When students think about careers in retailing, many envision glamorous positions with stores such as Macy’s or Neiman Marcus, overlooking one of the biggest retailers in the region, H-E-B grocery stores. To raise student awareness about the career opportunities available with the company, the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University hosted H-E-B Days, October 14 and 15. Seventeen high-ranking H-E-B executives, including presidents, vice presidents, and directors, addressed 2,700 students in more than 20 classes during the two-day period.

Vice President of Grocery Procurement and Merchandising Reade Ahrens was one of seventeen H-E-B executives to visit Mays in October.
Vice President of Grocery Procurement and Merchandising Reade Ahrens was one of seventeen H-E-B executives to visit Mays in October.

“The H-E-B executives enhanced the classroom curriculum by discussing day-to-day solutions for today’s business challenges,” said Kelli Hollinger, assistant director of the center. “Speakers coordinated with their hosting professors to customize content for each class based on what students have been studying this semester.” By addressing classes across different majors including finance, marketing, agribusiness, management, and others the event communicates to students that a $13 billion grocery company encompasses all business fields.

This is the second year the center has hosted H-E-B Days at Mays. Last year, the 103-year-old San Antonio-based retailer extended more employment offers to Mays students over the two-day period on the A&M campus than the rest of the calendar year combined. Over the past three years, H-E-B has doubled the number of Aggies hired each year. Currently, Mays Business School is the top university partner for the retailer. Recruitment director Wayne Terry says, “Texas A&M is a natural fit for H-E-B. We share the same values of history, tradition, loyalty and service. Aggies who begin their careers with H-E-B have done incredibly well, and are emerging as leaders in our organization.”

Cheryl Bridges, director of the Center for Retailing Studies adds, “H-E-B is a valued partner with the center and Mays Business School. They not only hire many of our best and brightest students, they serve on our advisory board and in such a capacity give us priceless feedback on how to improve and enhance our programs.”

The Center for Retailing Studies promotes and supports retailing through student and executive education programs, research and service. This year, it celebrates its 25th anniversary as an educational unit within Mays Business School.