Lead Story

Mays Business School celebrates Deloitte as 2022 Partner of the Year

Mays Business School, September 26th, 2022

Texas A&M’s Business School honors the firm for advancing their mission

Three leaders holding awards

Texas A&M’s Mays Business School is pleased to announce Deloitte as its 2022 Partner of the Year. Mays Business School presented the award at a ceremony on Friday, September 16, which included roundtable discussions featuring Deloitte leaders and students.

Ahead of the ceremony, Deloitte representatives met with Texas A&M Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity Dr. Annie McGowan and Professional Program in Accounting interns. Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin presented the 2022 Partner of the Year Award to Deloitte.

RECOGNIZING A LEADING MAYS PARTNER

Deloitte gives a gig 'em celebrating Partner of the YearSince 2016, the Partner of the Year honor has been given to organizations that have achieved excellence in advancing Mays’ vision – providing career opportunities, developing quality professionals, and investing intellectual and financial capital toward the realization of Mays’ mission.

“Mays is fortunate to have so many stellar partnerships with a wide array of organizations,” said Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin. “Our vision to advance the world’s prosperity is made possible by these organizations. Those who have received the Partner of the Year recognition from Mays have taken the responsibility of partnership to a new level.”

BUSINESS LEADER

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500®, more than 7,000 private companies, numerous government agencies, and higher education institutions.

Building on more than 175 years of service, Deloitte’s network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. At Texas A&M, Deloitte has developed deep ties with Mays, as well as with the broader university community.

Students listen to the presentation celebrating Partner of the Year 2022“Deloitte offers a wide variety of internships and employment opportunities to our students and their professionals have consistently visited us in Aggieland to speak in our classrooms and events,” Griffin said. “Deloitte goes above and beyond in their selfless service of Mays and Texas A&M through their time and talent. They are phenomenal partners, on campus and off, and we are delighted to honor them.”

“Deloitte is proud to be able to make an impact at Texas A&M and is honored to be recognized with this award. Our team — including 983 Aggies who are Deloitte professionals — wants to see Texas A&M, Mays, the students, faculty and administration be successful,” said Amy Chronis, Houston managing partner, Deloitte LLP. “We are thrilled to continue to deepen our work with Texas A&M and Mays through faculty development, curriculum support, enhanced student experiences, and strategy development.”

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Initiated in 2016, Mays’ Partner of the Year has previously been awarded to Phillips 66, KPMG, EY, and Reynolds and Reynolds.

Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure.

COLLEGE STATION, TX, Nov. 17 — On Friday, November 11, four second-year students in Texas A&M’s Master of Science in Human Resource Management program took first place in the 2022 Purdue HR Case Competition hosted on Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Students Abbey Dethloff, Joanna Moran, Abby Patterson, and Bailey Wilkins worked in advance of the competition to present a potential solution for PepsiCo’s desire to attract and retain more females in front-line roles at several sites in their NorthCentral region.

The team had one week to collaborate and submit their recommendations, which included: external and internal marketing efforts as well as creating talent pipeline partnerships with local community colleges and high schools.

“When brainstorming possible solutions for the assigned case, it immediately became clear to our team what a robust collection of HR tools we have garnered over the past three semesters. The way we think, and approach problems analytically has fundamentally changed because of the program’s comprehensive and well-rounded curriculum,” explained Dethloff. “We were able to draw on knowledge from a variety of courses and approached the case from the multiple lenses of employment law, organizational behavior, marketing, and financial analysis, to name a few. The MSHRM program molds business professionals who are well-equipped for the increasingly strategic role of today’s HR Business Partner.”

The formal case presentation was given by the team on Friday to a panel of judges. In a competition of eight teams from elite HR programs from across the country, including Purdue University, Cornell University, Indiana University, BYU, University of Illinois, and the University of Minnesota.

“The MSHRM program equipped us with the analytical skills and industry knowledge necessary to propose innovative yet practical solutions. Thanks to our internships with MSHRM partner companies this summer, we gave PepsiCo recommendations informed by our professional experiences at Fortune 500 firms. We entered this competition feeling confident in our understanding of HR trends and legal issues thanks to the courses we have taken during our time in the program,” said Moran.

The MSHRM program is strategically designed to equip Mays students with the skills and tools to build a strong foundation in a range of HR competencies with a heavy influence of increased business-acumen knowledge.

“The most memorable moment from winning the competition was celebrating with our program, who flooded our phones with messages of how proud they were of us,” said Patterson. It truly feels like a family to come home and have a whole room of classmates and professors waiting for you with cake (4 different cakes to be exact!) ready to celebrate with us. This program shaped a team of students who care for each other like a family and I could not be more honored to represent my program at this competition and every day.”

Dethloff, Moran, Patterson, and Wilkins were chosen to represent Texas A&M at this contest based on their winning performance in the Spring 2022 Texas A&M Center for HRM Case Competition hosted by Chevron. They will each graduate with their MS Human Resource Management degrees in December and shortly after beginning full-time HR positions.

Categories: Management

Dr. Matthew Call joined a growing list of faculty members from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School who are featured in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the world’s preeminent business publication with a circulation of almost 3 million subscribers. Call authored a column entitled “How Companies Can Turn Former Employees into Faithful Alumni,” which was published Sept. 23, 2022.

The publication of Call’s column in the prestigious industry publication adds to Mays’ already sterling reputation. The school has 11 faculty members who rank in the top 2% of scholars worldwide. Additionally, Mays is among the Top 20 public business schools in the United States

A Network of Connections

Call was recommended to the WSJ by Dr. Anthony Klotz, a former Mays faculty member who contributes similar columns for the publication. After discussing his research with a WSJ editor, Call was invited to author the column on alumni networks.

The development of alumni networks helps companies engage with a mobile workforce that no longer remains with a company for most of their career. Call believes that part of the reason for this mobility may be because employee loyalty has not been reciprocated by companies over the years. “There’s this reshaping of the employer-employee relationship over the past 20-30 years that has led companies to realize that people are not seeing their jobs as a lifelong relationship now,” Call explained. “They’re leaving–and in the past, companies just thought the employees were gone for good.”

