew I had to study there if I received the opportunity in college. Last fall, my dream came true: CIBS gave me the opportunity to study at Peking University in Beijing, China. Experiencing the Chinese business environment both inside and outside of the classroom was very rewarding. I was able to attend lectures from some of China’s highly acclaimed professors and visit regional businesses like online retailer JD.com. Although I learned a lot – from culture to cuisine, and met so many awesome people – I think I have barely scratched the surface of this truly fascinating country. My semester exchange has provided me a new perspective to use in both business and life; that is the real value of studying abroad.
Elizabeth Key ’20
- Business Honors, Supply Chain Management
- REEP Semester (Spain)
Howdy! My name is Elizabeth Key and I am a Supply Chain Management major from Atlanta, Georgia. I am passionate about the Spanish language and culture. During spring breaks in high school, I traveled with my church to the Dominican Republic and Peru. In June 2015, I had the opportunity to study at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in Spain. I returned to Spain the next summer with my church to do missions. After almost ten years of studying the language, I was able to live in Madrid for the spring semester of 2018 and attend the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. The classes I took there went towards my business degree and my Spanish minor. In Madrid, I lived with three friends that I met through classes in Mays. We traveled almost every weekend to other cities in Spain, France, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, Morocco, and more! A global mindset is one of the greatest assets that Mays Business School offers its students. I learned a great deal from taking classes at UC3M, but even more from friendships with students from all over the world.
Anna Vigdorov ’19
- REEP Summer (Norway)
Howdy! My name is Anna Vigdorov and I am a senior PPA major getting my bachelors in Accounting and masters in Financial Management. I’m from Katy, TX, but like most, I group myself in with Houston. Growing up in a Russian family, I was always traveling back to visit grandparents, and that’s where my love for travel arose. Coming into Mays as a freshman, I knew that I wanted to study abroad no matter what. I started showing up at the CIBS office once a week bugging all of the advisors on what steps I need to take to make my trip happen. Summer going into junior year, I was fortunate enough to do a summer exchange program in Oslo, Norway. I spent the summer white water rafting, traveling across Norway, and making friends from all around the world. I came back into junior year with stories to tell for hours, and an added perspective to various cultures. One of the greatest things I have done for myself during my collegiate career is study abroad, and I would strongly push for anyone even thinking about it, to go ahead and take the leap! Our CIBS office does an amazing job with organization and helping each and every student achieve their study abroad dream. The worst that can happen is coming home with a ton of new friends, and knowledge that is not available within a classroom!
Amanda Boliek ’20
- Management Information Systems
- Nordic Summer Faculty-led
Howdy! My name is Amanda Boliek, and I am a senior management information systems major from Liberty Hill, Texas. This past summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Helsinki, Finland for a month. This was my first time traveling to a different continent, so I was extremely excited to see more of the world and learn about new cultures. While I was there, I experienced the Nordic Business culture through various classes and company visits. Not only did I learn so much more about the global business environment, but I also made an incredible group of friends on the trip. While studying in Helsinki, I had the chance to travel to Estonia and the Czech Republic too. Studying abroad really opened my eyes to the incredible cultures that exist outside of the United States, and I would definitely recommend traveling abroad to everyone.
Maureen McClellan ’18
- MS-Human Resource Management
- Global Business Brigades (Panama), Southern Africa Winter Faculty-led, Internships (Argentina & Spain)
Howdy! My name is Maureen McClellan and I am a MS-HRM student from Katy, TX. My love for traveling began when I was a baby – I first left the country when I was only six months old. Discovering and understanding different cultures has become my passion; to date I have visited 27 countries. Texas A&M has provided me with the opportunity to travel to 3 different continents during my time here and has given me the chance to study, work, and live abroad. As a freshman, I had my first international experience through CIBS. I went to Panama for a week to apply what I had learned in my business classes by teaching local people in indigenous communities about micro-finance and serving as a consultant to small businesses. The following year I participated in a faculty-led program to South Africa and Swaziland to learn about non-profits and entrepreneurship. I spent half of my junior year in Spain for an internship with the government and was in Argentina for two months before my last year of undergrad, interning for a private oil company. International experiences have shaped my time here at A&M and have had an enormous impact on my education. What I have gained from these trips has not only reinforced everything I have learned in the classroom, but also taught me things you can’t learn from a textbook. I am a better global citizen in this world because of the opportunities offered to me by CIBS and A&M.
