BENEFACTOR Preston Young

Preston Young ’02 enjoys coming back to visit his alma mater and the master’s in real estate students at Mays Business School who will soon be going out in the field, managing and building properties. He said he learns from the students as much as he teaches them.

“Wealth isn’t just a measure of someone’s money and the freedom it can often provide.  More importantly, it is the freedom of controlling one’s own time,” he said. “I feel compelled to share my time and my experience with the students.”

Young said there is a bit of a “pay it forward” aspect to his visits to Mays. “I tell them things I wish I had heard at that age, and it’s a two-way street,” he said. “Their questions give me insight, and they are so bright and inquisitive.”

Young has committed a $100,000 gift to support the program at Mays.

“It is easy to have a big propensity to give back to this great university.   You start to think about the longevity of the gift, and you really feel you’re making an impact on the future,” he said. “When I meet a fellow Aggie, so many good things surface. I feel it’s almost incumbent upon me to give back.”

Young received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University and was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Ross Volunteer Company. Now he is a member of the Aggie Real Estate Network.

Young is regional managing partner for Stream Realty, which was recognized by the Aggie 100 for several years as one of the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or operated companies. He leads the Houston office and jointly spearheads the firm’s strategic initiatives across its entire platform. In addition, he oversees the firm’s initiatives concerning asset management, acquisition and development activities for its principal and strategic clients.

Before joining Stream, Young served in the capital markets division at Trammell Crow Company. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Free Enterprise Institute and serves on the board of directors for the Business Ethics Forum and John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family. In addition, he is involved in a number of other civic and charitable organizations including the 12th Man Foundation’s Champions Council, the Austin Institute, Catholic Charities of Houston and Western Academy.

Preston Young in classroom

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

TriFusion devices teamTexas A&M Today

A student team from Texas A&M University won the grand prize at the Rice Business Plan Competition for their startup company TriFusion Devices, which has developed customizable, 3D-printed prosthetic leg devices. The Aggies collected four checks totaling nearly $400,000; it was the first time a Texas A&M team has ever won the competition.

TriFusion Devices consists of two Ph.D. engineering students, co-founders Blake Teipel and Brandon Sweeney, and Mays Business School MD/MBA student Britton Eastburn, who later joined the team.

The Rice Business Plan Competition is the largest student-centered business plan competition in the world; over $1.69 million in prize money was awarded to 42 companies this past weekend. The companies represented schools from across the U.S. and around the globe, including the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University, which took second and third place, respectively.

The TriFusion team was actively involved in many of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) endeavors, including the Raymond Ideas Challenge having won twice, Silicon Valley Bank Trek, NSF Innovation Corps and significant mentoring through Professor Don Lewis and his team at Startup Aggieland.

“TriFusion is a great example of a team that leveraged the significant resources in the Texas A&M University entrepreneurship ecosystem. All of our team could not be prouder of what this great group of talented Aggie students has accomplished,” says Richard Lester, executive director of the CNVE.

The list of competitors is at

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

26306682772_a2af879357_kThe Mays Leadership Initiative Conference (LINC) started out as one student’s idea. Andres Bustos ’15 wanted to see Mays Business School welcome admitted high school seniors into the Mays family for an immersive weekend experience, before they ever stepped foot on campus for a New Student Conference or to move to Aggieland.

Bustos graduated last year and now works at Shell, but he attended the second annual conference and was honored for his contribution to Mays by having the event renamed BLINC – the Bustos Leadership Initiative Conference.

LINC brings to College Station students who are leaders in their high schools and communities—students who may or may not have decided to call Mays home for the next four years—to introduce them to much of what Mays and Texas A&M University have to offer. From interacting with leading faculty members to exploring our top-notch facilities and resources to engaging in hands-on learning opportunities, students experience Mays Business School’s seven core competencies in a unique environment that shows why Mays Business School students truly love their undergraduate experience and why top career recruiters from across the globe come to Mays to continually find the next generation of business leaders.
On April 8, Mays sent charter busses to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to pick up 82 admitted students from across the state. LINC “delegates,” most of whom are first-generation college students, are able to attend the conference at no cost. The students brought sleeping bags and stayed in the dorm rooms of Texas A&M students for two nights.

