Olivia Romine ’23 receives Fulbright-García Robles Scholarship to pursue business internship, studies in Mexico

News & Spotlights | May 10, 2023
Olivia Romine ’23 will graduate this May with degrees in global studies and Hispanic linguistics, with a minor in business administration. (Photo by Leon Godwin)

Olivia Romine ’23 has received the Fulbright-García Robles Scholarship through the Binational Internship Program for U.S. Students to pursue a business internship and studies in Mexico following her graduation from UNC–Chapel Hill this spring.

The program funds internships in Mexican and multinational companies with the goal of “creating mutual understanding between the private sectors of Mexico and the United States,” according to its website.

Olivia said the program is a “perfect intersection” of her interests in international relations, Spanish, and business.

“I’ve always wanted to live abroad and immerse myself in one of the cultures I’ve learned about since a young age,” the scholar said. As an elementary student, she attended a Spanish immersion school taught by Latin American teachers.

“Internships in Peru and studying abroad in Spain confirmed that I wanted to work in a Spanish-speaking country.”

Gaining tech experience from alumni

An internship in 2020 with Learn to Win (a “microlearning” platform co-founded by Andrew Powell ’15 and Sasha Seymore ’15) first piqued her interest in the private sector, she said. The summer turned into a three-year partnership with the company to work on special projects.

“I’m fascinated by entrepreneurship and the variety of opportunities that working for a small startup offers,” said Olivia. The senior will receive degrees from Carolina in global studies and Hispanic linguistics, with a minor in business administration.

“I’m excited to build on what I’ve learned through my business minor and working in tech by taking classes in finance, operations, and corporate strategy [in Mexico].”

Members of the program cohort will be placed with participating businesses following a matching process this spring and summer. Awardees can work with traditional and multinational companies, financial institutions, airlines, and startups.

During the internship, Olivia will also take international business courses at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, Mexico.

Apart from the program, the senior said she hopes to gain a “holistic perspective” of what it means to work and live abroad by getting involved in the community. She plans to join a local triathlon or endurance sports club, and volunteer at a local branch of Girl Scouts or Special Olympics. (During her gap year, Olivia interned with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.)

Back to the wilderness

This summer, Olivia will be in Palmer, Alaska, to work as a seasonal equipment assistant for NOLS Alaska.

As an incoming scholar, Olivia completed a backpacking course with NOLS Alaska for her Outdoor Leadership summer (the first Summer Enrichment Program through the Morehead-Cain).

She said that joining the wilderness school is a fitting “bookend” to complete her college and Morehead-Cain experience.

“That course was my first real exposure to the outdoors, and I’m excited to facilitate a similar experience for other students—and to spend a summer in the mountains with twenty hours of sunlight!”

In addition to Olivia, Amalia Marmolejos ’23 and Tess McGrinder ’23 also received Fulbright Scholarships for the 2023–2024 program. A total of twenty-one students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will study, conduct research or teach abroad for the academic year through the grant.

More about Olivia

Olivia is a Phi Beta Kappa inductee and the awardee of the Sterling Stoudemire Prize for Excellence from the UNC Department of Romance Studies. The scholar also served as president of UNC Triathlon Club and a member of the UNC Sports Clubs Council.

This spring, Olivia received the Marty Pomerantz Sport Clubs Council Achievement, a Chancellor’s Award that recognizes the student who has demonstrated leadership and commitment, and who “makes the greatest positive contribution to the strength and vitality” of the sports clubs program.

In May, she received the Douglas Eyre Award for Excellence as the global studies major who produced the best senior honors thesis. The thesis interrogates the complex legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympics.