Sophomore finance major Anna Bebermeyer grew up in Tulsa. Looking to break out of her comfort zone, she almost ruled out attending the university that bears her hometown’s name. After discovering TU’s Global Scholars program, Bebermeyer got a chance to see the world and broaden her perspectives while remaining close to home. Students from all majors can apply to join a cohort during their freshman or sophomore year, and if selected, take courses that focus on global challenges, study a foreign language, intern or study abroad and attend other globally focused events.
“The program’s goal is to equip students with a global mindset that enhances their chosen majors,” Bebermeyer explained. “I was wary about going to college so close to home, but I viewed joining Global Scholars as a launching point to gaining a global perspective and a taste of the world.”
Bebermeyer traveled to Budapest and Berlin on a faculty-led trip after her freshman year and recently returned from a trip to South Korea as part of Professor Mike Troilo’s international business class on emerging markets. The seven-member class reviewed case analyses and studied Korean culture and businesses to prepare for the trip. “The class is entirely discussion-based; it’s how I always imagined the college experience,” said Bebermeyer. “By asking questions and discussing topics with other students, I have learned so much.”
The group visited a number of businesses during their time in South Korea, including Microsoft, an advertising firm and several tech firms. “Our classwork prepped us to have a deeper understanding before doing site visits so we could make connections and ask tough questions,” said Bebermeyer. “My favorite tech visit was to the company that does all of the IT work for the Korean stock market. It was fascinating. We learned about Korea’s quick international rise and the way the country set up its infrastructure as a result of its history.”
Reflecting on what surprised her most during the trip, Bebermeyer noted how the class studied about the conservative and traditional nature of Korean culture. “However, we encountered a huge youth population and realized that young people across the world aren’t necessarily confined to their cultures,” she said. “We live in a globalized world, and even though they are thousands of miles away, we’re not that different at all.”
The students had evenings free to explore the city. “We visited a new district every night, which was so much fun,” Bebermeyer said. Troilo even led the students in an evening of karaoke — an essential weekend entertainment element in Korean culture. TU alumna Emily Skalovsky (BSBA ’14), who lives in Korea and is studying to be an interpreter, met up with the group to give a tour of the city. “The world seems a little smaller when you can find someone all the way across the ocean who loves Tulsa, too,” Bebermeyer said.
Bebermeyer will spend the fall semester of her junior year studying in Paris, working on her French language skills and taking business and international affairs classes through IES Abroad. “Because the Collins College of Business shares AACSB accreditation with one of program’s partner schools, Novancia Business School, I’m able to take business classes that will transfer easily to TU.”
She plans to use her finance degree to work in professional philanthropy at a foundation or nonprofit organization. “I hope each of my experiences will shape me to I have a global perspective that will ideally play into a career in philanthropy,” she said. “I could not be more grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had. President Clancy tells prospective students, ‘Come to TU, and you’ll be more involved in the Tulsa community than you ever have been — and we’ll show you the world.’ That could not be more true.”