Meet Doug Wink, renaissance man. Maryland National Guardsman. Smith Global Equity Fund analyst. Tailor. Human trafficking researcher. Epic proposal planner. Drug-busting prosecutor. And most of all, world traveler.
If Smith gave an award for most traveled student, Doug Wink would surely be a leading contender for the title. With 65 countries under his belt, Wink, MBA/MS ’14, UMD ’03 is one of Smith’s most intrepid adventurers. He has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and most points in between.
He was once detained at the China-Vietnam border after surviving a bus accident caused by a landslide. Caked in mud after crawling out of the overturned bus, Chinese border guards assumed he had illegally crossed the border from Vietnam. Wink spent a “surreal” day in a Chinese jail until an interpreter cleared everything up.
Wink’s international experience is not just limited to backpacking, beaches and border misunderstandings. He has conducted field research on human trafficking in India, Laos and Thailand and participated in an undergraduate short-term study abroad economics course to Italy. This January, Wink and 34 other MBA students spent two weeks in the United Arab Emirates with Professor Hassan Ibrahim for an experiential learning course.
“Professor Ibrahim encouraged us to ask difficult questions to representatives of the government as well as large companies to untangle an often paradoxical relationship between the law and investors,” Wink said.
Last May, Wink planned his most daring international adventure: a surprise proposal to his attorney girlfriend, Melanie Konstantopoulos, atop one of the highest points on the planet. He smuggled his grandmother’s diamond ring into Nepal after sewing it into the lining of a cloth wallet. After hiking for eight days, he popped the question at the base camp of Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world.
“The sun was rising and heating up the glaciers, which would crack off and cause spectacularly loud avalanches,” Wink said of his sunrise Himalayan proposal. At 15,000 feet, Konstantopoulos said “yes.” The couple is planning a wedding in Greece followed by a honeymoon summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.