By Jeffrey Quinn ’20

Business Honors and finance

On May 10th, I embarked on my journey to Mbale, Uganda, where I volunteered with an organization called HELP International. HELP International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has volunteer programs in multiple locations across the world, but has had volunteers on the ground in Uganda for the last seven years. My volunteer experience lasted for six weeks from May 12th to June 23rd. I had a lot of individuals try to discourage me from traveling to Uganda because of the danger they associated with living in Africa, but I was determined to empower Ugandans in their fight against poverty.

I will never forget the six weeks I spent working in Mbale and the lessons that the truly amazing local men and women taught me.

A problem to solve

One of HELP’s most important partnerships was with an orphanage in the Sibwala Village that is home to 300 orphans. The most immediate problem that faced the orphanage was its failure to be sustainable if HELP International no longer provided funding. One of the most vital lessons I learned during this internship is the importance of sustainability when doing developmental work. The most effective form of developmental work is providing individuals with knowledge and the ability to be sustainable without any outside intervention. This is why I felt it was important to immediately tackle the failure of the Sibwala Orphanage to be sustainable.

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Categories: Business Honors, Center for Business International Studies, Centers, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

By Dunae Crenwelge, The Texas A&M Foundation

The Texas A&M Foundation has received commitments of $3 million from the Mays Family Foundation and $2.6 million from the Charles Koch Foundation to establish the Mays Innovation Research Center (MIRC) within the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

With these contributions, both foundations continue their legacy of philanthropy at Texas A&M. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation has given a record $25 million in support of Mays Business School, bringing its lifetime contributions to more than $50 million. This contribution marks the first gift from the Koch Foundation to Mays Business School, although the organization has supported other endeavors at Texas A&M.

Drawing from academic disciplines across the Texas A&M campus, MIRC will examine the nature of innovation. Research at the center will focus on how innovation advances human potential; the essential conditions necessary for innovation to flourish; how innovation spreads; and the social, economic and legal frameworks necessary to support innovation. Many traditional university innovation centers focus on teaching the history, theory, and practice of innovation. By contrast, MIRC is a research-oriented academic center that will engage in the study of innovation to advance knowledge in this important field.

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Categories: Centers, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

The Texas A&M University Center for Retailing Studies will host its annual Retailing Summit on Oct. 12-13 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Since its launch in 1985, the Retailing Summit has provided inspiring, original, content for retail executives. Hundreds of business leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico attend the event.

“Most retailers can no longer differentiate on product or price alone. Experiences play a central role in brand perception,” says Kelli Hollinger, Director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School. “The Retailing Summit’s speakers will address how their companies deliver engaging experiences successfully across both the physical and digital worlds to excite customers and drive sales.”

The 2017 Retailing Summit will include appearances from two CEO’s, two of America’s top five retail firms by sales volume, several top 100 retailers, and other beloved brands.

A new and exciting addition to this year’s conference features a session with founders from four start-up companies launched by current and former Texas A&M students. The presentations showcase Texas A&M and its students as sources of technical innovation and new consumer brands in the retailing industry. The start-ups include AI technology, a grocery app, a nutrition snack, and an apparel line.

This year’s conference speakers include:

Crayola – Victoria Lozano, SVP & GM, Attractions & Retail
Zoës Kitchen – Kevin Miles, CEO
Dollar General – Steve Sunderland, SVP – Store Operations
Indochino – Drew Green, CEO
Walgreens – Kenya Jackson, Corporate Vice President
The Home Depot – William Bonnell, Senior Director of Site Reliability Engineering

“The disruption in retail justifies investing time away from the office to learn. The conference agenda is packed with insights valuable to traditional retailers and suppliers alike,” Hollinger adds.

Proceeds from the Retailing Summit support leadership programs and curriculum for students pursuing retail studies at Mays Business School.

Conference sponsors include Academy Sports + Outdoors, Alliance Data, BDO, brierley + partners, NectarOM, Protivix, REVTECH, ROOT, Shell, and Texas Retailers Association.

For further information on how to register for the 2017 Retailing Summit, visit retailingsummit.org.

 

Categories: Center for Retailing Studies, Centers, Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

By Dorian Martin ’06, The Texas A&M Foundation

The entrepreneurial spirit of longtime Texas A&M University benefactor Arthur “Artie” McFerrin Jr. will continue to inspire future generations of Aggies through the renaming of Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) in his honor.

McFerrin, who passed away Aug. 8 after a long battle with leukemia, consistently supported Texas A&M’s academic and athletic programs with major gifts. The 1965 graduate of Texas A&M University is the namesake of the McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, the McFerrin Athletic Center (the indoor football complex and track stadium) and the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center.

“Widely known as one of the most generous, humble and understated leaders in business, Artie gave more in his life than he ever took,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “He set a standard few others will ever achieve as a man of character and conviction focused on the future. It is fitting that the newly renamed McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship will bear the name of someone so focused on giving others opportunities.”

The CNVE’s renaming was made possible through a $10 million gift from McFerrin and his wife, Dorothy. These funds will advance the center’s work as an international leader in entrepreneurial education. “We are truly grateful to the McFerrin family,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “Artie’s spirit lives on through the thousands of lives he has influenced and will continue to influence. His heart for Texas A&M and entrepreneurship beats in the hearts of those Aggies who choose to be courageous enough to create solutions to the world’s biggest problems—those who are indeed fearless.”

Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65

Funds will further help the center more effectively prepare aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in a turbulent global economy. “Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art center that equips young people for starting and growing their ventures,” said Richard Lester, the center’s executive director. “With this support, we can expand our reach and impact while linking existing programs for a cohesive experience. More than grooming specific skills, we hope to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: to believe they can achieve and not give up when the going gets tough.”

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Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Donors Corner, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

The 24 veterans who completed a week of small business management training with Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School left Saturday armed with information, enthusiasm and commitment.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) July 15-22 provided valued skills to leverage post-9/11 military service in pursuit of business ownership.

This year’s program marks the 10th anniversary of EBV at Texas A&M. The new name – Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program – recognizes a $2 million dollar endowment provided by the Reynolds and Reynolds company to support EBV at Texas A&M. The gift is part of Texas A&M’s “Lead by Example” campaign that launched in 2016.

Some of the ventures were:

  • Keys to your City, a social media application developed by Jesse Simpson to connect veterans and help them adjust after reintegration
  • Coventry Medical Recruiting, a staffing company to Kevin Cross created to connect nurses, nurse practitioners with family practice healthcare providers
  • Titan Environmental Solutions, a company Maggie Peterson created to sell muscle walls, a low-density poly-ethylene structure
  • Corporate Hires Solutions, a staffing company created by Jason Hendricks
    Urgent Air Designs, an e-commerce site created by Todd Taylor that gives back 20 percent to the teams
  • 1st Quality Property Management, a property management company created by Charlie Moehlenbrock
  • Elemental Fitness and Wellness Clinic, a health and wellness clinic created by Megan Williams

Robert Burnett ’87, senior vice president of Reynolds & Reynolds, described the week’s long hours and hard work. “The quality of teaching and mentorship was incredible,” he said.

Burnett said he observed “extreme discipline” and “a commitment to task” in the participants, as well as the ability to adapt to a situation, or pivot. “They now have the opportunity to impact their community, state, nation,” he said before declaring them “fit for the job.”

The EBV was founded in 2007 at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, and has expanded to include 10 universities, including Mays Business School at Texas A&M. These 10 institutes of higher education deliver EBV to veterans who desire to develop the skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners, foundations and private donors allow participants to attend the program cost-free.

EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course where participants shape business plans and learn business language. During the second phase, participants complete an intensive eight-day residency at a university, learning the “nuts and bolts” of business ownership from established entrepreneurs and educators. Following the residency, EBV graduates will receive access to a year-long support and mentorship program through EBV Technical Assistance, managed by the IVMF.

