Published 04/11/14

SIE participants meet with Santander executive

On display for those in attendance -- Santander leadership, Bryant administrators, faculty, and staff -- were elements of SIE students' coursework. Twenty students were on hand to answer questions about their SIE experiences.

Scholarships available through Santander Universities mean the world to many sophomores

International Business major Margaret Wong ’14 (Fremont, CA) made Bryant her top choice for many reasons: a global perspective, small classes, close interaction with professors, a vibrant student life, and a top-notch International Business program.

She applied to the Sophomore International Experience (SIE) program early in her sophomore year, but her parents made it clear that she could participate only if she received a scholarship to help with the expense. When she heard about Santander Universities International Experience grants, she jumped at the chance.

"A global experience is essential to success. SIE is a great program."

Thrilled to be awarded a scholarship, Wong chose Bryant’s Panama and Costa Rica SIE program because of its international business focus and the opportunity to interact with Spanish-speaking people. “That experience greatly shaped my college career,” she said. “Learning about global supply chain management in Panama led me to declare that subject as one of my concentrations when I returned to Bryant.”

On March 26, Wong thanked her benefactors on behalf of all SIE scholarship recipients at a campus reception celebrating the partnership between Bryant and Santander Universities. On display for those in attendance -- Santander leadership, Bryant administrators, faculty, and staff -- were elements of SIE students' coursework. Twenty students were on hand to answer questions about their SIE experiences.

Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley noted that in the last three years, 900 students have studied abroad as part of the SIE. “We are so grateful to Santander for their support of myriad Bryant programs, particularly the Sophomore International Experience,” he said. “It’s transformational when students go abroad for the first time. What is amazing is that 44 percent of Bryant students who choose to study abroad for a semester or a year have first been on an SIE trip.”

In his remarks, Eduardo Garrido, director of Santander Universities, noted his organization has agreements with 1,135 institutions of higher education worldwide. “Bryant fits very well in what we do,” he said. “Like President Machtley, we agree that a global experience is essential to success. SIE is a great program, and we also believe it is life-changing.”

In August, Wong will start her career in the Risk Advisory Practice of Ernst & Young in Houston, TX. She looks forward to being involved in the SIE program as an alumna. “Julio Vasquez-Pretto ’88 welcomed our group in Panama and made us feel very special. One day, I hope to have the opportunity to host SIE students as well,” she said.

Bryant students continue to benefit from the collaboration between Bryant and Santander. On April 17, members of the Santander Shareholder’s group will address finance students in a presentation, “Banking in a New Environment.” Speakers include Ryan Hergrueter, director of investments for Santander Bank’s Treasury Group, and Colleen Gallahue, portfolio manager for Santander’s Derivatives Portfolio.