Mays Business School is a large place. Because we are large (we have more than 4,200 undergraduate business students), our students have access to leading corporations, guest speakers in classes, and the Aggie network during their studies at Mays Business School.
Yet each student has an experience of one, so what do we do to bring the advantages of small to them? How can they receive individual attention and make connections that are meaningful? I’ll mention just two ways that Mays Business School is a small place.
Mays is in its ninth year of offering the Freshman Business Initiative, which places our freshman students in small cohorts that are mentored by a sophomore or junior student. The FBI (as it is known) is offered to all incoming undergraduate students. A thousand students broken into groups of 12 is a large program to run, and its impact on their experience at A&M is big, though hidden in small numbers.
Texas A&M University began offering freshman seminars that have fewer than 15 students per class, with the intent of giving these new students the opportunity to interact closely with a faculty member. I am in my second year of leading one of these seminars using the Wall Street Journal as a textbook. Meeting once a week, we discuss current events through the business media lens. The class also develops the students’ oral and written communication skills. This class provides me with the opportunity to open students’ minds to the joy of learning while keeping me connected to the youngest of Aggies.
So, while Mays is a big school in terms of size, we are a small school in terms of attitude. The result? Our students get the best of both worlds. It’s an exciting era for us as we develop leaders for a global society.