Ramil Rodriguez, a marketing major and senior at the University of the Incarnate Word H-E-B School of Business and Administration, has been awarded a $15,000 scholarship from the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation.
Rodriguez is one of only 36 university students in Texas to be awarded one of the competitive scholarships. He said the application process was a nail-biter, comprised of a formal application, a written essay and a round of face-to-face interviews.
“The scholarship will definitely be a huge help,” Rodriguez said. “I was blessed enough to be chosen. I’m really excited and humbled. It’s just a great privilege.”
The Texas Business Hall of Fame recognizes the top business leaders in the state. The most noteworthy inductee of 2016 is billionaire Warren Buffett. The scholarship program allows the foundation to invest in the business leaders of tomorrow.
Rodriguez said students applying for scholarships should take advantage of opportunities on campus, such as volunteering and participating in school clubs. But, he said, it goes far beyond that.
“Do anything and everything you can to prove yourself. Notice I didn’t say, ‘Do anything and everything you can to prove yourself to others.’ Because it’s very self-driven,” he said. “You have to have the motivation in your mind to be able to accomplish the things that you want to do.”
Rodriguez won the HEBSBA Business Plan Competition earlier this year with his business, Social Stash -- a third-party hub that connects social media users with organizations and their advertising budgets. Social Stash allows social media users with between 200-500 followers to become “influencers,” or brand ambassadors, by promoting a brand in exchange for money or products.
“You are what you believe you can do."
He said he considered himself an entrepreneur even before the Texas Business Hall of Fame scholarship and before the Business Plan Competition. He credits this to a belief in himself and his business.
“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, I need the skills to be able to do this kind of stuff.’ It’s actually not the case. The experience comes naturally,” Rodriguez said. “You are what you believe you can do, and every action after that is a stepping stone.”
With the scholarship in his back pocket, he said he plans to focus on finishing school and continuing to grow Social Stash while giving back to the community along the way.
Rodriguez and the other students will receive their scholarships at a luncheon on Oct. 27 at the San Antonio Convention Center. They will also be honored at the foundation’s 34th Annual Induction Dinner later that night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio.
Click here to learn more about the Texas Business Hall of Fame scholarship program.