Monica Swei ’20
- Business Honors, Supply Chain Management
- Ecuador & Peru Summer Faculty-led
Howdy! My name is Monica Swei and I am a senior Business Honors and Supply Chain Management major from Plano, TX. Growing up in a dual-background family, I have always been instilled with an appreciation for different cultures and the world around me. I have been half way across the world to China and South Korea on family vacations, but two summers ago I had the opportunity to go to Latin America for the first time. I went on the Ecuador and Peru Business trip for two weeks in May, and what an adventure it was! I chose this program because I wanted to step into a space outside of my comfort zone. I have also been studying Spanish for the past eight years and wanted the opportunity to use it beyond a classroom setting. Between seven plane rides in just two short weeks, I saw so much of each country’s unique culture, cuisine, and natural beauty. Ecuador and Peru truly exceeded my expectations. I saw volcanoes in Ecuador, walked along the beach in Mira Flores, and even hiked up Machu Picchu. Taking a moment to pause and observe the world around you is the best way to grow. You learn how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and you are challenged to think about your experiences with a different lens. I hope that everyone has the opportunity to broaden their perspective of the world by going abroad, and the CIBS office is a great resource to help get you started.
Aaron Gonzalez ’20
- India Winter Faculty-Led & Spain Summer Faculty-Led
Howdy! My name is Aaron Gonzalez and I am a senior accounting major from McAllen, Texas. From a young age, I’ve always known that I wanted to travel the world. I not only wanted to see beautiful places and meet fantastic individuals, but also grow as a person. I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad twice, first in India and then in Spain. Studying abroad in India was so fascinating because I got to see so much authentic culture as well as meet with top level business executives. In Spain, I was able to experience what it would be like to live in a foreign country. I’d say that studying abroad had the most impact on my college experience and made me into the individual I am today. I realized how much more there is out in the world besides just my hometown or even Texas. I wouldn’t trade my time abroad for anything in the world and I absolutely encourage anyone to try and do one as well.
Sofia Samuelson ’21
- Transfer Credit with ISA: Argentina Semester
Howdy! My name is Sofia Samuelson and I am a junior accounting and Spanish major from Houston, Texas. Coming into college, I knew I wanted to study abroad in Latin America because I have been studying Spanish for many years now and have developed a big passion for it. In spring 2019, I got the amazing opportunity to spend a semester living in Buenos Aires, Argentina with International Studies Abroad (ISA), a transfer credit program. I studied at the Universidad de Belgrano and earned credit for my Spanish degree and international electives at Mays. This was my first time ever traveling outside of the country, and it was a wild adjustment at first. However, I absolutely loved my time there, from living with an Argentine host family, traveling across the country, becoming assimilated into the culture and making that city my home. I learned an unbelievable amount about myself and the world while I was over there, and by the end of the semester I was so sad to go! One of my favorite parts of the entire experience was being able to form relationships with both locals and other travelers from all over the world. Since my grandparents are from Argentina, I also got to meet a lot of extended family I didn’t even know I had and learn more about the deep roots my family has in the country. I already know I want to be able to go back at some point, and can’t wait for that opportunity! Studying abroad truly impacted my perspectives on life and strengthened my desire to work internationally in the future. Everyone should try to go abroad at some point, especially during their college career!
Rachel Hendricks ’20
- REEP Semester (Italy)
Howdy! My name is Rachel Hendricks and I am a senior marketing major from Houston, Texas! Besides serving as a CIBS Student Ambassador I am heavily involved in my sorority and I spend much of my free time teaching group fitness classes at our Student Rec Center. My mom has been a flight attendant for over 30 years so I spent a great amount of my childhood in the airport waiting to catch free flights. I believe this is where my love of travel and adventure is rooted. I have been to dozens of states within the US, but until my semester abroad I had only been outside of the country to Mexico. I always felt like a summer abroad wouldn’t quite be long enough to fulfill my international dreams, so I decided to take the leap and go away for a whole semester. I lived in Venice, Italy for 4 months and studied at Ca’ Foscari University. It was the greatest adventure of my life to date. I came away from the semester with the craziest stories to tell and a deeper appreciation for both Italy AND the United States. I am more confident and capable because of it. A semester may seem like a long time but you will most likely spend 7/8 semesters at Texas A&M and only 1/8 semesters abroad. I can promise it is worth it. I can’t wait to spend my time this year encouraging other students to live out their own study abroad dreams!
Would you like to be a student ambassador? Ambassador applications will soon be accepted for the 2020-2021 school year!