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.


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.”


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.”


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.

The 9th Annual KPMG Fraud Case Competition Final Round was held on March 9, 2023 at Mays Business School. The three teams competing in the Final Round had advanced from the Preliminary Round held earlier in the week. Final Round judging was facilitated by Jose Trevino and Patricio Munoz from the Houston office of KPMG’s US Forensic Advisory Practice.

The Final Round case competition participants from Mays Business School included:

  •  Khaled Alfarj, Noah Gray, Brian Han, Anika Mathur
  • Josh Courtney, Catherine Barth, Jacob Graves
  • Josh Seibanoller, Andrew Swetonic, Amanda Wilder

The First Place Team is pictured below (from left to right):  Patricio Munoz (KPMG), Noah Gray, Brian Han, Khaled Alfarj, Anika Mathur, and Jose Trevino (KPMG).

The winning team - Team #3

Categories: Accounting

Analytics professionals and industry leaders gathered at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School at Houston CityCentre to present real-world uses of analytics to strengthen organizations’ operations. This year featured a diverse group of organizations such as organ procurement/transplantation, federal government, and oil & gas.

“Organizations accumulate data by the second. In the age of digital transformation, companies need the power of analytics to improve their competitive advantage and operations. They need to consistently utilize data to drive better business decisions.” said Myra Gonzalez, MS Analytics Program Director. This annual event provides a venue for people in the Houston business community, faculty, staff, and students to gather to discuss analytics and share best practices.

The need for data scientists and analysts was further remarked by Jenna Whitmire, Vice President, Data, Tools & Advanced Analytics at AT&T and a Texas A&M Class of 2005 graduate. During her keynote address, she shared that as a leader of 500+ data engineers, analysts, modelers and developers, the need for people with data analytics skills has never been greater than today, and there’s never been more investment in data and AI. In addition to a strong statistics foundation and coding, Whitmire emphasized that expertise in communications and partnering with business leaders is critical to success. “If you are a student in this program, then you will have the opportunity to make scaled impact with your skills. You will influence outcomes for customers and businesses, but it takes ingenuity, courage, and tenacity in addition to great analytics skills.”

Presentations were made by current and former students of the Master of Science in Analytics program. Bilal Zuberi currently serves as the Head of Business Systems for SLB where he is tasked with accelerating digital transformation and enterprise software solutions for the Production Systems division. His presentation was on how to accelerate tendering capacity and improve the “engineer-to-order” quotation process using neural network models. Other industries also saw the need to improve operations through analytics. Master of Science in Analytics Class of 2023 student, Jonathan Hewlett, felt his organization would benefit from process improvements and knew the data they collected was the answer. He built Machine Learning prediction models to study geographically based organ donation. This helped his organization to increase potential transplants and increase the number of lifesaving organs available for transplant.

Our final presentation was conducted by Master of Science in Analytics Class of 2023 student Victor Frausto, who serves as a Program Analyst for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He wants to help the agency with data-driven decisions to assist investigations and operations along the southwest border. His approach analyzes National Seizure System data to identify trends or patterns to disrupt the flow of dangerous drugs.  Better decision-making also helps his organization improve the allocation of resources and workforce.

“We enjoy providing a forum to foster discussion about data and analytics challenges that companies face and share ideas for Houston-area businesses to stay ahead of the game,” said Gonzalez. “We can’t wait for next year’s event!”


Presentation slides and more information can be found at https://mays.tamu.edu/ms-analytics/analytics_day/

The free event was hosted by Texas A&M University’s MS (Master of Science) Analytics Program, which offers a business analytics master’s degree available in Houston and across North America via live video stream to teach working professionals the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly data-driven world. For program information, please contact Javier Aldape, Associate Director: jaldape@mays.tamu.edu or 979-845-2149

Categories: Analytics

For more than ten years, Mays Business School has been coaching and guiding Aggies through the unique world of mergers and acquisitions through the innovative high-caliber class, “Dealmakers in Mergers and Acquisitions.” The class, the students, the faculty, and the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) sponsors work together to showcase Mays Business School to the business world, and how Mays graduates are helping to lead the future of developing transaction professionals.

