Lead Story

MS Business students donate more than $18,000 in profit to local charities

Mays Business School, December 11th, 2017

AgScents

By Kristopher Muir, Clinical Assistant Professor

Imagine you’re a Mays graduate student and you just got out of class. In addition to walking to the library, you’re checking voicemails on your phone related to your team’s startup company. In addition to looking at social media to see what your friends are up to, you’re checking your company’s social media page for analytics. During your coffee break, you’re huddling with your CFO, CEO, and other team members in order to solve the latest crisis: your supplier has canceled your order. What do you do? If you can imagine any of these scenarios, you might be a Master of Science (MS) in Business student.

In its second year, the MS Business program is the newest graduate program offered at Mays Business School. MS Business is a 36-hour, 11-month general business graduate degree offered to students who do not have a business undergraduate education.

Mays Business School students have spent this semester “learning business by doing business” through the integrated business experience (IBE) course, designed to teach MS Business students how to start and run their own business in only one semester. In only its second year, the four student-run companies earned a collective profit of $18,352 that they were able to donate to local charities in addition to the 229 service hours. These numbers serve to validate that the MS Business program aligns with both the Mays vision of advancing the world’s prosperity and the Mays Grand Challenge of Entrepreneurship. …Read more

David Williams ’79, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Noble Corporation PLC, kicked off the Mays Transformational Leaders Speaker Series with an overview of his industry and some advice for Aggies. He spoke to MBA students, undergraduate students, and faculty and staff members.

Mays Dean Eli Jones said when introducing Williams that he was a good fit for the series. “A Mays transformational leader is someone who has an ethical mindset, a global mindset, is analytical, and has the ability to embrace change and to try new things,” he said. “That’s what you are, Mays students, and that’s what Mr. Williams is. He is one of us.”

Williams obtained his bachelor’s degree in marketing at Texas A&M University. He was selected one of Mays’ Outstanding Alumni in 2009 for his career achievements, as well as his service and dedication to Texas A&M. His first job out of college was in a shipyard in 1979, and he has been in the offshore drilling service industry since 1981.

“I have traveled just about everywhere except Antarctica, and I wouldn’t trade my job for anything,” Williams said.  “It’s hard sometimes, it’s volatile sometimes and our work is complex, but our business model is really pretty simple:  We punch holes in the ground for money – that’s it. Our oil company clients hire us to drill wells below the oceans of the world for a fee.” …Read more

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Energy, Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

By Venky Shankar

11/11 or November 11 is celebrated as the World’s Singles Day. It is an entertaining event widely popular among Chinese people. November 11 was chosen because it contains multiple instances of the number one that best represents an individual alone. In recent times, it has also become the day with the biggest single day sales. Promoted by giant Chinese e-commerce retailer Alibaba as a mega sales day event, revenues from the Singles Day has grown exponentially from just $100 million in 2009 to $18 billion in 2016. This year, Alibaba’s Singles Day sales are expected to reach $22 billion.

But Alibaba is not alone in this journey. JD.com, its main Chinese online rival, has teamed up with Tencent, another Chinese online behemoth, and Walmart to cash in on the binge buying that takes place that day. Although Alibaba cornered about 71 percent of overall single day revenues last year, its competitors may be able to bite into more of its share this year.

Such is the volume of online sales on Singles Day that it trounces sales done on other mega event days, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day, which are also expected to rise this year. By comparison, Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales totaled $6.8 billion in 2016.

Why is Singles Day important for the future? By 2022, Chinese middle-class shoppers are predicted to surpass U.S. shoppers both in number (550 million vs. 340 million) and spending. Because it is online, Singles Day offers the potential of tapping into global shoppers for maximizing sales revenue for many U.S. retailers as well.

With all these online excitement, where is retail headed? Globally, more commerce is moving rapidly online as shoppers use more of their mobile devices and online channels to browse, compare, click, purchase and return items, and communicate with others and retailers.

That doesn’t mean physical stores are getting irrelevant. True, some of the predominantly brick-and-mortar retailers such as Sears and Macy’s are struggling. However, omnichannel retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy are thriving. Even pure e-commerce retailers such as Amazon are moving offline. Amazon is opening physical bookstores, bought Wholefoods, partnering with Kohl’s to handle product returns, and is testing a new self-scanning and electronic paying store concept called Amazon Go. Even Alibaba has acquired In-Time department stores and has its own experimental He Ma supermarket stores. In addition, it has enabled 100,000 convenience stores to become smart centers. Shoppers want 360-degree access to retail from multiple touchpoints and demand a seamless experience. The retail universe is becoming an increasingly mobile-led omnichannel universe.

Whatever the prediction for the future, one thing is clear: Sales on Singles day is going to get only bigger this year.

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Venky Shankar is the Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing at Mays Business School as well as director of research at Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies. His areas of specialization include digital business, marketing strategy, innovation, retailing, international marketing, and pricing.

