Lead Story

Executive MBA Program celebrates 20 years of transforming seasoned professionals

Dorian Martin, September 24th, 2018

Mays Business School’s nationally recognized Executive MBA Program welcomes its 20th entering class during the 2018-2019 academic year. Over the past two decades, the Houston-based program has successfully served over 900 current and former students as they develop into transformational leaders.

The program, which is grounded in Texas A&M University’s Core Values, helps students develop cutting-edge professional knowledge and personal leadership skills. Graduates are prepared to succeed in a constantly changing economic landscape and make an impact in their organizations, communities, and world. …Read more

Competition is no stranger in the SEC. Whether it’s athletic or academic prowess, students at each university are driven by the desire to be recognized as “#1.” The 2018 SEC Student Pitch Competition boasted an unrivaled level of innovation, skill, and grit that could only be found in the Southeastern Conference.

This year’s competition was hosted at Texas A&M University by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship.

On Sunday, Oct. 7, all competitors and their respective directors were invited to a private welcome reception. To kick off the evening, the group was led to a private room where they were greeted by Chef Mikeal Frey of the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center and given a short lesson on how to “make your own” guacamole. The students were then let loose for the first-ever “SEC Guac-Off.” Cross-conference teams were assigned to different tables and they each had 12 minutes to make their own avocado masterpiece. Afterward, the multiple judges and center directors attending the reception voted on their favorite recipe. This cleverly executed icebreaker helped to set the tone for the rest of the evening.

“We wanted to give the students a fun and uniquely Texan opportunity to get to know each another as colleagues versus competitors,” commented Blake Petty, director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. “Being a student entrepreneur can be difficult and lonely, and many can become isolated from their peers. We wanted them to understand they are not alone, that there are students all over the SEC pursuing similar passions.”  Students carried their culinary creations back to the dining room, chatting with one another like they were friends rather than rivals.

The SEC Student Pitch Competition was a day-long affair during which each SEC University Champion Team (one per university) presented in front of two preliminary round panels of three to five judges in parallel sessions. This ensured that all teams were seen by the same judges. The judges were all alumni of an SEC school to help keep the scoring as unbiased as possible. Teams were evaluated on the quality of their pitch and the viability of their business. On Monday, Oct. 8, 13 teams competed, but only three would be selected as finalists.

Final pitches were held at the All American North Club in Kyle Field ,and open to the public. Local entrepreneurs, SEC alumni and family and friends braved a stormy evening to see if their team would be announced as a finalist. Blake Petty emceed the evening and held the crowd in suspense as he recapped the day. Finally, Petty announced that the finalist teams were Roo Storage from University of Missouri, Lapovations from University of Arkansas, and Navibās of University South Carolina. Teams were allowed 10 minutes for their pitch with five minutes of Q&A. Each pitch was remarkably well structured and involved the innovative use of existing technologies in a novel manner.

After a long deliberation, Lapovations was announced as the 2018 SEC Student Pitch Champion – the second year in a row for an Arkansas team to take the title, and with it a $5,000 cash prize. Second place and $3,500 was awarded to Roo Storage, and third place and $1,500 was awarded to Navibās.

When asked what makes the SEC Student Pitch Competition unique, Petty said, “There are hundreds of business plan competitions at universities around the globe, just as there are hundreds of athletic events each week. What sets the SEC Student Pitch Competition apart is its convergence of athletic and academic competition, against the backdrop of entrepreneurship and innovative, real-world problem solving. Just as exciting as it is to see our favorite student athlete make it into the pros, how exciting is it to see our fellow SEC student entrepreneurs competing to make a real difference in tomorrow’s marketplace?”

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Students, Texas A&M

Lifelong learning is critical to navigating a world that changes at an ever-increasing rate. Leaders who have this mindset remain fresh and engaged in their role in organizations. Ben Welch, the executive director of Mays Center for Executive Development’s Halliburton Programs and former assistant dean for executive education, described the characteristics of lifelong learners during Mays’ 50th Anniversary Celebration Sept. 7. …Read more

Categories: Center for Executive Development, Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Former students and friends often express gratitude to their former professors with gifts in their honor to the Texas A&M Foundation. In recent years, several Mays faculty members have been honored through these types of gifts.

In Fall 2018, a group of former Business Senior Fellows surprised Executive Professor John Van Alstyne ’66 and his wife Anita with the establishment of the Mays Fellows Endowed Excellence Fund in the couple’s name. This endowment through the Texas A&M Foundation will support the Business Fellows program’s students, teaching, and professional development.

…Read more

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

By Richard Gay ’22, Business Honors

A company can set itself apart with strong and intentional relationships with clients and employees. Main Street Capital Corporation has developed its entire business around this idea. Their primary service is providing capital solutions to lower middle market companies – hence the name Main Street and not Wall Street. Main Street strives to build relationships and customize transactions to meet the unique needs of each of their portfolio companies.

