August, 2011 | Mays Impacts

Mays Business School at Texas A&M University is planning to launch a new MBA program for professionals in fall 2012, say officials at Mays, while continuing to offer their highly-ranked Executive MBA program.

“Our new program is designed to help young professionals propel their careers into high gear. We developed this program in response to demand for Mays to increase our offerings in the Houston market,” says Jerry Strawser, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

The Professional MBA Program will be housed at a new, private facilty at CityCentre in Houston which will open in fall 2012.
The Professional MBA Program will be housed at a new, private facility at CityCentre in Houston which will open in fall 2012.

Launching in fall 2012, the two-year Professional MBA program will target participants with two to 10 years of work experience. Students will be taught by full-time faculty from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School in classes held Friday evening and all day Saturday of alternating weekends. Classes will begin in August 2012, and will be spread over 22 months. This program format allows students to earn the MBA degree while maintaining full-time employment.

“We are bringing our best to Houston, giving our students access to top faculty from Mays,” says Strawser. “We know this investment in our students will provide a great return in both the quality of education they receive and the value they bring back to their employers.”

The new program will be offered in a new, private facility at CityCentre, a mixed-use urban development conveniently located off Interstate 10 and Beltway 8 in West Houston. The custom-finished facility will open in fall 2012, and will also be the new home of Texas A&M’s Executive MBA program, which targets professionals with at least 10 years of experience. The Executive MBA program, which is in its 13th year of operations, will be moving from its current location in The Woodlands, just north of Houston.

“The new location will mean an easier commute to our programs for most Houstonians.” says Strawser. “CityCentre is on the leading edge of growth, with close proximity to the energy corridor and ease of access from major Houston business districts.”

The Professional MBA curriculum will be patterned after the Executive MBA at Mays ,a two-year program focused on educating participants to create value in organizations.

CityCentre is a mixed-use urban development conveniently located off Interstate 10 and Beltway 8 in West Houston.
CityCentre is a mixed-use urban development conveniently located off Interstate 10 and Beltway 8 in West Houston.

Strawser is confident this new program will build on the history of success of the Executive MBA program. “Our Professional MBA program will continue the tradition of our Executive MBA program in educating the next generation of Texas’ business leaders,” he said.

With this new program, the network of Mays MBA graduates will continue to grow and the build upon the international power of the Texas A&M University “Aggie Network.”

“Texas A&M’s presence in Houston has always been strong, given the close proximity of our main campus and a large number of students living in the area,” said R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M University’s president. “We are excited to expand our opportunity to provide exceptional business education to the Houston community, while also maintaining a first-class, permanent home for Texas A&M in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.”

Categories: Featured Stories, Programs, Texas A&M

Venkatesh Shankar
Shankar

Shopper Marketing, a book written by marketing PhD program director and Brandon C. Coleman, Jr. Chair in Marketing Venkatesh Shankar, has been published by the Marketing Science Institute (MSI). The 10th book in MSI’s Relevant Knowledge Series was written to help managers think systematically about shopper marketing challenges and opportunities. This is the first book by an academic on this hot emerging topic.

By defining shopper marketing to encompass all marketing activities that influence a shopper along, and beyond, the path to purchase, Shankar provides a unified framework for manufacturer and retailer collaboration. He encourages a “win-win” perspective in which manufacturers and retailers align their marketing activities to meet shopper needs and build better relationships with customers.

Categories: Faculty

Several honorees were recognized at the fall faculty/staff kick-off event.

Mays faculty members who have accepted endowed positions are:

  • Audra Boone, Finance (Mays Research Fellow)
  • Rich Metters, Information and Operations Management (Tenneco Professorship in Business)
  • Suresh Ramanathan, Marketing (David R. Norcom ’73 Endowed Professorship in Business)
  • Konduru Sivaramakrishnan, Accounting (Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business)

Brad Kirkman (Management) and Mike Wilkins (Accounting) received the Mays Teaching Fellowship for Innovation.

Rogelio Oliva (Information and Operations Management) received the EMBA Outstanding Faculty Award.

Dan Chiaburu (Management) received the Lockheed Martin Teaching Award.

Allan Chen (Management), Tim Dye (Finance), Xenophon Koufteros (Information and Operations Management) and Dwayne Whitten (Information and Operations Management) received the Nancy & William Gardiner ’76 Teaching Excellence awards.

Subodha Kumar (Information and Operations Management) was given the Montague CTE Award.

