When Mitzue Stockdale began the BBA+ Weekend program in the College of Business Administration in May 2008, she had been warned about a marketing project that would put her in close contact with her teammates, “spending endless hours together and seeing them more than our families.”
Luckily for her, that turned out to be true. One of her teammates, Ari Ponjuan, became her fiancé on July 4, 2009.
“It took me three years to complete my associate of arts degree so I could start the BBA+ program at Florida International University (FIU),” Stockdale said. “I was too driven and focused on school to be thinking about anything other than completing my degree.
Still, in the team project she found Ponjuan to be “responsible with great ideas,” and, now that they are engaged, says that she is “so grateful we had the opportunity to observe each other in this environment.”
Academic program continues to generate personal ideas.
If the marketing project helped bring them together, another assignment promises to have longevity in their future.
“We had to analyze mission statements from three corporations, and based on that, we decided to write one for our marriage,” Stockdale said. “We plan to have it framed and hang it in our house.”
“Our personal mission statement—which includes mutual respect, honesty and integrity—is built on the pillars of love and family,” Ponjuan said.
Stockdale and Ponjuan, both of whom are on the Dean’s List, plan a May 2010 wedding following their completion of coursework. She will graduate with a triple major in marketing, international business and management. He will have majors in management and international business as well as a certificate in project management.
And no matter their career paths, business references will likely always play a role.
“My grandfather used to tell my father that marriage was like business: if you have a good partner, you succeed,” Ponjuan said.