For Nathan Jones '20, the University of Redlands experience began before he even stepped foot on campus as a student.
As a high school student from Claremont, California, Jones attended Admitted Students Day and met Professor of Global Business Jack Osborn. A few months later, when he was deciding where to go to college, Jones sent Osborn an email asking to speak with him on the phone.
“I remember he called me when I was on my way to a high school play rehearsal,” says Jones. “He asked me what I was planning to study in college, so I told him that I spoke German and wanted to study business. He told me about the global business major, and that was when I decided to enroll.”
As a first-generation college-bound student, Jones says that Osborn’s guidance was a welcome surprise. When he arrived for his first year on campus, Osborn helped him sign up for classes in the major, including the first-year seminar Osborn teaches. Osborn also became Jones’ academic advisor.
Since then, Jones has taken advantage of opportunities available to global business students, including studying abroad. A recipient of the Schroeder Summer Language Scholarship and the Finance Award, Jones spent two months studying German in Berlin, followed by another two months at the London School of Economics. He hopes to foster a future marketing career by maintaining the relationships he has developed abroad.
This summer, he will return to Berlin as a Harris Summer Opportunity Scholar, embarking on an eight-week-long marketing internship. “As someone who thought I wouldn’t even be able to afford to go to college, these global business scholarships have allowed me to do things and go places I never thought I would,” he said. “I’m really excited to go back to Berlin, see new places, and reconnect with the employees at my favorite cafes.”
Aside from finding his place in academics, Jones found his place socially with the help of organizations on campus. “I come from a low-income background, and the University of Redlands seems so different than other private university settings,” he says. “I can have conversations with people, and we can relate to each other because we’ve gone through some of the same hardships. Being a part of a community where people understand what it’s like to be going to college for the first time is really valuable.”
Jones made some of his first friends through Citizen Kale, a student theatre group. After being involved in theatre in high school, he decided to join the group in order to have a creative outlet. Since joining, Jones has played a part in a musical and become a member of the improv team.
As a member of the LBGTQ community, Jones says that the University’s environment facilitated a unique personal journey. “When I arrived on campus, I was really intimidated by the stigma that’s usually placed on LGBTQ students,” he says. “After a while, I was able to separate this key piece of my identity from my own personal qualifications and found that I could thrive. I was able to do that because I was at this University in an environment that supported me.”