Audrey Henderson ’13 was named one of 50 Most Promising Minority Students by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for 2013. AAF’s Most Promising Minority Students Program is the premier advertising industry award program to recognize and recruit outstanding minority college graduates in advertising, marketing, media and communications. The program honors the students and enhances their knowledge and understanding of the advertising industry by offering networking, interviewing and industry immersion opportunities with industry professionals.
Audrey Henderson ’13
Audrey Henderson ’13 is a senior business honors and marketing major, creative studies minor and advertising certificate student from Lake Jackson, Texas. She is the first student from Texas A&M to receive the recognition. Selection for this program involved a nationwide search for the top 50 advertising, communications or marketing college seniors based on their demonstrated interest in the advertising industry, leadership potential and community service. Henderson will be attending the Building Bridges for Our Future Awards Luncheon in New York City in February, as part of a three-day, expense-paid trip provided by AAF.
As an undergraduate, Henderson has held multiple leadership positions within the Aggie Advertising Club and Texas A&M’s award-winning National Student Advertising Conference team. She was recently selected as a member of Mays Business Fellows Group XXXI and is a member of Alpha Mu Alpha, the national marketing honorary society. Henderson has also served for three and a half years as a mentor to elementary students through H.O.S.T.S. at Navarro Elementary School. Her work experience includes a marketing internship in the Windows Phone 7 department of Microsoft and an advertising account coordinator internship with The Atkins Group in San Antonio. She is currently employed as the communications coordinator for the Business Honors program.
“It is a huge honor to be named one of AAF’s Most Promising Minority Students,” Henderson said. “I am looking forward to representing Texas A&M University at the program in February as well as connecting with and learning from industry leaders and other students who are just as passionate about the advertising industry as I am!”
For many companies, the Center for Executive Development (CED) at Mays Business School functions like a silent partner. While companies are working each day to manage their daily operations and strategically plan for the future, the CED is working with them side-by-side to train their next generations of leaders. While clients of the CED may vary in size, industry and mission, they all are unified in their goals to develop the future leaders of their organizations.
Each CED program is created in partnership with the client, and the structure, content, curriculum and location are designed to achieve the goals of each individual organization.
While many business schools offer executive education programs, one differentiator of the CED at Mays is that every one of its programs is custom-designed for the client. Through a series of meetings with the CED leadership, the organization identifies its goals, and devises plans for programming. The structure, content, and location of each program are tailored to the client’s needs. After a plan is created with the client, the program courses are designed and taught by top instructors from Mays Business School, who are able to dive deep into each company’s individual challenges and opportunities.
By designing custom courses for each client, Mays faculty can use proprietary examples — from analyzing the company’s actual financial statements to using advertisements to illustrate marketing strategy.
Ken Fenoglio ’70, vice president of AT&T University, says Mays’ executive education programs “have added significant, bottom-line value to AT&T.” The most valuable aspects of the programs are their timeliness, depth and degree of customization.”
He says the CED programs helped the company reach a priority set by its top-level executives: to raise the financial analytical competency levels of its management team.
Fenoglio says the impacts of each training session have been immediate. “We have literally had Mays faculty discussing and teaching our financial results and earnings call within 24 hours of the call.”
The customization of CED programs goes beyond the learning in the classroom. The CED serves a client base of about 1,500 people across six continents, and classes are held at Mays and at the global offices of its clients, in locations such as Buenos Aires, Argentina: Panama, Republic of Panama; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lagos, Nigeria; London, England; Moscow, Russia; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Villahermosa, Mexico.
Most programs last a week and contain about 30 students. Almost 40 Mays faculty members from all disciplines teach in CED programs. Most CED faculty teach MBA and Executive MBA courses as well, so they bring their expertise in designing content for an experienced, executive audience.
Cindy Bigner, director of global diversity and inclusion and the corporate liaison between Halliburton and Mays, compliments how heavily invested the faculty members are in the success of their corporate clients. “They are professionals, and they work closely with us to make the class experience as challenging and applicable as possible,” she says of the courses. “We know they will emphasize our core values and our overarching goals because CED has taken the time necessary to develop a great understanding of what we do.”
