Many Robins School students want to change the world. Gabriela Telepman, ’20, is getting that chance as a Fulbright recipient.

Telepman won the Fulbright Garcia-Robles Binational Internship to work as an intern at a firm in Mexico City and take courses related to international business at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). She is the first University of Richmond student to receive this particular grant.

“As a graduating senior, it felt great to get some good news in the midst of the pandemic, especially because I had been waiting so long to find out,” Telepman said. “Although it would have been great to celebrate with friends and let faculty know in person, I was surrounded by my family when I received the news.”

Telepman began the rigorous application process last year by writing a statement of purpose, which was reviewed by Dean Mickey Quiñones and a panel of professors before submission. 63 students from across the country applied, and 16 were selected as finalists, including Gabriela. She participated in her final interview for the grant in February.

“The interview was conducted completely in Spanish via Skype by a panel of Mexican businessmen and women, Fulbright alumni, and other relevant parties,” Telepman said.

She worked with multiple departments across campus throughout the application process, including the Office of Scholars and Fellowships, who organized mock interviews, and Violet Ho, professor of management, who wrote a recommendation for Telepman for the grant.

“Gabi stands out among her peers for her genuine enthusiasm for learning, her collaborative form of leadership, and her dedication toward personal growth and community-building. She is not only highly engaged, industrious, and contemplative in the classroom, but also deeply involved in numerous groups and activities outside of the classroom,” Ho said. “I am thrilled that she has successfully harnessed her joint passions for international business, Latin American culture, and social causes to secure this Fulbright internship, and her achievement is a wonderful reflection of her ability to thrive in culturally diverse and unstructured environments, and her natural curiosity to new and different perspectives.”

In her time at the Robins School, Telepman has participated in numerous projects and competitions, including as captain of the team that won the National Diversity Case Competition in 2020, a University of Richmond Civic Fellow, a Teach For America campus ambassador, and a member of the University Dancers.

“I am amazed at how she manages to balance all of her activities while still delivering high-quality work and staying upbeat every time I see her,” Ho said.

The management professor has mentored many students over the years, and says it is thrilling for the Robins School to have a Fulbright grant recipient as part of the Class of 2020.

“Having a Fulbright recipient in our school is a testament to how a Robins education prepares students to be culturally intelligent, global citizens who can successfully navigate non-traditional career paths and flourish on the world stage,” Ho said.

Telepman is awaiting her specific assignment in Mexico, but hopes to work at a social entrepreneurship firm for her 10-month internship.

“I hope to learn more about effectively supporting entrepreneurs who are working to change the world for the better. My overarching career goal is to connect businesses with non-profit organizations, and encourage the two seemingly unlike entities to work together in order to create powerful change,” Telepman said. “The ability to incorporate Latinx communities into this goal by working and studying in Mexico City represents a perfect combination of my academic, professional, and personal interests, while sustaining my commitments to social justice and corporate social responsibility.”

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