Categories: Faculty

They came with memories on their minds and dreams in their heart, and they left with solid plans for achieving them. Twenty-three veterans who have served since 9/11 credit an entrepreneurship bootcamp with giving them the boost they needed to make the most of their experiences and ideas.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Class of 2011
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Class of 2011
(view more photos from EBV 2011)

Gina Williams thought the personalized candy business she and a “chocoholic” friend started five years ago was cooking along nicely, but she says she learned some lessons at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) at Mays Business School that will start benefitting her business immediately. “We have established our business, but we want to have the best there is, and I have some tools to do that now,” says Williams, a 24-year veteran of the Air Force who lives south of Houston and operates “Dandy Candy online”. “Our passion is being charitable, so we give a portion of our proceeds to charities. Now I realize we need to learn more about our industry and our own little business, because it changes so quickly. Education is really key.”

The EBV program is designed to help participants learn essential skills that will help them start, grow and successfully manage entrepreneurial ventures. They participate in a three-week online self-study, a nine-day on-campus residency program at Texas A&M and a year of mentorship with a faculty member. The program provides participants not only with the practical skills necessary to make their new venture a success, but also a network of support that will be vital as they launch their ideas.

Joshua P. Kinser, managing partner of San Antonio-based KSV Group, says the ideas discussed in the sessions will help him improve his business. He says the critiques of the business plans were specific and informative, and the mentors added an essential layer of attention.

“I was really impressed with the innovative minds who taught the subjects. Their focus was being innovative; their theme was, “Whatever you do, don’t be bland,'” Kinser explains. “Every facet was presented as a building block to get you to the end, to get you out the door and back to your business with fresh ideas and a broader knowledge base.”

Mays’ EBV program, held Aug. 6-14 on the Texas A&M campus, provides education and training in entrepreneurship and small business management free of cost to military personnel injured in the line of duty since 9/11.


During their week on campus, three of this year’s EBV participants recorded daily video updates.
(see more video blogs)

A new element this year was a roundtable with successful graduates of the EBV program. In the months following the program, the entrepreneurs will get help with creating logos and marketing materials.

The EBV program was introduced in 2007 by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Now the program is offered in consortium with Mays, UCLA, Florida State University, Purdue, the University of Connecticut, and Louisiana State University.

At Mays, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) hosts the program each year. “We have the opportunity to change lives for men and women who have given so much to us through their service to our country,” says Richard Lester, clinical associate professor and executive director of the CNVE. “It is a great honor and privilege that all of us share who become associated with the EBV program.”

The cost is about $5,000 per participant, but thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors and private individuals, the veterans are allowed to attend the entire program — including tuition, travel and accommodations — at no cost.

Country performer Michael Peterson kicked off the program at Texas A&M with an inspiring performance. He lauded Mays for supporting the veterans, adding, “It’s not a charity and it’s not a hand-out. We need them. We need their ideas and their work.”

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who began his furniture sales empire in Houston 32 years ago, told the entrepreneurs during their graduation ceremony “whatever I’ve done in my life as an entrepreneur, you can do better.”

At the end of the residency week, participants pitched their business plans to a panel of entrepreneurs and industry experts.
At the end of the residency week, participants pitched their business plans to a panel of entrepreneurs and industry experts.
(view more photos from EBV 2011)

He encouraged them to feed opportunities and starve problems. “So many people said we’d never make it with our company but I had a great big unfair advantage, and you’ve got it too: Desire,” McIngvale explains. “The number one ingredient in business success is an unsinkable work ethic and a relentless focus on the customer.”

Kinser and Williams both commented on the program’s final day that they had developed a kinship with their fellow veterans.

“This experience has humbled me more than I ever expected,” Williams says. “I never dreamed there would be people who would be so dedicated to the veterans this way, to make sure we had all we needed to succeed.

“And to learn and serve alongside these other people has been an honor to me. I don’t call them classmates, I call them my entrepreneurship family. I will make sure we stay in touch.”

More information

Categories: Featured Stories, Programs, Texas A&M

Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) have entered into a five-year agreement to provide mutually beneficial services to both entities. As part of the agreement, TEEX will provide two Disaster City® Challenge events for Mays’ Full-Time and Executive MBA programs annually, and Mays will sponsor one enrollment per year in the Executive MBA program annually for a TEEX employee who is admitted to the program.

At Disaster City are (left to right) Executive MBA Program Director Julie A. Orzabal, TEEX Deputy Director Sue Shahan, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs David Blackwell and TEEX Director and CEO Gary Sera.
At Disaster City are (left to right) Executive MBA Program Director Julie A. Orzabal, TEEX Deputy Director Sue Shahan, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs David Blackwell and TEEX Director and CEO Gary Sera.