As organizations grow, the need increases for leaders to have an understanding of all parts of businesses — not just specific areas of responsibility. To be effective, leaders have to cross-functional, and able to add value across the board. Many of the CED’s most popular programs are designed to address this issue. In programs such as “Financial Leadership for Non-Financial Leaders,” employees learn the nuts and bolts of their organization’s financials, which enables them to make better strategic decisions for the company, and to consider how those decisions affect the company’s financial success as a whole.
CED clients vary in size, industry, and mission, but are unified in their goal to develop the future leaders of their organizations. CED currently provides 83 weeks of programming a year across six continents.
Taking it a step further, some organizations offer their employees a “mini-MBA” from the CED — which provides a broad overview of their entire business model.
Fenoglio says he has seen the benefits of this strategy in action. “Our employees leave these programs with a much greater understanding of our organization, its real value drivers and how their efforts contribute to its financial success.”
Another asset of the CED is the ability to analyze, adjust and enhance education plans based on the needs of the organizations. Some companies may start with a narrow focus for their programs, but as their challenges grow, so do the opportunities to increase the training of their employees.
Bigner says she appreciates the long-term relationships the CED fosters with its clients. She says the center provides more than just an education — it engages in a true partnership.
Halliburton has expanded from an initial roster of five courses a year when they began eight years ago to its current schedule of 69 weeks, all around the world.
“Everything they do for us is top-notch,” she says. “Our partnership is unparalleled.”
Changing the way business looks at change
After their training sessions, participants return to their companies with new skills, a broader perspective and strengthened relationships with their coworkers. But the process doesn’t stop there. After each program, a review occurs to gauge its success, and any adjustments are made. Follow-up programs are usually developed, as well, to ensure long-term success and continued growth.
Ben Welch, who has been director of the CED since 1999, said he has seen many changes over the years but he has also seen one constant: “the culture within CED, and our desire to impact lives.”
Welch says the CED takes pride in delivering customized programs to each of its clients. And he says it is exciting to be involved with the development of the top asset of any organization — human capital. “Our collective efforts in CED help to shape the future of tomorrow.”
Give and take: Instructors on the value of teaching CED courses
Mary Lea McAnally, associate dean of graduate programs and professor of accounting, says teaching for CED brings her many benefits in her roles:
“Meeting executives and hearing stories of how they grapple with business problems lends richness to my research and teaching. Each time I am with a group of execs I deepen my understanding of the role accounting information plays in the real world. Plus, I leave with some very good stories to tell my full-time MBA students.”
Ricky Griffin, management department head and distinguished professor, says he values teaching in the CED and Executive MBA programs in addition to undergraduate courses:
“I find each venue to be unique, but each also helps inform the other. Teaching in CED helps keep me grounded. When you present an idea or concept to an executive audience you have to be able to explain how it applies to the real world.”
Michael Shaub, clinical professor of accounting, says he brings information from the CED’s corporate clients into the auditing class he teaches:
“I hate the word synergy but if I have any in my life, it is between my CED teaching and my auditing classroom. My CED experiences have regularly enriched the lives of my undergrad students. It also helps my students sense that the things we are learning have practical implications in the real world.”
Duane Ireland, distinguished professor of management, values the feedback on the relevance of the information he shares in his CED courses:
“Working with executives affords opportunities for me to “test’ different ideas I develop from time to time about what practitioners might do to increase the value they create for their organizations. In turn, feedback about the potential value of these ideas and the practices associated with them can be folded in my teaching of students pursuing their MBA and undergraduate business degrees. In this regard, I always gain significant insights about managerial practice by exchanging ideas with the successful executives with whom we are honored to work through our executive development programs.”