The week in numbers:

  • 144 hours
  • 50 speakers/panelists
  • 39 hours in class
  • 12 hours with mentors
  • 59 pots of coffee
  • 87 Snickers
  • 432 bottles of water
  • 600+ slides

 

 

 

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Aspiring veteran entrepreneurs will receive small business management training at Texas A&M University during the annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) July 15-22. This year’s program marks the 10th anniversary of EBV at Texas A&M and comes with a new title and partner. Veterans will come to the College Station campus to leverage valued skills from military service in pursuit of business ownership.

Founded in 2007 at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, EBV has now expanded to include ten world-class universities, including Mays Business School at Texas A&M. These 10 institutes of higher education deliver EBV to post-9/11 veterans who desire to develop the skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners, foundations and private donors allow participants to attend the program cost-free.

This year’s program at Texas A&M is renamed Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program to recognize a $2 million dollar endowment provided by the Reynolds and Reynolds company to support EBV at Texas A&M. The gift is part of Texas A&M’s “Lead by Example” campaign that launched in 2016, and celebrates the tenth anniversary of EBV’s success at Texas A&M.

Reynolds and Reynolds has always been a strong partner of Mays Business School, consistently recruiting talent from Texas A&M and as a founding partner of the Mays Professional Selling Initiative. As a company, Reynolds and Reynolds provide automotive retailing solutions for car dealers and automakers in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Europe. It is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio with more than 4,300 associates worldwide.

EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course where participants shape business plans and learn business language. During the second phase, participants will complete an intensive eight-day residency at a university, learning the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business ownership from established entrepreneurs and educators. Following the residency, EBV graduates will receive access to a year-long support and mentorship program through EBV Technical Assistance — managed by the IVMF.

Visit ebv.vets.syr.edu for more information on EBV.

Media contacts:

Shanna Spencer, Program Manager, CNVE

(979) 845-0619, sspencer@mays.tamu.edu

or

Kelli Levey Reynolds, Mays Business School

(979) 845-3167, klevey@mays.tamu.edu

About the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that transforms veterans into entrepreneurs. Delivered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the EBV leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-related disabilities. Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, the program has since expanded to nine additional universities across the U.S., including Cornell University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Purdue University, Saint Joseph’s University, Texas A&M University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Connecticut and University of Missouri.  Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners and donors allows participants to attend the program at no cost. For more information, visit ebv.vets.syr.edu and follow the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

About the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship

Through a combination of entrepreneurial-focused curricular and experiential opportunities, The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) seeks to enhance the livelihood of Texas A&M University and the greater community. Since its inception in 1999, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) has served as the hub of entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University.

Our goal is to enhance student education by providing training, networking, and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and alumni. With the support of our volunteer network, corporate supporters, faculty, and staff, CNVE has been able to provide business start up acceleration, competitive opportunities, work experiences, and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community and across the world. For more information about the EBV Program at Texas A&M, visit ebv.tamu.edu.

About Texas A&M University and Mays Business School

Texas A&M University, currently enrolling more than 45,000 students, is the oldest public university in the state. One of its most cherished traditions and legacies is the Corp of Cadets. With the exception of the service academies, A&M’s Corps makes up the nation’s largest uniformed student body, with approximately 1,800 students participating, and annually commissions more officers than any other institution. To date, more than 220 former cadets have achieved the rank of general or admiral. Since 1968, Mays Business School has been training ethical business leaders to impact the global society. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its academic programs and faculty scholarship and currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. Mays is home to seven centers that advance innovative theory and best practices in a broad range of business functional areas including new ventures and entrepreneurship. These centers offer a direct connect for faculty and professionals to collaborate on research, and for students to be exposed to ideas advancing business today.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

The Aggie Real Estate Network (AREN) is hosting its 40th Annual Conference July 27-29 Bryan/College Station’s newest luxury hotel, the Stella Hotel located at Lake Walk at Traditions Golf Club.

