November, 2014 | Mays Impacts

Jordan

Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Robert Jordan went straight for the heart when he revealed the story behind the company’s brand refresh. He showed a video of employees sharing stories about how they had accommodated and interacted with their customers, from saving a lost teddy bear to keeping a military family together as long as possible before the husband/father was deployed.

“Our employees’ mission every day transcends their daily duties,” said Jordan, who is Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing marketing, advertising, network planning, revenue management, and the call centers. “It’s about creating moments that are important to our customers: $20 too high or 20 minutes too late and that opportunity is gone. What is really wonderful about Southwest is that the caring is real. It’s inculcated in our employees.”

Jordan is also president of AirTran Airways, which Southwest acquired in May 2011. The AirTran acquisition added about 20 percent to the size of the company, and the integration will be fully complete this December.

Jordan said that despite being the largest domestic carrier in terms of passengers boarded, and the second-largest in the world, having a large and loyal fan base, and having unique customer-friendly policies like no bag fees and no change fees, there had been worry that the brand had lost a bit of its edge as a maverick, and that the visual identity had not kept pace as the brand had evolved. “Compared to just five years ago, Southwest now offers international service, onboard satellite-based wifi, free live TV, and free streaming music in partnership with Beats Music.” As part of the refresh, the company decided to emphasize the core values that have made it so successful since it started in 1971, the unique connection their employees have with their customers. The new tagline, “without a Heart, it’s just a machine,” does just that. The centerpiece of the visual campaign, a tricolored heart with silver accents, is on the belly and at the door of every plane. Jordan said the airlines’ brand refresh was meant to build on the company’s proud history, not run from it. “The new branding is loyal to our past, but expresses the company we have become, and our future.”

While at Mays, Jordan spoke with groups of Business Honors undergraduates and MBA students. His presentation to the MBA students was informational, but all the students enjoyed the informal setting of the roundtable discussions.

Jordan boasted about the students’ accomplishments already – getting into Texas A&M University and Mays. “This is a very elite group of people,” he said. “It’s fun to see what a great group of leaders we have coming up.”

He told the students to always remember someone might be watching how they work. He said he has not applied for any job promotions. Instead, he was approached about every one of them.

He shared some pointers with the students:

  • Work hard and be ready for whatever comes up.
  • Try to work with a company that is great to work with, and where you enjoy working.
  • Realize there is a lot more to life than work. Have balance.

Mays undergraduate Angela Lowak commented afterward on Jordan’s easygoing, friendly demeanor. “My biggest take away from this professional development event is the importance of sticking to what your company is known for despite potential revenue and also the effectiveness of efficiency to create revenue,” she said. “Mr. Jordan also was a good example of a humble and well-balanced leader.”

Alan Clayton called the interaction with Jordan “one of the most interesting encounters of my semester.” He said: “He had many interesting insights regarding how Southwest has made an effort to distinguish itself as the most successful airline in the world. The way he spoke about the remarkable firm made us question, ‘Well, why doesn’t every airline do the same thing?’ However, at a closer glance, it’s clear the amount of conflicting balls the C-Suite has to juggle – such as low fares, low costs, high efficiencies and high wages – is incredibly difficult and requires a uniquely effective team.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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

An interdisciplinary team of marketing and finance students placed second in a competition in Dallas in early November. The team members were Kathryn Gaines and Jamie Roy (MKTG) and Anna Savage and Arian Jafari (FINC). They competed against seven other schools in the case competition of the Texas regional conference of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

A team of MS-MIS students placed second in the BMC Student Case Competition in conjunction with the FUSION 14 Service Management Conference in Washington, D.C. Team members included Darryl Alva, Parul Rannot and Aravindan Rajamani. Six other teams from across the U.S. also competed in the mid-October program.

Six finance students passed the CMT Level I & II (Chartered Market Technician) exams: Ariel Barnett, Jake Nixon, Maya Lunceford, Jared Radcliffe, Joseph Sahinen and Tom Saint John. These students were awarded scholarships to take the exams through a partnership with the Market Technicians Association.