Some companies purposefully have a model that doesn’t encourage employee retention and tenure. For example, some firms like Goldman Sachs hire young elite professionals, knowing they will work for the company for a short period of time. “There’s actually research that shows that people are willing to take a pay cut to start at a high-status firm because of what it does for their resume going forward,” Call said. “All of this is wrapped in the idea that once you have this experience, you take that with you.”

However, Call sees companies increasingly trying to capitalize on employee mobility by creating relationships with employees after they leave the firm. “Having goodwill from employees leads to a host of benefits,” he said. “As a company, we can draw upon that identity that you take with you, so you can continue to refer to us, come back and work for us, or be a resource in general.”

Many employees go on to work for the company’s client firms, so maintaining an alumni relationship can be very beneficial. “A lot of these initial companies start to develop these alumni networks to formalize the relationship and to stay in touch with former employees as a competitive advantage,” he said. “When companies have alums working in their client firms, they will get first dibs (on projects) and can (further) develop that relationship.”

Additionally, companies can benefit by staying in touch because some former employees may return in the future. “In many industries, boomerang employees are up to 10-20% of new hires,” Call said.

Alumni networks also can help influence prospective employees through Glassdoor and social media. “If ex-employees are saying it was a great experience, prospective employees are more likely to go to that place,” Call said. “Leaders are seeing that this branding is important, and alumni have a big place in that.”

Challenges of Networks

However, the Mays assistant professor also noted that valid concerns exist related to companies celebrating employees leaving. “There is some hesitation around it because there are these perceived and actual costs associated with high-fiving people on the way out,” he said, pointing out that this approach may set the stage culturally for very higher turnover and the associated costs of finding and onboarding new talent.

Additionally, some employees who leave may be opportunistic and use the company’s alumni network to gain knowledge of best practices without reciprocating in the knowledge sharing. “When they are not a formal employee, you don’t have monitoring systems in place to say, ‘You’re not allowed to act opportunistically,’” Call explained.

Despite these potential downsides, the management professor believes that companies will continue to turn to corporate alumni networks. “I think with the current job market, these alumni networks will be increasingly happening,” he said. “It’s important to help managers understand that these employees still have value as a human and still can add value as alumni, so we need to attenuate managers’ sense of betrayal. It’s about being part of an extended family.”

Growing Mays Network

Similarly, Call’s burgeoning relationship with the WSJ continues to build an important network that supports Mays’ momentum to become the nation’s public preeminent business school. The publication previously tapped Mays’ expertise from Dr. Leonard Barry and Dr. Mike Shaub—and WSJ editors have commissioned Call to write another column about high-performing star employees’ impact on their peers, which is expected to be published in November.

These types of opportunities support Mays’ efforts to become the nation’s preeminent public business school. “It helps by both getting our name in front of larger audiences and by demonstrating the expertise that resides in our faculty,” Mays Interim Dean Ricky Griffin said. “We’re fortunate to have outstanding faculty members like Dr. Call who are doing translational research that provides relevant insights to help business leaders strategically position their companies for success.”

 

Categories: Management

One hundred Aggie-owned or -led companies selected for the 2022 Aggie 100 following the second highest number of applications in program history.

 

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS, November 4, 2022 – The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its 18th annual Aggie 100 awards in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field, with nearly 650 in attendance for the celebration.

Although companies are notified in advance that they were selected for the Aggie 100, the official rankings aren’t revealed until the in-person event, with the surprise announcements made by current Texas A&M students selected by the McFerrin Center.

This year’s #1 company, LeasePoint Funding Group, based in Austin and founded by Jeff Markim ’12, was honored with an impressive growth rate of 379.291% from 2019-2021.

“I was shocked, certainly happy, thrilled, to be in the Aggie 100, and then to get the call that we were #1 this year… I would never have thought that. I really am honored, as a lifelong Aggie, to get this award, from this school,” Jeff remarked. “My wife is an Aggie. My business partner is an Aggie. Our top investors are Aggies. A lot of the people who have influenced my life are from this university, and it means a lot to receive this kind of recognition.”

The top 10 from the 2022 Aggie 100 company list, including their location, Aggie leadership and growth rate, are:

  1. LeasePoint Funding Group | Austin, TX | Jeff Markim ’12 & Daniel Totah ’06 | 379.291%
  2. Blackbuck Resources | Houston, TX | Samuel Oliver ’10 | 130.668%
  3. Education Advanced, Inc. | Tyler, TX | J. Eli Crow, Ph.D. ’01 | 122.652%
  4. Centerline Engineering & Consulting, LLC | Lubbock, TX | Daniel Wetzel ’06 | 122.059%
  5. Albers Aerospace | McKinney, TX | John Albers ’90 | 114.589%
  6. C-LARs, LLC | Bryan, TX | Edwin Adam Janac ’06 | 107.711%
  7. RMJK Enterprises Inc. | Kansas City, KS | Rob Patterson ’09 | 107.576%
  8. Specialty Fleet Sales & Rentals | Lindale, TX | Justin Bateman ’08 | 102.402%
  9. Oak Prairie Oil & Gas LLC | Shenandoah, TX | Chuck Meloy ’82 & Grady Meloy ’13 | 102.330%
  10. Underground Support Services, LLC | Dallas, TX | Stephanie Teetes ’94 | 101.990%

“Now in its 18th year, the Aggie 100 continues to re-set the standard for recognizing and celebrating the best of our Aggie entrepreneurs across the globe. These 100 companies and their Aggie founders and leaders have proven their determination for success, and we’re excited to welcome them to the Aggie 100 family. This year saw our second-highest number of applications ever, indicating just how competitive these rankings have become. This 18th class of the Aggie 100 represents the cream that has truly risen to the top, and we’re honored to be a part of their company’s story and success,” said Blake Petty ‘98, executive director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship.

