While it’s too soon to tell to the total impact of the differential tuition measures Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School passed in the spring of 2008, preliminary metrics indicate that the change has been beneficial in its first semester of implementation.

“It is important that we demonstrate to our students that we will be good stewards with their tuition dollars, and these results make our case,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. Differential tuition is a model under which students majoring in a particular college are charged additional tuition above and beyond the tuition charged by the state and the university. Mays’ upper division students now pay an additional $610 per semester.

Thanks to the additional funding, 32 sections of upper division courses and 12 sections of common body of knowledge (CBK) courses were added to the academic offerings for the fall 2008 term. Despite an increase in enrollment from the previous semester, the average class size for upper division business courses decreased from 39 to 33. Similarly, the average class size for CBK courses decreased by 46 percent, from 136 students to 73. For upper division business classes, the percentage of smaller class sizes increased while the percentage of larger class sizes decreased. Additionally, 16 new faculty members were hired.

Categories: Students

Upholding the Aggie tradition of service, a group of 18 MBA students from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School recently donated their time and labor for local charities. The group, called MBA SHOC (Students Helping Our Community), spent more than five hours working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Bryan, Texas, and reorganizing a thrift store whose proceeds benefit Twin City Mission. The mission offers assistance to the homeless and victims of domestic violence in the Bryan/College Station area, as well as other family services.

MBA SHOC aims to give back to the local community through efforts such as working with Habitat for Humanity.
MBA SHOC aims to give back to the local community through efforts such as working with Habitat for Humanity.

“There are more important things in life than school and work,” said first-year MBA student Sara Stigler, who helped on the Habitat house.  Not only did the work benefit those that would soon be living in the abode, but Stigler says there’s an incentive for the students, too. “Service to the community is a great break from studying,” she joked.

The Habitat for Humanity house was mostly complete when the students arrived to volunteer. They helped put the finishing touches on the dwelling by giving each room a final coat of paint. Habitat Crew Leader Jasmine Autrey says, “Students that participate in these projects are really making an impact on the lives of [the families that live in the houses]. It’s really important to have a place to call home and they are extremely appreciative for the help and the houses they receive.”

The students that worked at the resale shop put their marketing and retail knowledge to use as they organized donations and created displays. They rearranged the flow of the store to increase usability for shoppers, and gave the store manager tips on how to rotate the merchandise seasonally.

Matt Olszewski, a second-year MBA student who helped out at the resale shop said that everyone has a responsibility to help their neighbors. “It’s good to get out of the corporate America world we get absorbed in. Sometimes we get sucked into that environment and it’s good to get out and see how others live,” he said.

Second-year classmate Scott Bradford agrees. “As an MBA, it’s a privilege we have and an opportunity we have that we must take advantage of,” he said. “We are given so much opportunity in our program and in our lives; we must do the same and repay the favor.”

Categories: Programs, Students

Fifty years ago, television was a uniquely innovative method of bringing families together for entertainment. But in today’s technology-driven world, the power of Internet access continues to increase, leveling the playing field between two seemingly different mediums. What is the best way to adapt to the unpredictable media market through advertising? That was just one of the many questions presented to nearly 70 marketing moguls at this year’s Marketing Science Institute’s (MSI) Marketing Metrics Conference. In an eye-opening presentation, Horst Stipp, senior vice president of NBC Universal, discussed the ability of changing media to provide both opportunities and challenges to create new marketing communication methods. Stipp was one of several knowledgeable speakers that transformed the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas to a “meeting of the marketing minds” on September 10-12. Mays Business School at Texas A&M University sponsored the event, which was co-organized by Mays Marketing Professor Venkatesh Shankar.

Sorescu and Stipp
Mays Associate Professor Alina Sorescu (left) and Senior Vice President of NBC Universal Horst Stipp (right) were two of the participants at the three-day MSI Marketing Metrics Conference.

Shankar selected conference speakers based on the most interesting and relevant metrics research, focusing on and connecting four main areas: product, customer, channel, and organization. The researchers focused their knowledge on marketing methods that connected two or more of these specific dimensions. Presenter Dave Riebstein from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania joined Stipp in offering useful updates to marketing practices as he introduced a study, co-authored with Shankar, on the use of innovation metrics jointly undertaken with the consulting group McKinsey & Co. Following the presentation, Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Marketing Rajan Varadarajan moderated a discussion on the topic, which Shankar says provided important insights for the industry.

Also participating in the conference from Mays was Associate Professor of Marketing Alina Sorescu. Shankar and Sorescu presented their current research project focusing on the impact of business model changes on shareholder value. They showed that changes to the marketing components of the business model are important to boost shareholder value and stay on top in the corporate world, but changes to too many components may make the business suffer. “Several well-known companies in the audience were going through this kind of experience at the time, and were very interested in what we had to say,” Shankar said. “It was a lively discussion, showing the relevance of our work.”

Mays marketing doctoral students Jeff Meyer and Gautham Gopal also contributed to the conference by serving as scribes and preparing a conference summary to be published by MSI.