The all-freshman “Go Fresh” team from Startup Aggieland’s Startup Living Learning Community made the finals in UT’s The Food Lab and Food Challenge Prize. The team is now doing a patent search and, if not patented already, will go forward with provisional patent preparation. Business majors on the team were Berryman Toler, Hunter Pearson, Price Burnett and Felipe Estrada.

Full-Time MBA student Elizabeth Bostwick received an outstanding presenter award at the 8th Annual MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership. Twelve teams participated in the Nov. 14. event at Baylor University.

Sixteen marketing students participated in the American Advertising Federation-Houston’s annual student conference: Jossue Velasquez, Deanna Urban, Emily Nero, Frank Fusselman, Daniel Unrue, Marilea Schmidt, Aubrey McCullar, Angelica Perez, Zach Rother, Gisele Bohorquez, Sarah Page, Bailey Strohmeyer, Austin Wyble, Rachel Gonzales, Anjali Yadav and Jordan Smith. The two-day event consisted of a day-long advertising campaign competition for a real-life client, Midtown Houston. More than 200 students from a four-state area competed in cross-functional teams to develop and execute an integrated, multi-media advertising campaign. Out of more than 20 teams, Aggie Advertising Club members Daniel Unrue, Emily Nero and Aubrey McCullar led their teams to first-, second- and third-place wins, respectively. The second day of the event consisted of resume reviews and panel discussions with local advertising agency executives. While the students worked on their campaigns, Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing Lisa Troy and MS Marketing student Lindsay LaRosa attended a faculty tour of Minute Maid Park and the Houston Chronicle.

Categories: Mays Business

During the weekend of Nov. 7, students from all over the Texas A&M University System came together to do the impossible: create a business in only three days. Every semester, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) hosts 3 Day Startup and challenges students to compress three months’ worth of work into one weekend. This semester was the first time West Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M at Galveston and the Texas A&M School of Law sent student participants to College Station.

3 Day Startup aims to teach students through experience about the trials and triumphs of starting a business. The students are encouraged to use the risk-free environment of the weekend to work on ideas they are passionate about and would be interested in pursuing after the program has ended. Mentors and professors from Texas A&M are present throughout the weekend to help the students fine-tune their businesses.

Students began their weekend by meeting that Friday at Startup Aggieland and brainstorming ideas that they then pitched to one another. When pitches were completed, the students voted on the top seven ideas worth pursuing and then broke into teams. They had until Sunday to turn their idea into a feasible startup venture.

Participants returned to Startup Aggieland early Saturday morning to begin researching market viability, creating logos and business plans, and building their mid-point pitches. That evening, students presented their startups to a room of mentors and fellow participants and gained feedback on how to improve their ventures. At this point many groups had changed their names, logos or entire business models multiple times and now only had 24 hours to perfect their startup for Sunday’s final pitches.

By Sunday evening, the participants were ready to face the judging panelists. Each team gave a 10-minute presentation to a panel of mock investors and answering five minutes of Q&A. Their knowledge about their startup was tested, but each group of participants rose to the challenge. Once final pitches concluded the groups received final feedback comments from investors.

This semester’s teams focused on solving consumers’ problems. Their ideas included:

A phone app to help those fighting substance addiction
High-quality modular housing that could be used overseas in relief efforts
A phone app that provides users with information on how busy their favorite places are
Visual information mapping that could help doctors easily identify correlating diseases
For many groups, their hard work paid off when they were approached by possible investors or were invited to become Entrepreneurs in Residence at Startup Aggieland.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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

An idea to preserve fresh food propelled a team of five freshmen from Startup Aggieland’s Startup Living Learning Community to be named one of 21 finalists for the inaugural Food Challenge Prize. The competition was sponsored by the Food Lab at the University of Texas.

Team members from Mays include Berryman Tolder, Hunter Pearson, Price Burnett and Felipe Estrada.

More than 120 registrants of all experience levels and from a wide range of backgrounds entered the competition, which encourages innovations of all types in the global food system. Judges from the Food Lab’s advisory committee selected the finalists, who will continue to work with industry mentors for around 13 weeks before the Food Challenge Showcase in February 14, 2015. Over $30,000 will be awarded in prize money.