Launched in 2005 by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, the Aggie 100 honors the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or -led businesses in the world. While there are many ways to define business success, Aggie 100 uses growth rate as an indicator as it reflects a venture’s capacity for job creation, product acceptance and entrepreneurial vision. Nominated companies are ranked by percentage of compound annual growth in sales or revenues (net of returns), over a three-year period (2019-2021 for this year’s class). Nominees are required to provide detailed company information to PKF Texas who then evaluate and rank the nominees based on these requirements.

In addition to growth and leadership criteria, companies named to the Aggie 100 must operate in a manner consistent with the Aggie Code of Honor and the values of Texas A&M University.

Aggie 100 has grown significantly since its inception in 2005 and is now being emulated by a number of other top universities, including several SEC schools. More than 850 different companies and nearly 1,200 Aggie leaders have been honored over the past 18 years.

A complete list of the 2022 Aggie 100 companies, including past years, can be found at aggie100.com.

About McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship serves as the hub for entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University. The McFerrin Center’s goal is to enhance entrepreneurial education by providing training, networking and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and former students.

The McFerrin Center enables the startup and growth of countless businesses and provides competitive opportunities, professional development and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community through the support of a robust volunteer mentor network, corporate supporters, faculty and staff.

The McFerrin Center defines entrepreneurship as an attitude that acts on opportunity. In this spirit, the McFerrin Center strives to deliver programs and events that are inspiring, engaging, motivating and life-changing. This philosophy has resulted in the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship offering more than 30 unique programs each year that positively impact the lives of thousands of students, veterans and other professionals seeking to blaze their own trail as an entrepreneur.

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Media Contact: Lara Robertson, communications manager, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, lrobertson@tamu.edu

Categories: McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

ATLANTA, GA – CLC, the nation’s leading collegiate licensing company, and IMG, the operator of New York Fashion Week: The Shows, partnered to deliver the ninth installment of their successful UofNYFW, a one-of-a-kind education experience for 23 students from 15 universities, including two students from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, at this September’s New York Fashion Week. This unique academic enrichment program, which is an extension of CLC’s continued efforts to support innovative education initiatives for its partner institutions, provides future fashion leaders a behind-the-scenes look at the industry, including entry into select runway shows, panel discussions, and networking opportunities with industry leaders.

The students were treated to a runway show with top Korean designer Son Jung Wan, as well as a show presented by NewLeaper, the unique incubator for new designers and fashion business start-ups. The students also attended a NYFW: The Talks session on “Mindfulness in Fashion” with Model Hilary Rhoda; Singer, Songwriter Bianca Quiñones; Wellness Professional Christa Janine; and others to discuss mental health in the fashion industry. Additionally, students participated in a Q&A with representatives from IMG, as well as a backstage tour of the production and execution of a fashion show at Spring Studios, the central hub of New York Fashion Week: The Shows.

“There are so many resources and people to support your passions and interests in the fashion industry,” shared Rachel Anderson. “I realized that I had a very different background from many of the students and professionals, but that is what makes me unique as I prepare to enter the workforce.”

“It is always exciting to provide a group of bright college students the chance to interact and learn from some of the best designers and experts in the world of fashion at NYFW: The Shows,” said Leslie Russo, President of IMG’s Fashion Events and Properties. “This collaboration with CLC and the participating universities aligns with our mission to deliver opportunities for future leaders in the industry and support the development of new perspectives in the ever-evolving fashion business.”

In addition to the unique New York Fashion Week experiences, the students spent the day at top athletic fashion brand and collegiate licensee Champion where they had the opportunity to learn firsthand how a clothing line is developed and merchandised.

“In every part of this trip, the students are prioritized,” shared Maggie Cooley. “From behind the scenes tours of the Spring Studios, to getting to personalize our own merchandise at the Champion Flagship store, UofNYFW was created for students to learn from the industry’s biggest fashion names, as well as World renowned brands.”

“Our goal for the UofNYFW college program is to deliver innovative experiences and once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities to students at our partner institutions, which adds tremendous value to the participating universities beyond our traditional role of brand licensing,” said Cory Moss, CEO of CLC. “Since the inception of this unique program, we have been honored to help inspire and influence many talented students on their path to a career in the fashion industry.”

The collegiate Fashion Week program delivered unique academic enrichment opportunities for the students with expenses covered by their universities. Institutions that participated in the collegiate enrichment program at NYFW: The Shows included Arizona State University, Baylor University, NC State, Syracuse University, TCU, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, University of Delaware, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, Washington State University, West Virginia University, and Western Michigan University

Participating students chronicled their experiences through social media using #UofNYFW and were asked to share their learnings with other students upon their return to campus.

 

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About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.

 

About CLC

CLC is the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing company with a mission to elevate college brands through insight and innovation. The company is uniquely positioned to deliver consumer connections and brand visibility for institutions through data-based, customized solutions that include impactful licensed merchandise strategies and innovative marketing platforms to navigate the ever-evolving consumer and retail marketplace. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, CLC is guided by values to serve others, build trust, lead well, innovate often, and be passionate. Founded in 1981, CLC is a part of LEARFIELD, the leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics.

 

 

For more information, please contact:

Tammy Purves, CLC, tammy.purves@clc.com or 770-799-3275

Categories: Center for Retailing Studies

AUTHOR’S NOTE

From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate people and traditions of Hispanic Heritage – those who have come before us, and the leaders of tomorrow. We recognize their achievement, honor their cultures, and commemorate the heritage and history of Hispanic Americans who have helped shape the face of America. Mays Business school recognizes the remarkable contributions of its Hispanic American students, faculty, staff, and former students who continue to advance the world’s prosperity.

Steve Arizpe ’79, President and COO of premier professional employer organization (PEO), Insperity, credits much of the work ethic and relationship savvy that have shaped his success to his Hispanic heritage. Arizpe connects with Mays about Hispanic Heritage Month, coming of age in San Antonio, Texas, and what it takes to translate “good bull” into good business.

