16:13 PM

College/Work Balance, Morales Goes International

Ivan Morales RamirezA collegiate soccer career gave first-generation graduate student Ivan Morales Ramirez the financial means to earn his Master's in International Business (MIB) at the University of St. Thomas-Houston's Cameron School of Business. 

Soccer is genuinely Morales’ first love. For the last two years, he served as a graduate assistant for both the UST women's and men's soccer teams. Adding to his resume, the men's 2022 soccer team won its SCAC conference championship for the first time in school history. This win and receiving his coveted degree at UST's May 14 Commencement Ceremony at NRG Stadium on Saturday, May 14, are two significant accomplishments in his life. Morales joins 531 undergraduates and 444 graduate students in celebrating their achievements.

"Ivan is completing his time as a graduate assistant coach for both women's and men's soccer teams at UST," Ian Clerihew, head men's soccer coach at UST, said. "On the coaching side, Ivan did a masterful job balancing his training program for goalkeepers of both the women's and men's teams. This feat is not easy and takes not only preparation but a certain disposition, and Ivan has both. But even more important than these talents is the precious degree he has earned. I know I speak for both soccer programs and the UST Athletic Department when I say we couldn't be prouder of him for this accomplishment.”

Morales played collegiate soccer at George Gwinnett College, a top NAIA school, where he earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in 2019. Cameron School of Business was where he chose to obtain his MIB degree because of "its great reputation and the professors' knowledge and real-world experience in the business world." 

Assistant Professor of MIB in the Cameron School, Dr. Beverly Barrett, said, "Ivan is an excellent student. During summer 2021, he was part of the Collaborative Online International Learning class with Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Mexico for International Economics. Ivan is completing his MIB thesis on the Impact of Economic Remittance from the US to Mexico."

In addition to collegiate soccer, Morales coached at a youth club in Atlanta called "Inter Atlanta FC." Morales loves soccer, so in addition to assisting UST soccer teams, he works as an assistant with Houston Dash, a women's pro team, in analytics. 

Balancing both academics and the men's and women's soccer team schedules, including on-the-road games, Morales sees himself as a role model to the student athletes both on the field and in the classroom. "I lead by example," Morales said. "I try to show the athletes the importance of being a student athlete and its responsibility." 

After graduation, Morales aspires to excel in a finance or investment firm to gain real-world experience. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Morales knows that the global business world is becoming smaller, and top firms need employees who understand international business norms and who have language skills to succeed.  

Based on Morales’ collegiate performance, three qualities stand out; hard work, commitment and time management are his forte, and these traits will serve him well.