“Howdy!” hollered Mark Jameson ’85 as he swaggered onto the stage of the lecture hall, ready to speak to the 300 students of a Management 105 class. With a strong East Texas twang and 23 years of workplace experience, Jameson addressed students at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University about what it takes to be successful in business and in life.

  • Realize that life is about sales
    … and you’re the product. No matter what the situation, represent yourself well. Students need to start practicing this concept in college.
  • Hard work and perseverance are the keys to getting ahead
    “Leaders are the people who don’t give up,” said Jameson.
  • Have priorities
    Life is about much more than business. Make time for your faith, family, and community as well.
  • Set goals
    If you don’t know what you want, how can you achieve it?
  • Ethics are important
    Behave in an ethical and moral manner at all times, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because in business, your reputation is vital to your success.
  • <liBe involved and give back
    You didn’t get where you are on your own. Others blazed the trail for you. Do your part to help the next guy along.

  • Use all of the resources available to you
    You don’t know everything. Find a mentor and other resources to fill in the gaps in your knowledge.

Rule number one, says Jameson, is that students need to be mindful of the future today. “This is going to set the course for the rest of your life, what you do here at Texas A&M,” he said, advising students to learn all they can, even in the classes they think won’t apply to their careers. “When you go into the business world, you’ll need to know all the things you’re learning now.” Jameson told students when he became an entrepreneur in 2000, he regretted not paying more attention in his accounting classes. “If you own a small business like I do, you wear a variety of hats,” he said. “You’ve got to decide today that [your classes are] important.”

Before he launched his entrepreneurial venture to became an Allstate insurance agency owner, Jameson told students he had a successful career in the malt beverage industry, working for Coors and Miller Brewing Companies, as well as Glazer’s Wholesale, the second largest distributor of wine and spirits in the nation. Starting as a sales rep for Coors on the A&M campus, Jameson worked his way through progressive management ranks, eventually to the national account manager position with that company. At Glazer, he was the national director of malt beverages.

Today, Jameson is the largest Allstate agent in Texas, with more clients than any other of the 1,300 agents in the state. Additionally, he has won every top Allstate award in Texas. Of all his accolades, he says he’s most proud of the ones he’s received for community service. Jameson encouraged students to know what their priorities are, and to make sure that giving back to their communities is one of them.

Mays students aren’t the only ones to benefit from Jameson’s wisdom; he also serves Allstate as a member of the Texas Region Advisory Council and the National Advisory Board.

Jameson and his wife, Nicole ’85, reside in Southlake, Texas, where one of his three Allstate agency offices is located. They have three children, one of whom is a business student at Mays.