Early life

Steve Arizpe was born the third of five kids to parents of Hispanic descent in San Antonio, Texas. His father’s ancestors came from Spain and his mother’s from Mexico, but both grew up working alongside their siblings on family farms just outside of San Antonio. “My mom was one of 10 and my dad was one of 12; in that era as my great-grandparents built a family, they were really growing a workforce.” To this day he marvels that his parents paid for all five of him and his siblings to attend college, and at his father’s astuteness to invest in a home in Bryan as his oldest brother set off for Texas A&M.

Arizpe’s father worked full time for the US Department of Defense by day, and moonlighted as an entrepreneur, steadily building a technology repair business. His mother was a self-taught math whiz with a fourth grade education, who worked to ensure the fledgling business was on budget and account balanced. Arizpe spent summers apprenticing in the family business and saw firsthand the hard work and dedication required to provide more for a family than preceding generations could offer. His dad helped him carry forward a tireless, generational work ethic and prudent financial management skills, while his mother cultivated a penchant for relationship and engaging others. This combination served Arizpe well as he embarked on his time in business school at Texas A&M – and, of course, beyond – as he began to shape his career.

Striving for more

Growing up in schools in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio, Arizpe never felt deprived but was acutely aware of his distinct upbringing compared to peers. “We always had plenty to eat and plenty to do,” but he was exposed to another world that opened his eyes to new possibilities. Unsurprisingly, he never saw lack of privilege as a deterrent, but a motivator. He felt proud of where he came from, blessed by family and provision but still eager for more –  saw the lifestyle of peers and instead of feeling more was unattainable, was struck with an immovable sense of self determination. He looked at the world around him and – with remarkable self-assuredness for a teenager – thought, “I can take one of two divergent paths here, either ‘that will never be me’ or ‘why can’t that be me?’ And I chose the latter.”

He never felt like a racial minority, but as a socioeconomic minority in his district, he also never felt like an outsider. He observed, and subsequently emulated, the idea that we treat all people with respect and dignity, socially and professionally. “Whether you are interacting with the CEO or the lowest level employee.” He understood that success isn’t yielded without sacrifices and set out ready to do the work that would be required to achieve big things.

Relationships and cultural influence

Coming from a generation where assimilation was paramount, parents didn’t pass the Spanish language onto their children. Despite growing up in San Antonio with a roughly 70% Hispanic population, the goal of most Hispanic families was still absolute acculturation into established U.S. cultural norms. “We didn’t grow up speaking Spanish at home, but with 60-80 aunts, uncles and cousins attending your average Sunday back-yard BBQ, we absorbed a lot – not just the language but core tenants of the Hispanic culture.” Among those are an instinct to prioritize family, and a natural inclusivity in the definition of who ‘family’ covers. “For us family first looks like, when someone is in need, we’re all in need,” notes Arizpe. “You step up to fill the gap.”

His family first, and inclusive outlook translates into the way he runs his business. Insperity is a missionally minded company, always grounded in their rallying cry of “helping businesses succeed so communities can prosper.” During the economic downturn of 2008, Arizpe and his colleagues saw the significant impacts of layoffs on a city and community, “that’s why we need businesses to succeed, because the economic and cultural impact on the community is tangible.” He and the 4,000 Insperity employees set about creating opportunities for that success. That community-centric perspective comes naturally to Arizpe in one of many ways he reflects his Hispanic heritage in everything he does.

Breaking down barriers

“The Hispanic culture is embracing, in both the broadest figurative sense – and, of course – literally.” The emphasis on community, hospitality and common ground Arizpe credits to his Hispanic culture, are mirrored in the culture of Texas A&M and find a natural commonality in Arizpe as he brings these values to bear in the workplace. As a Latino and an Aggie, Arizpe is heavy on the importance of culture in forging teams, breaking down barriers and bridging gaps.

“The ability to interact with others in a productive and healthy way is something we can’t take for granted,” shares Arizpe, who is known for bridge-building between areas of an organization with competing interests. “We all have differences and they are real, but communicating comfortably with common respect and a goal of mutual understanding breaks down barriers.”

One place he’s applied these skills at Insperity is in navigating the tensions between divisions of Sales and Operations. When Arizpe moved from Vice President of Sales to Executive Vice President of Client Services (or Operations) at Insperity he insightfully notes, “I went from making the promises to the customer in sales, to having to fulfill those promises in operations.” With his sales background, Arizpe had unique insights (for an operations lead) into the organically occurring frictions that often arise between Sales and Ops. He leveraged these insights to build more collaborative teams and relationships, requiring that operations personnel spent some time in the shoes of the sales team, and vice versa. To this day these teams boast an uncommon mutual respect and appreciation, linking these areas of the company in a unique and unprecedented way.

Know your audience – don’t settle

Insperity is a premier PEO that provides premium services to premium clients. For the company, the ‘premier’ label is more than a branding tactic. It’s a concept they take seriously from the quality of services they provide to the prerequisite expectations for potential and active clients. “We take pride in working with business owners who have a ‘getting better agenda.’” Arizpe expands, “the psychographic profile of our ideal client is specific; we work with folks who want to pay people more and provide the best benefits, not those looking to do the bare minimum in compensating their employees.” 

Practically speaking, Arizpe and the team at Insperity help empower these like-minded organizations to achieve an employee-centric outlook. Working with business from 5-5,000 employees, they provide administrative relief and comprehensive HR Resources. And by pooling the 300,000 employees represented under their umbrella, Insperity can pursue better benefits and reduced operational costs they pass on to their clients. The results are significant, “by working as a part of our network, a 30-person company is empowered to compete with big businesses for talent; and companies are encouraged to offer better benefit and compensation packages to their teams.” With 90 offices across the country, Arizpe’s shared excitement with his employees is still so high – “there is still tremendous opportunity for growth, to better the companies and communities we serve.”

