by Victoria Shelton and Kara Kennedy
A person’s name can say a lot about them, a sentiment especially true for senior Brock Fogle, a Brock Scholar business major concentrating in economics and social entrepreneurship in Samford University’s Brock School of Business.
“Pretty much every time I mention being a Brock Scholar, there is a comment about it,” said Fogle. “I sometimes even wear my Brock School of Business shirt that has my name in big letters on it.”
Last summer, Fogle spent two months living in Yunnan, China, working with a variety of businesses throughout the province. He describes his experience as one of the most beautiful, yet difficult, times of his life. Standing at 6 feet 7 inches tall with red hair did not allow Fogle to blend in.
“I had never learned Mandarin before, yet I spent a large portion of my time in situations where that was the only language being spoken,” said Fogle. “My roommate did not speak any English either, so we spoke to each other through something that was akin to charades.”
Although he faced his fair share of challenges, the time Fogle spent in China helped him develop personally, professionally and spiritually.
“Understanding, respecting and being part of a foreign culture is extremely difficult,” said Fogle. “It pushes you to your limits and puts you in survival mode at all times.”
While in China, he spent time living in the local city, working on a dairy farm, forging through the jungle on coffee plantations and working with local underground churches.
“The people were some of the most resilient that I have ever met. Their love for each other and their love for the Lord is something that I now have as a standard to live my own life up to,” said Fogle.
Although Fogle will not be returning to China this summer, he has the opportunity to work with Christian Service Mission in Birmingham, where he will assist in the organization’s community development efforts that include creating a thrift store.
The Brock Scholars program has provided Fogle with the knowledge and contacts to make these types of opportunities happen. He also has been able to develop personal relationships with many professors in Brock School of Business who have helped him develop opportunities and to lay out a plan for his future.
“They have challenged me and given me opportunities that I would not have had any other way,” said Fogle. “Without Samford, Brock Scholars and Global Missions Scholars, I would not have the same story or the same experiences that I’ve had. I would not be the same person I am today.”
Victoria Shelton is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer for Brock School of Business.
Kara Kennedy is director of marketing and communication for Brock School of Business.