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Student Experiences

Eccles Scholar Award Winners

Eleven first-year MBA candidates were recognized from the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University as Eccles Scholars, an award presented by the school’s Whitmore Global Management Center (GMC). Up to $9,000 of financial aid is awarded to each recipient for schooling expenses, international projects, and global career exploration.

Eccles Scholar Award Winners
Eccles Scholar Award Winners

“The Eccles scholarship program has a long history of accelerating the global career path trajectory of BYU Marriott MBAs,” says Bruce Money, executive director of the GMC. “This year’s class is no different. We eagerly anticipate and appreciate the accomplishments and service of these students in the international business community and the worldwide church. They are to be heartily congratulated, and the Eccles family sincerely thanked.”

The 2019 Eccles scholars are Benjamin Thomas Anderson, Joshua Brooks, Andrew W. Daniels, Matthew C. Lipps, Michael R. Moore, Wilson Moreno, James Ngai, Austin Pollard, Tiago Triumpho, Sophia Zhang, and Xun (Alex) Zhang.

A committee of faculty members interviewed applicants and selected the top eleven candidates, who were chosen on the basis of academic performance and trajectory toward a global business career.

The Eccles Scholars award is funded by the George S. and Dolores Dore 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.

Benjamin Thomas Anderson hails from Mendon, Utah. He received his BA in German from Utah State University in 2014. Anderson worked from 2014 to 2018 in Chengdu, China, where he also performed in a reality TV show seen by more than 40 million people. As an MBA candidate, he participates in the product management, marketing, strategy and consulting, and entrepreneurship clubs. “I believe in continuous growth,” says Anderson. “I believe in creating things that have impact. I believe in people and relationships. Being in the MBA program, I’ve already learned so much. I hope to continue taking international business classes and go on the MBA study-abroad trips. I am grateful to be in a place that values diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and ideas.”

Joshua Brooks, who is from Mesa, Arizona, earned his BA in accountancy from Arizona State University in 2013. In 2018, Brooks worked with the second-largest waste disposal company in the United States, Republic Services Inc. His role included working with senior management to enhance the company’s five-year strategic plans and manage forecast and budgeting processes. As an MBA candidate, his involvement includes President of the Strategy and Consulting Club, Director of Legal in Cougar Capital, and VP of Finance in the Adam Smith Society BYU Chapter. “I have seen the importance of gaining a global mind-set and business acumen,” Brooks says. “We live in a world where business transcends borders and current trends show the rise of a global economy. The Eccles award will further enable me to receive the international experience necessary to have future global career opportunities.”

Andrew W. Daniels, from Sacramento, California, has a BS degree in business management from BYU–Idaho in 2016. He is planning to graduate in 2020 with a JD/MBA degree from BYU Marriott and the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. Daniels is fluent in Spanish and enrolled in accelerated Portuguese classes. “BYU Marriott has given me both the tools and opportunities I need to accomplish my goals,” Daniels says. “I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be here. Coming into the program, I wasn't sure what to expect; I only knew what I hoped to accomplish. I would do this over again—100 percent!”

Matthew C. Lipps has a BS in finance from BYU Marriott and worked in corporate banking prior to enrolling in the MBA program. He is originally from Roseville, California, and has played bass in several local bands. Along with his MBA candidacy, Lipps is also a CFA Level III candidate. “The Eccles award has provided me with the resources to make connections with international professionals and a sense of responsibility to represent my university and its sponsoring institution on an international stage,” Lipps says. “I feel extremely grateful for this privilege, and as a result, I feel more driven to be successful in this endeavor. I feel greater willingness to give back to similar students and help more classmates ‘go forth to serve.’”

Michael R. Moore earned a BS in information technology and a minor in computer science from BYU in 2008. Following his undergraduate, he received his MA in geographic information sciences from the University of Minnesota before being accepted into BYU Marriott’s MBA program. Moore was a finalist in the 2018 Adobe Analytics Challenge, where more than thirteen hundred students from over one hundred schools participated. “The Eccles ward will help me achieve my dreams of working internationally,” Moore says. “I’ve been working to pivot my career so that those opportunities will be available to me, and the scholarship will help provide opportunities that will prepare me for the future.”

Wilson Moreno earned his BS in economics in 2013 from the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo in his home town of Trujillo, Peru. Moreno taught himself English by listening to podcasts and subscribing to an American newspaper. Learning English allowed him to become an MBA candidate in finance at BYU Marriott. “BYU Marriott’s MBA program has provided me the platform to interact with companies in Latin America that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do,” says Moreno. “I am looking forward to being an Eccles Scholar based on the steps I am taking to develop an international business career, my desire to obtain the global management certificate, and my goal to be one of the alumni who fulfills BYU’s motto: the world is our campus.”

James Ngai hails from Calgary, Canada, where he earned his BS in mechanical engineering from the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary in 2010. In Ngai’s spare time, he enjoys landscape photography, running, cycling and ice hockey. In his first year as an MBA candidate, Ngai was on a team that made it to the national finals of the Adobe Analytics Challenge. “BYU Marriott has exceeded my expectations,” says Ngai. “The faculty and my colleagues want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. That’s what has driven such a great experience, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

Austin Pollard comes from Alpine, Utah. He graduated with a BS in business management strategy from BYU Marriott in 2015. Pollard loves long-distance running and has run three half-marathons. During his undergraduate and now graduate studies at BYU Marriott, he participated in many organizations including leadership council, marketing association, Kaizen, marketing lab, and the marketing association, as well as clubs for business strategy, analytics, and strategy and consulting. “I am grateful for the Eccles’ contributions and their influence in my life,” says Pollard. “I am excited that their contributions can enable me and my family to achieve an important goal: work in Europe.”

Tiago Triumpho earned his undergraduate degree in his hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2007 he received a BS in physics from the Universidade de Sao Paulo–USP. Triumpho enjoys camping and hiking with family and friends. He has even rafted a class five rapid. As an MBA student at BYU Marriott, Triumpho took first place in the 2018 Marketing Creative Brief Case Competition. “One of my goals was to have an international experience,” explains Triumpho. “Being away from my home country was a tough decision, and BYU Marriott’s MBA has not only given me the experience I wanted, but it has also far and away exceeded my expectations in terms of quality and preparation for my future career.”

Sophia Zhang has lived in both Australia and the United States, but she originally hails from Beijing. She is proficient in both English and Mandarin, and she served as the only international student in the local student group leadership team in Sydney during an exchange program in 2014. She was also president of the Chinese and Foreign Student Cross Communication Club when she was studying in China. As an MBA candidate, Zhang is VP of the Graduate Finance Association and Analytics Club and loves competing in different case competitions. “I see the Eccles award as a great honor to have,” Zhang says. “It is much more important than a simple scholarship or award. I believe that Eccles Scholars are expected to do more than being excellent in academic performance. This award recognizes people who demonstrate desire and potential to contribute significantly in a global business setting.”

Xun (Alex) Zhang, originally from Shanghai, China, moved to Canada where he earned a bachelor of commerce with specialization in finance degree from the University of Toronto in 2008. He loves playing basketball and was on the championship team in Toronto Chinese Basketball League in 2018. Zhang's experiences with the BYU Marriott faculty have deeply impressed him. “Faculty members are knowledgeable, humble, kind, helpful, patient, and possess many other Christlike attributes,” explains Zhang. “They not only do a great job in teaching and helping students develop business knowledge and skills, but they also try their best to share personal testimonies and spiritual stories to uplift students whenever possible inside and outside classes.”

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.


Writer: Caitlyn Alldredge