Full circle

Arizpe was a Mays Business School student before Mays was Mays, but got to see the tradition carried forward in his own family as his daughter went on to be a Mays student. His ability to cultivate meaningful relationships and prioritize family are evidenced in his 40+ year marriage; closeness with his four children (three of whom work at Insperity); and the joy he takes in his nine grandchildren. 

Asked about retirement he was quick to note he doesn’t have a set date, and that steady work ethic holds strong. While he knows the moment will come to step aside to give others the opportunity to lead, he’s not rushing it. “I’ll retire when it’s not fun anymore,” he pauses. “As long as it’s fun and I still feel like I’m making a difference, I want to be here.”

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Categories: Diversity and Inclusion, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Former Students, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Perspectives, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Author’s Note

From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate people and traditions of Hispanic Heritage – those who have come before us, and the leaders of tomorrow. We recognize their achievement, honor their cultures, and commemorate the heritage and history of Hispanic Americans who have helped shape the face of America. Mays Business school recognizes the remarkable contributions of its Hispanic American students, faculty, staff, and former students who continue to advance the world’s prosperity.

In the Beginning

With roots in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, Celeste Nava ’23, Business Honors student, embodies the hard work and determination underwriting the Hispanic American experience. Nava, who graduated Valedictorian from her high school, set a high bar and clear goals. A first-generation college student, given the opportunity to attend virtually any university, she only had eyes for Texas A&M.

“Call it tunnel vision, I only applied to Texas A&M,” shared Nava. “The school, the network, the students – from the moment I first stepped foot on campus, I knew this was the place I needed to be.” One college application and acceptance letter later, Nava began her journey as a Mays freshman eager to achieve academic success but also ambitious to show her leadership chops beyond the classroom. She knew Mays could offer her the resources, direction, educational value, and opportunities to prove herself that every college student longs for. Now, stepping into her senior year, Nava reflects on all she’s accomplished and experienced in her time at Texas A&M – the good, the great, and the struggle.

Excelling in Aggieland

With a vision for her future that included lofty goals and bigger dreams, Nava quickly found herself in the Aggie community, immediately buying into the tradition and culture, connecting with the people around her. As a freshman, the next step in her plan included academic exceptionalism at Mays, as she applied to the Business Honors Program.

Although excited and determined, when it came time for her to interview for the Honors program, Nava felt overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. Describing the emotions that accompanied her application process, Nava was transparent about the challenges.  Even as a student excelling academically, she stated, “I didn’t know how competitive the program was, I just wanted to apply even if it was a long shot.” Despite her trepidation, Celeste wowed the committee. “I was so vulnerable with them! I cried during my interview,” sharing that, “despite being unsure of what to say, I knew I wanted to be a part of this program!” Her passion, personality, and intelligence made up for any uncertainty, Nava’s authenticity during her interview left the Mays representatives uniquely in awe.

Self-doubt and anxiety lingered in the weeks that followed. “There was no way I was getting in after my interview… I mean I just cried!” explained Nava. “I thought, it’s not going to happen for me.” But the Business Honors team was as excited to accept Celeste as she was to join the group. Nava’s ability to be vulnerable, honest, and open has underscored her successes at Texas A&M. In concert with those traits, her dynamic energy and penchant for encouragement leave an indelible imprint on everyone she meets. Part of what makes her so relatable is her imperfect path to success.

Turning Struggle to Success

Like many other students, Nava is no stranger to trial and tribulation. Spanish is her first language, and learning English afforded her empathy and a fresh perspective toward others facing obstacles. “I felt that I was a part of two different worlds,” she shared. Growing up, Nava struggled to communicate with teachers and had difficulty making friends because of the language barrier. “It’s great now, being bilingual, but it took 21 years of perseverance.” Nava participated in multiple ESL (English as a Second Language) programs as she worked to master English and to overcome the challenges of communicating simultaneously in two different languages. Simultaneously, she navigated the complexity of two distinct cultural perspectives — her interactions with her family and her connections with her school community. Instead of derailing her efforts, Nava’s struggles nurtured her high-achieving work ethic and determination.

Now, she’s leveraging those experiences to make a difference in the Aggie community. This year as a senior, Nava is the Minority Outreach Director of Howdy Crew (Texas A&M’s welcoming committee for prospective students) where she has been a powerful advocate for students for whom English is not their first language. Wanting to create a sense of belonging for students like herself, Celeste’s ears perked when students reached out to Howdy Crew to request Spanish Speaking interpreters for campus tours.  To her dismay, none were available –  an opportunity for the impact she couldn’t ignore. In her role, Nava was able to establish a program for (and to train) Spanish-speaking tour guides to hold campus tours in Spanish. “Now Spanish-speaking students and families can be just as engaged as their English-speaking counterparts in getting to know Texas A&M,” shared Nava, “and hopefully they can experience that same sense of belonging that defined my introduction to Aggieland.”

Continuing to Grow

Nava is bold and determined, steadfast in her desire to make an impact both on and off campus. When asked about a prospective career path, her answer has been consistent since early high school: a lawyer, with a specific interest in criminal defense. Like many students, she sought an internship in her field of interest and found one, through a client of her parents.  When the time came to tap into the Aggie network, her father knew just who to ask. So, for the past two summers, Nava has interned with Criminal Defense Attorney, Mark Lassiter ’02 (also a Mays former student). Nava experienced Aggies helping Aggies firsthand, and Lassiter is just as grateful to work alongside her, “Celeste has become an invaluable member of my office since she began as an intern,” shared Lassiter. “She is loyal to a fault and her integrity is unparalleled.” Nava has gained real-world experience and learned a lot from this Aggie-led team. With her dedication to the law office, her studies, and her leadership in multiple organizations at Mays, Nava inspires those in her university community to strive for more, those who share her Hispanic heritage, and those who don’t.

