The Mays Business School’s interdisciplinary Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Program (“STEM to Stocks”) kicked off its 2016-2017 program year with an orientation on Aug. 8. This year’s class is the largest yet, at 77 students, including 40 Texas A&M undergraduates who are taking advantage of the program’s Accelerated Admissions (4+1) option. The mission of the MSF is to help students with non-finance undergraduate degrees launch finance-related careers.

MSF Program Director Kevin Moore and Assistant Director Allison Hayes were joined at the orientation by Arvind Mahajan, the newly appointed Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, and Sorin Sorescu, head of the Department of Finance. Kristi Shryock, Executive Director of Interdisciplinary Engineering Programs, joined the orientation to award almost $35,000 in program scholarships earned by Texas A&M engineering students.

The students also met the program’s Career Management Center team, including Director Kim Austin, Associate Director Desiree Wilson and Associate Director for MS Programs Mitch Lederman, as well as Senior Career Coordinator Lisa Burton. Last year, the program achieved 94 percent full-time job placement and 100 percent internship placement for domestic students.

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

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holder of the Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, received two awards and two other faculty members were recognized during the 2016 Summer Educators Conference of the American Marketing Association (AMA), held Aug. 5-6 in Atlanta.

Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the American Marketing Association’s Ph.D. Project, a national group the works to increase the diversity of business school faculty members. The Ph.D. Project’s annual recognition of faculty members started in 2011 to honor commitment, involvement and inspiration, and to recognize “a select few who have greatly inspired many,” organizers said.

This year was the first time a charity component was added to the award. Members of the AMA’s Selling and Sales Management Special Interest Group (Sales SIG) gave personally to a charity in Jones’ name, and raised more than $14,000 – the highest raised by a single individual. The fund-raising component was a surprise to Jones until the night of his award. When presenting the Hall of Fame honor to Jones, KPMG Foundation and Ph.D. Project President Bernard Milano said: “You have been a wonderful role model and mentor to many, many people.”

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Venkatesh Shankar (left)

Jones also was presented with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA’s Sales SIG, which provides programs designed to enhance selling and sales management scholarship, teaching and practice in an inclusive and collegial environment. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the outstanding scholar who has made meaningful contributions to the field of sales through publications in top journals, teaching excellence, fostering professional development among others, and generally contributing to scholarship in the area of sales. 

Mays faculty members who were recognized at the conference were marketing professors Venkatesh Shankar and Manjit Yadav.

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Manjit Yadav (left)

Shankar was recognized with the 2016 Outstanding Area Editor Award for the Journal of Marketing (JM). Yadav was recognized as Outstanding Reviewer for JM.

Jones said of the school’s positive representation at the conference: “Part of our mission is to create a vibrant learning organization. The awards garnered recently are a testament to the quality of our people and the vibrancy of our culture. People make the place. I’m pleased with the culture we’ve  created and the desire to continuously improve it.” 
Faculty members from other Mays departments have also been recognized in recent months:

 

Lorraine EdenManagement Professor Lorraine Eden won the inaugural Woman of the Year award from the Women in the Academy of International Business, a special-interest group within the Academy of International Business. She was presented the award at the annual AIB meeting in New Orleans in June.

Alina SorescuAlina Sorescu has been invited to join the editorial review board of the top-tier Journal of Marketing Research.

BarrickA paper University Distinguished Professor of Management Murray Barrick co-wrote won best paper in Personnel Psychology. It was titled “Personality and Leadership Composition in Top Management Teams: Implications for Organizational Effectiveness.”

Duane IrelandUniversity Distinguished Professor of Management and Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland was on a team that won the 2016 Journal of Management Scholarly Impact Award for “Signaling Theory: A Review and Assessment.” His colleagues were Brian L. Connelly, Trevis C. Certo and Christopher R. Reutzel.

Michael HowardManagement Assistant Professor Mike Howard’s paper won a “Best Paper” honor from the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management. “The Influence of Founder Collaborations on Venture Knowledge Quality” was co-written with Warren Boeker, Sandip Basu and Arvin Sahaym.

CourtrightManagement Assistant Professor Stephen Courtright received a Best Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management Review.

