December 7, 2011
Name: Stephanie M. Baumgart (B.B.A. ’10)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Graduate Program: M.B.A., Professional Accountancy
About the student: Baumgart received the prestigious Texas Business Hall of Fame scholarship in November 2011. The scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated entrepreneurial achievement and leadership in their academic and professional lives. Here, we talk with Baumgart about what makes her and her St. Mary’s experiences unique.
What is your favorite part about being a St. Mary’s student? I love St. Mary’s and that is quite evident to everyone I speak to about it. Spending the fall 2011 semester in Germany, I have had many opportunities to speak with students around the world about St. Mary’s. The thing I speak of most is the individual attention and support I have received from the faculty and administration. These men and women went out of their way to learn my interests and provide me with opportunities to explore them. I feel like I have a school full of mentors who honestly care about helping me succeed.
What are you studying in Germany? In addition to the M.B.A. program, I am pursuing a master’s in international business and economics as part of a dual degree program between St. Mary’s and the University of Applied Sciences in Schmalkalden.
What is the best part about your experience in Germany? The best part is the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures. The program here is truly multinational and my new best friends are from Russia, Ecuador and Colombia. As much as we study cultural differences in school and discuss ways to overcome them, I have learned more about how similar people are all over the world by connecting with them here.
What advice will you give students seeking an international experience? My advice is simply to do it. Before I left, I was terrified of being in a foreign country by myself. Once here, I realized every student in the program is in the same situation, providing an unparalleled opportunity to connect. The students in the program have banded together and we feel like we are part of a big international family.
What are your future plans? I am currently going through the application process to pursue a Ph.D. in strategic management. I want to be a professor so that I can encourage, support, and inspire students the way that my St. Mary’s professors have done for me. My ultimate goal is to teach in the Bill Greehey School of Business. I honestly feel like I belong there.
Who were your mentors while at St. Mary’s?
I feel like I have had many mentors in my time at St. Mary’s. It is really difficult to identify one or two people who have been my mentors at St. Mary’s because a student is more than a major. There are so many opportunities provided by the business school, and each opportunity has a faculty member who is willing to go out of their way for the students who get involved.