In a new book published by Texas A&M University Press, Charles Gilliland outlines the process of buying rural land. Gilliland, a clinical professor of finance, research economist, and Helen and O. N. Mitchell Fellow at Mays Business School’s Real Estate Center, demonstrates that buyers of all typesâ€”whether a farmer, rancher, sportsman, or nature enthusiastâ€”can and should arm themselves with knowledge about the land-buying process, potential problems involved, and the resources available to ensure a successful outcome.
In Buying Rural Land in Texas, Gilliland outlines the four phases of buying rural land: identifying what you want, locating a suitable property, valuing the property, and completing the transaction. Gilliland, who has spent his career as an economist, is able to offer personal insight and incorporate real life examples into the guide, taking readers step-by-step through the land-buying process. He also provides checklists, maps, professional tips, and information about how to tap additional sources of information and advice. After reading this book, potential land-buyers will feel confident and informed about the land-buying process.
For more information or to purchase a copy of Gilliland’s book, visit www.tamupress.com. Use code ‘AG’ for a 20% discount online or by calling (800) 826-8911.
James P. Kelly ’13, a Full-Time MBA student at Mays, was one of 19 students awarded $10,000 scholarships by the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation.
James P. Kelly ’13
Kelly, who is from Houston, is president of the MBA Association at Mays. He enlisted in the Army in 2001, and deployed to Iraq in 2003 as a sniper with the 4th Infantry Division. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Sam Houston State. He has been married for 10 years and has three children.
The foundation annually awards one scholarship at each of the program’s 19 participating Texas universities. The undergraduate and graduate students selected are all focusing on entrepreneurial studies at Texas universities.
The awards were presented at an Oct. 30 luncheon in the recipients’ honor at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston.
That evening, the scholars were presented at a gala for 900 attendees, who also witnessed the induction of five Texas Legends into the Texas Business Hall of Fame — including Donald Adam ’57 of Bryan. The Bryan native, a longtime businessman, was a 1993 Mays Outstanding Alumnus and a 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M.
Research is usually something students don’t encounter until they get into junior- or senior-level courses, but Freshman Business Initiative (FBI) instructor Henry Musoma didn’t think Mays Business School students should have to wait.
Musoma designed a semester-long research project with colleague Richard Johnson for their almost 500 students. Students submitted up to five potential research topics each, then received an assignment for a topic to work on in groups. Musoma and Johnson wanted to give students the opportunity to come up with something on their own, as opposed to confining them to what Musoma calls “a mundane topic.”
Freshman Business Initiative (FBI) students presented the research they conducted during the fall semester to peers and faculty during a poster presentation session.
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“When you ask questions, you get answers,” says Musoma of what he wanted students to get out of this project. He also wanted to give students the experience of working in teams early on.
Some of the topics the students came up with were:
Whether getting a master’s degree was worth it, depending on the major;
The shelf life of various majors in the job market;
What makes an entrepreneur successful; and
Whether involvement in extracurricular activities matters when it comes to getting a job.
FBI students gathered in the Wehner lobby Monday to share their projects. Some students got the results they were looking for, while others learned that research doesn’t always go as planned.
“I think we would have done something that could have been represented quantitatively,” says freshman Jacob Clanton ’16, whose team tried to figure out what makes an entrepreneur successful. He says once they started researching their topic, they realized their question was somewhat vague and difficult to answer. They did find, however, that overall a good attitude and commitment are important parts of what makes an entrepreneur successful.
Another group who looked at the impact of extracurricular involvement on job prospects was able to find that heavy involvement in one or two organizations is what employers are really looking for.
“They wanted you to be involved in something you could get lifelong skills from,” freshman Greta Peterson ’16Â says of the employers her team members interviewed.
When asked about the project experience, Peterson says it was interesting to be on the other side of an interview for the first time, writing and asking the questions. As for working in a group, Peterson says everyone had to learn when to step up to the plate, because not everyone is able to make the same contributions or be available all of the time.
Taking a look at all of the different projects and the range of questions students are asking, it is clear to see that Musoma was able to get the desired outcome he wanted for his students.
“Curiosity didn’t kill the cat,” he explains. “It won the Nobel Prize.”