The celebration of the AREN’s accomplishments culminates each year at the Annual Real Estate Conference. This event’s primary focus, since its introduction in 1977, is on continuous education and fundraising. Members satisfy their goal by inviting real estate professionals to College Station and providing them with the opportunity to learn, celebrate, and network with peers.

Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of the original conference, the event begins with a commemorative reception on Thursday evening. It will be followed by speakers and networking opportunities on Friday and Saturday.

For additional information, visit https://aggierealestate.aggienetwork.com/annual-conference/2017-registration/.

What differentiates AREN is the support from its members. Many affiliates serve as mentors to graduate students, host various conferences in the pursuit of lifelong education, and fundraise to create scholarships for students. The organization has raised more than $350,000, with $225,000 of that being awarded to outstanding students.

Mays Executive Professor Cydney Donnell, who is director of real estate programs, is coordinating the conference. A big part of the conference’s purpose is to raise funds in support of the real estate education efforts at Texas A&M,” she said. “Students have benefited greatly from both endowed scholarships and funding for educational events and trainings.”

How the network evolved

Students in the Master of Land Economics and Real Estate (LERE) Program created what is now known as the Aggie Real Estate Network (AREN). Their hope was to establish an organization where students could connect and network with those who had similar interests. These students originally called the organization The Association of Texas Real Estate Economists.

Master’s students who were accepted into the LERE Program were working toward a degree from the College of Agriculture. As finance became a more prominent feature of the real estate industry, the program was transferred to Mays Business School and the name was changed to the Master of Real Estate Program.

There are still close ties between the Master of Real Estate Program and College of Agriculture. The streamlined academic option, 4+1, was created for top students in Agricultural Economics who were interested in obtaining a Masters in Real Estate. The program allows students to register for essential agriculture courses and collaborate with students who are enrolled in a similar program in the College of Architecture.

Typically, the Master of Real Estate Program accepts 30 to 45 students annually and provides them with countless opportunities after college. Numerous students go on to work in banking, mortgage finance, retail site selection, investing, and agricultural appraisal. While graduates venture into the professional world, many continue to stay connected to Texas A&M through membership in The Aggie Real Estate Network.

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Centers, Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Programs, Real Estate, Texas A&M

This fall, Mays master’s students will have the opportunity to connect with analytics experts through the new Mays Marketing Analytics Challenge. The partnership was coordinated by Hari Sridhar, Center for Executive Development Professor and Associate Professor of Marketing.

The mission behind this partnership is to provide students in the MS Marketing Analytics Class with the opportunity to learn from professionals, put into practice what they learn in class, and bolster Mays’ commitment to marketing analytics.

The first partnership is with Buxton and Ansira, who will provide guest lectures from partners at Buxton and Ansira and opportunities for students to visit their offices in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Fall 2017 challenge will culminate with students presenting their analytic solutions to partners, who will provide commentary, advice, and suggestions. The competition will be on Nov. 20.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Each semester, the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) hosts 15-20 industry leaders for the Executive Professor Speaker Series, designed to connect retail students with working professionals as guest lecturers.

“Visiting executives share their personal experiences with students and promote career opportunities within their companies,” said Lauren Osborne ’05, program manager.

“Hearing first-hand from our speakers is the highest-rated learning experiences by our students as they incorporate what they learn from their coursework.”

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Categories: Center for Retailing Studies, Centers, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, Students, Texas A&M

A group of Mays Business School students attended the annual New York City Market Tour, which the Center for Retailing Studies hosts, immersing students in business tours and dynamic cultural experiences they cannot get in Central Texas.

Open to the M.B. Zale Leadership Scholars and members of the Student Retailing Association, this one-of-a-kind spring break travel opportunity provides students aspiring to careers in retail a behind-the-scenes look at some of the world’s greatest brands and retail flagship stores in Manhattan.

“In preparation, I thought about all the different versions of the city that I had seen from sitcoms and movies and had high expectations going in,” said Allison McGraw ’19. “New York blew my expectations out of the park!”

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Categories: Center for Retailing Studies, Centers, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M