Animal science major McCalley Cunninham described the team’s idea, “Go Fresh!” products, which seeks to preserve food during transport in order to reduce food waste. “Go Fresh!”” products contain an OYA gene that absorbs ethanol to prevent deterioration of produce, she said. We are losing $165 billion a year by throwing away wasted food. If we can resolve this issue, then we can help with the challenge of feeding the world in the next 50 years.”

The “Go Fresh” team is doing a patent search and, if the idea is not patented already, will go forward with provisional patent preparation.

For more information on the competition, visit http://utfoodlab.com/2014-ut-food-lab-challenge/.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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

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The Mays Full-Time MBA program at Texas A&M University retained its strong standing among the top 20 U.S. public universities, ranking 17th among U.S. public schools according to rankings released Tuesday by Bloomberg Businessweek. Among all U.S.-based schools, the Mays Full-Time MBA program was ranked 42nd down from 26th in the previous ranking in 2012.

“This was clearly unexpected news. In the coming days and weeks we will consider more deeply the causal factors of these rankings and how we can address them,” said Mary Lea McAnally, associate dean for graduate programs. However, she noted that Bloomberg Businessweek’s new methodology contained a number of major changes that introduced significant volatility in this year’s rankings. “One of the strengths of our program is that our alumni return to campus to recruit year after year and they are continually pleased with their hires. But the new rankings methodology does not include the survey responses of those recruiters,” she added.

Earlier this year, the Mays Full-Time MBA Class of 2014 reported very strong employment results: full-time employment was 96 percent at the 90-day mark, and the average starting salary was more than $98,000, the highest ever reported by a Mays Full-Time MBA class.

Ricky Griffin, interim dean of Mays Business School added, “We will continue to do what is best for our students and stakeholders while always looking for areas of improvement. Our program can’t be driven by rankings.” He further noted that the Aggie network is one of the key reasons students are attracted to MBA programs at Texas A&M. “It is an extremely valuable resource that benefits our students throughout their careers,” he said. “Even though the various rankings methodologies and outcomes may vary from year to year, we will continue to focus on delivering world-class business education that leads to strong employment outcomes for our graduates.”

Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of full-time MBA programs is based on three elements: a survey of newly minted MBAs, a poll of corporate recruiters and an evaluation of faculty research output. The MBA surveys and the recruiter polls each contribute 45 percent to the final ranking; however, Bloomberg Businessweek noted the overall rank is more closely associated with the employer assessment than student appraisals. The faculty-research ranking contributes the remaining 10 percent.

To view the full rankings, go to businessweek.com/14/rankings

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Mays Business

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Litigation is constant in today’s business environment. The question seems to be not whether a company will be sued, but when. However, Blaine Edwards ’83 told Business Honors students that companies are often able to avoid the hassle and costs of lawsuits. “You can deal with issues and problems before they turn into litigation,” he said. “I try to spot issues and help the company up front.”

Edwards is assistant general counsel for global litigation at Houston-based Superior Energy Services, Inc., an international oil and gas company. In this role, he is responsible for supervising the group of attorneys and paralegals at Superior Energy that handles major job problems, accident investigations and litigation in the United States and around the world.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Texas A&M University and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law. Prior to joining Superior Energy, Edwards served as associate general counsel at BJ Services Company. He also has more than 17 years of experience as a trial lawyer and three years of experience as a bank officer.

Edwards described himself as a “fixer,” saying he spends most of his time advising company leaders how to identify what is happening in the business and what they need to do to avoid problems and litigation. “You don’t want to be in the litigation business,” he said. “It’s expensive, time-consuming and risky.”

He described three major types of risks facing companies, all of which can lead to class action lawsuits: policy, procedure and people risks.

