Philip Mann and fellow interns dressed for scavenger hunt.

Philip Mann, left, dressed in traditional African clothing in an immersion exercise for an internship. The scavenger hunt around Disney World gave them insight into how they would look and feel wearing their American clothes while traveling overseas.

The light at the end of the tunnel is finally within sight for the Dec. 15 graduates of Mays Business School. 

Each student’s experience at Mays has been unique, each path afterward just as varied.

Shawn Mays

Shawn Mays

Some students are already immersed in the real world, and have been for awhile. For example, Shawn Mays is a 44-year-old husband and father who has commuted from Houston since fall 2012, working full-time as an automotive instructor at Universal Technical Institute while working to obtain his degree.

The daily drive is 201 miles from his house to College Station, back to his job, then back home after work. “I did that every day I had class and over the five years I only missed four days of class – and they were all serious events, that’s why I remember. One was a funeral, my wife had surgery, I was seriously ill one time, and the last was due to Hurricane Harvey.”

Mays said he had always admired Texas A&M and regretted not attending directly after high school. “I decided one day I wanted to further my education, and the only option I would accept was attending A&M,” he explained. “My best friend growing up and his wife both are both graduates of A&M. There are countless reasons as to what influenced me to attend A&M.  My favorite color is maroon (imagine that).”

Mays finished every class he started, and he currently has a 3.704 GPA. As far as his motivation is concerned, he relates it back to high school, when he was a long-distance runner. “I am a very determined person and don’t give up easily,” he said. “I will see things through to the end and won’t quit till the job is done. I am the type of person that if you tell me something can’t be done, I will do it to just prove to myself it could be done. 

He added: “I am proud of everything I have accomplished and of having had the honor to attend Texas A&M. If I can be an inspiration to one person, to motivate them to do half the things I have done, it would be heart-warming.” …Read more

Categories: Accounting, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School reflects the values of excellence revered by its namesake – Artie McFerrin, a long-time supporter of Texas A&M University and the name behind the $10 million gift that secured the center’s future.

An intimate group that included Artie McFerrin’s wife Dorothy, their daughter Jennifer, and a gathering of family, friends and university leaders attended a recent reception to celebrate the official naming of the center. The event at the Founders Club at Kyle Field served as a tribute to Artie McFerrin, and a thank-you to his family, who have supported Texas A&M for years.

Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65 (2016 photo)

“If you strive for success, if you dream of venturing into the unknown and emerging smarter and stronger, if you want to grow yourself so you can grow others, you not only have a place to go, but also a name forever attached to it,” Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation, said at the event.

The center, which serves more than 3,000 students and more than 1,000 former students through 27 programs, is an international leader in entrepreneurial education. It aims to enhance entrepreneurial student education by providing training, networking, and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and alumni. With the support of a volunteer network, corporate supporters, faculty, and staff, the McFerrin Center 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.

…Read more

Categories: Centers, Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Programs, Selfless service, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s Department of Management hosted an extension conference Oct. 26-27 that explored new directions in international corporate governance research. The event, which was an extension of the main Strategic Management Society’s (SMS) annual conference in Houston, took place at the Mays CityCentre facility. The extension conference built on the SMS Annual Conference theme of “Convergence and Intensity of Global Competition.” It focused on the continued importance of new directions in research on international corporate governance.

Professors Laszlo Tihanyi and Mike Withers served as co-organizers of the event. During the conference, a number of panel discussions, featuring leading scholars whose research has helped move the international corporate governance literature to its current prominent position in the strategic management discipline, were available to conference attendees.

…Read more

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Ph.D., Texas A&M

Students in Professor Henry Musoma’s Survey of Management course had the opportunity to hear from Robert Carter, a psychologist working in Student Counseling Services at Texas A&M University and a dear friend of Musoma’s.

The topic of the day was “Managing Interpersonal Relations and Communications,” so the main point of the discussion was simple. In Carter’s words, “the key to management is communication. You have to reach and connect with people in ways that truly allow for communication to happen.”

…Read more

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

The story of Mays Business School Professor Henry Musoma and Texas A&M University student Ashton Robinson has surprised them both as it has rippled through personal and corporate social media outlets worldwide.

