Skip to main content
Student Experiences

International Business-Minded MBA Students Named 2020 Eccles Scholars

BYU Marriott’s Whitmore Global Management Center (GMC) recently recognized eleven MBA students as this year’s Eccles scholars and presented each student with $9,000 for their interest in and commitment to a career in international business.

2020 Eccles Scholar Award Winners
2020 Eccles Scholar Award Winners

“With the Eccles scholarship program, we showcase that, in fact, ‘the world is our campus.’ These students will become leaders in a global business community, and their international trajectory as a group and as individuals is impressive by any measure,” says Bruce Money, GMC executive director. “The Eccles scholarship program, which blesses the lives our students and the lives of those they come in contact with, is made possible by the ongoing generosity of the Eccles family, for which we are continually grateful.”

The 2020 Eccles scholars are Taylor Nickel, Matthew Goodson, Spencer Stevens, Jonathan Jarman, Matt Drake, Jamie Cropper, Lillian Barton, Marcus Cortez, Jackson Aquino, Matt Sabey, and Christopher Hansen.

Award winners were selected by a committee of faculty after a rigorous interview process. The top candidates were selected based on their academic performances and efforts in pursuing a career in global business.

The Eccles Scholar Award is made possible with funding from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. The foundation was created in 1960 to ensure the philanthropic work of George and Dolores Eccles would continue beyond their lifetime. The foundation is dedicated to serving the people of the state of Utah by supporting projects and programs, particularly in education, at colleges and university campuses across the state.

The BYU Marriott School of Business prepares men and women of faith, character, and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU Marriott has four graduate and ten undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.


Taylor Nickel, from Meridian, Idaho, earned his BS degree in marketing from BYU in 2014. Nickel worked as an associate for Goldman Sachs in private wealth management for five years prior to enrolling in the MBA program. At Goldman Sachs, he received the highest performance rating in successive annual reviews, built and trained a private wealth-management asset transfers team in London, and frequently consulted with colleagues in Zurich, Bangalore, and Singapore. As an MBA candidate, Nickel placed second in the Adobe Creative Brief Competition and is involved with the Kaizen Leadership Club, Marketing Association, and Product Management Association. “My experience at BYU Marriott has been incredible,” says Nickel. “I can feel the sense of family and community from current students, faculty, and alumni, which is definitely unique to BYU. I look forward to proudly representing the BYU brand and helping out future generations of MBA students.”

Matthew Goodson, from Yucaipa, California, graduated with his BS degree in mechanical engineering from BYU in 2018. Goodson is currently earning an MS in mechanical engineering in conjunction with his MBA. Goodson has focused his engineering research on innovation techniques and improving the product-development process, and has been involved in a number of design projects for the developing world. He hopes to combine his new business knowledge with his engineering background to help improve the success of these projects through creating sustainable business ventures centered around these design innovations. Goodson is involved in the Supply Chain Operations Association, the Strategy and Consulting Club, and the Product Management Association. He is also part of a research project on improving the product-development process with the US Air Force Academy. Goodson believes that broadening his knowledge of global business through the MBA program will help him make a more meaningful impact on product development and implementation. “With the massive advances in technology we've been blessed with, we have a responsibility to help our fellow human beings through inspired innovations,” says Goodson. “These innovations need to be founded on knowledge of personal and meaningful cultural interactions. I'm so grateful for the Eccles family and the Global Management Center for providing both of these things."

Spencer Stevens, who is from Holladay, Utah, earned his BA degree in finance from Utah State University in 2015. Stevens has experience working as an analyst for Goldman Sachs, as a project manager for Sofi, and as an associate for Fairway America. While at Fairway American, he increased total capital raised by $7 million through enhancing programs in sales, marketing, and investor relations. In 2018 Stevens started his own services company that hit $100,000 in sales with 31 percent profitability in its first year. During his graduate studies, he has been involved in the Graduate Finance Association and the MBA Strategy and Consulting Club. “I am grateful to be an Eccles scholar,” says Stevens. “I know that wherever I end up in my career, I will be dealing with colleagues, clients, or customers who live abroad. I want to understand different global perspectives now so that I can begin to apply them early in my career.”

Jonathan Jarman, from Bountiful, Utah, graduated cum laude from BYU with a BA in advertising and minor in business management in 2016. One of the highlights of his undergraduate experience was attending the BYU Jerusalem Center, where he focused on the importance of understanding the humanity of all people despite the conflicts that can divide them. After graduating, he worked as an account manager for an advertising agency where he managed creative strategy, traditional media, and digital marketing for clients. As an MBA candidate, he's involved with the MBA Marketing Association, the Product Management Association, and the Strategy and Consulting Club. He and his wife, Terri, have one daughter and welcomed twin boys to the family while in the program. "Choosing to attend BYU Marriott for my MBA has been one of the greatest decisions for me and my family,” says Jarman. “The program has introduced me to the highest quality of people, opportunities, and levels of growth that I would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. What stands out most to me about the program is the emphasis placed on helping us grow to the best version of ourselves so we can be an influence for good wherever we go in the world."

Matt Drake, from Peachtree Corners, Georgia, graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture with his BS degree in building construction in 2009. Prior to attending college, he served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Belarus and Russia. Drake has eight years of professional experience working for an international industrial building contractor in the oil and gas industry. His career has provided him with valuable opportunities to work with and lead teams of people from Columbia, Japan, Great Britain, India, Australia, and other countries. According to Drake, his education at BYU Marriott wouldn’t be possible without the sacrifices of his wife, Kayla, and their three daughters, Georgia, Edith, and Maren. Drake is preparing for a career in international business through his MBA studies, with an emphasis in finance, and through the Russian language classes he is taking at BYU. He is currently involved with the Graduate Finance Association and the MBA Analytics Club. “I am honored to be a 2020 Eccles scholar,” says Drake. “I am so grateful for the Eccles family and its generosity. This scholarship will help me study international business and eventually work internationally.”