The conference is organized and run by a group of student volunteers led by Eduardo Zaldivar and Prerna Kamnani. Mays staff members Corey Stone and Jeana Simpson assisted them. The students heard from faculty members Ben Welch and Mike Schaub and current students, and had the opportunity to participate in a case study activity facilitated by David Flint. In addition to learning about leadership from the speakers, they were treated to fun activities at Kyle Field and the Recreation Center.

The next conference will be in Spring 2017.

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

The Professional MBA program at Mays Business School moved up among its peers in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings.

Mays is ranked 30th overall among part-time MBA programs and 18th among public universities, up from 32nd and 21st in 2015.

The 22-month program is designed as a “working professional” program for people with at least two years of professional experience who want to expand their knowledge and advance their careers in business.

The Mays Professional MBA program launched in the fall of 2012 at Houston’s CityCentre and has made a mark in graduate business education in a short time. Former students report significant career impact as a result of their experience in the Professional MBA program – either new responsibilities, an internal or external job change, or promotion.

Michael Alexander, director of the Professional MBA program, said the reputation of Texas A&M and Mays Business School has helped created a virtuous cycle in the program. “Our program attracts highly competent and engaged professionals looking to grow their business acumen and grow their impact on their company,” he said. “Our current and former students then make a positive impact on their organizations, and on the world, through increased skills, broadened perspectives and more effective leadership.”

He said the competitive advantages of the Mays program are the Aggie Network and the Aggie culture. “Our students self-select into a powerful culture and extend that culture within their cohort, within themselves, and in their careers,” he said.

Since 2014, the Professional MBA program has consistently ranked in the top 25 public university “part-time MBA” rankings according to U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings.

“Our program is highly thought of by our peer universities as well as our students, graduates and their employers,” Alexander said. “Those opinions are our highest honor.”

To be eligible for the part-time ranking, a program needed to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and have at least 20 students enrolled in fall 2015; 296 of the nation’s 344 part-time MBA programs met those criteria and were included in this ranking.

U.S. News & World Report is the only publication that ranks the Mays program. It is based on five factors:

  • Average peer assessment score (50 percent of the school’s overall score)
  • Average GMAT score and average GRE quantitative and verbal scores of part-time MBA students entering in fall 2015 (15 percent). At Mays, both GMAT and GRE scores are considered if an MBA program reports both, which allows consideration of the admissions test scores of the entire entering class.
  • Average undergraduate GPA of part-time MBA students entering in fall 2015 (5 percent)
  • Work experience of part-time MBA students entering in fall 2015 (15 percent)
  • The percentage of the business school’s fall 2015 MBA enrollment that is part time (15 percent)

The statistical data were collected in fall 2015 and early 2016.


Categories: Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M

In its first 25 years, the Professional Program (PPA) at Mays Business School has become one of the largest providers of CPAs nationally and by far the largest in Texas, producing about 4,500 graduates to date.

The Professional Program is an integrated five-year curriculum that offers students the opportunity to simultaneously earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s of science degree in any one of the business majors. Placement rates for graduates are nearly 100 percent, as the program is a leading source of prospects for the largest public accounting firms. PPA graduates are also sought after by companies in the consulting, investment banking and corporate accounting/finance, energy, financial services and technology arenas.

At a recent reunion and scholarship drive at Texas A&M University, about 200 former students, supporters and faculty members gathered at the Zone Club at Kyle Field to share stories and meet with former classmates and faculty members. They heard from inaugural program director Austin Daily and Accounting Department Head Jim Benjamin, and they donated funds for scholarships for fifth-year PPA students.

Annie McGowan and Austin Daley PPA Director Annie McGowan visited with Austin Daily, the program’s first director.

