Beginning with his childhood days of saving quarters given to him by his great-grandfather, Kelley Indianapolis student Travis Gwyn always saw himself having a career in finance.
He never envisioned, however, that interest would take him overseas to work and study at one of the top universities in the world.
Gwyn begins an internship this month with the University of Sydney (Australia), which he described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a nation and culture experiencing significant growth. The university recently was ranked in the top 50 in the world.
“Everything that I’ve been through in the past has been a building block leading up to this point,” said Gwyn, 21, who transferred to Kelley after two years at Ivy Tech Community College. “This is a test to see what I’ve learned and see what kind of value I can add to a Sydney firm.”
“I’ve always wanted to do a semester abroad somewhere to learn about globalization, because really that is where the world is going,” he added.
The Australia opportunity did not come without its challenges, however. The program is coordinated out of the Indiana University Office of Overseas Study. Only 14 students from across all eight IU campuses were selected for the University of Sydney internship.
The process is very competitive and requires several levels of interviews, qualifications, and recommendations. He also had to be accepted separately into IU and the University of Sydney.
“This has been a very humbling experience,” Gwyn said. “A lot of people have put faith in me. I know there are other people out there who won’t be going so I can have this opportunity.”
He intends to take full advantage of everything in front of him as well. He is hopeful to work in some capacity in acquisitions and mergers. He is studying finance and international studies with a minor in economics.
The culture of a foreign country also excites Gwyn. He has traveled parts of Europe previously but has never been immersed in a different way of life for an extended period of time.
“I don’t look at that as much as an obstacle as I do a challenge. I’m going to keep an open mind and enjoy it,” he said.
And Gwyn, who became a licensed realtor at age 18, has never seen a challenge he didn’t enjoy.
Despite less than stellar grades in high school, he made the Dean’s List at Ivy Tech Community College and transferred after two years to Kelley Indianapolis. He completed I-core last summer and now appreciates how sacrifice and commitment can change a person for the better.
“To be going to Australia and representing (Kelley) is surprising. It’s something I’ve worked very hard for, but it’s still a little surreal to think about,” he said.
He leaves for his internship in February and will return in July 2012.