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

Eleven M.B. Zale Leadership Scholars traveled to the Houston headquarters of francesca’s® on Oct. 27 to learn about the company first-hand and further solidify the school’s partnership with the company.

President and CEO Steve Lawrence kicked off the morning. He explained the launch of francesca’s® in 1999 as a single boutique store in Houston, and its rapid rise to becoming a publicly traded company in 2012. Today the fashion chain operates 670 boutiques in 48 states across the country.

Lawrence also talked about the company’s decision to move its headquarters to an industrial park. Every department operates in one building, including its distribution center. He added that having everyone at the same location made it much simpler to work collaboratively, access samples, and troubleshoot problems.

Gift, home & beauty Senior Buyer Sadie Price addressed common misconceptions on what people typically think a buyer’s role is. It is not easy or glamorous as portrayed on television, and not about free merchandise or runway shows. “Success as a buyer requires loving product, creativity, innovation, data analysis, trend research, and thinking outside the box,” Price explained. She praised francesca’s® work culture, adding that it supports career growth and provides a fun environment. Employees can wear jeans every day and workout clothes a couple times a week.

The group also heard from Katelin Pollock, Manager of Visual, at francesca’s®. The company recently rolled out updates to brighten stores, highlight merchandise, increase capacity, and enhance window presentations. Pollock pointed out that 53 percent of francesca’s® traffic comes from walk-by onlookers attracted by each boutique’s visual appeal. She also explained how they have personalized boutiques to better fit their local region. For example, stores in Texas carry more artwork emphasizing the state of Texas, and the College Station store features maroon merchandise during football season.

Senior Planner Maurizio Menchaca ’09, EVP, eCommerce/CMO Erik Lautier, EVP – Chief Boutiques Officer David Minnix, and Senior Director of Real Estate Michael Stanley also addressed the group.

After hearing from each department, the students participated in a facilities tour of francesca’s®. They saw the warehouse, distribution center, in-house marketing, and photography studio. SVP of Supply Chain Ray Birden and Senior Buyer Cassie Schirra led the tour. Birden described how the warehouse can package all of the materials needed to open a new store into a single trailer, from flooring, chandeliers, dressing rooms, and more. The students also observed the process for online order fulfillment and store replenishment shipments.

Mays Business School is francesca’s® top collegiate partner in hiring. Two of the three interns last year were Aggies, and all interns will join francesca’s® after graduation. Unlike many brick-and-mortar retailers, francesca’s® is growing – and rich with career opportunities for students.

Senior marketing major and Zale Scholar Aricka Anderson ’18 added, “Opportunities like these can be rare to come by for students, and francesca’s® truly gave me an authentic preview of a day-in-the-life working for one of our nation’s top retailers!”

Categories: Center for Retailing Studies, Centers, Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Students, 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

To honor the Mays students who received scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic school year and thank their generous donors, Mays Business School hosted the 2017 Scholarship Banquet Nov. 2 in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field.

More than 700 scholarships totaling more than $5 million were given to Mays students for the fiscal year 2017. Mays donors support a total endowment of more than $22 million.

The night started with a welcome reception, providing students the chance to formally introduce themselves to their donors, peers, and Mays faculty and staff members. These introductions turned into in-depth conversations during dinner – discussions about the impact attending Mays and receiving a scholarship has had on the students’ education at Texas A&M University.

Spencer Sullivan ’18, a student who is graduating with a finance degree in December, has benefitted from the Gary Neale Reger Scholarship Fund/CED for his entire college career. He said the financial support has allowed him to concentrate on his studies and pursue immersive study-abroad opportunities. …Read more

Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Be the woman, find the woman, teach the woman – those were the directives delivered to the 400 attendees at the 2017 Women’s Leadership Initiative Conference hosted recently by Mays Business School.

This was the first year Texas A&M University opened the annual event to the public after starting at Mays’ CityCentre Houston as a series of seminars to help current and former female MBA students create connections and practice networking skills for their professional development.

The conference is one of the learning experiences that continue to make Mays Business School a vibrant learning organization.“The Women’s Leadership Initiative seeks to leverage the power of our powerful network and to arrest the progression of this alarming gender gap,” said Annie McGowan, Mays Business School’s Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.

This year’s participants heard from transformational leaders retired Col. Kim Olson, Deb Merril, and KC Allan Waldron. …Read more

Categories: Alumni, Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M, Women's Leadership Initiative

A firm believer in giving back, Alan Mitchell ’85 recently visited with Mays Business Honors students as part of the Mays 2017 Transformational Leader Speaker Series to provide them with not only career advice, but also advice on school and life.

“Be comfortable hearing your own voice in a room of people,” is guidance he would offer to junior members of his team. “If you don’t speak up early in a discussion, people will think of you as being irrelevant,” he added.

Additionally, while recalling how he evaluated opportunities presented during his first job out of college with KPMG, he said “If there is opportunity out there, take it, even if it presents challenges. You will always grow and expand and it will generally make you a more important part of your company and make you make you worldlier.”

Mitchell retired from investment banking in 2017 after a 23-year career at Wells Fargo Securities and Citigroup. He left Wells Fargo as the head of the telecom investment banking within the Technology, Media, and Telecom group. Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M and his MBA in finance and international business from Columbia Business School, where he graduated with honors.

The students found value in Mitchell sharing his story of advancing himself by going back to business school to pursue his MBA after being in the workforce for seven years. For him, his MBA was a game changer because of the influence it carried. It also taught him that “you need to like what you’re doing in your specific career.”

Mitchell’s talk then turned to the topic of “building the resume of your life,” which starts with college and continues with everything a person does thereafter. He emphasized that students need to “make sure every subsequent step on one’s resume is additive to their prior experiences and makes them more interesting and unique.”

Business Honors student Payton Fanning ’20 said Mitchell cautioned that the ability to have relevant experiences diminishes with each passing day. “He encouraged us to make every one of our actions meaningful, and to make sure every job/opportunity we seize is something we will be proud to see on our resume,” Fanning said.

As the students continued to ask questions about resumes, Mitchell said their resumes should “demonstrate a desire for experience,” and showcase a level of commitment to their undertakings. Mitchell advised the students to set goals for pursuing their next opportunities. He said a good rule of thumb is three to five years at a job before you re-evaluate where you are with each job.

Mitchell closed with his last piece of advice when he stated, “Remember, first choices in life won’t be your last choices in life. Identify and reach for every opportunity presented to you, as it can be life-changing.”

The impact of his words was felt by all of the students attending. “I left with a gratitude for Aggies like Alan Mitchell who seek to provide opportunities to younger Aggies in high-profile fields,” said Adam Warnke ’17, a Business Honors & Accounting-PPA student.

 

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Business Honors, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School Full-Time MBA student Russell Cardon ’19 and his team won third place and $3,000 in the 2017 PepsiCo MBA Invitational Business Case Competition at Texas Christian University on Oct. 27-28.

Full-Time MBA Program Director Shannon Deer said, “The PepsiCo case competition is an excellent way for first-year MBA students to practice the problem solving, teamwork, presentation, and technical skills our faculty and staff work so hard to deliver.”

MBA students from 14 universities received a first-hand look from PepsiCo executives, who awarded $15,000 to winning students. The MBA students were assigned to eight mixed teams, each team member from a different school. The teams received the case from PepsiCo in the morning, worked quickly with their teammates, and then presented their solutions to PepsiCo executives the same afternoon.

“By placing MBA students on teams from other MBA programs, the competition replicates professional situations where colleagues with different skills work together to create the best solution for the company,” said Kim Austin, director of the Career Management Center at Mays Business School.

Second place and $5,000 was awarded to Andrew Kay from Texas Christian University/Neeley School of Business; Kelsey Zhou from University of Washington/Foster School of Busines; Kate Trimper from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business; and Austin Gilbertson from University of Notre Dame/Mendoza College of Business.

The first-place team won $7,000. Team members were Patrick Smith from the University of Maryland/Smith School of Business; Sara Hartley from the University of Illinois College of Business, Jade Manternach from University of Iowa/Tippie College of Business; and Ony Mgbeahurike from Washington University in St. Louis/Olin Business School.

Judging the competition were PepsiCo executives: Ralph Goedderz, vice president finance; Jim Hathaway, vice president planning; Richard Blazevich, senior director marketing; Dave Boissevain, senior director sales strategy; and Riccardo Barrenechea, senior director finance.

The third annual MBA business case competition is made possible by a partnership between TCU Neeley and PepsiCo. Participating schools for the 2017 competition included:

  • Columbia University, Columbia Business School
  • Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business
  • Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business
  • Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business
  • Texas A&M University, Mays School of Business
  • Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business
  • University of Illinois, College of Business
  • University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business
  • University of Maryland, Smith School of Business
  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
  • University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business
  • University of Washington, Foster School of Business
  • Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

The Mays Full-Time MBA program was recently ranked in the top 10 among U.S. public programs at 7th among U.S. public schools and 20th overall in the 2017 Forbes “Best Business Schools” ranking.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Texas A&M

The fastest-growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses were recognized Friday night at the 13th Annual Aggie 100 at a dinner hosted by the Texas A&M Mays Business School’s McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. Members of the exclusive club were honored by about 700 attendees at a dinner at the Hall of Champions at Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field.

The company with the highest growth was Lonquist Field Services (Canada), which reported a growth of 223.287 percent. It is owned by Richard R. Lonquist ’87, Roy W. Duff ’85 and Robert S. Crews ’90.

The complete Aggie 100 list may be found at www.aggie100.com.

To be considered for the Aggie 100, companies (corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships) must operate in a manner consistent with the Aggie Code of Honor and in keeping with the values and image of Texas A&M University, and must meet specific criteria.

…Read more

Categories: Alumni, Centers, Dean Eli Jones, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, 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