By Troy Oldham, executive director of marketing and branding
Chance Murray (Photo by Troy Oldham)
Derek Kent (Photo by Troy Oldham)
When 30 Huntsman Scholars visited Paris in October 2009, an outsider might have thought they were no different than the 45 million people who visit Paris each year.
However, these Aggies were far more than typical tourists trying to make their way through the narrow streets of Paris. The students traveled with a dedicated team of professors and embedded executives who helped them navigate various cultures and gave them opportunities to learn first-hand about the complexities of the global marketplace.
And Paris was only one stop on their academic voyage. The students also traveled to Switzerland, Belgium and France. They also visited Huntsman Chemical, NATO, Disney Paris, The European Commission, Stella Artois, Microsoft European Headquarters and OECD-Europe.
“Being a Huntsman Scholar has been one of the most difficult, but rewarding, experiences I have been through as a student,” said Derek Kent, a Huntsman Scholar and a junior majoring in finance and economics. “It’s been a great opportunity to work one-on-one with our advisors and other students to learn about business, leadership and what it means to have a sense of purpose.”
Stacey Hills, clinical professor and co-director of the Huntsman Scholars program, said students are first immersed in an intensive classroom experience.
“They read stacks of books, analyze case studies and learn about geography, culture, social issues and government structure,” she said. “Then we touch down in Switzerland and give them a second intensive experience interacting with professional leaders in multiple European countries.”
The program is all about discovery. In a single day, the students discovered how Huntsman Chemical in Brussels creates materials to keep European auto drivers safe, and then later walked the shop floor with a brew master at the Stella Artois Brewery and learned about the impact of agricultural regulations on the production of European beer.
“It’s really quite incredible how professional our students are in these unique situations,” said Liz Allred, program director for Global Enrichment. “They are very well prepared and they ask smart, probing questions with real intent to learn.”
The experience is also transformational, and the value extends beyond an exciting trip to Europe.
“The entire experience has been life-changing,” said Jami Dixon, Huntsman Scholar and junior majoring in human resource management. “Being a Huntsman Scholar has given me more opportunities than I ever imagined. After I graduate, I will find ways to help future Huntsman students have the same experience.”
Kristina Roskelley (left) and Jami Dixon.
(Photo by Troy Oldham)