Some of the state’s best and brightest students got their first look at career opportunities during the college’s Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP). The weeklong camp, which was held in June, aimed to peak minority students’ interest in studying business, primarily at Texas A&M.

Funded by Ernst & Young, the first-year program was modeled after a nationwide program sponsored by the National Association of Black Accounts, which exposes African American students to career opportunities in accounting. While the Mays College’s version of the program also emphasized accounting, it also gave the 36 students a firsthand look at all aspects of business.

“The goal of the week was to teach the students certain business skills, primarily putting together a business plan,” says Dr. Thomas Lopez, assistant accounting professor and BCAP coordinator.

BCAP participants attended sessions on business management, writing business plans, presentation skills and using multimedia equipment, which were taught by college faculty members. And, to give them an example of how those tools translate to the business world, they took a daylong field trip to Ernst & Young in Houston and toured a client’s facilities, which just happened to be Enron Field.

“I think the students realized there are a lot of career opportunities in accounting and business,” says Lopez. “Some they hadn’t ever thought about.”

Many of the incoming high school seniors had not considered Texas A&M as a college choice prior to coming to campus, yet they left the program with a little taste of life as an Aggie, staying in residence halls with current Mays business students.

“Overall, I think the week went well and the students enjoyed themselves,” Lopez says. “I think it left them with a favorable impression of A&M and many of them told me they were planning to apply to A&M, which was one of the goals of the program.”

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The Mays MBA Program continues to rank among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report‘s 2002 rankings. In the yearly rundown of the nation’s best schools, the program was named 45th among the 341 schools surveyed for the publication. For the first time ever, the college’s general management program was ranked by U.S. News, garnering the 25th spot among all schools in the category.

The rankings are based in part by information the Mays College provides the magazine, said Wendy Flynn, assistant director of the Mays MBA Program. Then, U.S. News & World Report surveys academics and recruiters to rate the schools.

“It’s nice to receive the recognition,” she said. “We are very excited to remain in the top 50 because it’s an important distinction. We are also very happy that the general management program appeared in the rankings for the first time ever.”

For more information on the rankings, visit U.S. News & World Report online.

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“It seems that most people get into retail accidentally and that very few people plan to get into it,” said R. Bruce Bryant, senior vice president for Western Store Operations for Walgreen Co. during a recent visit to the Mays College.

While that may be true for some, students in the Mays College are preparing now for careers in the retailing field. And, through the Center for Retailing Studies’ (CRS) Executive-in-Residence Program, students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, such as Bryant, who are shaping the retail industry.

During his guest session, Bryant recounted his experiences in the field, particularly the opportunities and challenges he’s witnessed during his 30-year career with Walgreen. Like many Mays students, Bryant was mesmerized by the industry and wanted to make it his career. “My dad had a wholesale grocery business that I worked at when I was in high school,” said Bryant, who serves on the CRS Advisory Board. “I loved it and went to college knowing that I wanted to go into retail.”

The interactive session also provided time for students to volunteer suggestions on how Bryant could help improve Walgreen’s retail efforts, ranging from offering more drive-through window services and removing clutter from storefronts.

For more than 15 years, the CRS has been bringing retailing executives to campus from numerous companies, including Payless ShoeSource, JCPenny, Hastings Entertainment, Zale Corporation, Pizza Hut, Walgreen and Mary Kay, among others.

To learn more, visit the Center for Retailing Studies online.

Categories: Departments, Programs

For the first time ever, the Mays MBA Program was named one of the top 100 MBA programs by the London Financial Times. The list, which includes schools from throughout the world, designated the program 67th overall and 16th among the 51 U.S. public institutions named to the list.

“We feel especially gratified that, in the first international ranking in which we were included, our fairly young program has held its own with the best of the best,” said Dan Robertson, director of the Mays MBA Program. “This is a unique ranking because unlike the BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Gourman and Princeton reviews, the Financial Times ranking is international. It looks at programs, many of them long-lived, thought to be outstanding, not just in the United States, but throughout the entire world.”

To determine the rankings, the Financial Times conducts two surveys, including one of institutions offering graduate business degrees and the other of students who graduated from the programs three years ago. The surveys are designed to gauge career progression as accrued by earning an MBA, including salary, salary increments, and international mobility. The surveys also focus on institutional diversity and the quality of the schools’ research, looking at the number of journal publications by faculty members and doctoral graduates.

Because of the rankings are international, Robertson noted the Mays program will likely attract more interest from potential students around the globe. “As a result of our good showing in the Financial Times rankings, the Mays MBA Program will get more attention both from U.S. and international students,” he said. “We’re extremely gratified to be so well thought of among stiff worldwide competition.”

For more information about the Mays MBA Program, visit

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The Mays MBA Program has been ranked 14th in return on investment among regional business institutions, according to a recent poll released by Forbes magazine.

According to Mays MBA Program Director Dr. Dan Robertson, many rankings are narrow in scope and do not recognize value. “I delighted to see that the Forbes ranking focus on return on investment,” he says. “Since our program requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience, successful applicants are giving up income for two years in addition to the cost of graduate tuition and fees that they will pay. We encourage applicants to compare the value they receive from our program with the costs they will pay. Those who do so will find that the Mays MBA program provides one of the most attractive investments they will find available.”

To determine the monetary returns of an MBA degree, Forbes researchers sent out questionnaires to 20,000 MBA graduates from the class of 1996. The participants, who represented 104 U.S. and international schools, provided Forbes salary information for the year before they began their studies and for 1996 and 2000. Then Forbes compared the sum of five years’ pay with an estimation of the students’ median salary had they not received an MBA.

Mays MBA students who graduated in 1996 could expect to receive median salaries in 2000 of $81,000. This equals out to a five-year total gain of $53,000 more than they would have earned had they not sought an advanced business degree.

“In the Mays MBA Program we teach the importance of business organizations creating and sustaining value” Robertson says. “I am happy to point out that we practice what we teach.”

Categories: Faculty, Programs