Dealmakers in M&A is the next step in innovative learning, both at Mays and in the country. Active real-word M&A professionals from leading private equity firms, credit firms and corporations around the nation lead students in team competitions, class lectures and discussions, and case studies on real-world deals. Dealmakers encourage students to be creative and authentic in their thinking and performance, learning to deal with ambiguity and take risks so that they hit the ground running when they land in the post-graduate world. Not only do students get to work on real transactions, but they are also able to work in a diverse, cross-functional team of undergraduate, Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) and graduate students to meet their learning goals.

Dealmakers is not just another class or curriculum requirement. Selected students must weather an extensive application process to demonstrate their ambition, ability, and interest in M&A. Each Fall, Dealmakers invites 30-35 high-performing Mays undergraduate and graduate students with a particular interest in investment banking, private equity, corporate M&A, transaction consulting or other M&A and transaction-related professional services to step outside their comfort zone and stretch themselves intellectually and interpersonally. The purposeful inclusion of diverse student backgrounds, work experiences and academic majors drawn from across Mays ensures the uniqueness and real-world perspective of the class while forming the next generation of M&A professionals.

This class and these students are unlike any other business-related class in the country. So, what makes the class special? Drew Koecher ‘88, the class’ founder and Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey, stated that “We teach the students to work with ambiguity, uncertainty and real-world M&A conditions; we translate academics to application through the lens of the nation’s leading M&A practitioners– that’s what we do.” Encouraging the students to think outside of the classroom by placing them in a competitive, high-intensity transaction world where there is market inefficiency and things move at deal speed allows them to reach further and prepares them for what to expect in their future careers.

Dealmakers specialize in authenticity; each group of students brings something new to the table each Fall semester, and each guest M&A professional has a different story to tell and case to share, with a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience. William Davenport ‘93, the CFO of Topgolf, is a returning speaker to this classroom, bringing the company’s closed cases for students to practice on and think beyond the boundaries of a classroom. After all, the students are what make the class different. As Davenport described, “They all just seem to have high integrity. They all work hard, and this class requires them to work very quickly. And as a group, they all support and learn from each other.” With an unparalleled student-caliber class drawn from across Mays, Dealmakers like William continue to set Mays students up for success in the professional world of M&A.

Students walk out of this classroom prepared, excited, and eager to start a career in M&A – the vast majority landing in marquee investment banks and M&A advisory firms. Along with Houlihan Lokey as a participating firm and the leading employer of Dealmakers graduates, global investment firms and companies such as Stone Point Capital, The Sterling Group, Fortress, Audax, HollyFrontier, EQT, Partners Group, Dynegy, and many more, are involved in helping students prepare for and navigate the professional M&A world. Mays 2018 graduate, Courtney Nutting, jumped into M&A directly after graduation and is grateful for what Dealmakers taught her. She expressed that, “The Dealmakers class can give you as much as you put into it, and from my experience, it has given me the most out of any other “High-Impact Program” in Mays. Following Dealmakers, I was able to leverage my experiences from the course in interviews, which ultimately landed me a full-time job at a Private Equity shop in Denver.” Dealmakers put in the work for their students, and they return the favor to make Mays and Texas A&M more proud than ever. Courtney has continued the circle of learning as she is repeat Dealmaker case presenter and champion of Mays students in the private equity community.

Dealmakers is leading the next generation of M&A professionals, setting itself apart from other business-led classes around the country and with it, is driving Mays to the forefront of market-based progressive learning. Sean Murphy ’96, the class’ co-founder and a Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey tells each class at the outset, “This will be the most challenging course you take at Texas A&M, but the personal growth you earn and the real-world experience you gain repays your efforts exponentially.”

To apply to become a Dealmakers student or to find more information about the program, please visit https://mays.tamu.edu/department-of-accounting/dealmakers-in-mergers-and-acquisitions/.

Categories: Accounting

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School is advancing International Business research around the world through co-hosting the Research Spotlight Series (RSS). These events, which are coordinated through Mays’ Center for International Business Studies (CIBS) and Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business’ Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), bring together current and aspiring International Business scholars in an online forum to create a discussion on cutting-edge topics regarding research and publishing.

Mays CIBS’ role in organizing the series increases Texas A&M University’s global visibility and helps solidify Mays as a global leader in the field of International Business scholarship. Hosting this series also is part of the school’s efforts to become the preeminent public business school in the United States.

