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Honors student will work for Ernst & Young


A lot of outstanding careers have started at the University of Mississippi. 

Martina Cotelo’s career path is an excellent example of successfully pursuing a goal and taking advantage of opportunities, as she was recently selected for an internship at Ernst & Young. She will spend two months working with Ernst & Young in their New York City headquarters this summer.

“Working for Ernst & Young will help me to understand whether I like accounting,” she said. “I like the lessons, and I want to see how the theory integrates into working in the office.” 

Previously Cotelo was selected for the annual Discovery Ernst & Young Conference for underrepresented minorities.

“(The) diversity aspect makes Cotelo’s experience a little different from the others,” said Mark Wilder, dean of the School of Accountancy. “She will get an amazing working and life experience there.”

Cotelo was born in Uruguay and moved to Oxford at age 5. After graduating from Oxford High School, she entered Ole Miss to triple major in international studies, accounting and German. She holds a Barksdale Scholarship, and she was one of the two students to receive the Barksdale Award last year. Cotelo’s project provided for by the Barksdale Award was about her Jewish grandmother, who escaped from Germany to Uruguay in the 1930s. Cotelo travelled to Uruguay to gather her grandmother’s letters and documents in order to finish the book she started before she died.

“She sent me the stories, and we often talked about the future book,” Cotelo said. “In Uruguay I found a lot more than I thought. I was able to read only a part of the letters.”

Cotelo continued to transcribe the letters in Oxford once she returned with her German teacher Corona Petrescu. 

“Analyzing the letters helped me choose my thesis topic,” Cotelo said. “Also, I’m going to study abroad in Potsdam, Germany next spring. The university there has one of the best Jewish Studies (programs) in Germany.”

Cotelo’s investigation brings a potential change into society. 

“We always tell our students to make us jealous, to take on a project that is going to shake us and make us examine the fundamental questions,” said Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. “Processing the story of the grandmother who came through an ethnical conflict and rebuilt her life in Uruguay, Cotelo achieves that goal.”

Apart from triple majoring and doing the Barksdale project, Cotelo also works for the Sally McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College. 

“Cotelo is an excellent worker,” said honors coordinator Penny Leeton. “She works with the prospective students, gives tours around the building, helps with posters and flyers and does everything we ask her.”

“This summer I’m going to be a retreat coordinator,” Cotelo said. “I like to organize events and help high school seniors to decide which path to take.”