Over the last four years, students from Texas A&M’s MBA and Executive MBA programs have participated in the Disaster City challenge events at the 52-acre TEEX Disaster City training facility. This experience is a leadership and team-building exercise that teaches crisis communications and creative problem solving — soft skills essential for top business leaders. During the exercise, students are divided into teams to complete tasks such as rescuing “victims” from a train wreck, a high-speed GPS scavenger hunt, and a “slab drag,” moving a 1,200-pound block of concrete with team effort and pulleys. They also practice responding to the media and other external audiences during a crisis.

For Mays, this partnership provides MBA students the unique opportunity to develop their skills in a physically challenging, high-stress environment. The lessons from exercises will translate into how they work together in their teams, how they communicate, and how they lead their organizations. “The experience at Disaster City provides something we can’t duplicate within the walls of our classrooms: a physical, tangible test of problem-solving and decision-making skills,” says David Blackwell, associate dean of graduate programs at Mays Business School. “We are fortunate to have access to this facility so near our main campus.”

The partnership allows TEEX to invest in the professional development of top employees, and increase the business acumen of their leadership team.

About Mays Business School

The Executive MBA Program, offered by Mays Business School at Texas A&M University is a two-year MBA program for business professionals with classes held every other weekend in The Woodlands, Texas. The school’s Full-Time MBA Program is a 16-month program offered in College Station on the Texas A&M University campus, and is frequently ranked among the top 10 public business programs in the nation.

About Disaster City

Disaster City®, Texas, is a 52-acre training facility that delivers a full array of skills and techniques needed by today’s emergency response professionals. The mock community features full-scale, collapsible structures designed to simulate various levels of disaster and wreckage. The training possibilities are nearly endless and can be customized for the specific needs of any group. Emergency responders worldwide, from the United Kingdom to Japan and from Taiwan to South America, venture to Disaster City for unparalleled search and rescue training and exercises. Simply put, Disaster City is the most comprehensive emergency response training facility available today. Disaster City is part of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Emergency Preparedness Campus located in College Staton, Texas. TEEX is one of seven state agencies, nine universities and the Health Science Center that comprise The Texas A&M University System.

Categories: Programs, Texas A&M

In recently released rankings from Forbes, the Mays Business School full-time MBA program at Texas A&M University is again ranked in the top ten among U.S. public university programs. In the 2011 rankings, the A&M program places 9th among U.S. publics, and 24th among all U.S. schools, public and private. The biennial ranking includes the top 74 programs in the U.S.

“Year after year, we are recognized for producing a significant ROI for our graduates. We attract outstanding students from around the globe and they are highly sought after for fast tracked management positions after graduation, even in the most recent tough economic times,” said Kelli Kilpatrick, director of the Mays full-time MBA program.

Return on investment to graduates is the basis of the Forbes rankings. Forbes surveyed thousands of alumni from programs around the world to find their pre-MBA salary and earnings in the first five years after graduation. They compared the post-MBA compensation with the opportunity cost of attending an MBA program (tuition, required fees, and foregone salary while in school) to arrive at the rankings. For the U.S. rankings, only schools with two-year MBA programs were included. Full coverage of the ranking is available at forbes.com/bschools.

About Mays Business School

Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. The full-time MBA program is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 27 percent. Currently there are 159 MBA students in their intensive 16-month program.

Categories: Programs

I am about to start my junior year at Mays, and I could not be more excited about it. In just a few short weeks, I will get to meet the new freshmen in my small group as an FBI peer leader, and I will teach my first course in Mays. I am not sure what to expect of this year, but I am certain it will be a year to remember.

For those of you who are not familiar, FBI stands for the Freshman Business Initiative. It is a great program for incoming freshmen that allows them to have at least one class in Mays during their first semester and to meet some of their peers. The class is set up so that the freshmen go to large lecture once a week with Professor Shontarius Aikens and then go to small group once a week. Each small group is made up of about 15 freshmen and has two upper class peer leaders who serve as mentors, teachers and event planners.

Each FBI small group is made up of about 15 freshmen and has two upper class peer leaders who serve as mentors, teachers and event planners.
Each FBI small group is made up of about 15 freshmen and has two upper class peer leaders who serve as mentors, teachers and event planners.

