The Indiana Section PGA recognized Catherine (Cat) Benson, dean of Trine University’s Ketner School of Business, with its Bill Strausbaugh Award on Monday in Muncie, Indiana.
Trine helped Hansford overcome challenges to succeed in US
February 23, 2022
When she first arrived on the Trine University campus from Honduras at age 17, Yancy Hansford struggled to adapt to a completely new culture and understand what was going on.
However, she soon found her footing in Trine’s supportive community and now calls the university her home away from home.
“The International Office helped me from day one on my application process,” she said. “I was able to receive and provide help through the Office of Student Success and Retention, for whom I worked. Friends from around the world and the U.S. became my family.
“My host families in the community always had an open heart and welcomed me into their home as one of their own. All my professors took the time and effort to help and make me feel welcome.”
Out of her comfort zone
She had heard about Trine through an alumnus her father knew.
“We knew it was a very small school, but compared to my hometown and high school, it was huge,” she said. “My parents and I always strove for me to get a better education abroad with more opportunities to grow socially, academically and professionally.
“I wanted to move out of my comfort zone and be able to expand my knowledge.”
Her family owned a business in Honduras exporting roasted coffee and beans around the world, inspiring Yancy to major in management.
“I knew I wanted to get into the field of business so I could start my own business one day,” she said.
As she became more acclimated to Trine’s campus, she got involved in extracurricular activities and worked on campus. She served as president of the Multicultural Student Organization and worked as an administrative assistant for the Office of Student Success and Retention, as well as participating in projects with the Office of International Services.
“My favorite memories always involved being around people from all over the world,” she said. “It was amazing to see how we could all come together with not many similarities but with a warm, welcoming heart.
“International Nights were always my favorite because I was able to share my Honduran culture and educate other students and the community. Many of our MSO activities involved food and familiarizing with other cultures. It was amazing to me that, even in a small school, I was still able to have a global experience.
“It was not easy to keep a well-balanced schedule, especially with being involved in many different organizations, but I would remain very strict to my schedule to still excel academically and socially. My bosses were always very understanding that my academics came first, and I was able to manage my time very well.”
Her plans to graduate and immediately get a job ran into a hurdle when COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020. The pandemic resulted in her applications for authorization to work in the U.S. either being delayed or denied.
However, since she had five years on her student visa, she chose to work on her MBA, and when that was completed, her Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA). That decision allowed her to stay in the U.S. and apply a second time for her work permit.
“Fortunately, and with the help of my family and Trine, I graduated May 2021 with my second master’s and was approved for my work authorization,” she said.
She went to work for Metal Technologies, Inc., (MTI) in Auburn, Indiana, where she had interned while a Trine student. She was hired as a sales and marketing analyst while completing her MSBA.
“It was extremely challenging to be a full-time student and having a part-time job along with a full-time job,” she said. “Both Trine and Metal Technologies contributed to my success, and with their resources I was thankful to graduate in 2021.”
Her responsibilities at MTI include implementing internal and external marketing plans, analyzing sales forecasts, and, with her bilingual skills, coordinating efforts between facilities in the U.S and Mexico. She uses the presentation, business writing, project management and communication skills she developed through the curriculum and group projects at Trine every day.
“One of my most relevant skills is my ability to multitask, which I developed throughout my time in college,” she said.
Having succeeded in moving to another country, completing three degrees and beginning her career, Yancy encourages others to shoot for big goals.
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small,” she said.
Trine University students got the opportunity to show off their salesmanship when the Trine Sales and Marketing Association held its first KSB Collegiate Sales Cup on Feb. 21.
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