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Student Experiences

2011 Eccles Scholars Announced

The Kay and Yvonne Whitmore Global Management Center at Brigham Young University recently named five first-year MBA students as Eccles Scholars and awarded each recipient $10,000 to explore careers in global business. The honor encourages them to make the world their campus.

2011 Eccles Scholars. From left, Benjamin Rich, Ammon Shumway, James Toone, Mason Chenn and Cecilia Yiu
2011 Eccles Scholars. From left, Benjamin Rich, Ammon Shumway, James Toone, Mason Chenn and Cecilia Yiu

"The award recognizes students who, immediately into their MBA program, begin thinking about their interest in international business," says Lee Radebaugh, director of the Whitmore Global Management Center. "It helps them engage in international experiences in their first summer as graduate students."

This year's Eccles Scholars include Mason Chenn from Hong Kong; Benjamin Rich from Kaysville, Utah; Ammon Shumway from Moab, Utah; James Toone from American Fork, Utah; and Cecilia Yiu from Hong Kong. Scholars were selected based on international experience, foreign language proficiency, GPA, GMAT score, career goals and faculty recommendations.

"It was a difficult decision because every candidate fit the profile of an Eccles Scholar," Radebaugh says. "These five students stood out because of their impressive backgrounds and their high potential to succeed."

A team of six professors specializing in global management, including Radebaugh, interviewed each applicant and gave their recommendations for the prestigious award. The scholarship provides funds for tuition and travel, allowing scholars to trot the globe, meet with multinational organizations and executives, and learn more about the intricacies of a career in international business.

The Eccles Scholarship is funded by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. To ensure that the Eccles' philanthropic work continued beyond their lifetimes, the foundation was formed in 1960 and supports a variety of projects and programs throughout the Beehive state. The foundation is particularly committed to promoting quality education — it funds programs on nearly every college and university campus in Utah.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

2011 Eccles Scholar Bios

Mason Chenn

Mason Chenn learned to blend both Asian and American cultures from a young age while growing up in both Spokane, Wash., and Hong Kong. Later, Chenn utilized his global perspective and language skills on a daily basis while serving a Mandarin speaking LDS mission to San Francisco. After his mission, he came to BYU to pursue a bachelor's degree in molecular biology, but he knew that he had a love for international business. As an undergraduate student, Chenn combined science and business while working with Thermo Fisher Scientific, evaluating foreign distributors and potential markets in China, the Philippines and Malaysia. After graduation in 2005, Chenn went on to be a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch and regional vice president at, always working with an international focus. Even outside of work, Chenn seemingly has one foot in Asia and one in America. He has assisted in multiple projects for developing Asian nations, including a Trans-American run and other fundraising projects benefiting school children in India and the Philippines.

Benjamin Rich

Benjamin Rich, a native of Kaysville, Utah, has spent more than 15 years living abroad, five of which include working in international markets. While serving an LDS mission in Fukuoka, Japan, his love for the culture and language quickly blossomed like the nation's famous cherry trees. Shortly after earning his undergraduate degree in finance from BYU in 2003, Rich returned to Japan as an investment analyst for two different Tokyo-based banks. There he worked for five years, overseeing multi-million dollar transactions. This summer he will travel to China for two weeks on a study abroad program with several fellow MBA students. As Benjamin visits several companies throughout China and Hong Kong, he intends to gain an understanding of both Chinese culture and business practices compared to those in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. He will also intern with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati this summer.

Ammon Shumway

Ammon Shumway is an enthusiast of many of the world's cultures. Shumway, a native of Moab, Utah, had his first taste of foreign culture at 10 years old when his family sponsored Japanese foreign exchange students in their home. Shumway later served his mission in Panama, falling in love with the Spanish language and Latin American people. After graduating from BYU with a bachelor's degree in finance in 2005, he fell once again, this time for a French-Canadian. They married and moved to Quebec — and in a matter of months, Shumway learned French and landed a job with PEAK Financial, the largest independent broker in Canada. At PEAK he interacted daily with numerous nationalities including Moroccan, Italian, Iranian, Bulgarian, French, Haitian and Greek. Recently he experienced yet another people and culture while in the United Arab Emirates hunting for global career opportunities.

James Toone

James Toone was born and raised outside of the United States, developing an early understanding and awareness of international perspectives. Later, Toone spent two years as an LDS missionary in Hong Kong, the beginning of what would become a list of experiences in China. Since then, the Chinese language and Asian culture have been his emphases of study and his passion. Toone graduated from BYU with undergraduate degrees in Asian studies and Chinese in 2006 and returned to China shortly thereafter to work for an investment firm in Shanghai. Even after returning to the United States in 2009, Toone kept his international focus. He worked for JPMorgan Chase in Houston as a banker, doubling the number of Chinese clientele by targeting business owners in Chinatown. This summer, Toone will travel back to China to intern for Credit Suisse's investment banking division in Hong Kong. In the meantime, he practices his Mandarin every day with his wife, a native speaker.

Cecilia Yiu

Cecilia Yiu, born and raised in Hong Kong, grew up speaking three languages: Cantonese, English and Mandarin. After graduating from BYU–Hawaii in psychology, Yiu worked in both Hong Kong and Hawaii leading market research and consulting projects for Fortune 500 clients. Now a first-year MBA, Yiu majors in marketing and strategy and will intern with PricewaterhouseCoopers this summer. On top of coursework and extracurriculars, Yiu and several students are currently developing an online English tutorial company. She hopes the program will provide Chinese youth with opportunities to shape a global market by learning the language of global business. And, as if that's not enough to keep her busy, Yiu is also a Six Sigma black belt and a concert pianist.


Writer: Carrie Akinaka