Jamie Cropper hails from Walnut Creek, California. During her undergraduate years, she completed an eighteen-month mission in Mexico and Colorado for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and spent time abroad studying at the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain. In 2017, Cropper graduated with her BS in business management from BYU and earned the ACTFL Spanish Language Certificate. Cropper has a strong background in human resources and human capital management at local and large companies. Upon graduation from her undergrad, she began working for Goldman Sachs as a business analyst and was subsequently made chief of staff for the global reporting and metrics team. Cropper believes that people are a company’s most important asset, and she looks forward to learning how companies can better utilize this asset as she pursues her MBA with an emphasis in strategy and people analytics. Cropper is involved in various organizations at BYU Marriott, including the Strategy and Consulting Club and the HR Student Association. "BYU Marriott's MBA program is the ultimate enabler,” says Cropper. “The program helps you realize what kind of person you want to be and how you can use your career to accomplish those goals. I'm constantly amazed by the depth and breadth of opportunities that I have access to and the community of support from faculty, students, donors, and alumni that strengthen my ability to serve."

Lillian Barton, who is from Baltimore, Maryland, has more than eleven years of experience living and working internationally on global projects and teams. As a 2009 graduate of BYU with a BA in German literature, Barton has enjoyed a unique range of career opportunities. Some of these career opportunities include gaining experience building a German dual-immersion program, training German professionals for success in the American work environment, and being part of a business-development team, where she focused on expanding into new global markets. As an MBA candidate, Barton has chosen to pursue the strategic human resources track and is involved in Women in Management, Human Resources Student Association, and Supply Chain and Operations Association. "The thing I love most about the BYU MBA program is how service oriented the community is,” says Barton. “I am grateful for all the ways I have been served and have been able to serve, and I look forward to representing this brand globally as an Eccles scholar."

Marcus Cortez, from Sorocaba, Brazil, graduated from Faculdade de Engenharia de Sorocaba (FACENS) University in São Paulo, Brazil, with a BS in civil engineering. Cortez started his own company in 2013 and worked as an operations manager for more than two hundred clients including large corporations such as PepsiCo and Toyota. As a project manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and executive manager for an architecture startup company, Cortez significantly reduced labor, construction, and material costs while acquiring new clients and increasing sales. Cortez is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, and has developed strong public-speaking skills. He took second place in a BYU Marriott public-speaking competition and has been a speaker at three graduation ceremonies. As a global supply chain management MBA candidate, Cortez is a member of the Supply Chain and Operations Association and Kaizen consulting group. “The best part of the MBA program is the diversity and the international experience,” says Cortez. “I am connecting with amazing people who will work for companies all around the world, which is priceless.”

Jackson Aquino, who is from São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, earned an associate's degree in mechatronic engineering from Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI) in São Paulo, Brazil, which translated to English means the National Service for Industrial Training. He also graduated magna cum laude with a BS in management from BYU–Idaho in 2018. Aquino has strong skills in software programming. He has worked in various technical positions, such as a technical instructor for the largest technical school in Brazil, a manufacturing specialist, and an IT software teacher. Aquino speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and he is currently studying French as well. As an MBA candidate, he has chosen an emphasis in strategic human resources to expand his abilities in the area of talent development, compensation and benefits, and people analytics. "Coming to the United States for BYU Marriott's MBA has been a great experience for my family and me," says Aquino. "I have had opportunities to connect with companies that I would probably not have been able to connect with otherwise. I see a bright future ahead of us."

Matt Sabey, from Littleton, Colorado, graduated from BYU in 2016 with a BS in economics and a BA in Chinese. Matt earned the ACTFL Mandarin Language Certificate and won the National Foreign Language Business Case Competition as an undergraduate. Since graduating, Sabey has been working at startups and is currently building a returns-management business for Chinese sellers on Amazon. Sabey was motivated to pursue an MBA as a way to prepare for a career in international business. As an MBA candidate, Sabey is a member of the Graduate Entrepreneurship Association and Adam Smith Society. "This award came at a time when my wife and I had just had our first baby, and we were about to run out of our savings,” says Sabey. “The scholarship will get us to the summer when I am again allowed to work, and it will provide me with the resources to go to China and build out my startup. I couldn't be more grateful to be an Eccles scholar."

Christopher Hansen, who grew up in Amherst, New Hampshire, graduated from BYU with a BS in computer engineering and a second major in Spanish. Hansen also earned an MS in electrical and computer engineering from BYU in 2016. In addition to being a highly developed programmer and technologist, Hansen is an avid traveler, nature enthusiast, and pianist. Hansen has experience working as a digital design engineer for On Semiconductor and as a senior verification engineer for Arm, a British semiconductor design firm. Hansen is fluent in English and Spanish, proficient in Norwegian, and has basic skills in German, French, Italian, and Ukrainian. Hansen is an MBA candidate with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and strategy. This summer Hansen plans to cofound a genetics startup with the intent of focusing on improving disease diagnostics, starting with COVID-19. "I used the MBA as a way to reintegrate into the US way of life and focus my efforts on starting a company,” says Hansen. “BYU Marriott is great for entrepreneurs who don't want to be saddled with needless debt. We get a top-tier education and network for a fraction of the cost. I hope more BYU students inside and outside the MBA program will leverage that opportunity and 'go forth to serve' by creating value, not only in the United States, but worldwide."


Writer: Natalie Heidemann