James-Abbey-3James Abbey, Assistant Professor in the Deparment of Information and Operations Management, was invited to and joined the Editorial Review Boards for two top-tier journals: Production and Operations Management Journal and Journal of Operations Management. Abbey also received a “Best Reviewer Award” for review work at Production and Operations Management Journal and was recognized for “Outstanding Review Work” at the Production and Operations Management 2016 Annual Conference.

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

Sixteen veteran entrepreneurs from across several states spent hours last week studying and learning the ins and outs of launching their new business endeavors through Texas A&M University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. After presenting their business plans to their peers and esteemed mentors, the participants each went home excited to begin their personal and professional passions, taking along with them the wisdom, advice and much-appreciated guidance shared with them over the eight-day residency.

In its ninth year to be hosted by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the 2016 EBV program once again served veterans with a military service-linked disability who have started or are interested in starting their own business. The national EBV program was launched in 2007 by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and in 2008, added Texas A&M University to a consortium that now includes 10 additional universities across the nation. Each university in the consortia makes a strong commitment to support this nation’s veterans and help to guide them down the path of starting and maintaining a successful business venture.

At Texas A&M, the EBV week is filled with expert lectures, one-on-one mentoring from volunteer entrepreneurs, access to tremendous resources, a lot of food and a full dose of the Spirit of Aggieland. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Departments, Management, Mays Business, Programs, Texas A&M

Researchers work to revolutionize how health care institutions clean surfaces

“Technology boot camp” is how Virender Sharma, a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, describes his experience at Innovation Corps (I-Corps), a National Science Foundation (NSF) program that helps scientists bring their discoveries out the laboratory and toward the commercial market.

“One thing I discovered during this process is that the science is only 20 percent of it,” Sharma said. “The other 80 percent is just business—how you sell it, how you make deals.”

Sharma’s work using ferrate ions—which are iron ions that have lost four or more of their electrons—as a disinfectant has been shown to be extremely successful in the lab, and he was starting to wonder if it was time to make a commercial product.

“I think Dr. Sharma was disappointed when he found out that I wasn’t a consultant who would tell him if his technology has value,” said Chuck Hinton, director of NSF I-Corps at Texas A&M, which is part of Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship. “He was going to have to figure that out for himself, and that is the key of this program.”

Although other Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers have participated in regional I-Corps programs, Sharma and his team are the first to participate in a national cohort. The other members of the team were Jashanpreet Singh, a postdoctoral fellow in Sharma’s lab who served as the entrepreneurial lead on the project, and Chetan Jinadatha, an assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and chief of infectious diseases at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple.

Jinadatha’s work focuses on infections acquired in hospitals and other health care settings, which sicken 722,000 people and kill about 75,000 per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Examples of this type of infection include Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile. “Between 40 and 50 percent of such infections are related to improper cleaning of surfaces,” Jinadatha said.

Current disinfectants are effective at cleaning surfaces but have an off-putting odor and can cause damage to hospital equipment and materials and irritation of eyes and skin. “You also have to read the directions carefully,” Jinadatha said. “They have to be sprayed on a surface, left to sit for a period of time, and then wiped off, or they do not disinfect properly.”

The team completed more than 110 in-person interviews in five weeks with stakeholders and potential customers, including hospital environmental services workers (housekeepers), infection control practitioners, physicians and hospital administrators.

“One great thing we learned is that so many fellow Aggies want to help you,” Sharma said. “They were ready to meet with us, and I was really surprised about how nice everyone was and generous with their time and opinions.” Through this extensive interview process, the team was able to learn what issues people were having with existing cleaning products and what a new product would have to do in order to make their lives or jobs easier.

“This program is invaluable for helping faculty members evaluate the market opportunity and customer need for their technology,” Hinton said.

In this case, Sharma and the rest of the team found that because busy people tend not to have time to spray a disinfectant and let it sit for several minutes, the infectious pathogens aren’t being destroyed, and they go on to infect the next patient.

“I was surprised that there is a real problem with these disinfectants in hospitals,” Sharma said. “They’re often not being properly used, and so they’re not working.”

Ferrate doesn’t have these limitations. Sharma has recently patented his liquid ferrate technology, which solved the inherent issues related to stability of ferrate in solution form, and now needs to be tested for its commercial viability as a surface disinfectant for health care facilities. The team sees the next step as the creation of a spray disinfectant of the ferrate solution.

