Honors thesis helps pave the way to Stanford University.

How has corporate social responsibility been sustained within developing countries in Asia and Latin America in the face of drastically reduced outside sources of funding after 2008?

This question set the foundation for the thesis presented by Carlos Gomez (BBA ’12) to Florida International University (FIU)’s College of Business Administration and Honors College. The thesis in turn helped Gomez gain admission to Stanford University, where this fall he enters an interdisciplinary program focused on finance, marketing, law, ethics, culture and arts in business.

“I developed an interest in my thesis topic while studying international business at FIU,” Gomez said. “Discussions on business ethics prompted me to further explore how companies behave within the context of varying societal and reputational pressures.”

Carlos Gomez in front of Hoover Tower
Carlos Gomez in front of Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus. The building is named after President Herbert Hoover, a Stanford alumnus.

In his thesis, Gomez identified the approaches taken by firms operating in different developing regional economies.

His research built upon the Global Reporting Initiative, which measures sustainability and social responsibility initiatives throughout the world—with special attention paid to developing countries in Asia and Latin America.

FIU experience provides self-discipline needed for graduate school challenges.

Just back from a visit to Stanford, Gomez reflected on how the research, writing and critical-thinking skills he developed at FIU prepared him for a rigorous graduate school program.

“The yearlong thesis development process within a flexible FIU program demonstrated to the Stanford admissions team that I could succeed without the confines of a more structured process,” he said.

Karen Paul, professor with the college’s Department of Management and International Business, believes that Gomez’s thesis demonstrated solid empirical skills, as well as his ability to think creatively about important issues and to communicate new information graphically.

After Stanford, then what?

Looking ahead, Gomez sees himself “at a consulting firm, perhaps focused on alternative energy or how to approach China in terms of the production and selling of energy.”

“His originality, analytic skills and attention to detail produced an outstanding thesis,” Paul said.  “I am sure Carlos will do well at Stanford and I look forward to following his career.”


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