When Jessica Valente (BBA ’09) and Carolina Nieto became Florida International University’s (FIU) first graduate students to win the Espirito Santo Bank Scholarship, they were not the only ones to benefit, though benefit they did. Each received $15,000 toward their tuition in FIU’s International MBA (IMBA), a one-year, full-time program. As part of the award they will have an internship at the bank and the possibility of future employment.
“I planned to take a couple years off and work,” said Valente, who majored in finance and hopes to be a CEO or start her own company. “However, in the current economy, I realized it was a good time to continue my education, but I would not be in graduate school if it weren’t for the scholarship.”
For Nieto, securing the scholarship enabled her to be part of the “American university system, which I love. I am concentrating on emerging markets with a particular interest in Latin America, which made Miami a natural choice for me.”
Scholarship signifies dedication to excellence from two institutions.
As understandably pleased as the two recipients are, members of the bank and Jose de la Torre—who as dean of the Chapman Graduate School in the College of Business Administration began the talks with the bank that resulted in the scholarship—are equally delighted.
“I am a firm believer in public universities and think that FIU does an outstanding job in educating our future generation of leaders,” said Victor Balestra, the bank’s chairman. “We felt that a scholarship would give us the opportunity to meet the students selected, and perhaps assist them in starting their professional career once they graduate.”
According to de la Torre, “The college matches scholarship donations dollar for dollar—a sign of our commitment to attracting high-quality graduate students. It pleases us that Espirito Santo Bank will have the opportunity to see the scholarship recipients as potential employees, and that the students will have both an excellent degree and impressive work experience for their résumés.”