This is my second year as a peer leader, and my small group last year had some great times together. To help the freshmen bond and get to know their peers in Mays, we had events like glow-in-the-dark capture the flag, trips to Spoons Frozen Yogurt, an Italian dinner, a Halloween party, and a Christmas party complete with cookies and hot chocolate! I was surprised by how close our small group got by the end of the year and how much our freshmen looked up to us. I was so proud when one of my freshmen texted me in January and told me he had gotten into the Business Honors program that I had encouraged all of them to apply for. I still call my peer leaders from freshmen year for advice, and I hope that my freshmen feel that they can do the same. Last semester, there was talk that FBI was going to be cut due to a smaller budget for Mays, and I could not be happier that the program was saved. Programs like FBI help to set Mays apart from other competitive business schools and instead foster a friendly environment of collaboration that Texas A&M can be proud of.

Last spring, I took a course on the environment of international business with the executive director of the Center for International Business Studies, Dr. Kerry Cooper. It was one of the best classes I have ever taken at Mays and left a lasting impression on me. It was the first class I had been in that spent hours discussing current events and how international occurrences affect us here at home. When my friend Kyle Klansek and I found out that the class would no longer be offered at Mays due to Dr. Cooper’s retirement, we decided that we had to do something about it.

Kyle and I decided to create our own one-hour seminar to fill the void that the elimination of Dr. Cooper’s class would leave. Our seminar, The International Importance of Emerging Markets, essentially concentrates on the BRIC countries and how they will affect business in our lifetime. The BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China make up the emerging markets that are in the process of rapid growth and industrialization. We will stress how to do business with these different cultures and what each country’s advancement means for Americans in business.

I was fortunate enough to go on a study abroad trip to India to experience firsthand what I was learning about in the classroom.
I was fortunate enough to go on a study abroad trip to India to experience firsthand what I was learning about in the classroom.

For example, while it can be argued that China has already emerged as the Chinese now hold the largest portion of the United State’s debt, there is no contesting that anyone who wants to be successful in business today needs to understand how the Chinese are artificially depressing the value of their renminbi, the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, in order to remain competitive in today’s manufacturing sectors. Likewise, while India has made huge strides in becoming a world player in the computer programming market, India needs to put an end to government corruption to be able to have the funds for the proper infrastructure that the country needs for quick transportation. I was actually fortunate enough to go on the study abroad trip with Dr. Julian Gaspar to Bangalore and Mysore, India, to experience firsthand what I was learning about in the classroom.

To make learning about emerging markets fun, Kyle and I want to set up a game type atmosphere in which the students are placed in four teams representing Brazil, Russia, India, and China. We will bring a real international event that has recently occurred to class, discuss it, and then give the teams time to decide how their country would respond. The country with the best response will earn points and the team with the most points at the end of the semester will get extra points added to their grade. We feel that this will be an interesting way to learn about the emerging markets and discuss international events at the same time.

Kyle and I hope to also utilize guest speakers and videos in the classroom to keep things exciting. I am nervous about teaching students my own age, and I keep thinking of small details that I had never thought of before. Should Kyle and I wear business casual when we teach the class to set ourselves apart from the students? How should we advertise our class to make it seem worthwhile? How much homework do we assign? I hope our class is a success, and I hope this is the best semester yet – but only time will tell!

Categories: Perspectives

Mays Business School is again joining a select group of business schools to offer the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). This year, supporters will once again be able to taste the action of the life-altering program, as three of the 25 Mays participants will be video-blogging the event. (See the videos here starting August 9.)

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

The program, which runs from August 6 to 13 on the A&M campus, provides education and training in entrepreneurship and small business management free of cost to military personnel injured in the line of duty since 9/11. The program is designed to help participants learn essential skills that will help them start, grow and successfully manage entrepreneurial ventures.

“We have the opportunity to change lives for men and women who have given so much to us through their service to our country. It is a great honor and privilege that all of us share who become associated with the EBV program,” says Richard Lester, clinical associate professor, and executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE). The CNVE hosts EBV at Mays, where Lester oversees the program. (Click here to see coverage from previous years’ EBV programs at Mays.)

The EBV program was introduced by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in 2007. Now the program is offered in consortium with Mays, UCLA, Florida State University, Purdue, University of Connecticut and Louisiana State University.

The program consists of a three-week online self-study, a nine-day on-campus residency period, and a year of mentorship with a faculty member volunteer as participants launch their new ventures. The program provides participants not only with the practical skills necessary to make their new venture a success, but also a network of support that will be vital as they launch their ideas. New to the program this year is a panel discussion featuring past EBV participants who have started businesses.

Thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors and private individuals, the entire program — including tuition, travel and accommodations — is offered at no cost to the veterans. (To give to this program at A&M, visit the Texas A&M Foundation website.)

Contact the Mays EBV Program Director, Richard Lester, for more information at rlester@mays.tamu.edu or (979) 862-7091.

Categories: Centers, Programs, Texas A&M