‘You Can Make Friends for a Lifetime’
Elmhurst’s study abroad opportunities helped
Allen Riquelme ’16, MBA ’21 build his worldview.
As a special way to mark our sesquicentennial celebration, we asked some of our students, faculty, staff and alumni to share their fondest Elmhurst memories, favorite campus stories and hopes for the future of the University. Read along as we roll out the entire series over the coming months.
New Zealand. Costa Rica. Dallas. New York City. Elmhurst, Illinois. That’s not Foo Fighters’ summer tour schedule. It’s where Allen Riquelme ’16, MBA ’21 has studied or worked since 2015. In the fall, he also plans to volunteer with children in low-income communities in Peru.
Riquelme considers the Elmhurst study-abroad program, which sent him to New Zealand and Costa Rica, a critical part of his education. He believes all students could benefit from international experience.
“It really pushes you to become independent, and it forces you to grow emotionally as a person. I really love that feeling,” says Riquelme, a Fulbright U.S. Student Scholar Program semifinalist in 2021. “There is more to life than the United States, so I always encourage people to travel as much as possible.”
What do you remember about your first day at Elmhurst University?
As soon as I started, I wanted to get involved right away because I was a junior and a transfer, so I didn’t know anyone. I joined the tennis team. I later joined International Club, and I got involved with study-abroad opportunities. It was a fun time.
Where’s your favorite place to hang out on campus?
In my undergrad years, it was the library. I would stay till closing, which at the time was midnight. During the graduate program, if I needed to work on projects with my group, it was Founders Lounge.
When you talk to people about your time at Elmhurst, what’s a story you always tell?
I really loved the International Club. I made friends with all the international students. You can make friends for a lifetime, and I don’t regret that at all. I think International Club is one of the most important clubs at Elmhurst.
What do you hope for the future of Elmhurst?
We have the Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence, but I know a lot of graduate students would love to see more internship opportunities, because there are a lot of MBA programs out there that offer internships to MBA students. That’s something I really want to see.