The RSS builds upon Texas A&M’s long history as a leader in the study of International Business. “Texas A&M University’s Lorraine Eden served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business, which is the premier journal in International Business and a publication of the Academy of International Business (AIB). She is currently the Dean of the Fellows of the AIB, a select group of distinguished International Business scholars,” said Mays CIBS Associate Director of Research Dr. David A. Griffith. “Texas A&M’s faculty–both past and present and within Mays and outside of Mays–have made significant contributors to the International Business discipline.”

The RSS, which began in 2021, was a result of a confluence of factors. “The COVID pandemic opened the whole domain of webinars, allowing scholars to begin to connect pertaining to common interests without the need for travel,” said Griffith, who holds Mays’ Hallie Vanderhider Chair in Business. “In 2020, Ahmet Kirca became the director of the Michigan State University’s CIBER, which really opened the door for us to establish this joint effort. We saw the need as well as the opportunity before us—and we both concluded that leveraging webinar technology to advance International Business research would complement the activities of our CIBERs.”

The RSS addresses leading-edge International Business topics in areas such as exporting, global sales management and global supply chain management, as well as research methods, such as survey research and the measurement of cultural distance in international business research. These sessions are attended by both well-established scholars as well as next-generation researchers.

The virtual seminars already have a strong international following. For example, a September 2022 webinar on global supply chain management had registrants from Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey.

The most recent webinar, held in November 2022, focused specifically on research publication, and built on a previous RSS webinar, which featured journal editors from Management International Review, the Journal of World Business, and the Journal of International Marketing.

The November webinar hosted four editors who are part of the incoming editorial team for the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), the premier journal in the field of International Business. Each panelist offered insights about the decision-making process in selecting manuscripts to publish in their respective JIB area. The session also gave over 250 participants the opportunity to ask questions about JIBS’ processes.

Griffith believes the RSS webinars can assist International Business scholars in developing more impactful IB research. The Mays professor of marketing noted, “Through participation in the webinars, participants are able to hear from leading scholars about emerging research topics and state-of-the-art methods – which can be invaluable for developing their own scholarship.”

The next webinar in the series is planned for February 2023 and will focus on best practices for the use of meta-analysis in international business research. Meta-analysis is a research method for statistically combining the results of multiple scientific studies. Meta-analytic findings are considered the most trustworthy source of evidence in the scientific discipline.

Interested in learning from these leading global researchers about International Business topics?  You can access previous webinars from this series here.

Categories: Center for Business International Studies


Texas A&M’s Master’s in Analytics program has been named the #6 online program in U.S. and the #1 online program in Texas, according to the 2023 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. The methodology is based on a variety of objective factors, such as student engagement, faculty credentials, and services and technologies. In 2022, the program was named as Fortune’s Best Online Master’s in Business Analytics.

“Our whole team is extremely proud of this ranking. It is a testament to the consistency and drive for excellence of our faculty, staff, and students in the Master’s in Analytics Program,” said Jerry Strawser, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Programs for Mays Business School. “The rankings are another data point that shows we offer a preeminent business analytics education in the state as well as the nation.”

The Master’s in Analytics Program excels at providing each student with individualized analytics experiences that supplement the business acumen they acquire. The program offers courses in statistical modeling and programming in multiple languages such as R, Python, SAS, and SQL. Setting the program apart from others are courses in business acumen, such as teamwork, leadership, ethics, and communication. Students tailor their analytics training through a work-based capstone project which has demonstrated tremendous value to their organizations through millions of dollars either saved or in new revenue, as well as social impact.

As a flexible hybrid-delivery program, students benefit from a convenient, comprehensive virtual learning platform, providing access to world-class faculty and an immersive learning experience. The staff has developed an extensive student support network to provide students with resources and guidance throughout their time in the program.

“We at Mays Business School take pride in the ability of our students, faculty, and staff to contribute positively to companies and the broader society through their dedicated efforts. This #1 and #6 ranking in the state and nation, respectively, from U.S. News & World Report, provides evidence of the quality of our program and certainly the talent of our students,” shared Myra Gonzalez, Director of the M.S. Analytics Program. “The breadth of faculty credentials helps provide greater parity with classroom learning in a digital setting – a program priority its leaders pursue relentlessly. To that end, the program uses a state-of-the-art, intuitive learning management system that prioritizes user experience and accessibility.”

For an overview of Texas A&M’s M.S. Analytics Program, visit the M.S. Analytics site. The program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2023 cohort. For more information, contact Javier Aldape, Program Manager, at 979-845-2149 or jaldape@mays.tamu.edu.