In addition to co-sponsoring the conference, Mays Business School hosted a reception the evening before the event for conference attendees. Shankar explained that this kind of event is what defines the Mays. “MSI is the leading academic-practitioner organization in the marketing field, so it was a natural fit for us to participate in such a cutting-edge conference,” he said. Based on the feedback from conference participants, the conference was a resounding success, solidifying Mays’ marketing department reputation as one focused on the newest findings in research.

Categories: Faculty

Murray Barrick, professor and head of the department of management at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University has been named one of two recipients of the 2008 Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. This award honors the individual who has made the most distinguished empirical and/or theoretical scientific contributions to the field of industrial and organizational psychology.


“This is without a doubt the most significant achievement of my career,” said Barrick, who holds the Paul M. and Rosalie Robertson Chair in Business at Mays. His research focuses on the impact individual differences in behavior and personality have on job performance and on methods of measuring and predicting such differences. He is the author of more than 50 referred articles, and according to Google Scholar, his work has been cited over 5,000 times.

Four respected members of the academic community from across the nation nominated Barrick for this award. The honor is shared with Michael Mount, a research professor of human resource management at the University of Iowa, who has partnered with Barrick on research. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with smart, intelligent people,” said Barrick. “That continues here at Mays Business School, where I hope to work with my colleagues to further advance our understanding of how personality matters at work — particularly how the situation interacts with personality to predict success.”

Barrick has served as the associate editor of Personnel Psychology, and is currently serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Psychology and Personnel Psychology. Previously he served on the editorial board of Journal of Management. He is a regular presenter at conferences around the world.

SIOP is a division within the American Psychological Association that is also an organizational affiliate of the Association of Psychological Science. The society’s mission is to enhance human wellbeing and performance in organizational and work settings by promoting the science, practice, and teaching of industrial-organizational psychology.

Categories: Faculty

When it comes to finding a fulfilling and meaningful career, Marcus Buckingham, internationally renowned author and career coach, says that you don’t need any skills tests or personality assessments to understand yourself. “You are always the best judge of who you are. You know what it is you’re most drawn to,” he told MBA students at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. “Start with your interests and take them really seriously.”  Buckingham was on the A&M campus as a guest of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays. He presented his workshop “The Truth About You” to an audience of 300 at A&M. Prior to that lecture, he met in a more personal setting with a group of 20 Mays MBA students. In both venues, he discussed creating job satisfaction and his unique strengths-based management focus.

Career success expert Marcus Buckingham encouraged Mays MBA students to examine an ordinary week of their lives and discover what they love doing.
Career success expert Marcus Buckingham encouraged Mays MBA students to examine an ordinary week of their lives and discover what they love doing.

Richard Scruggs, director of the center coordinated Buckingham’s visit. Scruggs says that Buckingham had an important message for students. “Marcus has pioneered the concept that people and organizations perform better when the work aligns with the individual’s strengths,” he said. “I hope students got out of this presentation the ability to better identify their strengths and then, when it comes time to join the work force or consider graduate school they will be better prepared to seek opportunities that will be more fulfilling and rewarding.”

Buckingham advised the MBA students in the smaller setting to not be as preoccupied with their qualifications as they are their interests. He recommended that students take some time to self-assess by examining an ordinary week of life and keeping a “loved it/loathed it” list, writing down their feelings about work and recreational tasks. He proposes that when we are doing what we love to do, we will be most productive. The challenge then is to find out how to use what we love doing to benefit society.

“I enjoyed the way he went through the process of discovering your strengths, by recording and analyzing random everyday activities over a period of one week. To me, it was a very practical application,” said Chuk Ejim, a second-year MBA student from Nigeria.

Buckingham is the author of four books on the topic of personal strengths, including First, Break All the Rules and The One Thing You Need to Know. He is an international public speaker and has appeared on the Today Show and Oprah.

Categories: Centers, Programs

The Princeton Review, a leading higher education organization, has included Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in the 2009 edition of their annual report, Best Business Schools. Mays MBA program makes the list at 7th in the nation for the category  “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students,” and is again one of the top 296 b-schools in the nation, of the 19,000 schools evaluated—putting Mays in the top 1.5 percent. Rather than rank each school in a specific position, the Princeton Review compiles a list of the top programs, placing each recognized institution in alphabetical order.

Wendy Flynn, director of MBA admissions at Mays, explains that the school’s repeat inclusion in this ranking reflects the continued strength of the Mays MBA program. “We are particularly proud of the designation as a top ten program for opportunities for minority students. We consider the diversity represented in our program to be one of our greatest strengths,” she said.

Theses rankings resulted from a three-year survey, which polled students at AACSB-accredited MBA programs in the world. The Princeton Review uses these numbers to give readers the most information possible for choosing the business school that best fits their needs.

About Mays

Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. The MBA program is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 26%. Currently there are 164  students in their intensive 16-month program.

