Student Spotlight: Samuel Cummings



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AREC Senior Samuel Cummings is a double major with both Agribusiness Economics & Management, and Environmental & Water Resource Economics.  Sam applied for and was selected to participate in a summer study abroad program, below is his story and experience, in his own words.  The Dept applauds Sam for seeking this engagement opportunity, maximizing his time this summer to travel while satisfying degree requirements.  

person sitting by tree overlooking town     

I spent this last summer participating in the Eller Business Minor Abroad program. For 2 and a half weeks I was in Prague, Czech Republic before flying to Florence, Italy with 30 other University of Arizona students also pursuing their Business Administration minor while abroad. The program ran a total of 5 weeks and consisted of 3 classes, great memories, and lots of pasta. I’m glad I decided to study abroad and am even happier to say how well our own AREC department’s professors and classes had prepared me for the material that was to be covered while abroad. 


view of trees in park

Prague, Czech Republic.

One of the first things I learned was that people in the Czech Republic love few things more than the state of Arizona. At first I was confused but all became clear when I was reminded of the Southwest’s lore that we tend to take for granted. Apart from that, I also found the city’s architecture to be what I would call a cross between San Francisco and Paris - ornate buildings colored in pastels you can only find in the city of love … and Prague. Of all the intricacies of Prague and its people, though, my favorite thing about the city was the expansive public transportation system. Without thinking about it, you could get to any part of the city in 15 minutes. This gave me the freedom to truly explore because I knew home was only a heel click and 3 tram stops away.  I was able to find a cafe that was an entire island, a mini Eiffel tower, a 75 foot tall metronome dedicated to Michael Jackson, and a garden that over looks the city as the sun sets. 

view of lake and town backdrop

skyline of Prague


Florence, Italy.

Never in my life did I think I would find a place that sells 100 SPF sunscreen. Then I went to Florence and found some in what was essentially a corner drug store. This drug store and their 100 SPF sunscreen were maybe 100 yards from the Uffizi Gallery where some of the most iconic works of art are stored. Walk another 100 yards and you can find yourself at the Galileo Museum where all kinds of memorabilia are stored - including Galileo’s finger. Everything in Florence is just like their streets: fast paced, kind of confusing, and always leading to the Duomo. In Florence I had 2 spots that were my favorites. One was the rooftop pool of our hotel that overlooked the city. The other was the Piazzale Michelangelo where a bronze recreation of Michelangelo’s David looks out across Florence, the Arno river, my favorite overpriced restaurant, the Ponte Vecchio and - most impressively - the setting sun. 


skyline of Florence


View of setting sun over water


The courses

Dr. Todd Nuemann, Dr. Joe Broshack, and Dr. Victor Piscitello did a wonderful job designing their classes to help you succeed. Everyday from 9am to 4pm we would learn about interest rates, organizational structure, and marketing strategies. Because of my experiences with various AREC professors, I was familiar with many of the concepts introduced throughout the duration of the study abroad program. Of all the classes, my interest was piqued by the lessons taught by Dr. Todd Nuemann: bond yields, foreign exchange rates, and a heavy focus on mortgage backed securities and their role in the 2008 financial crisis. Because of Dr. Todd Nuemann’s class, I have decided to pursue opportunities in investment banking and am currently waiting on word from Bank of America and Royal Bank of Canada regarding Summer 2020 internships in Houston, Texas and New York, New York. 

couple walking across bridge as car drives past
All photos are courtesy of Samuel Cummings.