Robinson, a single mom, told Musoma last Thursday she would not be able to attend class because she couldn’t find a babysitter. Instead of giving her the class notes, as she had asked, Musoma encouraged her to bring the baby to class. Toward the end of the class period, Musoma – the father of four – picked up a restless young Emmett and held him as he finished his lecture.

Robinson posted on Facebook how impactful Musoma’s gesture was to her: “Being a single mom is so challenging but it’s people like Dr. Henry Musoma that make life just a tiny bit easier! THIS is why I’m so proud to be an Aggie! Definitely something I’ll never forget and can’t wait to someday tell Emmett that it’s because of people like this that mommy was able to graduate from the best university in the world.”

Five hours later, those six lines had spread worldwide, and Musoma heard from friends, former students, the president of Texas A&M University, and family members in his home country of Zambia, Africa.

“I never imagined such a thing would happen,” Musoma said. “I was just trying to make sure she had the support she needs to succeed – as I would for any student.”

Musoma teaches “Ethical Decision Making and Conduct” at Mays and International Leadership at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

The story continues

During that same class period Thursday, Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones surprised Musoma with an award – the first Mays Business School Spirit Award. The plaque reads, “For your selfless service and dedication to students and their educational needs and pursuits and for your heart for building community.”

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Mays Business School is having a community that’s connected, a community that’s caring. That’s all part of our Strategic Plan,” Jones said. “But he’s not doing it for the Strategic Plan. He’s not doing it because of our culture, necessarily. He’s doing it because this is who he is.”

Jones was joined in the auditorium by Marty Loudder, associate dean of undergraduate programs; Duane Ireland, executive associate dean; and Wendy Boswell, head of the management department.

After a few moments of silence, Musoma broke into an impromptu lecture. “When you do kind deeds you never die. So when you are a generous person, you have no fear of death.”

Then in another act of selflessness, he led the class in singing “Happy birthday” to one of the students before beginning his lecture.

Ashton Robinson and Henry Musoma are surprised in class by Dean Eli Jones and Marty Loudder, associate dean of undergraduate programs; Wendy Boswell, head of the management department; and Duane Ireland, executive associate dean. Credit – Taylor Stephens

 

Categories: Center for Business International Studies, Dean Eli Jones, Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, 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.”

…Read more

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

Several current and former members of the Mays family have stepped up to earn recognition recently.

At the Academy of Management (AOM) conference, Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the AOM and the Distinguished Service Award from the AOM’s Strategic Management Division. Professor Emeritus Mike Hitt received the 2017 Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Educator. Deidra Schleicher transitioned into Chair of the HR Division 2. Professor Bert Canella and Kunyuan Qiao (a Ph.D. student) received Outstanding Reviewer Awards from the Business Policy and Strategy Division 3 (BPS). Associate Professor Cindy Devers received a BPS Distinguished Paper Award. And a paper authored by Assistant Professor Mike Withers, Assistant Professor Mike Howard and Kai Xu won the best paper award from the International Management Division. Associate Professor Cindy Zapata received a Best Reviewer award from the Academy of Management Journal.

At the American Marketing Association 2017 conference, Marketing Professor Rajan Varadarajan was honored as Outgoing Vice President of Publications; Marketing Department Head Mark Houston and former professor Kelly Haws were co-organizers of the conference; and former Mays student Sundar G. Bharadwaj was given a JM – Sheth Foundation Award for a paper he co-authored, “Rethinking Customer Solutions: From Product Bundles to Relational Processes.” Also, Kapil Tuli – one of Bharadwaj’s co-authors on the award-winning paper – completed his MS (Marketing) at Mays before joining Emory University’s inaugural doctoral class in marketing. Tuli is now on the faculty at Singapore Management University.

In addition, a paper by Shankar and Jeff Meyer was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Best Services Article from AMA Services SIG. Their paper “Pricing Strategies for Hybrid Bundles: Analytical Model and Insights” was published in Journal of Retailing.

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Research, Texas A&M

Peter and Lisa Currie of Houston have always cared deeply about the impact of business education and the dual practices of teaching and research. That’s why they established the first $3 million faculty chair at Mays Business School.

The Curries’ gift creates the Lisa Huddleston Currie ’85 and Peter H. Currie ’85 Chair in Business and helps fund faculty recruitment efforts at Mays.

An appointment to an endowed chair is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member. The highest level of performance in research, teaching and service, based on national and international standards, is required for such an appointment.

Gift agreements with donors may specify the criteria for a position; however, in the absence of such specification research and publication will be given primary consideration.

Peter Currie received a bachelor’s degree in 1985 from the Department of Management at the business school. Lisa Currie received a degree in 1985 in educational curriculum and instruction.

…Read more

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School is committed to advancing the world’s prosperity. In part, achieving this vision is attained by creating impactful knowledge, knowing that the more challenged students are in class the more they will be prepared to initiate inspirational change as alumni. Mays is actualizing this undertaking by stressing the importance of enhancing research through two classes that are being offered during this upcoming school year.

One of the courses focuses on graduate-level academic research, while the other introduces undergraduate students to methods for researching material through the lens of business research. R. Duane Ireland, executive associate dean and University Distinguished Professor at Mays, said the courses will serve a greater purpose for Mays graduates.

“Learning is an important objective that drives Mays’ faculty members as they engage in academic research. In this regard, we know that to be successful, business people must strive to consistently learn more about the needs of customers, employees, suppliers and the local communities in which they work and live,” Ireland said. “Similarly, in addition to developing new knowledge, academic researchers are committed to learning about practices that when effectively followed, have a strong probability of helping business people and their firms create value for those they serve. We are indeed pleased that courses are now available to Mays’ students through which they will learn about the purposes of academic research and how it can help them understand how to be effective leaders throughout their careers.”

Introduction to Academic Research

The accounting department is offering a new course called an “Introduction to Academic Research,” which will be taught by Associate Professor Nate Sharp. Its purpose is to encourage students to consider pursuing a Ph.D. in accounting through introducing them to scholarly research. It also includes a discussion element regarding what to expect from Ph.D. programs and how to succeed both in the classroom and as a professor.

Students will hear from guest speakers on why they chose to pursue a Ph.D. and how it impacted their careers. The immediate interest in this innovative course resulted in an enrollment that quickly exceeded the number of classroom seats that were initially available. So many students were eager to participate in this course, the interest surpassed the capacity of the class. Sharp hopes that while teaching the course, he “will be able to persuade them (students) that the scope and novelty of accounting research goes way beyond what they have learned in their undergraduate and even master’s classes about accounting.”

This course is being offered to fifth-year accounting students in the department’s Professional Program (PPA). PPA is a five-year program that offers students the opportunity to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting, MIS, Management, Marketing, or Financial Management. Students in this program can learn from Sharp about the importance of academic research and the role that it plays in a university setting.

It will debut in the Fall 2017 semester.

Applied Business Competencies: Mays Business School Faculty Research

Business research is everywhere, from newspapers to journals to viral social media content. Used well, it can help firms make prudent financial investments, install talented leadership and shape successful advertising campaigns. It can also help everyday shoppers make more informed decisions and even provide rewarding opportunities for a potential career path as an academic researcher.

Yet many college students, outside of Ph.D. tracks and academic circles, are unfamiliar with business research. For them, research is esoteric at best; at worst, uninteresting.

But Stephen (Steve) Courtright, an assistant professor of management, hopes to change those perceptions. He designed an elective course “Applied Business Competencies: Mays Business School Faculty Research” to help make the world of academic business research more accessible to undergraduate and graduate students. The course launched in Spring 2017.

Through the one-hour-credit course, Courtright said he hoped to show students that business research is incredibly relevant for society. “What not everyone knows is that business research is like medical research; it has the potential to affect the quality of people’s lives,” he said. “It can improve how business is conducted and how organizations are run. This makes for a better work environment for everyone involved.”

He also explained that the life of the researcher is like an entrepreneur – and it comes with similar rewards. “Researchers are not just question-askers; they are problem solvers, and you have total freedom pursue the questions and problems that most interest you.”

