Tyler Wigington ’14 took Texas A&M University’s advice to “go away” very seriously. After volunteering in Costa Rica with his freshman leadership organization and studying abroad three different times, Wigington returned to College Station to encourage fellow Aggies to take advantage of the opportunities to gain valuable experiences abroad.
As a junior finance and business honors major with an international business certificate and Spanish minor, Wigington enrolled at Texas A&M not knowing how he would fund his wanderlust.
“As a freshman business honors student, I was required to read Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, a book about globalization and the increasingly international nature of business,” Wigington said. “This book further piqued my interest in pursuing global opportunities during my time in business honors and at Texas A&M.”
With the help of the study abroad office, Wigington found scholarships to fulfill his desire to explore the world. He also credits the business honors program as a major source of support as he worked to choose study abroad programs. “The business honors program encouraged me to follow my international passion and worked with me to find programs abroad, both through the business school and through outside organizations.”
The summer after his freshman year, Wigington travelled to China with twenty other students through Mays Business School. He visited different historical sites in Beijing, Si An and Tianjin.
“I was fascinated by the people and the culture,” Wigington said. “I grew a much stronger appreciation for the world outside of Texas A&M through this learning experience partly funded by the International Education Fee Scholarship.”
After his trip to China, Wigington knew that he wanted more. He spent the spring semester of his sophomore year in Spain with Academic Programs International. While staying with a host family in Madrid, Wigington perfected the Spanish language and navigated through different cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and London.
“While abroad, I got to apply what I learned through my ‘other education’ because of my interaction with other cultures,” he said. “I even got to travel to London by myself to experience Aggie Muster abroad. We did roll call and sang the war hymn. It was amazing to be with Aggies halfway across the world.”
Wigington recently spent two weeks of winter vacation travelling in India with Mays. After visiting the cultural cities of Bangalore and Mysore, his group also witnessed the beauty of the Taj Mahal near New Delhi.
“With the monetary support from the scholarships provided through Texas A&M, I was able to pursue my passion to travel. I grew a greater perspective of the world and I learned more about myself,” Wigington said. “I grew accustomed to adapting to unpredictable situations and embracing different cultures.”
He said the business honors program has helped teach him how to apply what he has learned abroad to his future professional career. “Business honors has helped me understand how these experiences translate over into the business world and life after graduation,” Wigington said. “The program brings in business professionals every week to speak to the students, and I have had the pleasure of hearing from some of the biggest names in global business, including Steve Lovejoy, the Starbucks SVP in charge of Asian markets.”
Wigington looks forward to going to Panama with the Global Business Brigades of Texas A&M University and Africa with Operation Crossroads this upcoming summer.
By Janelle Shen ’14
Request your A&M Support Kit to learn how you can support students in studying abroad through a gift to the Texas A&M Foundation.
Marcy Ullmann ’86
Manager of Scholarship Programs