Mays’ vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. In keeping with that focus, the school prioritizes leveraging the strengths of its diverse student population, as part of its efforts to equip the next generation of leaders. With students like Celeste Nava, Mays will further its mission, all while equipping its students to make a valuable impact in their communities. Nava’s story is unique, and she strives to leverage her experiences and education to change the world, one step at a time. But the advantages that come with being a part of the Mays family are not lost on her. “Mays is like a tunnel; the way you go in is not the same way you come out,” she shared. Certainly, Nava has laid the foundation for students like herself to drive forward progress, walking out of the tunnel with more heart and determination than when they started. Nava may have roots in multiple worlds, but she is right at home in her Aggie community and is committed to helping others feel that same sense of belonging.

Take the next step

Categories: Business Honors, Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

The Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) program was created in 2013 and has created an undeniable impact on the students that it enrolled. “Yes, we were about professional development and impact; but seeing how students literally generate millions for companies, create analytics divisions, and open their own businesses, amongst other things, is something I didn’t expect to happen so soon!” said Myra Gonzalez, Director of the MSA program as she kicked off her 10th fall MSA Orientation.

With a competitive admission process, the program carefully selects those candidates that demonstrate the ability to work in teams, have strong academic backgrounds and have a passion for data.

The fall 2022 cohort is diverse:

  • 49% female enrollment
  • Over 18 industries represented
  • 31% of the entire cohort holding advanced degrees already
  • Working professionals that average between 10.5 – 13 years of full-time experience

As a nationally-ranked hybrid delivery program measured on inclusion, technology, and quality, the MSA program makes sure students joining remotely are properly engaged. “We go to great lengths to replicate the classroom environment for our distance students,” said Associate Program Director Javier Aldape. With an equal split of face-to-face and distance students, the program makes sure ALL receive quality instruction, dedication, and attention. In ten years of offering live video stream delivery, satisfaction is high. Investments in the audio/video technology of the classroom have ensured this. This track record earned MSA a #1 ranking in online business analytics program according to Fortune.com

And the investment does not just occur in the MSA classrooms. For ten years, the program has invested in nonprofit organizations. Every year, the program reviews admitted students employed in this sector for scholarship consideration. “It’s our way to give back and also propel nonprofits into data-driven strategies,” Aldape noted. Over the years, students from education, government, military, law enforcement, and others have created models that have provided significant contributions to their employers and likely many of us. From combating drug trafficking to improving educational intervention programs, our students are at the forefront of analytics. “It is getting harder every year with the quality of students we are evaluating. Everybody brings something big and impactful,” said Gonzalez. Dao Henry is the 2022 scholarship recipient and is a Senior Management Analyst for the City and County of Denver, Department of Aviation/Denver International Airport. She engages in department-wide program and data analytics, reporting, and special projects. She aspires to lead an initial assessment of issues or problem areas by researching best practices, trends, and historical and current data, along with related laws, policies, procedures, and methods, to develop a methodology for the selection of relevant data. Then she hopes to assemble data into a meaningful format for data-driven decisions. She believes that data can be applied to good and wishes to advance her city to the forefront of data-driven city management.

Dao Henry, 2022 scholarship recipient

The uniqueness of MSA begins with the coordination of curriculum and faculty members. “From standard, easy-to-navigate learning management course templates to collaboration using real datasets, our faculty understand the importance of a cohesive curriculum,” said Myra Gonzalez. Prior to starting semesters, program staff and faculty meet to discuss expectations and objectives. The goal is to share the feedback and to build strategies for how classes can collaborate through projects and topics. This elevates the class discussion and the applicability of the material to the real world. Serena Antone, a member of the class of 2024, stated that this was a component that drew her into the program. “I attended a class, I saw how the professors taught and the discussions it generated, and the examples covered. It was an overall unique experience because it was easily relatable. This is what graduate school should focus on, rather than reading textbooks and learning theory.” Indeed, faculty bring with them relevant real-world experience and problems that students must solve as part of the class. “They formulate a problem, they prep the data, they delegate amongst themselves, they build a model, they validate, they present. It is something that is learned through doing rather than books,” said Aldape. Serena Antone is one of fifty-three students that make the class of 2024 cohort. She said as orientation was starting, “I’m looking forward to the journey with the rest of my classmates. I can’t wait to get started.”

“As a program administrator, nothing brings me more joy than to see a student go from no experience with statistics, data, programming to a Data Scientist leading divisions, running their own business, and even using data for social impacts. They go from asking what is a P value to solving problems using data,” said Gonzalez. The program calls on people who want to level up their careers. “This is our 10th year. We are excited about this upcoming recruiting cycle,” said Jerry Strawser, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. Interested applicants are encouraged to research program admission criteria on their website. “We have sixty-five seats each semester. Applying early is key,” recommended Strawser.

The Master of Science in Analytics is offered in a hybrid format that offers both in-person and live video stream class delivery. Face-to-face classes are offered at the Mays Business School at Houston CityCentre.

To request information, please contact Javier Aldape, Associate Program Director, at 797-845-2149 or email at: analytics@tamu.edu

Categories: Analytics

Texas A&M’s Business School honors the firm for advancing their mission

Three leaders holding awards

Texas A&M’s Mays Business School is pleased to announce Deloitte as its 2022 Partner of the Year. Mays Business School presented the award at a ceremony on Friday, September 16, which included roundtable discussions featuring Deloitte leaders and students.

Ahead of the ceremony, Deloitte representatives met with Texas A&M Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity Dr. Annie McGowan and Professional Program in Accounting interns. Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin presented the 2022 Partner of the Year Award to Deloitte.

RECOGNIZING A LEADING MAYS PARTNER

Deloitte gives a gig 'em celebrating Partner of the YearSince 2016, the Partner of the Year honor has been given to organizations that have achieved excellence in advancing Mays’ vision – providing career opportunities, developing quality professionals, and investing intellectual and financial capital toward the realization of Mays’ mission.

“Mays is fortunate to have so many stellar partnerships with a wide array of organizations,” said Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin. “Our vision to advance the world’s prosperity is made possible by these organizations. Those who have received the Partner of the Year recognition from Mays have taken the responsibility of partnership to a new level.”