The program began in 1992 as the accounting profession began calling for increased education for CPA’s, and Texas added a requirement of 150 hours of education to sit for the CPA exam, Benjamin said. While the requirement did not mandate a master’s degree, Mays added non-traditional academic tracks providing the option of master’s degrees. Both degrees are awarded simultaneously at the end of the program. “Many peer schools now have integrated programs, but the formats vary considerably,” Benjamin said. “What makes our program truly unique from all others is the opportunity for students to get the MS degree in finance, MIS, marketing or entrepreneurship in the program. I am not aware of any other schools that have such an option.”

All PPA graduates are eligible to sit for the CPA exam, and most start their careers in public accounting, but Benjamin said Mays faculty and administrators believe that the master’s degree options give Mays graduates greater career opportunities – as evidenced through the success and career progression of the PPA graduates.

Mays is consistently ranked in the top 10 accounting programs nationally by a number of ranking services. The CPA exam pass rates of the Mays PPA students significantly exceed national averages, and the program is usually in the top 10 in that category among large accounting programs. Almost all of the PPA students have paid internships during their fourth year, and most have accepted jobs prior to graduation.

“Parents and students were initially somewhat skeptical of the need for accountants to have a graduate degree,” Benjamin added, “but the value proposition seemed to be accepted relatively quickly and the integrated concept became well branded quickly.”

PPA picks up, maintains steam

Annie McGowan, current director of the program, said it quickly earned a very positive reputation among employers and that most graduates have job offers prior to graduation. Most of the students have internships during their fourth year. The consensus among employers has been that the Professional Program adds value well beyond a traditional bachelor’s program coupled with a traditional stand-alone master’s program.

“The program was designed to focus on problem solving, teamwork, technology, leadership and communication, as well as other broader business issues,” McGowan said. “The success of the tracks required not only substantial cooperation among the departments involved, but also a seamless relationship between the program’s BBA and MS phases.”

For Brett Parrish ’93, one of the students in the first cohort, the PPA was a springboard for a successful career that led him to become a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He said the program helped him be a more well-rounded graduate. “I was much more qualified, both technically and professionally, than if I had not gone through the program,” he said. “Being a part of Group 1 was a neat experience, helping to establish something that has continued to grow and flourish. I enjoy getting to come back to campus and meet with students and recruit. It is always neat to see the students’ reactions when I tell them I’m from Group I.”


Brett Parrish, Group I, and Samantha Bates, Group XXV, with Brett’s wife and Samantha’s mother, Stacey Parrish.

Parrish said the internship was built into the program at a good time. “I was able to obtain career experience while still a student, then take that knowledge back for the rest of my schooling and apply what I learned,” he said. “Because of the experiences during my internship, I was much more focused on learning the skills and information that would benefit me going forward, instead of learning to achieve a grade.”

Parrish said the program has changed quite a bit since he was in it. For one thing, the program initially had no name, so that became one of the first tasks for the students. Also, when he began, there wasn’t a 150-hour requirement to receive a CPA license. “This made recruiting students into the program difficult since it wasn’t a necessity to have the master’s degree,” he said. “Additionally, we lost several folks after the internship when they decided to not come back for their fifth year. By the time we graduated, there were approximately 30-35 students. Now the program has grown to around 250.”

The program continues to be proactive in providing its students with options to expand the breadth of available opportunities. The program partners with the Bush School to offer students the option to integrate a transfer pricing or non-profit certificate into their course of study. Students are also offered an opportunity to participate in a global immersion program to Australia.

PPA’s next generation

Sometimes a good thing comes full circle, and such is the case with PPA. Samantha Bates ’17 is a current student in Group XXV of the program. She said she knew she wanted to study business, but was undecided on what field to pursue. She was strongly influenced by her stepfather, Brett Parrish, and Bates set her goal during her freshman year to get admitted to the program.

She said she knew of the program’s good reputation and advantages, which open many doors in the business world. She liked the idea of getting a master’s degree and being able to sit for the CPA exam before graduating, as well as the opportunity to interview and intern with the most prestigious accounting firms. “In my opinion, the program really sets you up for success and gives you all the tools you need to excel in the ‘real world,’” Bates said. “I hope to gain experience and connections in the industry as well as continue to learn and expand my knowledge base through the master’s degree.”

