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2013 Eccles Scholars Awarded to Internationally-Focused MBA Students

The Kay and Yvonne Whitmore Global Management Center at Brigham Young University recently named 10 first-year MBA candidates as Eccles Scholars and awarded each recipient $9,000 to aid with schooling costs, international projects and global career exploration.

2013 Eccles Scholars

“The award gives students access to opportunities they might not have otherwise — whether it be a global consulting project or a study abroad,” says Lee Radebaugh, Whitmore Center director. “It also gives them something they can show to future employers.”

The 2013 Eccles Scholars are James Aida, from Huntington Beach, Calif.; Caleb Baker, from Stevensville, Mont.; Nathan Barnes, from Vancouver, Wash.; Thomas Chiu, from Tuen Mun, Hong Kong; McKay Hansen, from South Jordan, Utah; Chad Harris, from Mesa, Ariz.; Marlenne Hernandez, from Mexico City; Gustavo Maruri, from Guayaquil, Ecuador; Trevor McDougal, from Salt Lake City; and Monica McGhie, from Santa Rosa, Calif.

“This is an exceptional group of students,” Radebaugh says. “It was very difficult to keep the award to just ten recipients because there were so many well-qualified applicants.”

A committee of faculty members interviewed 41 applicants and selected the top 10 candidates. The award winners were chosen based on their international business expertise and experience, second-language fluency, GPA, GMAT score and desire to further their careers in international business ventures.

The Eccles Scholars Award is funded by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. The foundation was created in 1960 to ensure that the Eccles’ philanthropic work would continue beyond their lifetimes. The foundation supports many projects and programs, particularly in education, at nearly every college and university campus throughout the state of Utah.

“We are grateful for the support the Eccles Foundation gives to our MBA students through this award,” Radebaugh says.

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.

2013 Eccles Scholars 

James Aida

James Aida comes to the MBA program after spending six years at Ernst & Young in California. The native of Huntington Beach, Calif., is a licensed CPA and received his bachelor’s degree from BYU. Aida eventually hopes to work in Asia with brand management. “I am so grateful to the MBA program for the path it has provided me to be able to switch careers,” Aida says. “Being an Eccles Scholar extends that path to also allow me to pursue my interest in international business.”

Caleb Baker

Caleb Baker is the tenth of eleven children from Stevensville, Mont. The BYU grad and Samoan speaker most recently worked at Melaleuca as an operations analyst but still considers his job as a coconut tree climber for the Polynesian Cultural Center his favorite occupation. He will be interning with Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey this summer. “The Eccles award opens doors to study abroad and pursue international career prospects that were otherwise closed to me,” Baker says.Nathan B

Nathan Barnes

Nathan Barnes came to the MBA program just weeks after graduating with a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Utah. Originally from Vancouver, Wash., Barnes received his economics degree from BYU in 2007. He spent three years working for the Cicero Group as a senior statistical analyst before returning to BYU to pursue an emphasis in global supply chain management. “The Marriott School has given me so much, and I’m excited to give back and represent the school in an international setting,” Barnes says.

Thomas Chiu

Thomas Chiu is an outdoors enthusiast born in Hong Kong and first set foot on American soil while serving an LDS mission in Washington, D.C. He later returned to the states and received his undergraduate accounting degree from BYU. Chiu loves spending time with his wife and 18-month-old son and hopes to pursue a career in corporate finance. Before arriving at BYU’s MBA program, Chiu was a fund accountant for HSBC and a financial analyst for Lockheed Martin. “I love the MBA program here at BYU,” Chiu says. “Not only am I receiving world-class business training but I also feel enriched daily from the relationships I get to build with the faculty members and students.”

McKay Hansen

McKay Hansen developed a love for international cultures while listening to his parents talk about their experiences in Ethiopia, Egypt, Vietnam and Malaysia. The father of two earned his bachelor’s degree from BYU in chemical engineering and was the winner of BYU’s Social Venture Competition as a senior. A native of South Jordan, Utah, Hansen will spend the summer interning with ExxonMobil Chemical. “It is such a privilege to be selected as an Eccles Scholar,” Hansen says. “It will help me spread the values of the Marriott School and the Eccles Foundation throughout the world.”

Chad Harris

Chad Harris, from Mesa, Ariz., served an LDS mission in Germany and came back knowing he wanted to pursue a career in international business. He received his undergraduate degree in business management from BYU and then spent the next eight years as owner of a contracting business in Phoenix. The father of three will spend this summer in Columbus, Ind., as an intern with Cummins. “Being part of the MBA program has been an amazing experience,” Harris says. “I have learned so much thanks to the experienced faculty and gifted classmates I associate with on a daily basis.”

Marlenne Hernandez

Marlenne Hernandez is a native of Mexico City and the mother of two children. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in finance from BYU in 2004, she served an LDS mission, worked for five years as a financial analyst in Overstock Mexico and was a project manager for a family-owned company. Hernandez will intern with Johnson & Johnson this summer. “One of my dreams is to significantly contribute to the development of professionals at home and abroad,” Hernandez says. “Both the MBA program and Eccles award will help me accomplish my goals more quickly and powerfully.”

Gustavo Maruri

Gustavo Maruri grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and is trilingual — he speaks English, Spanish and Italian. After serving an LDS mission, Maruri received his bachelor’s degree in economics from BYU in 2005. Maruri then spent four years as owner of a legal interpretation agency before returning to BYU. The father of three will be interning for General Motors this summer. “The Eccles Scholar Award is an invaluable vote of confidence in my ability to be an asset for cross-cultural business advancement,” Maruri says. “I never realized the value the MBA program would bring to every aspect of my life.”

Trevor McDougal

Trevor McDougal was born in Salt Lake City, raised in St. Joseph, Mich., and has lived in Japan, Singapore and Italy. He earned a degree in chemical engineering and Russian from BYU in 2009 and spent the last three years working for Dow Chemical. “Being in the MBA program has exposed me to the important role of cultural backgrounds in analysis and decision making,” McDougal says. “It is humbling and empowering to receive the trust of the George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation.”

Monica McGhie

Monica McGhie calls both America and Taiwan home. Born in Santa Rosa, Calif., she moved to Taiwan when she was three and grew up going to school in the island nation while spending her summers in California. She graduated in 2008 from BYU in advertising and has spent the last four years in New York City working with brands such as Dr. Scholls, Axe, Dove and Aveeno. “Coming back to school, I’ve realized how little I know about the world,” McGhie says. “I love being challenged and learning to think through problems from all angles.”


Writer: Spencer Wright