My name is Michael Bragonier and I am studying at Aston University for my Master’s in International Business for the Fall of 2014. When I heard the news that I was selected as a recipient of the Banco Santander Scholarship, I was completely ecstatic. From the age of seventeen, I had been a self-supporting student working my way through my undergraduate degree through athletics, music, and academic scholarships. By receiving this scholarship, not only will I be able to support myself better during my time at Aston University, I will also be able to focus on my studies more efficiently. I’m honored that I will be utilized by the International Office at Aston as an international student from the United States to share my experiences during my time at the University. I have continually taken extra strides to become actively involved with the organizations that I am a part of. Throughout my undergraduate degree I always took a pride with all of the scholarship and leadership responsibilities, and even while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP I pursued every opportunity to assist with recruiting and promoting the firm. Because of the Banco Santander Scholarship, not only will I be better aided financially while studying in the UK, but I will also have more opportunities to be involved with Aston University.
Originally I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, but at the age of 12 our family moved to California where I attended high school and college for my undergraduate degree in Accounting. During this time I had competed as a gymnast as well as performed in music through violin and voice. Because of these activities, I was granted scholarships from California Baptist University to perform in the University Choir and Orchestra and as the school’s mascot.
In the middle of my senior year in college, I was recruited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, one of the largest public accounting firms globally, and have been working almost 2 years in the Assurance practice. I have performed fiscal year-end audits and quarter reviews for a variety of public and private companies including Cisco Systems Inc., Samsung Semiconductors Inc., and Micrel Inc.
Working in San Jose has given me the opportunity to work with colleagues from different parts of the world, which has spurred my interest and inspired me to attend an international school. Although I am looking forward to incorporating my professional experience in the classroom, I am also looking forward to expanding my knowledge as well as corroborating the different experiences and viewpoints of my colleagues and professors.