To prevent lawsuits from arising from workplace accidents, Edwards said companies must make sure their employees are fit for duty. “What employees do can affect you, your company and the company’s stock price,” he said. A major part of Edwards’ job is working to prevent future incidents. “It’s important for me to take the lessons learned and be fervent in educating people about accidents to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Even when a company does cause an accident, Edwards said an apology can often go a long way. “”I’m sorry” are often the two best words you can say,” he said. “Take responsibility by saying you’re sorry and putting it right.” Taking the initiative to resolve problems quickly and personally often allows companies to meet the needs of those affected by accidents without ever going to court.

Edwards left the students with three pieces of advice for their professional careers:

  • Learn how to spot issues in your area
  • Come up with solutions to these issues
  • Look for risks for what you do and try to find a way to minimize them

“To be effective, you’ve got to be able to tell how big a problem is,” he said. Edwards said he often just practices common sense. “If something doesn’t seem fair, it’s probably not right.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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

Office of the Dean’s Communications Department

This position supports the development and implementation of communication projects that represent Mays Business School to faculty and staff, current students, alumni, donors, prospective donors and the general public.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, interviewing faculty and students and attending special events to write articles and news briefs; supporting the publication of Mays Business Online and @Mays magazine; generating copy for the annual new faculty brochure and donor and business research magazines; creating and distributing a weekly newsletter to faculty and staff; compiling mailing lists; and writing media pitches and press releases.

What we are looking for in a qualified applicant:

Self-starters and highly motivated individuals who are capable of working independently or on a team with minimal direction
Excellent written and oral communication skills, including strong proofreading skills
Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously
Familiarity with news trends in business
Savvy with social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
Proficient knowledge of all Microsoft Office programs is required
Experience in a busy, professional office setting or in the field of marketing/communications is preferred.

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This is a 20-hour-per-week job. The hours are flexible, but we’d prefer to have someone here for blocks of at least two to three hours at a time.

Applicant must be able to start by the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester and must not be graduating prior to December 2015.

Salary: $8.25/hour

Send a current resume, cover letter and three writing samples (nonfiction published work or classroom papers) to Kelli Levey at klevey@mays.tamu.edu.

Categories: Jobs


Lloyd McGuire is one of 31 students across the state to be selected as an inductee as a Future Texas Business Legends Scholar by the Texas Business Hall of Fame (TBHF), which carries a $10,000 scholarship award. The TBHF recognizes students who define entrepreneurial ventures with impact to future business in Texas.

McGuire is a lawyer and a military veteran. He was on the team that won the 2014 MBA Venture Challenge, in which more than 100 business and academic leaders from around the Brazos Valley judge the analysis and business plan presented by a team of MBA students at Texas A&M. McGuire and his teammates analyzed and created recommendations for a start-up, MyHeroClassifieds.com, a company dedicated to employment assistance for U.S. veterans. He was also on the team of Full-Time MBA students who swept the 7th Annual National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership held in November 2013 at Baylor University’s Hankamer Business School.

“I’m humbled and honored to be a Future Texas Business Legend Scholar” McGuire said after the luncheon. “Being in the presence of Texas business legends was awe-inspiring. I’m incredibly thankful for the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired at Mays and am eager to put them to use upon graduation.”

Patti Urbina, director of the Full-Time MBA program at Mays, said McGuire has been a leader since he joined the Mays program. “If there is an award or an opportunity to lead, he is there, she said, “McGuire’s first response to his good fortune in the program is always, “how can I give back and help future MBA Aggies succeed, too?” He is co-founder of an annual reunion event that kicked off this fall. The “Brisket Bowl” includes a student-run cook-off and serves as a pre-tailgate event to promote camaraderie among the MBA graduates. Envisioned as a legacy event by the MBA Class of 2015, it will serve as a constant reminder of McGuire’s demonstration and the class’ commitment to the core Aggie value of selfless service to our program.””

The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation is a non-profit organization of 70 directors who are business leaders from cities throughout the state. The organization’s mission is to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of Texas business leaders, to perpetuate and inspire the values of entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and community leadership in all generations of Texans.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Mays Business, Programs

Garberding

Throughout his 20 years of experience in the energy industry, Michael Garberding ’91 has witnessed both the growth and decline of major energy companies. We are in the midst of what he calls an “energy renaissance,” and he spoke with a group of Business Honors students about implications for companies in this industry.

Garberding is executive vice president and chief financial officer of EnLink Midstream, an integrated midstream company formed in 2014 by combining the midstream assets of Devon Energy and Crosstex Energy. Before joining Crosstex in 2008, Garberding held positions at TXU, Enron and Arthur Andersen LLP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

During his time at TXU, he helped navigate the business after it became deregulated and subsequently underwent a major restructuring. After joining Crosstex, he saw the business face challenges associated with two hurricanes and the collapse of the financial market.

According to Garberding, successful companies are able to survive these types of challenges by managing three things: company culture, risk and the balance sheet. Unfortunately, many companies, such as Enron, have failed because of their inability to manage these aspects of the business.

“The opportunity to interact with a C-Level executive for a major oil company was incredible,” said Nicholas Davis ’16. “Mr. Garberding was very open to any questions, and his experience at Enron before its collapse was particularly interesting to me.”

Garberding focused especially on the importance of creating a positive and supportive company culture. He emphasized the need for employees to be able to work together to get things done, noting that he works with other people at least 50 percent of the time. “The people and culture you see in your career is so important,” said Garberding. “If you have a bad culture, you lose.”

“Mr. Garberding was a very interesting speaker,” said Ian Wood ’17. “He stressed that business culture is key and that people are the most important aspect in every company.”

Garberding said he has been able to use his personal connections to find new career opportunities, even when the market was performing poorly. “All my jobs have come through relationships,” he said.

He described EnLink’s five relationship principles:

  • Care: Showing appreciation for others and caring about their success
  • Know: Spending time with others and understanding their needs
  • Communicate: Taking advantage of every opportunity to interact with others
  • Plan: Have a purpose for every interaction. Every interaction is an opportunity.
  • Deliver: Doing what you say you will do, going the extra mile and fixing your mistakes

Garberding also outlined the company’s “Keys to Success,” including a foundation built on relationships and a focus on safety, financials, customer service, engineering /operations and commercial development. “These are things you have to have to be successful before you even talk about the business,” he said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mr. Garberding talk about his experiences and takeaways from his professional life and career,” said Drew Faith ’15. “He furthered my beliefs about the importance of relationship building in regards to creating both a rewarding career and a successful company.”

Lastly, Garberding encouraged the students to take advantage of any and all opportunities even when situations are tough. “The best opportunities arise when things are bad,” he said.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management informaton 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

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Marketing Professor Leonard Berry was inducted into the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business Outstanding Doctoral Alumni Award. He is a Regents Professor at Texas A&M University who received a PhD from ASU’s business school in 1968.

Joining Berry at the Oct. 30 induction were technology mavens Brian Gentile and Chuck Robel. Gentile is a leader in “big data” and cloud computing who recently built and served as CEO of Jaspersoft Corporation. His tech career spans almost 30 years and major global companies, including Apple, Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) and NCR Corporation.

Robel, who served as chairman of the board of McAfee, one of the world’s best-known computer-security software companies, prior to its multibillion-dollar sale to Intel. He now serves on the boards of directors of Go Daddy, Jive Software and several other public and private companies.

Previous inductees come from such diverse organizations as the American Red Cross, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Motorola, Wells Fargo Bank and XM Satellite Radio.

“The new honorees have all blazed a trail in their respective fields, making a difference in their professions, their community and society as a whole,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They also set a great example for our current students that there are no limits on how far they can go in their own career paths.”

Berry, a distinguished professor and well-known author, has devoted his career to studying the marketing and quality of services, with a recent focus on how to improve health care service. He has written 10 books and done extensive work with the Mayo Clinic. He is currently examining how to improve the service experience of cancer patients and their families. Berry has received countless major academic awards and is both a fellow of the Academy of Marketing Science and a past national president of the American Marketing Association. He is a member of several boards of directors, including Lowe’s, Genesco and Nemours Children’s Health System

W. P. CAREY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from about 100 countries and include about 50 National Merit Scholars.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Faculty, Mays Business