BUSINESS LEADER

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500®, more than 7,000 private companies, numerous government agencies, and higher education institutions.

Building on more than 175 years of service, Deloitte’s network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. At Texas A&M, Deloitte has developed deep ties with Mays, as well as with the broader university community.

Students listen to the presentation celebrating Partner of the Year 2022“Deloitte offers a wide variety of internships and employment opportunities to our students and their professionals have consistently visited us in Aggieland to speak in our classrooms and events,” Griffin said. “Deloitte goes above and beyond in their selfless service of Mays and Texas A&M through their time and talent. They are phenomenal partners, on campus and off, and we are delighted to honor them.”

“Deloitte is proud to be able to make an impact at Texas A&M and is honored to be recognized with this award. Our team — including 983 Aggies who are Deloitte professionals — wants to see Texas A&M, Mays, the students, faculty and administration be successful,” said Amy Chronis, Houston managing partner, Deloitte LLP. “We are thrilled to continue to deepen our work with Texas A&M and Mays through faculty development, curriculum support, enhanced student experiences, and strategy development.”

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Initiated in 2016, Mays’ Partner of the Year has previously been awarded to Phillips 66, KPMG, EY, and Reynolds and Reynolds.

Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure.

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

“I’m not a big crowd follower,” he assures me, “but there’s a time and place for everything…sometimes you just have to go with the flow.” The story packaging this gem is one about Kevin gripping his duffel bag, pushing through a crowded airport in Germany, and rushing to catch a flight back to the United States for a $70 million presentation. According to Kevin, his flight was getting out of there even if no one else’s was—it wouldn’t be the first time he willed something to work. Ultimately, belief wasn’t enough.

Years have passed since Kevin Moore, former director of the esteemed MS Finance (MSF) program, ran through an airport with his bag in hand. He has suitcases with wheels now. And even though his days as the guy who assures the big, bad firms of a good deal are now over, he knows a great idea when he sees one. So, when Sorin Sorescu, Executive Associate Dean of Mays Business School, appointed him executor of a program that would allow Texas A&M to compete at the highest level of finance, it was a no-brainer.

What made Kevin Moore, former analyst and part-time Tuesday night professor, qualified for such a lofty task? He had a unique set of qualifications and an atypical experience that made him the perfect fit. It was a match made in Kevin.

The House that Kevin Built

Plus, he’s big time. His students adore him. Brittny Efendy, Chemical Engineering ‘22 and MS Finance ‘23, and Michael Miller, Industrial Distribution ‘20 and MS Finance ‘21, cited Kevin in their figurative ‘memorable moment’ catalogs from their time in the program.

“He’s great” Efendy remarked.

Ask his team, and it is clear that they also think the world of him. A few minutes into our hour-long conversation, I, too, have sent in a membership for the fan club.

In all of his grandeur, he’ll tell you that he is only as good as the people around him. And at 6:30 am in September 2021, his trusted circle—a group of accomplished Aggies— responded hurriedly to a call of duty, selflessly and willingly—frazzled nonetheless—on his behalf. The core group that would lead MS Finance down its intended path to graduating another prestigious class of future financiers rallied, committed, and prepared to “point and shoot,” as Kevin would say.

Forced to step away from his high-perching post due to a health complication, MSF needed to be rescued from the threat of crumbling under its own prestige. Luckily, Misty Page, Donna McClure and Rebecca Itz—“The All-Stars” as they are sometimes referred to— embraced the challenge. None of them opted to wear a cape while absorbing the weight of the MS Finance program because not all superheroes do.

The Call

It’s September 2021, and in the midst of shaking off the fatigue from the infamous MSF August boot camp, Page, Associate Director of MS Finance, received news that dramatically changed her trajectory. At 6:31 am, she unofficially had two full-time jobs—only one of which she actually signed up for. Over an undisclosed period of time, she was the provisional Director of MSF. She inherited the responsibility of introducing 150 highly desirable students to the robust world of finance, fully equipped with business attire, etiquette skills, and know-how; her hands were entirely too full.

In her new role, Page was responsible for maintaining the level of excellence in all things academics, career development, and corporate relationships. “There was no time to think; I had to act,” she said. She was on a mission.

Within the next few hours, the call reverberated through Mays Business School. From it, a small, but mighty task force consisting of Page, two student workers, and Itz, an academic advisor by day and Master’s Student during “off” hours, was born. And by 10 am, carried by adrenaline and a resounding theme of “what do we have to do to get the job done,” they had created a plan for the rest of the semester.

For the next six weeks, Page worked 70 to 80 hour weeks—a significant increase from her usual 45 to 50. That is until McClure, current Associate Program Director of MS Finance and proud Aggie, whose sole ties were in the Mays Career Management center, readily absorbed some of the load. She felt a deep connection to the program and her students. Just ask about the job offers she didn’t take because of the work she wanted to continue doing within the MSF program.

“I couldn’t even think about saying no, not stepping in, not doing whatever I have to do to make sure things go well,” McClure said.

McClure accepted the portion of responsibility that focused on the relationships between employers and students. She was entrusted with the holy grail of the MSF Program: the advisory board. Connections are key in the highly competitive landscape of Financial Services, Consulting, and Corporate Finance, and as an MSF student, advisory board members are the people to meet.

In the meantime, Itz, who describes herself as someone “who helps students achieve their academic goals for two overlapping degrees,” would try to keep everyone from falling off the rails while also handling the challenging logistics of two trips: one for the sophomores, which Moore traditionally handled, and a strategically unprecedented one for graduate students planned for December of that year.

The Last Puzzle Piece

Months into a concerted team effort, Chris Wilson, member of the MSF Steering Committee, Chartered Financial Analyst, and Chartered Market Technician ‘88, heard the call. He was offered an executive professor role for Kevin’s classes at the start of the second semester. It was an opportunity well beyond his initial offer to guest lecture. And with a plethora of knowledge, experience, and qualifications that eerily resemble Kevin’s, he checked all of the proverbial boxes. Only, he had never taught a semester-long class and lived two hours away, so this too would be a squeeze.