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

First-year MBA student Alycia Crandall stood outside the back doors of the Cocanougher Center with her unofficial fifth teammate in the MBA Venture Challenge: a full-grown horse. Her mission: to deliver a compelling elevator pitch convincing each of the 75 judges in attendance to come listen to her team’s analysis of RevaTis, a new veterinary medicine research company commercializing stem cell services for thoroughbred horses.

MBA Venture horse

The elevator pitch competition was the first round of the MBA Venture Challenge, a seven-day experiential competition held annually in collaboration between the MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), both at Mays Business School.

In this year’s challenge, 63 first-year MBA students formed into 15 teams and selected from a pool of 25 early-stage companies seeking advice and analysis on their market opportunity and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between the teams, for both sponsored cash awards and course credit, as well as high-value effort and insights for the participating firms.

The MBA Venture Challenge asks the MBA student teams to provide a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of their selected firm’s market and financial viability. The CNVE sources these early-stage firms from its position in the Aggie and local entrepreneurial ecosystem, utilizing partners such as the Aggie Angel Network, A&M System Technology Commercialization, the Research Valley Innovation Center, Seed Sumo, Innovation Underground and the TEEX Product Development Center. These businesses come from a wide variety of industries, from internet media to medical devices; consumer technology to animal health.

The MBA teams are allowed only one week of direct contact with company representatives, but are provided feedback and guidance from industry and university mentors, including the MBA Program Faculty. MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains: “Venture Challenge is so beneficial to both our students and to the companies participating. The MBA Program has completely integrated the Challenge into our students’ course work, evaluating their analysis and recommendations for course credit.”

After seven days (and long nights) of preparation, evaluation and analysis, the MBA Venture Challenge culminates in a full-day competition that starts with an elevator pitch round, two full rounds of preliminary presentations, then a finals round of presentations from the top six teams. Throughout the presentation rounds, teams are scored by an audience of invited judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round requires the teams to present a concise but in-depth analysis of the venture and provide meaningful recommendations to the venture’s leadership on how to best address their shortcomings.

CNVE Director Blake Petty describes the MBA Venture Challenge as a unique and valuable experience for all participants – students, ventures and judges. “It has always been aimed at offering the MBA students an impactful experience introducing many of them to the unique aspects of leading and launching a new business,” he said. “As a meaningful – and powerful – side effect, the participating companies and judges receive valuable insights, critique, analysis and recommendations toward pivots and improvements their new ventures can make to enhance their likelihood of success.”

The winning MBA teams were announced at a networking and awards reception immediately following the Challenge on Feb. 19:

  • First Place ($5,000, sponsored by Aggie Angel Network) – James Hammond, Tien Le, Brian Newbury and Jordan Nielson (Block Party Suites)
  • Second Place ($3,000, sponsored by Research Valley Innovation Center) – Jonathan Macrae, Eva Martinez-Salinas, John Dexter and Saurabh Kulkarni (ADVENTURE GURU)
  • Third Place ($2,000, sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Jason Morgan, Lillian Niakan, Raj Sridharan and Sneha Das (Scepter Medical Devices)

Categories: Centers, Mays Business, Programs, Students, Texas A&M


In its annual ranking of business schools that are “Best for Vets,” Military Times ranked Texas A&M’s Mays Business School as 1st in Texas and 9th among the top 77 U.S. business schools in 2016. This is the fourth consecutive year Mays has placed in the Top 10 nationally among business schools.

The annual Military Times rankings take into consideration a variety of factors to determine a school’s overall score, including university culture, student support, academic outcomes and quality, academic policies, and cost and financial aid.

“We are proud to be a national leader for excellence in service to military veterans and their families,” Dean Eli Jones said. “This ranking reflects the importance of military service, as well as our ongoing commitment to providing veterans with access to high-quality, cost-effective graduate business programs.”