Categories: Programs

When students think about careers in retailing, many envision glamorous positions with stores such as Macy’s or Neiman Marcus, overlooking one of the biggest retailers in the region, H-E-B grocery stores. To raise student awareness about the career opportunities available with the company, the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University hosted H-E-B Days, October 14 and 15. Seventeen high-ranking H-E-B executives, including presidents, vice presidents, and directors, addressed 2,700 students in more than 20 classes during the two-day period.

Vice President of Grocery Procurement and Merchandising Reade Ahrens was one of seventeen H-E-B executives to visit Mays in October.
Vice President of Grocery Procurement and Merchandising Reade Ahrens was one of seventeen H-E-B executives to visit Mays in October.

“The H-E-B executives enhanced the classroom curriculum by discussing day-to-day solutions for today’s business challenges,” said Kelli Hollinger, assistant director of the center. “Speakers coordinated with their hosting professors to customize content for each class based on what students have been studying this semester.” By addressing classes across different majors including finance, marketing, agribusiness, management, and others the event communicates to students that a $13 billion grocery company encompasses all business fields.

This is the second year the center has hosted H-E-B Days at Mays. Last year, the 103-year-old San Antonio-based retailer extended more employment offers to Mays students over the two-day period on the A&M campus than the rest of the calendar year combined. Over the past three years, H-E-B has doubled the number of Aggies hired each year. Currently, Mays Business School is the top university partner for the retailer. Recruitment director Wayne Terry says, “Texas A&M is a natural fit for H-E-B. We share the same values of history, tradition, loyalty and service. Aggies who begin their careers with H-E-B have done incredibly well, and are emerging as leaders in our organization.”

Cheryl Bridges, director of the Center for Retailing Studies adds, “H-E-B is a valued partner with the center and Mays Business School. They not only hire many of our best and brightest students, they serve on our advisory board and in such a capacity give us priceless feedback on how to improve and enhance our programs.”

The Center for Retailing Studies promotes and supports retailing through student and executive education programs, research and service. This year, it celebrates its 25th anniversary as an educational unit within Mays Business School.

Categories: Centers, Executive Speakers

As students prepared resume portfolios and brushed up on networking skills, Mays Business School welcomed the fall season by hosting its annual fall career fairs. Organized by the Center for Retailing Studies and the Business Student Council, these events provided students with four days of job searching and career building opportunities.

Career fairs sponsored by the Center for Retailing Studies and Business Student Council provided students with four days of job searching and career building opportunities.
Career fairs sponsored by the Center for Retailing Studies and Business Student Council provided students with four days of job searching and career building opportunities.

The Retailing Career Fair, held September 17, brought more than 40 well-known retailers to campus. Carissa Atkins, manager of college relations for Macy’s, explained that 70 percent of the company’s current management group came from career fair recruits who went through the Macy’s training program. “This is a huge way to recruit talent that will grow our company,” said Atkins. “Mays students really understand what business is looking for. They have high self-expectations and understand the need for professionalism and work experience.” Other big name firms in attendance included Target Corporation, Neiman Marcus, and Pepsi Bottling Group.

One week later, that same professionalism filled the halls of Wehner again as the Business Student Council hosted their annual fall career fair. Representatives from over 150 companies were on hand for the three-day networking event, held September 23-25. Hundreds of students took advantage of the opportunity to meet with some of business’ biggest names, including Shell Oil Company, Ernst & Young, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

“The career fair is a great way to get your feet wet, meet professional people, and build a plan for your future. It’s an incredible networking opportunity that every student should take advantage of,” said senior marketing major Stacie Wheiles ’09.

Both the Center for Retailing Studies and the Business Student Council were organizing the career fairs long before the start of the fall semester. Tyan Jacox, campus programs coordinator for the Center for Retailing Studies, explains that the student benefits that come from career fairs make the months of meticulous planning well worth it. “The Center for Retailing Studies and Mays Business School are united in the mission to give our students the best education and experiences possible to prepare for a career in the business world. Connecting our students with employers who value this preparation and provide opportunities for Aggies in the workplace is an important part of this mission,” said Jacox.

Categories: Centers, Students

Buckingham speaking to students
Dell Senior Manager Randy Blaschke congratulates scholarship recipients David Reme (left) and Michael Prettyman (right).

Two students at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University have been awarded $2,000 scholarships from Dell. The computer giant partners annually with the Mays Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) to recognize students who strive to impact MIS in a unique way. This year, Michael Prettyman and David Reme were the selected recipients. In addition to the scholarship, Prettyman also was granted a corporate internship at Dell.

Students were selected based on their grades, leadership, extracurricular activities, and participation in Mays events and organizations. CIMS faculty as well as a representative from Dell reviewed applications before students were selected for interviews with a senior manager from the company. Dell is one of CMIS’ advisory board member companies.

About the Center

The Center for the Management of Information Systems provides a competitive advantage to its student, faculty, and industry members by facilitating an active partnership (aligning needs and resources) to provide robust, relevant educational opportunities, research support and corporate access. To achieve its mission, CMIS engages a highly active and innovative corporate membership who facilitates the CMIS Mission through coordination, participation, and sponsorship.

Categories: Students