The focus and dedication that got Stefano Bucciol noticed on the baseball field have served him well in the lecture halls of Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he double-majored in management and marketing.
He not only exceled in his classes while playing for the Sailfish baseball team, but he found a way to combine his love of sports and business studies through an internship his senior year at radio station ESPN 760.
This month, Bucciol graduated from PBA as Outstanding Graduate of the Rinker School of Business, an honor the Caracas, Venezuela, native says he never expected.
“I’ve been very blessed,” he said.
Bucciol arrived at PBA as a transfer student in 2011 from a university in Indiana, where he had been recruited to play baseball. Soon he began looking at schools in South Florida, ultimately deciding on PBA.
“Everything fit together perfectly for me to come here,” said Bucciol, who said he has played baseball since he was 4 years old.
Yet he didn’t play his first year at PBA, instead dedicating himself to his studies. At that time, he found a friend and mentor in Campus Pastor Dr. Bernie Cueto, whom he credits with helping him grow in his faith.
“When I began putting so much more trust in God, that helped me a lot,” Bucciol said.
He also bonded with his professors, including associate professor of political science and fellow Venezuelan Dr. Francisco Plaza. He credited several members of the business faculty with helping him along his journey, including Professor of Graduate Business Studies Dr. Joe Eassa, Professor of Management Dr. David Smith and Scott Spell, assistant professor of business and business internship coordinator.
Through the business school, Bucciol began interning this summer at ESPN West Palm Beach, serving primarily with the station’s new Spanish-language affiliate. His internship then was extended into the fall semester.
Listeners were able to hear Bucciol’s voice on several athlete profiles and commercials. He said he also had an opportunity to meet South Florida athletes, including members of the Miami Heat.
He hopes to continue working in a sports-related field after graduation, and he later plans to attend graduate school.
Bucciol said he hasn’t forgotten something the station’s general manager said during a meeting with the interns. He told them that luck doesn’t exist. The harder you work, the luckier you get, Bucciol remembers being told.
He said he is keeping that in mind as he looks ahead to his future.
“The harder you work for the glory of God,” he said, “the more opportunities He will give you to show who He is through you.”