In the Full-Time MBA Class of 2016, 24 percent of the students are military veterans, which is a reflection of the business school’s efforts to recruit veterans. They come from all branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Recruiting from the military branches has been intentional at Mays, because employers recognize the preparedness of these students and the value they bring to the workplace.

“The Full-Time MBA Program is committed to helping our veterans identify and communicate the unique skills they acquired during their military experiences, which would be most useful to corporate employers,” Shannon Deer, director of the Full-Time MBA Program, said. “The program is also adding several new veteran services this year, including programs to help veterans identify employers, develop a personal brand and transition from military to civilian life,” she added.

The Mays Full-Time MBA Program is offered on the main campus of Texas A&M University. “It was a natural choice for me,” Jim Kelly, a 2013 graduate of the program, said. “It’s an accelerated 16-month program, and the amount of time I had to spend away from work was limited. It’s a military-friendly program, and I’m a veteran. It was an easy choice for me.”

Texas A&M is a national leader for providing services to veterans. The university currently provides support through two campus offices for more than 1,100 veterans and at least 2,200 military dependents, spouses and survivors who are currently enrolled students.

For more information on the veterans benefits offered by Mays Business School, visit

Categories: Programs

The Mays Business School MBA program has been recognized as a “Top Tier” MBA in North America by CEO Magazine’s Global Ranking 2016, published by the International Graduate Forum (IGF).  The Mays Executive MBA program has been listed under the Tier One ranking for Executive MBA programs globally. The CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings are compiled based upon key performance indicators considered to be of interest and value to potential students: the learning environment, class sizes, tuition fees, faculty, delivery methods, international diversity, gender make-up and more. The objective of the rankings is to identify schools that marry exceptional quality with great return on investment.

The Mays MBA program was previously recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek, US News and World Report, and Forbes as a Top 10 public program in the country.  The Executive MBA has been consistently recognized by Financial Times among the very best EMBA programs nationally and globally. The Professional MBA was ranked 21st U.S. Public (32nd in U.S. overall) by U.S. News & World Report (2016).

The complete CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings 2016 can be viewed in the latest edition of CEO Magazine or online on the magazine’s new website

The Mays Executive MBA and Professional MBA programs are offered at CityCentre in Houston, while the Full-Time MBA is based on the main Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

Several Mays programs placed well in the 2016 Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking Financial Markets.

  • MS in Marketing ranked 3rd in the worldeduniversal
  • MS in Accounting ranked 3rd
  • MS in Management Information Systems ranked 6th
  • MS in Finance & Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) ranked 7th
  • MS in Human Resource Management ranked 9th
  • MS in Management ranked 12th
  • MS in Real Estate ranked 13th
  • MBA in Finance ranked 23rd

For more details, go to

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

IMG_5305Sixth-graders from Bryan ISD’s Odyssey Academy visited Mays Business School for the second day of the Freshman Business Initiative’s project presentations.

Henry Musoma’s FBI students presented posters in the Wehner atrium that depicted their semester-long research on how certain global issues relate to business. Richard Johnson’s students presented posters the previous day.

The students worked in teams to research a specific global issue and find ways that a specific major of business – finance, marketing, supply chain, etc. – might address the issue. The presentations ranged from Health and Healthcare in South Africa to Coronary Heart Disease in Panama to Transportation in Brazil.

“I didn’t realize that many countries had so much problems,” said sixth-grader Reagan Barker, who was one of dozens of students from the STEM magnet program at Stephen F. Austin Middle School.

Musoma arranged the visit as an outreach to the community, to enhance the younger students’ understanding of global issues and business and empower them to reach their fullest potential and set college as a viable goal.

Musoma“You can see everything click in their heads,” said Mays freshman Reagan Brown, who partnered with freshman Carmen Guzman to present “The Poverty Problem” about poverty in Canada. “It’s really interesting to see how much they understand about the topic,” Brown said.

Guzman added: “It’s amazing to come here and work with these kids. They even taught me some things.”

Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, Programs, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized