November, 2013 | Mays Impacts

Rod Canion
Rod Canion

“Nothing gives you clarity of vision and sense of purpose like the prospect of being hanged,” Rod Canion told a group of Full-time MBA students at the Mays Business School on Nov. 19. Canion, co-founder of Compaq Computer Corporation and the company’s CEO from 1982 to 1991, shared memories from Compaq’s rocket-ride to the top of the global laptop industry as well as his leadership insights on a range of issues.

After growing sales of Compaq luggable computers from 200 in January 1983 to more than 10,000 in December that year, Canion and his colleagues found themselves faced with a major crisis in early 1984. In the wake of IBM’s release of a portable PC product, the demand for Compaq’s computers had ground to a veritable halt. The dire situation presented Canion with one of the toughest decisions of his career.

“We could either stop the assembly lines, or have faith in our brand and our product and keep going forward,” he recalled. “We made the decision to continue producing computers even though we had no customers to ship them to and had to put them in semi-truck trailers around Houston. The last count I remember was that we had 20 trailers full of computers.”

As fate would have it, Compaq’s first-quarter laptop sales in 1984 rallied to beat the preceding fourth quarter, and by 1985 the company was outselling IBM 10 to 1. But that early crisis served as a test of Canion’s and his colleagues’ decision-making, not to mention their intestinal fortitude.

“Businesses make thousands of decisions every day, but a few decisions come along every so often that spell the difference between success and failure,” Canion said. “First and foremost, you’ve got to understand what the problem is. Then you have to get the right group of people together who can address the problem. If you’ve created the right culture and have the right processes in place, that group of people will be able to come up with the best course of action.”

Compaq’s culture was one of the keys to the company’s success, according to Canion. “We believed strongly in respecting each individual,” he noted, “and constantly let our employees know how important they were to our overall success. We also created an environment where it was okay to make a mistake as long as you admitted your mistake and took ownership for getting it fixed.” Canion also stated that a company’s culture depends heavily upon its top leader, and that the leadership team must consciously nurture and protect their culture by continuously talking to their employees about it.

When asked about the key attributes of successful business leaders, Canion noted three: the ability to think like an entrepreneur and take responsibility for your own actions; a positive, optimistic attitude; and the willingness to be open to new ideas as well as feedback from others.

Canion also shared his insights about how to keep a company on top and focused on its vision in an industry characterized by relentless change. “You have to constantly re-evaluate what’s going on in the marketplace around you. That means focusing on your competitors almost as much as your customers.”

In his new book titled Open: How Compaq Ended IBM’s PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing, Canion offers a thorough account of Compaq’s meteoric rise, the leadership lessons he learned along the way and the critical role that the PC industry’s open-standard decision played in shaping today’s world.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Texas A&M

Full-Time MBA students at the National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership
Full-Time MBA students at the National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership
Click for more photos

A team of Full-Time MBA students from Mays Business School swept the 7th Annual National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership, held at Baylor University’s Hankamer Business School.

The Mays team members of Janette Barnard, Matt Johnson, Lloyd McGuire and Robyn Peters won first place in the team competition, which included a $5,000 prize. Barnard was named Best Presenter and Peters won Best Q&A at the Nov. 13-15 competition.

Each four-person team was tasked with resolving an incidence of insider trading at Goldman Sachs. “Given less than 24 hours to dissect the case, craft recommendations and develop a flawless presentation, this competition was a test of critical problem solving and prioritization,” Peters said. “Experiences like this are what really prepare us for our roles as future professional leaders.”

John Krajicek, who teaches business communication at Mays, said the team members were “terrific ambassadors” for the Mays MBA program and Texas A&M University. “Their analysis of the business case, poise and professionalism, and amazing stage presence really impressed the judges and other competitors. In fact, several faculty advisors from the competing schools were glowing in their praise for our team. As the Business Communications professor for the Mays MBA programs, I am particularly pleased that our students delivered such a polished, engaging and smart presentation. They did us all proud.”

Team member Lloyd McGuire said he considers the victory a testament to the education the students are receiving.  “Few things are more important in today’s business environment than ethical leadership. The education we are receiving here at Mays, along with Aggie core values, combine to generate ethical leadership solutions in a very powerful way.”

The other teams invited to compete were from

  • Auburn University
  • Baylor University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Iowa State University
  • Pepperdine University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Washington

Patti Urbina, director of the Mays Full-Time MBA Program, said watching the students compete and seeing their support of one another was as rewarding as their high ranking in the competition. “In the afterglow of the announcement, Matt Johnson expressed it best when he referred to the talented pool of classmates that “push and challenge us every day’ as a key source for their preparation,” she said. “The team’s performance and reflection clearly indicate the curriculum’s success in addressing the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in business.”

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Programs, Students, Texas A&M

Christopher Narayanan '96
Christopher Narayanan ’96

A job as director and head of agricultural commodities research for Societe Generale touches millions of lives, but the deepest rewards Christopher Narayanan ’96 receives are the one-on-one interactions with clients based on his in-depth analysis. “There is nothing better than working to get on the level with a client where you can challenge each other and develop a better product for both of us.”

Narayanan recently described his job to a group of business honors students at Mays. He sets the house view of where his employer expects prices to go on commodities such as soybeans, corn, wheat, sugar and livestock. He creates a quarterly report that reviews each commodity, and he projects prices four quarters and five years out. To do that requires daily monitoring of news and updates from the marketplace. He says he spends up to 65 percent of his day reading and updating data, then he spends the remainder of his time talking to clients and salespeople and preparing reports. “It’s a lot of moving parts, but once you get into your systems, you just keep it going.”

Narayan received two agriculture degrees from Texas A&M University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before earning an MBA from the University of Texas. He worked in positions at agribusinesses, commodity brokerages, hedge funds and investment banks. And though his current job is in New York City, he says the company’s French roots are apparent. “The people in this company take coffee breaks and go to lunch together. That is reflective of the culture here.”

Narayanan cautioned the students not to get caught up in solely what models produce, because the markets and other factors change so quickly. “As you go through your classes, learn the methodology and terminology, but always remember these are guides, they aren’t absolutes,” he cautioned. “When you do get out of school, obviously you do what your boss tells you, but as you move up you have more flexibility and you draw from your experiences and do what your data and your gut tell you to do. When you graduate, your learning has just begun. Take every opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills.”

Cristina Ayala ’14, a business honors and supply chain major, said she learned a lot from Narayanan about the basics of agricultural commodities, such as who the major producers are, how the production may fluctuate and how they are traded. “He emphasized that in order to predict the price of an agricultural commodity more precisely, attention to cash markets is a must,” she explained. “Also, he emphasized how important it is to stay on top of current events, both nationally and globally – especially if you are in investment banking.”

Jordan DePuma ’14, a business honors and supply chain major, said the students benefited from Narayanan’s description of the 15 different commodities he covers, and the details of the daily activities of his job. “He also stressed the importance of keeping up with current events and being fluent in programs like Microsoft Excel.”

Narayanan told the students to prove their desire to succeed by making good grades and getting involved in activities that allow them to display their leadership skills. “Anyone who tells you grades don’t matter isn’t being honest. You are competing against the very best this country has to offer.” He also advised them to work for three to five years before pursuing an MBA, to develop their skills to analyze information quantitatively and to be geographically mobile. “If you have a chance to do an internship or job somewhere else, do it,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to leave Texas. It’s not going anywhere.”

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students, Texas A&M

Duncan Mac Naughton, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Walmart U.S. Duncan Mac Naughton, Executive Vice President,
Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer
for Walmart U.S.

Change. Engagement. Values. Passion. Omni-channel. These themes emerged prominently from the 2013 Retailing Summit recently hosted by Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School.

Below is an overview of key takeaways:

Building a Company with Heart

Retail veteran and entrepreneur Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, opened the conference on a cheerful note with an outline of the teddy bear shopping experience. The chain’s brightly lit stores, happy staff and playful assortment of stuffed animals offer children of all ages more than cuddly products. Instead, Build-A-Bear Workshop transformed traditional retail toy sales into a fun, entertaining, and memorable shopping experience. Clark followed her passion to delight customers, and the company she founded, grew and thrived because its heart-felt foundation cultivated extraordinary customer loyalty and profits.

Hiring and Rewarding “Nice”

Dahna Hull outlined AT&T’s reinvented retail strategy that starts with engaged employees.  “You can’t teach nice. We hire nice,” said Hull. The leader of South Texas store operations said the company interviews more than 1,000 people for 40 positions. To hire, train and retain the right people, AT&T’s new corporate policy emphasizes:

  1. Magnify employee success: Praise employees for achievements, no matter how small, to encourage positive behavior.
  2. Make it personal:  Respect that employees have friends, families and bad days just like managers do.
  3. Give it meaning: Make employees feel like their accomplishments provide real value to the company’s overall performance.
  4. Keep it cool: Cultivate a casual dynamic between corporate and front line employees. Team members work harder for leaders they relate to.

Michael Stallard, author of “Fired Up or Burned Out,” said leaders need to understand the equation: “vision + value + voice = connection.” Like Hull, he emphasized that leaders need to develop positive work environments. This creates a culture of connection that bonds committed employees with managers who are servant leaders. Employees in such workplaces know that their managers trust them to interact with customers; are committed to helping them achieve their career goals; and will give them challenging work that fits their strengths. He concluded that energized, engaged employees are more productive and improve company profits.

Reinventing Loyalty at Walgreens:

Walgreens’ Graham Atkinson also addressed themes of change and employee engagement.  Atkinson joined the 107-year-old pharmacy chain from the airline industry to launch the Walgreens’ loyalty program. He is currently the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer. With more than half of American households visiting Walgreens each week, and the health care needs of an aging population expected to soar, the retailer wanted to understand its customers’ buying behaviors beyond demographic points. The Balance Rewards system launched in September 2012 merged 42 IT systems to offer comprehensive shopper insights. Employees piloted the system. They learned its benefits, such as cash-back, Rx refill reminders and customer-supported weight-loss programs and then supported the program’s social media launch. By the end of 2013, Walgreens is on track to enroll 83 million members in Balance Rewards, all through a paper-free registration process.

Atkinson concluded that this program marked a major change for the retailer. IT, which had always been a support service, now had a major seat at the table in understanding customers.  Change management is hard, but essential, to staying relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Neiman Marcus President Jim Gold also credited technology with helping the historic retailer maintain a competitive advantage. Neiman Marcus was the first luxury brand to offer a loyalty program and e-commerce site. Today, he said, “there are no boundaries where you can shop.” The lines between brick-and-mortar, online and mobile shopping have blurred. By offering a seamless omni-channel experience, Neiman Marcus protects its brand and delivers a consistent customer experience. In-store, staff members now use iPhones to pull up detailed customer profiles and suggest new items to shoppers. Through neimanmarcus.com, the company delivers its couture items to a global customer base.

Jim Gold started at Neiman Marcus as an intern and rose through the ranks to be President of Bergdorf Goodman in New York City before returning to Dallas. His mentors included former CEOs Stanley Marcus and Burt Tansky and current CEO Karen Katz. They all taught him different and important lessons about focusing on quality, customer service, and innovation. He believes these core values will keep the company unique and help ward off new competitors, “like Amazon.”

Save Money. Live Better.

This year’s conference featured keynote presentations from six of the nation’s top 100 retailers including the largest of them all, Walmart. Duncan Mac Naughton, EVP and Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer of Walmart U.S., said the company’s 1.3 million domestic associates help people save money and live better by enacting Sam Walton’s four price leadership principles:

  1. Reframe the Value Equation: Walmart believes it is important to communicate its price leadership and broad assortment while also highlighting the importance of the customer. Mac Naughton said putting customers first is a “simple business model” that should always be followed.
  2. Shift the Quality Paradigm: Campaigns like “Fresh Over” communicate the company’s initiative to deliver high quality products and foods. To remain relevant to today’s customers, Walmart must rely on its powerful momentum surrounding quality and local sourcing.
  3. Stay Connected and Innovative:  Customers are empowered in more ways than ever. They demand real-time answers and transparency. Walmart communicates with customers across all relevant social media platforms.  It is the #1 brand on Facebook (even overshadowing Facebook itself) with 34 million followers.
  4. Have a Shared Purpose: Walmart’s “Jobs in America” campaign commits the retailer to bring jobs back to the U.S. by reducing use of foreign vendors. Its “Welcome Home” initiative guarantees a job to any veteran who has been honorably discharged from the U.S. military within the last 12 months. On Veteran’s Day, Walmart announced 20,000 returning veterans had been hired.

Serving Customers in Changing Times:

Although Sam’s Club falls under the Walmart portfolio, Jason Kidd, SVP, addressed how Sam’s Club serves its more affluent club members. Through continued innovation and technology, Sam’s Club creates new value for its customers. Beyond aisles of bulk merchandise like toilet paper, Sam’s Instant Savings book showcased differentiated merchandise, such as Nikon camera bundles, home surveillance systems, and leather furniture sets. More than half of shoppers purchased items promoted in the Instant Savings book. Many also took advantage of store innovations, such as self-checkout, convertible registers, and the Click-n-Pull service that lets you order online and pick up items in the club.

In March, the retailer collaborated with Living Social to offer a one-year membership, a $20 gift card, and several fresh items. The results were staggering. In 48 hours, more than 157,000 people signed up for membership and generated significant social media buzz. This enhanced membership offering grew the bottom line.

Lessons from Healthcare

While many speakers addressed the theme of change, Dr. Len Berry of Mays Business School reflected on the value of stability. In a discussion titled “Lessons from Health Care,” he explored the culture of high performance health systems in Wisconsin. Stability offered leaders time to build trust in the organization, confidence to act boldly, and the ability to lead, rather than follow. He also reflected on the importance of functioning, mutually beneficial, and accountable relationships between hospital management and the board of directors. Such collaboration nurtures learning, innovation and increased employee effort and results in attracting top talent. He mused, “People don’t move to Wisconsin for the weather.” The valued, enabled and trusted health care providers then often commit to improving the quality of life in the broader community.  The “social profit” created, often through volunteerism, completes a virtuous cycle which he says are the common factors driving success of the top-ranked health systems he observed … Lessons all retailers can apply to their operations.

Surviving and Thriving in Franchising

Companies franchise in order to rapidly expand, increase recognition, and maintain brand consistency. Gold’s Gym, the leading fitness chain historically associated with overly-muscled body builders, now boasts 50 percent female membership and comprehensive wellness programs for customers at its 700 locations. The company’s growth was mostly fueled by franchising, which Tim Hicks, SVP of Marketing and International, explained as “simply a method of expansion and distribution.” Franchisees can benefit from systems, support and unit economics that individual entrepreneurs lack when starting a business. They can also understand cultural norms critical to international success, as with the case of Eiji Tezuka, a master franchisee in Japan. Gold’s Gym currently franchises in more than 30 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Peru, India and Poland.

The Retailing Summit is the largest annual outreach program hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies. Proceeds from the sell-out crowd of 300 retail executives fund the Center’s campus programs for students.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

John Robison '85
John Robison ’85

John Robison ’85 has created more companies than most people have joined, and he doesn’t intend to slow down any time soon. His 25-year career entertainment content and technology has led to his current positions as chairman and CEO of Big PlayAR and PoliteView (PVtv), as well as AM2.IO (America 2.0), Hollywood Center Studios and Hollywood Movieworks /China Clicks 2, which has operations in China.

He shared some of his stories with a group of business honors students at Mays and encouraged them to be open to doing several jobs over the course of their lifetimes.

Robison learned about entrepreneurship from his mother, who supported three children after her husband died. Robison’s first business endeavor was as “the hubcap kid,” selling shiny wheel covers he found on the streets in his Houston neighborhood for $5 each. Soon, he was recruiting his friends to help him. “I had my friends out on bikes, picking up hubcaps, and all I had to do was buy them hot dogs. I was making about $100 a day in junior high basically selling trash I found on the side of the road.”

Some of Robison’s neighbors and mentors happened to be prominent business leaders including Houston Industries, BFI and Sysco Foods. During the time between junior high and the end of college, Robison learned about investing from them and invested some of his earnings in those and other stocks. By the time he was out of college, that 10 years later, those stocks had grown in value to exceed $1 million. “I didn’t have to have a job, so I took a different path, working for a mentor, Paul Meyer. But that also meant I was highly unemployable. By the time I was ready to go to work, I had to create my own jobs.”

He chose accounting and management as his majors, and as a hobby outside of school he and a few aspiring students, including Graham Weston ’86 (co-Founder of Rackspace), created The Society for Entrepreneurship and New Ventures (ENVE) and INVENT as well as Campus Entrepreneur Magazine. Robison said those organizations strengthened his ties to the business school. “We brought in experts to talk to the students, then the dean (William Mobley) offered to help us out if he could get a few minutes with these folks. It was a good partnership.”

Robison’s career has included holdings with his partners (including Bryan Cranston, John O’Hurley, Bryan Singer, Joe Sabatino and others) in multiple entertainment production companies that have produced hit TV shows, major movies and documentaries. His long-time friend, Mark Cuban (owner of Dallas Mavs), is also his partner and a co-founder of Big PlayAR.

His newest project is a concept he calls “America 2.0…there’s an app for that,” which he is doing with an eclectic group of partners including Newt Gingrich to create a marketplace to “appify” government.

During college, Robison helped initiate the tradition of waving the 12th Man towels at football games. In 1984, as they were looking for ideas that were less expensive to produce than his popular “Hornbuster” sweatshirts, he and his business partners noticed the small Corps of Cadet hand towels in his grandfather’s 1931 A&M yearbook.

Robison and a couple of fellow ENVE members thought that in addition to being easier and cheaper to produce, the towels would complement the 12th Man program Coach Jackie Sherrill had introduced with the 12th Man kick-off team. They approached a then-tiny silk screening operation known as CC Creations to make the first batch, and that company still produces them today.

Sherrill deserves much of the credit for the towels’ popularity, Robison notes, because they weren’t selling well until Sherrill agreed to wave them during the next game. The towels sold out from then on.

Robison shared with the Mays students two of his favorite lessons from his mentors. One is a line that motivates him to work a little harder: “What you do from 9-5 will make you a living…but what you do from 5 to 9 will make you wealthy.” The other is a set of questions he uses to measure his own progress, which he asks himself on his birthday each year:

  • What do you want?
  • Why do you want it?
  • When do you want it?
  • Why don’t you have it?
  • Whose fault is it?

“You have to ask those questions at each step of your life, and you have to know the answers,” he said. “You have to be honest with yourself and do whatever you need to do about it.”

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students, Texas A&M

A team of five students representing Mays Business School won 1st place in the Houston regional round of the 2013 Deloitte FanTAXtic case competition. The team was comprised of graduate student Cameron Doe, senior PPA students Will Cummings and Shawn Morgan and sophomore honors students Sam Richter and Andrew Winker.

In advance of the competition, the students spent nearly three weeks analyzing a rigorous tax case and formulating recommendations for a hypothetical company. The team engaged in extensive tax research, delegated responsibility for each case topic among themselves and frequently met to discuss their progress and share ideas. Accounting Professor Dennis Lassila served as the team’s faculty advisor during this research phase.

As the team members worked on finalizing their actual presentation, accounting Executive Professor Kevin Roach advised the students on presentation techniques and helped them prepare for the question-and-answer component of the presentation.

However, there was a twist on the day of the competition: the teams were given a major new piece of information and had one hour to revise their strategies before delivering their final presentations to a panel of Deloitte partners. The students were unable to receive help from faculty advisors during this final phase.

The Texas A&M team competed against teams from several other schools, including the University of Houston and former national winner University of Texas, before taking the top prize. “Our team members did an excellent job presenting their recommendations in a very compelling way,” said Roach. “After the presentation and during our team debrief, the students knew that they had done an excellent job.”

The Mays team, along with eight other regional winners, will progress to the national round of the competition in January 2014. Other teams advancing to the national round represent schools including Brigham Young University, University of Southern California and University of Wisconsin.

The event will be held at Deloitte University, Deloitte’s learning and leadership development center located in the Dallas area. The winning teams will receive financial rewards for themselves and their schools.

“I believe that our team from Texas A&M will do very well in this competition, as every member of the team has very strong analytical and presentation skills,” said Roach. “They also have a team chemistry that is outstanding.”

Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries work with clients in four key business areas — audit, financial advisory, tax, and consulting. The company maintains a strong presence at Texas A&M and recruits numerous Mays interns and graduates each year.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Students, Texas A&M

I often write about establishing and maintaining values, but I rarely speak about passing on values. Last weekend afforded me a remarkable opportunity to observe what values have been passed on to my children, and made me reconsider who I need to be today.

Categories: Bottom Line Ethics

Eric Wylie '93
Eric Wylie ’93

When he committed $25,000 to create the Eric R. Wylie ’93 Business Student Council Leadership Endowed Scholarship fund, Wylie joked that he wanted the scholarship to go to someone like himself: A finance major and a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. He also served as a Student Body Senator and was treasurer of the Business Student Council.

“I had some really good experiences in college and have had some good professional opportunities because of my time at Mays,” he says, adding he also earned a degree in management. “While I was in school and on the Business Student Council, being a liaison between the students and the Dean (both Dr. Gary Trennepohl and Dr. Benton Cocanougher) ultimately changed my life. To this day, relationships that I made then still are impacting me”

“We are truly appreciative of Eric’s most generous contribution to support our students,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “Our School is known for the wide array of leadership opportunities we provide to our students and Eric’s generosity will allow us to recognize and acknowledge the important role that these opportunities play in our students’ personal and professional development.”

Wylie has worked for financial institutions and is now president of Element Retirement & Investment Consultants and has a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation. He lives in College Station, where he is assists in numerous community activities, including serving on the MSC OPAS board of directors. He and his wife Joey have four children.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Donors Corner, Texas A&M

A team of three business honors students from Mays won 1st place at the Wall Street Journal Biz Quiz. Hosted by Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, this year’s competition featured teams from 18 highly ranked business schools across the nation.

To prepare for the two-day quiz competition, Andrew Haraway ’14 (senior BHNR/FINC), Hunter Hibler ’14 (senior BHNR/FINC) and Jack Taffe ’14 (senior BHNR/FINC) read and studied The Wall Street Journal for six weeks.

In the competition, the Mays team won every pool-play round and advanced as the number-one seed to the semi-finals, where they won a tie-breaker to reach the finals. Haraway, Hibler and Taffe then won the finals with a 17-13-9 victory against Ohio State and Miami (OH). Coached by Eric Newman, academic advisor of Mays Undergraduate Special Programs and Business Honors, the Mays team placed 2nd in this year’s team written competition, and Taffe placed 3rd in the individual written portion.

This year’s victory was particularly sweet for Mays Business School after the school’s team finished in 3rd place the past two years. This is the first time a team from Mays has won the competition.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Students, Texas A&M

What began as a request from one student for clothes nice enough to wear to a job interview has snowballed into a new service benefiting all students at Mays Business School.

The project began as a simple gesture to help out someone in need. When a student told Mays Lecturer Henry Musoma he needed a suit, Musoma gladly helped by taking up a monetary collection to purchase a suit for the student.

Lisa Burton, a career coordinator for undergraduate students at Mays, heard this story from Musoma and was inspired to expand the service on a much larger scale and accommodate both men and women. The idea was soon proposed to the Business Student Council (BSC) to offer a type of “career closet” amenity to all students at Mays. Through the BSC, these student leaders would be able to coordinate and take ownership of a meaningful project that would help hundreds of students.

Further support was received from representatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio, who cooperated with Burton to share their own experiences in starting a career closet. Senior accounting major and VP of Project Mays Kylen Perry worked closely with Burton on behalf of the BSC. Planning continued over the next few months and, before too long, the Mays career closet was transformed from an idea into reality.

Preparation went into overdrive when the goal was set to open the career closet in time for the fall Business Career Fair. Burton credits a major part of the success of this project to Vicki Flenniken, manager of Macy’s at Post Oak Mall. “She was pivotal in helping secure the number of suits we needed at the best prices,” says Burton. “This was a huge effort considering that the suits had to be located from stores all across the country.”

Heather and Will Simmen, owners of Pride Cleaners, were also instrumental in executing the project. Not only did they donate all of the initial dry cleaning for the suits, but they also reduced dry cleaning costs to $5 per suit for students to have them cleaned after use. “Will Simmen believes in the Career Closet so much so that when he was in Harley’s shopping for himself, he asked to take the box of ties that was going to be thrown out so they could be used for the students,” Burton says. These ties, which Pride Cleaners pressed and cleaned at no charge, were added to the closet’s inventory.

The career closet now offers its business attire to all Mays students whenever they are needed. Apart from the small cleaning fee, students incur no rental expenses. Around career fairs and during interviewing seasons, the closet is available during designated hours. At other times, students have access upon request by emailing careercloset@bsc.tamu.edu.

The closet currently holds 28 suits. During the first career fair after it was created, 16 were checked out.

“The best part of this whole project has been to see how the efforts of many different people have come together to create something that is of such value to our students,” says Burton.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Staff, Students, Texas A&M