“There is interest in the product, but we need more data before we can start a small business or collaborate within existing companies to commercialize the product,” Sharma said. The team’s next step is to apply for an Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) grant that will allow them to further develop their research.

“I’m even more committed to ferrate than I was before,” Sharma added.

Singh was awarded best entrepreneurial lead and the most improved. “That’s really a big deal,” Hinton said. “I’m really extremely proud of this team. They went in prepared and worked hard and ended up being the best one there.”

By Christina B. Sumners, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Categories: Featured Stories, I-Corps, Mays Business, News, Programs, Staff, Texas A&M

Mays Business School hosted an inaugural visit to Texas A&M University of distinguished faculty from The University of Havana in Cuba. After meeting with Mays Professor Don Lewis, assistant director of Startup Aggieland, and with Professor Richard Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), through Mays’ Center for International Business Studies, faculty were invited by CNVE to visit Lewis and Lester this summer in Aggieland. Lewis and Lester met the faculty in January while leading Texas A&M’s first study abroad trip to Cuba.
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Three professors from The University of Havana accepted CNVE’s offer, including Anicia Garcia Alvarez, Jose Luis Perello Cabrera and Humberto Blanco Rosales. Alvarez and Rosales are expert economists, while Cabrera is a tourism expert. The cadre arrived in Texas from New York on May 31, but not without challenges as airplanes were late or diverted to different airports and required last-minute, late pickups.

During their first day on campus, Lewis introduced his Cuban guests to representatives with the Association of Former Students (AFS). The AFS provided a tour of campus, including visits to the George Bush Presidential Library, Kyle Field and Memorial Student Center. On the second day, Cuban faculty toured Mays Business School with management faculty members, including Department Head Wendy Boswell and Professor David Flint. Katy Lane with the Center for International Business Studies also joined the tour.

“This inaugural visit by faculty from The University of Havana is the start of a new global collaboration for Texas A&M with a country that has been closed off to Americans for a half-century,” explained Lewis. “The opportunities for both universities are endless and exciting. We look forward to sharing research and innovations with the Cubans and helping each other through joint initiatives.”

Former AFS Chair Jorge Bermudez, a retired Citibank executive and Cuban-born immigrant to the U.S., hosted Cuban faculty on a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank. Lewis’ students from his 2015 study abroad class and Startup Aggieland joined the visiting faculty membesr in Downtown Historic Bryan for the monthly “First Friday” event. AFS President-Elect Phil Miner, founder of The Miner Corporation in San Antonio, hosted the visitors on a tour of NASA and the Port of Houston – then attended an Astros game at Reliant Stadium.

The Cuban faculty members toured the Engineering Innovation Center on June 6 with engineering faculty Magda Lagoudas and Rodney Boehm, then enjoyed dinner at Christopher’s. The next day, they visited the College of Architecture, where Dean Jorge Vanegas hosted a tour of the Live Lab and Viz Arts programs, in addition to the BIM Cave. Faculty later visited the Corps of Cadets Museum and Miramont Country Club, then celebrated new faculty friends from architecture and Mays at Sodolack’s Original Steakhouse, where Rosales was surprised with a “Texas-sized” steak that hung over the serving platter.

On June 9, the day before the end of their 11-day visit, visiting faculty delivered presentations on tourism and the economy in Cuba for a classroom of Texas A&M University faculty, students and former students after a breakfast at Startup Aggieland. Upon their return to Cuba, Cabrera wrote Lewis a note:
“Dear Don. I want to thank all (for) their attention and efforts on the days we were there, where we learned the ways to achieve greater development. The days we stayed, were exploited to the maximum, at least for me. Convey my thanks to all (who) shared their time and chores: Shelly, Abby, Phil, Richard; and others. It is painful for us not to correspond with the same attention. At least for now…see you soon!”

Lewis will return to Havana in January 2017 with another group of students from Texas A&M for a two-week immersion experience in Cuban culture and entrepreneurship. Students will stay mostly in hostels. For more information about the trip, email Lewis at dlewis@mays.tamu.edu or go to http://mays.tamu.edu/center-for-international-business-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2015/03/Cuba-Winter-2017.pdf

Read a past student participant’s blog here: mays.tamu.edu/cuba/

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Programs, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

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 http://www.ricebusinessplancompetition.com/42-competitors.html

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.
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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.
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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.”

Daleys

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