Mays former student Brent Smith ’97 (accounting) and ’98 (PPA), Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Main Street Capital Corporation, spoke on Sept. 27 to Business Honors students. He said Main Street’s unique business model involves more than just a financial investment as it truly “takes an investment in people.” Main Street does this by working closely beside the ownership and management of all the companies in their portfolio and committing to the long haul. Building these relationships drives Main Street’s success. Smith also discussed Main Street’s culture in the office feels like a family where everyone is fully invested in the success of the company. “Even the receptionist owns our stock,” Smith said.

…Read more

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Healthcare: it’s more than just an annual check-up with your doctor. At the Healthcare Careers Forum hosted by Mays Business School on Sept. 25, leaders and innovators in the healthcare industry spoke on the abundance of opportunities within this constantly changing industry. 

Leonard Berry, University Distinguished Professor and Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence, hosted and organized the event. He opened it by providing an overview of the Mays’ Grand Challenge of healthcare. The acclaimed researcher and author of Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic explained how Mays is committed to advancing the world’s prosperity by enhancing human health.

J.R. Thomas, Founder and Co-Managing Principal of Thomas Marshall Group, talked about lessons he learned in healthcare and why one should choose a career in healthcare. He said healthcare is the best industry for you and your family and to always remember that passion and hard work will provide invaluable experience. …Read more

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Health Care, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

  

October Startup Spotlight

When YouTube was founded in 2005, no one could have foreseen that the video sharing platform would become an entrepreneurial hot-spot. Professional YouTube creatives generate a product, work with key strategic partners to achieve business goals, develop healthy revenue streams, and engage with their customers to better direct their products and brand. Sounds a lot like running a business, doesn’t it? A professional YouTuber is now, well, a thing. Not only a thing, but a legitimate commercial venture for hard-working creators.

Tyler Anderson ’19 is one such creator. His YouTube channel, TylersReelFishing, has more than 112,000 subscribers, and he’s uploaded more than 800 videos that have garnered 15 million total views. Did I mention he’s done all of this in just five years?

…Read more

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Students, Texas A&M

The Center for International Business Studies (CIBS) at Mays Business School has been awarded a four-year federal grant totaling $1.23 million. The U.S. Department of Education awards the funds as part of its Center for International Business Education (CIBE) program. The grant commences on Oct. 1 and will cover the 2018-22 period.

Mays was among the 15 high-impact business schools in the country – and the only one in Texas – to be awarded the grant out of some 50 applicants. CIBS has successfully competed nationally for the four-year award since 1990.

…Read more

Categories: Center for Business International Studies, Centers, Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Ricky Griffin didn’t plan to have an academic career. Therefore, Mays Business School’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship wasn’t an honor he anticipated receiving.

He now is among a handful of Mays’ legendary scholars who have received this prestigious award. “The Lifetime Achievement Award is rarified air,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones during a Sept. 14 ceremony marking Griffin’s honor. “It’s the highest honor that Mays Business School gives.”

Griffin put his selection to receive the award into perspective. “When I’ve attended these award presentations in the past, I’ve always been in awe when I hear people talk about the intentionality with which they chose to become a scientist,” he said.  “They talk about the time when they wanted to become a professor. They knew they wanted to study finance or marketing or management because they were interested in this topic. I’m in awe because nothing like that happened to me. I became a scholar truly by accident.”

Yet, Griffin’s impressive body of work over his 40-year career sets him apart. He helped frame discussions in a diverse range of research areas, including job characteristics, work design, emergent leadership, social information processing, and workplace violence and aggression. He also served in administrative roles where he strived to work collaboratively to create policies and programs that would enhance Mays standing in the academic community. …Read more

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Selfless service, Spotlights, Texas A&M

When Sydney Carsten ’19 began her undergraduate career at Mays Business School, she did not know that she would create a class in which students learn about transforming the business of healthcare. The supply chain management and business honors major did not know she would become the first business undergraduate to take graduate classes in the School of Public Health. What Carsten did know, though, was that she had a passion for healthcare and helping others.

That has made all the difference.

“It’s been this journey of discovery and finding my own way,” Carsten said as she recalled how she found her passion for the business of healthcare. “I can make a difference in the university and find purpose in life.” …Read more

Categories: Featured Stories, Health Care, Mays Business, News, Research, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s nationally recognized Executive MBA Program welcomes its 20th entering class during the 2018-2019 academic year. Over the past two decades, the Houston-based program has successfully served over 900 current and former students as they develop into transformational leaders.

The program, which is grounded in Texas A&M University’s Core Values, helps students develop cutting-edge professional knowledge and personal leadership skills. Graduates are prepared to succeed in a constantly changing economic landscape and make an impact in their organizations, communities, and world. …Read more

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Spotlights, Students