Categories: Uncategorized

Executives L.T. Therivel ’96 and Larry O’Donnell Offer Insights from ‘Undercover Boss’ and Their Careers

Mays Business School students had the opportunity to learn from two corporate leaders who were featured on Undercover Boss, the popular CBS television series. The session included Larry O’Donnell, the former president and chief operating officer of Waste Management Inc., and Laurent C. (L.T.) Therivel ’96, who is president and CEO of U.S. Cellular.

Their advice, which covered both the professional and personal side of being a corporate leader, was well received by students who will soon be embarking on their careers. One area that particularly resonated was maintaining work-life balance. “I enjoyed hearing L.T. talk about finding your job, figuring out what it requires, and then determining whether you’re willing to put that in,” said Erin Autrey ’25, an accounting major from Pittsburg, TX. “Then figure out your life goal and make sure that those two things—the job and your life goal—align.”

Waste Naught

O’Donnell was the first corporate leader featured on Undercover Boss. That show debuted after the 2010 Super Bowl and was watched by a record 38.6 million viewers.

The Houston resident, who took over the company when it was struggling, opened his presentation talking about leadership. O’Donnell advocated for flipping the traditional top-down leadership model where employees serve the leader. Instead, he has had success embracing the servant leadership model where the leader is at the bottom of the pyramid and serves everyone on the team. “The leader is pouring into everyone, helping them become the best they can be,” he explained. “Whatever they are trying to achieve in their career, the leader is trying to help them get there. Then what happens is a bond of trust is created and the whole team wins together.”

O’Donnell also offered some important early career advice. Foremost, he said, was focusing on the job at-hand and doing the best job possible. “Build a team and serve everybody on the team, including your boss and your colleagues,” he said. “If you’re that type of team player, you will be noticed, and you’ll advance in your career.”

He also encouraged the Aggies to be willing to address their knowledge and skill gaps so they can progress in a career. Noting that this is often uncomfortable, O’Donnell noted, “People often don’t want to face their deficiencies—but everybody’s got deficiencies.”

On a similar note, O’Donnell recommended finding a mentor—and then be coachable. “There are so many people who come to me who want help,” he said. “You start to coach them, and you can tell that they really don’t want to hear it; they think they’ve got it all figured out. They think they can do it all by themselves.”

O’Donnell also talked about his own career path, which took some unexpected turns, as well as how his daughter’s life was tragically impacted by a medical mistake right after she was born, which brought about a tremendous change in O’Donnell as well.


O’Donnell said that event really tested his faith. “When my daughter’s tragedy first happened, I was pretty angry with God,” he said. “I told God it didn’t seem fair, but I later came to realize that it wasn’t about me and my plan, and that God had a different plan for my daughter than I had.”

His daughter’s medical shipwreck ultimately served as a mirror for O’Donnell. “I had no empathy at all before that happened. I then realized that I was a total mess; I was that top-down self-absorbed leadership guy,” he said, adding that he later decided to attend seminary, create a non-profit organization called Servant Ministries Foundation, and write a book, “Waste Management: Five Steps to Clean Up the Mess” to help others learn from my mistakes from my 40-plus-year business career. “My daughter’s tragedy taught me empathy, and when faced with difficulties to ask ‘what’ can I learn from this situation, rather than ‘why’ is this happening to me.”

O’Donnell added, “My special needs daughter is my inspiration. She is the happiest person you’d ever want to meet, and never complains about her pain.”

Making Connections

Therivel joined U.S. Cellular in 2020 as chief executive officer for the fourth largest cellular company in the United States. U.S. Cellular focuses on providing cell service in underserved areas, many of which are rural. He was on the most recent season of Undercover Boss.

While noting that Undercover Boss provides opportunities to identify tactical and operational opportunities, Therivel said the show was  just as important in validating the company’s culture and organizational buy-in. He pointed to his own experience working as COO with a small start-up that lacked clarity on objectives and goals. “I had been there two weeks and after doing my assessment, blew the place up,” he said. “New strategy, clear goals, clear KPIs, fired the three salespeople who had sold nothing, changed the org chart, hired some people, made a bunch of changes—and then off we went.”

After 30 months, the company hit its targets—but the CEO and chairman fired Therivel.  “Everybody hated me,” he said. “It was my plan, my strategy, my KPIs, my org chart. Me, me, me…there was no ‘we’. When I go back and think about the decisions I made, they were the right decisions—but I spent zero time on culture and buy-in to get people to believe in what we were doing.”

