MBA Candidates Receive Eccles Award

PROVO, Utah – Apr 06, 2017 – The Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University recently recognized ten first-year MBA candidates as Eccles Scholars, an award presented by the school’s Whitmore Global Management Center. Each recipient was awarded up to $9,000 of financial aid for schooling expenses, international projects and global career exploration.

“This award clearly distinguishes each student as a future leader in the global business community,” says Bruce Money, Whitmore Center director. “To be chosen as an Eccles Scholar signifies that you will represent BYU, the Marriott School and the Eccles name with distinction.”

The 2017 Eccles Scholars are Andrea Ascione from Verona, Italy; Zachary Brough from Gilbert, Arizona; Spencer Goodrich from Tridell, Utah; Alexandra Hirst from Salt Lake City; Colin Ludlow from Spanish Fork, Utah; Olivier Munn from Chambery, France; Sam Swamynathan from Bangalore, India; Joshua Tidwell from Poway, California; Tiago Uhlmann from Florianopolis, Brazil; and Lei Wang from Yantai, Shandong, China.

A committee of faculty members interviewed applicants and selected the top 10 candidates who were chosen on the basis of academic performance and their trajectory toward a global business career. 

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.

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, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,300 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Andrea Ascione hails from Verona, Italy, and is studying marketing for his BYU MBA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from the University of Trento in 2013 before working as an international business manager and marketing manager at Cablotecnica Srl and as an accountant at Aquardens Spa. This summer, he plans to complete an internship with Adobe in global marketing strategy. Ascione enjoys working with his classmates and tries his best to get to know each of them personally. “Everyone has a different background and a specific trajectory, and I have been learning a lot from getting to know them,” he says. Ascione loves board games such as chess and Risk as well as sports and international food. He and his wife, Arianna, have been married since 2011 and have one daughter.

Prior to entering the BYU MBA program, Zach Brough worked on some of the world’s largest solar power plants as a mechanical engineering consultant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from BYU in 2013, and his engineering background has contributed to his interest in technology marketing. He plans to fulfill an internship at Amazon this summer. “I have really enjoyed interacting with so many amazing men and women of faith, character, and ability,” Brough says. “I truly believe that the things I am learning here are preparing me to succeed in my career post-MBA.” In his free time, the Gilbert, Arizona, native enjoys playing basketball; listening to Broadway musicals; and helping his wife, Tara, with their YouTube channel. Brough and his wife have three children and love to travel.

Spencer Goodrich received his bachelor’s degree in facilities management from BYU in 2007 and then worked for Sodexo in a variety of director and management positions before returning to BYU for his MBA. “Relationships have been the key to my success in the program,” he says. “I hope that I will be able to take what I learn here and apply it to make a difference for good in the lives of all those I associate with.” Goodrich is from Tridell, Utah, and has an internship with Honeywell in HR leadership development this summer. At five o’clock Saturday morning he can be found absorbed in his hobby of shaping wood into pens and bowls. He spends the rest of his free time with his wife, Linda, and their five children.

Alexandra Hirst double majored in English and political science from BYU in 2014. Her undergraduate experience helped the Salt Lake City native land a deputy press secretary position in the US House of Representatives. “I enjoyed my previous work, but I love how much the BYU MBA program has challenged me and pushed me toward a career I’m very excited about,” she says. “I’m surrounded by other MBA students who have worked in a variety of fields, and I feel like I learn just as much from them as I do in the classroom.” This summer, she plans to work in brand management for Kimberly-Clark. Hirst loves to travel and has been to thirteen countries. She also enjoys skiing, running, reading, and cooking.

Before beginning the BYU MBA program, Colin Ludlow spent four years in Japan, working in corporate communications for Daifuku. Ludlow graduated from BYU with his bachelor’s degree in business management in 2011. His MBA focus is on strategic HR, and this summer he plans to work as an HR intern for Dell Technologies. “My association with professors, faculty, and my peers here at BYU has been deeply rewarding,” says Ludlow, who is from Spanish Fork, Utah. “I believe that these relationships and my experiences here will prepare me to succeed on a global stage.” In his free time, Ludlow enjoys playing the violin and piano, reading, and traveling. He and his wife, Tricia, have a two-year-old son.

Olivier Munn is from Chambery, France, but got his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Imperial College London in 2001. Before coming to BYU, he worked as a project manager and branch manager at Bofrost and also founded and managed a company called Lileo Jardins. “The BYU MBA program is an amazing opportunity to grow because of the technical skills and character traits I have developed,” Munn says. After graduation, he hopes to use his education to add value to companies and communities through a career in the technology field. Munn enjoys family time, movies, sports, and travel. He and his wife, Stephanie, have four children.

Sam Swamynathan comes from a family that includes a CEO, an entrepreneur, and a Goldman Sachs technology lead, and now he’s broadening his own business background with a BYU MBA. Originally from Bangalore, India, Swamynathan received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering. He then worked for Infosys Technologies as a technology analyst and for the LDS Church in senior management for country facilities and materials. This summer, he plans to work with marketing and product management at Dell. “The BYU MBA program has broadened my vision,” Swamynathan says. “I intend to take the learnings from here and create new changes in the world.” He is married to Pradhika, and his hobbies include sketching and playing ping-pong and cricket.

Since receiving his bachelor’s degree in business management from BYU-Idaho, Joshua Tidwell has been both a country manager at Gano Excel Colombia and a regional director at GanoLife International. His focus for his BYU MBA is supply chain. “The BYU MBA program has been a catalyst for my career and life,” Tidwell says. “My goal is to be a part of the change that drives BYU to the forefront in developing the next generation of talented leaders.” This summer, Tidwell plans to be an L2E intern at T-Mobile. When he’s not studying business, Tidwell, who is from Poway, California, enjoys studying European history and the lives of great military leaders and strategists. He and his wife, Christina, have three children.

A BYU MBA will be Tiago Uhlmann’s second master’s degree. Uhlmann is from Florianópolis, Brazil, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. He previously worked as a research and development engineer, managing teams with members from Sweden, Italy, and Brazil. Now Uhlmann is studying supply chain and is set to intern at Amazon this summer. “I have enjoyed the world-class education provided by the excellent professors and students with diverse backgrounds,” he says. “In the future, I would like to become a successful international businessman to inspire other international students to pursue this path, and to provide financial help for them.” Uhlmann enjoys cooking and playing ultimate Frisbee, soccer, and basketball. He and his wife, Luana, have a daughter and are expecting another baby this year.

Lei Wang came to BYU for several reasons, one of them being the university’s reputation as a great place for international students. Born in Yantai, Shandong, China, Wang received her bachelor’s degree in business English in 2009 and her master’s degree in Chinese as a second language in 2012, both from Sun Yat-sen University. She then worked as the executive assistant for Stamford Land Corporation and as the chief of staff for Intevalue Services. “Everything has been better than my expectations, especially my sincere and ready-to-help peers and alumni,” says Wang, who is specializing in OBHR. Wang serves as the VP for the Organizational Behavior Student Association’s alumni relations. This summer, she will be working as an HR business partner with Vista Outdoor. In her free time, Wang enjoys hiking and volunteering at an animal shelter.

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The 2017 Eccles Scholars

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maren McInnes