In all the pictures ofÂ Sasha ChildersÂ from a spring break trip to London, her nose is red from the cold and she’s huddled in a sweater and beanie. But in spite of the chilly weather, the freshman business major â€” a Regents Scholar who had never before been outside Texas â€” loved everything about London.
Childers joined a group of 13 other business Regents Scholars, who are first-generation college students, on an all-expenses paid trip (donated by Mays supporters) to the UK’s capital city in March. They gawked at Leonardo Da Vinci’s unfinished artwork in the National Gallery of London, read 500-year-old prisoner inscriptions on the cell walls of the Tower of London, and saw the city from the London Eye. Above all, Childers said, she got to experience all the people and foods at the crossroads of history and culture that London represents.
Now Childers says she wants to study abroad, spending a semester in Spain or France as part of her college education and maybe adding an international business certificate to her program of study. “When I got there I was just in awe. Everything in me just paused for a minute,” she says of the moment she realized she was 4,860 miles from home. No one in her family has been abroad, she explains. “Now I have this desire to travel, now I want to see so many things.”
The week-long trip was just a taste of the global environment that today’s business students must be prepared to interact with in their careers, says Sonia Garcia, undergraduate recruitment coordinator for Mays and a trip chaperone. Garcia and Associate Dean Martha Loudder chose 14 of the 51 Regents Scholars in the business school for the trip based on impassioned essays explaining what they hoped to gain from an international experience. The trip was sponsored by John Speer ’71 of RoyceBuilders.com, Kevin and Jennifer Heard, and Loudder, along with her husband George.
“This really expanded their horizons and taught them to be dependent on themselves and to really get along in a different place,” Garcia says. “They became aware that there’s more to the world than Texas. And the more traveled you are, the more of an edge you have in business.”