That turn of the events helped inform his leadership style. “It was a huge wake-up call for me. I was really lucky because I learned that lesson in my early 30s, so I had the chance to recover,” Therivel explained. “A lot of people don’t learn that lesson at all or maybe they learn it in their 50s.”

He now believes in the importance of the “how.” “Just having the right answer isn’t enough. If you’re in this room and going to this university, you are whip smart. You will get the right answer,” Therivel advised the students. “Spend as much time thinking about the ‘how’ because it’s going to be just as important as knowing the right answer. How to get people on board? Are they motivated by this?  How do I get buy-in? How do I get consensus? How do I drive collaboration?”

Therivel also stressed understanding what the work requires and be willing to do it. At the same time, he recommended aligning professional and personal goals. He pointed to his time at AT&T where advancement required moving geographically to accept new assignments. At that time, he and his wife had two young daughters and they decided they would be willing to relocate until the children entered high school. “We decided we were willing to make moves for the professional good—and boy, did we. My daughters are 15 and this is house nine, school sevennu,” he said. “I was able to make those moves and put in the work because I had confidence that I wasn’t sacrificing my family.”

He noted that many executives focus solely on their career without considering their personal lives. He cautioned, “If you’re not careful and you don’t spend the time investing on the personal side and making sure it’s aligned, at some point you reach a level where it’s really hard to recapture.”

Unintended Consequences

Both business leaders addressed unintended consequences that arose from their decisions. For example, O’Donnell described how he had started a program designed to coach workers on garbage trucks and to fix issues that were causing employees frustrations. However, the employee who O’Donnell worked with on Undercover Boss described them as “spies” sent by the corporate office. “Obviously at that location, it hadn’t been communicated very well,” he told the students. “So, we totally revamped the communication aspect of it so that the drivers would realize that the organization was trying to help them achieve and get home sooner.”

In Therivel’s episode of Undercover Boss, he had to cold call customers—which was an effort he had championed—but the sales associates were unhappy about doing this because most calls went to voice mail. Their discontent was reflected in the show.  “The concept behind it is there is a fair amount of dead time in stores where you don’t have anybody in the store.  You still have to staff the store and you can’t staff it with one person,” he explained. “A lot of times we have people who don’t have a lot to do. That was one idea of how we could better use people’s time.”

He also noted that in this case, the show didn’t tell the whole tale because a customer came into the store in response to the voicemail’s promotion of a specific plan.

Ultimately, both leaders felt it is important to listen to their employees and then respond. “I’m in the field all the time—and I’m not preaching and I’m not telling people, ‘Here’s our strategy.’ All I do is that I walk into stores and say one thing: ‘If you were king or queen of the world, what is one thing that you’d change?’” Therivel said. “Ideally, every action that you take as a leader is tied back to feedback that you received. That way, you’re creating this environment where people will try to give you feedback—but you also have to be cognizant that you’re never going to get it all.”

Categories: Mays Transformational Leader speakers

Mays Business School’s Master of Science in Analytics program was recognized as a Bronze winner for the category of the best online program for being innovative and fostering engagement and connectedness in a virtual setting at the QS Reimagine Education Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of Education. Over 1,200 nominations from institutions and organizations around the world competed at this conference, held online in Cairo, Egypt, and at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. 

We are humbled and excited about the recognition,” said Myra Gonzalez, Program Director. “Learning about the many innovative programs around the world, and earning a Bronze award is an affirmation of the model we use for our program and our initiatives for student engagement.” 

The following highlights of the program leading to this award include: 

• A unique educational technology model designed for hybrid learning environments and enhanced learning engagement and student discussion/interaction. 

• A highly diverse student body, with enrollment of 14% Hispanic students, 12% African American students, and 16% Asian students. 

• High levels of program retention/graduation (85% for the most recent graduating class) 

• Positive program outcomes, with 91% of our graduates reporting a promotion and 59% reporting a salary increase of more than $35,000 per year since graduation. 

Texas A&M’s Master of Science in Analytics Program would like to recognize and celebrate our students, faculty, and Mays Business School leadership for their significant contributions that made this recognition possible. 

To request information about the Master of Science in Analytics Program, please contact Javier Aldape, Program Manager at javieraldape@tamu.edu. 

Categories: Uncategorized

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.


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

Categories: McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized