It was a sweet homecoming for three alumni that returned to campus on October 8 for the second annual Mays Business School Outstanding Doctoral Alumni ceremony, held in the Cocanougher Special Events Center. Nanda Rangan, Linda Klebe Treviño, and Venkat Venkataramanan were honored for their achievements since graduating from Mays and were held up to the current crop of PhD students as role models of excellence.

The three honorees were presented with medallions and the congratulations of many of their former instructors and mentors. Each was also given the opportunity to reflect on their career journey and share some of the wisdom they’ve acquired over the years.

Nanda Rangan

Rangan thanked all the faculty at Texas A&M that were so helpful to him in his academic success. He also had some advice for the PhD students present: “Don’t rush through your dissertation!” Rangan encouraged students to pick a broad topic of research and to examine it deeply, so that when they are ready to “go to the market” and find a job, they can be highly competitive. He spoke at length about the challenges of getting published and the importance of continuing publishing efforts through out an academic’s career.

Linda Klebe Treviño

Treviño, an internationally renowned expert in the field of corporate ethics, talked to the audience about the challenges and successes she experienced while delving into a previously unexamined area of business. “I was treading new territory, and it was risky,” she said, thanking her former professors for encouraging her to explore this new frontier. Treviño told current students to be sure to take advantage of the talented scholars all around them, and to get to know professors from other disciplines. She also recommended that students pursue their passion and “find something that matters in the world,” rather than follow job trends.

Treviño gave some humorous career advice from her own experience, such as be sure to show up for your interview on the right day, and don’t fall asleep while you’re meeting with the dean. In seriousness, she told students the key to finding success on the faculty: “Make sure you know what it takes, and then do more.”

Venkat Venkataramanan

Venkataramanan had similar advice. His secret to success? “It’s very simple: a lot of hard work,” he said. Venkataramanan encouraged students to “leave your ego at the door,” because one must be humble to succeed in this profession. Despite all the challenges, Venkataramanan told the students to persevere. “The academic life is a phenomenal life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s one of the best careers available.”

All three honorees agreed that they received a top-notch education at A&M that well equipped them for careers. “This place taught me everything I know,” said Venkataramanan.