Perspective. Perhaps attending program orientations as the father of Colin and Parker Wilson, both MSF ’23, foreshadowed his place at the front of the classroom the following semester. Or maybe acknowledging the impact of the fabled MSF bootcamps on his sons’ level of professionalism and preparedness gave him the energy to overcome his lack of teaching experience. Wilson has witnessed every side of the gem that is MSF, and his reviews do nothing but glow—his enthusiasm radiated through our phone call. As a member of the Steering Committee, a group that oversees the entire program, he understood the hierarchy of associated companies; the gold standard companies hire the most Aggies. He observed the maturation of his sons in just a summer. He had the vote of confidence of the man in charge and all of the people who make things work. He was sold.

The Aftermath

Moore is confident and speaks with pace and certainty. Amidst stories regarding the determinants of success, the magic of high-caliber alumni networks, and the nuances of his journey, it isn’t until we get to his connection to the students—arguably the piece that differentiates MSF from other rigorous programs—does his demeanor change. His eyes water with passion and dreams. “Before anybody believed in them…before they knew they were going to be great…I knew.” The legend behind the high-functioning machine is, at his core, a man who believes in his students.

They all believe. MSF has a standard of excellence—admired by many, but executed by few—because every member of the team cultivates the growth, development, and–ultimately–the success of the students, and one another, at whatever cost. They are propelled by loyalty and service to a cause that is far greater than any one of them.

Since that early morning call, the MSF Class of ‘22 has graduated, 150 of 152 students have acquired internships, and Kevin is back in at work, albeit part-time. Representatives of 30+ MSF ally companies have taken over “industry briefs” once reserved only for experienced faculty; the number has ballooned from 4 or 5 to 11. And most notably, every person who has touched the MSF program in the last year expanded their capacity without thinking twice. They love what they do. They love watching their students, be they sophomores or recent graduates, blossom into high-performing stars in the companies of the future.

Polished, High-Performing Professionals

According to the Advisory Board, as shared through McClure’s beaming smile, graduates of MSF are “polished, professional, and they can perform.” So too, is the group behind them. They are leaders committed to building leaders. Achievers who nourish the minds of achievers. They are Aggies, and Aggies help Aggies become the best versions of themselves. The work that this core group has done in light of unforeseen circumstances is a reflection of the 100-year-old 12th Man lore that we Aggies hang our hats on. After all, we are one school with one vision sustained by a spirit that can ne’er be told.

Unlike the majority of his counterparts, Kevin Moore isn’t an Aggie by degree, but wholeheartedly one by action and association. His essence oozes throughout the home that he has built within Mays Business School. So much so, MSF students meet the expectation of excellence because, according to their esteemed leader, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Marry the Texas A&M core values with industrious students, a dedicated staff, and an unmatchable drive of a prized leader, and you have your match, undoubtedly made in Kevin.

Categories: Uncategorized

On August 12, 2022, the James Benjamin Department of Accounting hosted a Junior Accounting Research Workshop in partnership with Rice University for associate and assistant professors in the colleges’ accounting departments. For the conference, 5-6 of Rice’s junior faculty joined Mays junior faculty for a day of sharing research with each other. The following Q&A is with Assistant Professor of Accounting at Mays Business School, Dr. Sarah Stuber.

 

Q: What is the “Junior Accounting Research Workshop” that took place on Friday, August 12, 2022?

Stuber: The workshop was an opportunity for assistant and associate professors from Rice University to join us for a day to share our research, provide feedback on working papers, and network.

Q: Who was involved in the workshop itself, and why was that audience important to the purpose of the event?

Stuber: The workshop featured presentations from 2 assistant professors from Rice University and two of our fantastic TAMU assistant professors—Emily Shafron and Junwei Xia. The workshop participants were professors from Rice and here at TAMU. The focus of the workshop was on giving junior faculty from the schools an opportunity to connect and share research.

Q: How did the Research Workshop come to be?

Stuber: One of the assistant professors at Rice University and I have connections from our time as PhD students, and she suggested the idea of having an event for the junior faculty at our schools. I jumped on the opportunity and, after confirming with our department head, extended the offer to host the event here in College Station. From there, we found a date that worked for everyone and then reached out to identify junior faculty that would be interested in presenting. Initially, we were planning to have only assistant professors in attendance, but there was enough enthusiasm for the event that we decided to expand the workshop to include associate professors from both schools.

Q: Why was this workshop such a big deal? What was rare about it?

Stuber: This was the first time a collaborative event focused on junior faculty has been held with Rice University. The event was significant as Rice University has an outstanding reputation as a premier institution with a strong research reputation. The fact that they reached out to us to establish a formal opportunity for collaboration is a signal of the quality of the faculty and the research that is being done within the James Benjamin Department of Accounting at Texas A&M. The geographic proximity of our two schools and the shared expectations and record of excellence in research make it a natural fit for future collaboration.

Q: What were some key takeaways from the event for the attendees?

Stuber: The feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive. The workshops were active, with presenters receiving high-quality feedback on their projects. One of the presenters from Rice expressed how impressed he was with College Station, our campus, and how appreciative he was for the feedback on his paper. The biggest takeaway was the development of relationships that will hopefully build into collaboration and co-authorships on projects in the future.

Q: What will happen next?

Stuber: We are hoping it becomes an annual event, as the Rice faculty have already expressed a desire to host a similar workshop on their campus in Houston next year. More importantly, though, the hope is that the relationships established and a chance to discuss research will lead to more opportunities for future collaboration between the faculty at the schools.

Q: What did I not ask that you’d like to share?

Stuber: I am thankful to Nate Sharp for his support of the event from the beginning and for all of the work put in by our administrative staff to help us show Aggie hospitality to our guests!

Categories: Accounting