Shelby Thomas forWPThis past summer, Shelby Thomas received one of the most selective scholarships for undergraduate students worldwide as a Fulbright Summer Institute Scholar. She says she hopes her experiences live out her parents’ advice that “it’s not enough to say that you can represent yourself; represent the best that others have made you.”

Thomas’ scholarship allowed her to study at Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities in Wales for six weeks in 2013, one of just 50 students selected from the United States. She conducted a study of Welsh business patterns while representing the U.S. at government-sponsored events and activities, including making a presentation to ambassadors and government representatives.

Thomas says her experiences in the Bulls Business Community helped her find her voice and improve her confidence, improvisation skills, and ability to lead. She also expanded her worldview by participating in Bulls Service Breaks, helping refugees acclimate to life in the U.S. over her spring break in 2012, and now is a site leader with the organization. A member of the Business Honors Program, she studied abroad in Florence with her fellow students in 2013 in addition to her time in Wales. Thomas, who currently interns with the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners, hopes to continue her global experiences as a foreign service officer after she graduates in 2016.