If Brooke Atwell seems enthusiastic about the global economy, she comes by it naturally.
Her father works at Walmart’s corporate office in Bentonville with many of those years spent in its international division. “So that kind of sparked my interest in global affairs,” she says.
Now Brooke is majoring in international business with a marketing concentration at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. She was lured into the marketing concentration when she discovered an interest in customer relations and consumer behavior.
Having grown up in Northwest Arkansas, Brooke thought she might like to attend college out of state. When she was awarded a full academic scholarship to the University of Arkansas, however, she began exploring what the campus offered. “It was really hard to pass up the Walton College,” she says.
Brooke is the recipient of the Distinguished Governor’s Scholarship, a Chancellor’s Scholarship and a Presidential Scholarship from the Walton College. She serves as co-leader of the Walton College Honors Student Executive Board, of which she has been a member since her freshman year and has seen grow from 15 to 40 members. With a goal of enhancing the Walton College experience for students, members include mentors with Freshman Business Connections while others work to bring corporate representatives for speaking events, form panels featuring Walton College alums and even organize field trips, like the one they took to the FedEx headquarters in Memphis.
As part of her National Model United Nations class taught by Robert Stapp, Walton College economics clinical professor, she and other students attended an international conference of the same name in New York. The event included role-playing, with Brooke’s assignment calling for her to represent Japan. “All of those different cultures, it was a really neat experience,” she says.
She is also vice president of the University of Arkansas chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society, serves as philanthropy chair for Chi Omega sorority and participated in the university’s Spanish in Madrid program and spent four weeks in Madrid, Spain. When she returned, she joined Global Greeks, where students in fraternities and sororities “adopt” freshman international students.
Minoring in Spanish, Brooke has already put her second language to good use by serving as an interpreter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. While many children in Northwest Arkansas can speak English, often their parents can’t, which leaves them disconnected to the experience, she says. Brooke is able to translate to them so they can better enjoy their child or family member have their dreams fulfilled. “It gives them some hope and confidence – something to look forward to,” she says.
Before she graduates, she will do an internship on the Walmart and Sam’s Club teams for the Nielsen Co., a global information and measurement company that monitors what people watch on television or purchase. “It’s really cool,” she says. “I’m really excited to be a part of that.”
She will also study abroad in either China or India. Then, during her last semester as an undergraduate, Brooke will begin an accelerated MBA program where she will take graduate courses while wrapping up her bachelor’s degree as she decides a career path. “I’m excited to see what’s next,” she says.