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Mason School Annual Fund

Alexis B. Foxworth '15

Grace Fernandez ’15 connects the dots between business and community engagement, a skill she is cultivating through her experiences with the Mason School of Business.

A finance major from Bucks County, Pa., Grace traveled to Cuba during winter break with the Business School’s “Social Entrepreneurship” class. Grace and her classmates met with Cuban professors and community organizations and interacted with locals.

“It was an exceptional opportunity to be able to witness firsthand the social problems in Cuba and then to have the freedom to create our own social ventures to help solve these problems,” she said.

Outside of the Business School, Grace is a co-trip leader for Students Helping Honduras, an organization that supports youth development and education in the Central American nation.

Grace takes advantage of the unique William & Mary opportunities such as these to explore both business and community engagement. Those experiences, she said, help make students “very marketable” when they graduate. 

“William & Mary builds a skill set for you as a person so you can really go into any field,” Grace said.

Last summer, Grace completed an internship with the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon. This summer, Grace is headed to Boston for a finance internship with Starwood Hotels as she eyes a potential career in the hospitality industry.

“Those are two very different things and require very different skill sets and mindsets,” said Grace, adding that her mix of liberal arts and business courses at William & Mary prepared her well for both positions.

Grace said William & Mary alumni, particularly those from the Mason School of Business, have been vital and enthusiastic resources as she explores career options.

“It’s not just some random person helping you get into an industry,” she said. “It’s someone who has had the same experiences that you had and really understands how hard you work as a student at William & Mary and the business school.”

Gifts to the Mason School of Business Annual Fund allow the school to facilitate exceptional experiences for students who possess the potential to be leaders in the world of business and social entrepreneurship.

“I love the people at the Mason School because they are just as enthusiastic as I am about our community, about learning and about just being involved,” Grace said.