CIS News- Success Stories

Capacity to Serve

PROVO, Utah – Sep 27, 2018 – For most eighteen-year-olds, graduating high school means freedom. For Daniel Villanova, it meant more responsibility. When he graduated high school, Villanova received a calling to teach seminary in his local ward in Brazil. This was the first experience to shape his leadership abilities, and Villanova learned that “great leaders lead their people from among them.”

Villanova has continued to fine-tune those leadership skills throughout his education and inimitable work and life experiences. As a Cardon International Sponsorship (CIS) recipient and a second-year student in BYU Marriott’s Masters of Public Administration program, Villanova plans to return to Brazil to lead and innovate in his community after he graduates.

“All CIS students should be committed to help build the kingdom of God in their home countries,” Villanova says. “I got the CIS because of my commitment.”

After teaching seminary for two years, Villanova served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ then returned to Brazil to start college. A year later, he decided to move to the United States to attend LDS Business College in what was meant to be an exchange program to learn English. However, he met his wife, Leilane, that year, and they decided to both transfer to BYU.

“I felt that my career aspirations and personal development would be accomplished best by coming to BYU,” Villanova says. “And I felt clearly that the Lord wanted me here.”

Villanova graduated from BYU Marriott with a bachelor’s in business management. He then decided to get an MPA because he wants his career to intersect the private and public sectors, and he knew the MPA program would help him become a better decision maker and accomplish his goals.

Villanova has past work experience ranging from consulting to education to LDS Philanthropies. For his internship this summer, he was officially appointed by the mayor of São Paulo as a team lead to work for the secretary of planning and management. This gave him opportunities to collaborate, make calculated decisions, and prioritize time and budgets.

Along with his education and work, Villanova seeks out unique experiences in his personal life to learn and grow. He and his wife have three children, and they have moved seven times in the last seven years because of school and internships. He and his family learned Spanish—their native language is Portuguese—and attend a Spanish ward in Provo. Being trilingual helps Villanova leverage his network around the world among different cultures. His family has also hosted five foreign exchange students in their home—from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.

“We love to interact with people coming from different backgrounds,” Villanova says. “We have so much to learn from them.”

Villanova plans to use the skills he has learned at BYU Marriott to serve, innovate, and improve lives. He is particularly interested in education, economic development, and social programs.

“My dream job would use my capacity to train, influence, communicate with, and engage people,” Villanova says. “Generally speaking, I want to help improve people’s experiences here on earth.”

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Katelyn Stiles

Ciao from Milan

PROVO, Utah – Jan 19, 2018 – Ciao!

A group of MBA students from the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business packed its bags and traveled to Milan, Italy, to compete in a healthcare case competition held 24–25 November.

BYU Marriott was the only American school to apply, and of the seventy-five teams that entered, BYU ranked in the top ten and was invited to Italy where a first-place winner would be selected.

The invitation came as a result of Alexandre da Cruz, a second-year MBA student from Brazil, searching the web and finding a posting on Alira Health’s website for a case competition it was sponsoring at SDA Bocconi School of Management. Initially, only European schools were invited because the competition was meant to be small and local.

“I shared our initiative with SDA Bocconi and asked if we could at least get the case prompt and learn from the experience,” da Cruz says. “The school said, ‘As long as you’re interested in healthcare, you can come and compete with us.’”

The competition had participating teams from France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, and Portugal. The teams were made up of diverse students with most speaking two to three languages each. The BYU Marriott team took this opportunity to break the American stereotype and showcase its diversity.

“They were surprised at how diverse our team was because we’re an American team that cumulatively speaks seven languages, including Portuguese, Chinese, German, French, and more,” says Daniel McCracken, a second-year MBA student from Indianapolis, Indiana. “They figured Americans speak one language—English.”

The competition in Italy was a great experience and worth the travel, notes McCracken, who enjoyed the time he had to interact with students from Europe and enhance awareness of BYU Marriott.

“Most of the students we met hadn’t heard of BYU or BYU Marriott—now they have,” McCracken says. “Students and professors we talked to were interested in coming to the United States and potentially coming to BYU if we were to sponsor a similar event.”

Team members expressed gratitude for the clubs and organizations that sponsored their trip to Italy: the MBA program, the Whitmore Global Business Center, and the Healthcare Industry Association (HIA).

Bill Tayler, professor of accounting and the HIA advisor, thinks the most notable aspect of the case competition is how, within only a few weeks of reorganizing the HIA, students put together a team, competed, and placed in the top ten of an international competition.

“The drive and ability of BYU Marriott students is being noticed and rewarded,” Tayler says. “They are going to make a remarkable difference in the healthcare industry.”

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Emily Colon

Story of Carlos Zepeda, a former CIS student at BYU

The Cardon International Sponsorship (CIS) Program provides students from around the globe the opportunity of attending Brigham Young University. The CIS program changes the lives of its participants and impacts their future careers. Please take a few minutes to watch the story of one of those students.