During the first few weeks of the course, Courtright helped students understand what business research is. Students also learned to look past sensational headlines and questionable sample sizes to evaluate whether research is useful or not. The remaining few weeks of the course, Courtright invited professors from the various Mays departments as guest speakers to present on their own research pursuits and passions.

Participating professors included Nate Sharp,  an associate professor of accounting; Matthew (Matt) Call, an assistant professor of management; Shane Johnson, a professor of finance; Subodha Kumar, an associate professor of information and operations management; and Leonard Berry, University Distinguished Professor of Marketing.

At the end of the semester, students wrote reflections on what they had learned during the semester.

Colton Bucey said the course helped him better see that the role of a researcher is like an entrepreneur. “Coming into this course, I thought I had a solid understanding of what professors’ jobs were like; I thought that professors each lectured for a few hours every week, held office hours, graded assignments and then were finished,” he said. “Actually, at any given time, professors can be working on numerous research topics. They are more or less their own bosses and have extreme flexibility in when/where they chose to work.”

Lauren Abiog, a business administration freshman, reflected on Berry’s presentation on his healthcare industry research and how it opened her eyes to the greater good that many researchers hope to realize. “Dr. Berry’s purpose in researching is to help improve the quality of life of others,” she said. “What a selfless and purposeful reason to live for!”

Courtright said he hopes the course will gain momentum with students in the coming years. “I want more students to be thinking about research as a career,” he said. “Even if they choose not to pursue it as a career, it will give them an appreciation for what faculty like those at Mays do for a living.”

The course is set to be offered in future spring semesters.

By creating these two classes, Mays is providing a platform where professors can instill in students an interest in research that will extend past the four years that they are in college. It has the chance to influence learners to become more intellectually curious, which in turn increases their ability to develop innovative approaches to pursue while seeking to advance the world’s prosperity.

Caitlin Nutt ’19 contributed to this story.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Accounting, Departments, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Research, Students, Texas A&M

For Roger Montemayor ’99, entrepreneurship is synonymous with confidence.

His guiding question is simple: “Do you believe enough in yourself to take on great risk for great gain?”

Believing in himself to take risks has been integral to his success in taking the helm of his father’s company, Victory Insurance, and growing it to the point of attracting the attention of the one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, Arthur J. Gallagher, where he is now area president.

Since he was a college student majoring in business management, he has had all the makings of an entrepreneurial spirit — drive, passion, and a love of leading others to accomplish great things.

“I knew early on that I wanted my performance to control my destiny and took a job offer from my dad to work in sales,” he said. He worked for his father’s company Victory Insurance selling commercial property and casualty to businesses in around the Houston area.

In 2009, Montemayor decided to purchase the agency from his dad and his partner.

“Immediately after he closed, I formulated a plan to diversify our business and focus heavily on growth. I created a personal lines division, that focused on high net worth, complex personal insurance needs. I also opened up a group benefits division, Victory Benefits Advisors.”

Montemayor said that both of these divisions created instant organic growth for the company. By 2016, he had doubled the top line growth of his agency.

Montemayor said he has always had a passion to build business and to lead. “I think it’s because I love the pressure, I love the hustle, I love competition and I’ve never been complacent.”

Montemayor easily recalls a highlight of his career: In 2016, when Fortune 500 company Arthur J. Gallagher sought out with interest in a merger.

The rewards of his endeavors with Victory Insurance have been vast for Montemayor, especially when it comes to the people with whom he works. “I love the responsibility of taking care of my employees,” he said. “It’s extremely fulfilling to know that if I do my job the way that I should, many others will also share in the success.”

Montemayor also underscored that his background at Mays has been invaluable in helping him succeed. “The environment at Mays promoted competition and cultivated a drive that prepared me for the real world.” He credited the community of professors and mentors who were attentive to his preparation and growth.

He added that that the strength of the Aggie network has been crucial. “As Aggies, we take care of each other and we do business with each other. I’ve created so many professional relationships with Aggies, it’s unbelievable.”

 

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Center for Executive Development, Entrepreneurship, Management, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M, Uncategorized