International Careers in the Americas Symposium: April 18 - 19, 2023

Screenshot of Zoom meeting for the International Symposium

When Dr. Rafael Hoyle, director of the Liza and Jack Lewis Center of the Americas, read the stories of UIW alumni Atzel Jonatan Peña, BBA '08, MBA '20, and Dr. Jonathan R. Everhart CPA, Esq., MCSI (MS ’11, DBA ’17), it led him to reflect on “the internationality of the UIW system and the remarkable intercultural competence of so many of our students and faculty.” Hoyle realized, however, that not all UIW students fully understood the advantages such an international system provides. An idea to share these advantages was born, and the Lewis Center, in collaboration with UIW Career Services and the University’s two campuses in Mexico - Campus Bajío and Centro Universitario Incarnate Word – began designing the International Careers in the Americas Symposium.

The event took place, after weeks of planning, on April 18th and 19th, 2023, and was open to all UIW students and alumni from campuses in both Mexico and the United States. It was the second symposium presented by the Lewis Center. The first symposium, held in the Fall 2022 semester, focused on immigration and human displacement. Hoyle said the original plan was to have one such event each academic year, but “the success of that first symposium led us to go ahead and plan for a second during the 2022-2023 academic year, this time focusing on international careers.”

According to Hoyle, the symposium was created to help students understand how careers can develop when they look for opportunities beyond national and cultural borders. “I wanted students to see how so many different types of industries and businesses operated internationally,” shared Hoyle. “Furthermore, I felt we need an event to help students understand that intercultural competence is very important for career success, and it helps professionals across all fields. Also, I wanted students to recognize and take pride in the fact that UIW produces graduates with an exceptional level of cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness, and to see that international careers are very much in reach for UIW graduates.”

Hoyle pointed back to Peña and Everhart as examples of graduates who have succeeded on the international stage. Peña is currently a senior wealth advisor for Skandia, a financial company with over 65 years of focusing on investments for large multinational corporations. Everhart is the chairman, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of Global ReEnergy Holdings, a company that focuses on “connecting the global digital economy by launching innovative technology applications for multiple industries,” according to their website.

These stories were two of many that were shared during the Symposium. The speakers, each at various stages of their careers, were from a range of fields including government, legal practice, the automotive industry, food production, human resources management, financial services, and international energy trading. Several speakers were UIW alumni, but the Symposium included non-UIW leaders and public figures who generously gave their time.

“The common element of all presenters was that their current position had a strong international and intercultural dimension,” noted Hoyle. “Each speaker focused on this international aspect of their career and position, as well as the importance of embracing the cross-cultural dynamics of their particular industry and profession.”

Read about the Speakers Here