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Fulbright Scholar Hopes to Use MBA to Help Women in Panama Succeed in Business
Katherine Rodriguez Acosta
My main goal is to be someone who can inspire women in business. I want to teach women how to earn their seat at the table, as well as be heard and acknowledged. Living and studying in a foreign country can be challenging, but it is also an opportunity for personal growth, new perspectives and a deeper appreciation for diversity and cultural differences
Katherine Rodriguez Acosta ’24 MBA is a Fulbright Scholar at Syracuse University pursuing an MBA with specializations in entrepreneurship and supply chain management. As a native of Panama, Acosta describes the scholarship as “one of the greatest honors of my life” and every decision she makes is focused on the opportunity to contribute to her country's development by applying what she is learning in the United States.
The Fulbright scholarship is one of the most competitive and prestigious scholarships in academia, providing opportunities for professionals from around the globe to pursue a graduate degree, research and teach. The program is led by the U.S. government in collaboration with 160 other countries that promote cross-cultural exchange. Its far-reaching network of global scholars, alumni and partners helps to foster a mutual understanding, while sharing knowledge across communities and improving lives for people worldwide.
“Everyone in my family is an entrepreneur or small business owner, and I’ve learned from both their successes and failures,” says Acosta. “It is risky to own a business in my country outside of Panama City, so I want to use my time at Whitman to learn more about how to help others be successful.”
“My main goal is to be someone who can inspire women in business. I want to teach women how to earn their seat at the table, as well as be heard and acknowledged,” she says. “Living and studying in a foreign country can be challenging, but it is also an opportunity for personal growth, new perspectives and a deeper appreciation for diversity and cultural differences.
Acosta brings nine years of work experience – six of which were with WW Grainger, a Fortune 500 company based in Lake Forest, Illinois – to her studies. Her passion for business motivated her to pursue an MBA, as the degree offers a challenging curriculum that aligns with her career goals. Her favorite class thus far at the Whitman School has been macroeconomics, as it provided a global perspective on economics and the forces that drive it. She also enjoys the dynamic and diverse atmosphere and experiences, including group projects and collaboration with peers in areas like law, music, engineering and science.
“The experience I’m gaining from the MBA program has already provided me with ideas and knowledge to make it possible to make changes in my home country,” says Acosta. “I am so fortunate to be a recipient of a Fulbright and study at the Whitman School. I am confident it will help me make a difference.”
By Kimmy Kimball G’13 (NEW)