Ann Rhoads ’85 says she considers herself lucky because she has always known her career path: Banking. She told a group of Business Honors students she worked as a teller in the summers during school, then after graduating with a finance degree she started with a training class of 12. Only three or four of them are still bankers, but she said it was valuable training that introduced her to a broad spectrum of business fields.
Rhoads said her first motivation for working was to have financial security and to give back. “Now what drives me is the enjoyment of what I do and getting to do it with people I like,” she added.
Throughout her career, Rhoads said, she has been fortunate to learn various skills and work with great bosses. “I look at what has happened in my 30 years and look ahead to what’s going to happen in the next 30 years, and it is exciting,” she said.
The last 19 years, her career has been focused on the energy sector. She is currently a managing director at Houston-based BNP Paribas, covering upstream clients. Previously, she was Head of the Americas for Global Energy and Commodities at Natixis, based in New York. She has been part of several interesting deals and has lived in London and traveled to Germany, France, Iraq and Italy. She encouraged the students to be open to traveling for their jobs.
Ashley Shinpaugh ’14, a fifth-year Business Honors and PPA student, said she learned several important business lessons from Rhoads. “First, the importance of people in a business environment is essential because of the impact they can have on the success or failure of your business,” she said. “I also learned that even though performed at high rates, mergers and acquisitions rarely result in a good business transaction. Lastly, I took away her own valuable lesson of stepping outside your comfort zone in order to push yourself to the next level. Overall, it was an excellent presentation.”
Neil Rabroker ’15, a senior Business Honors and accounting major, said Rhoads delivered “a highly informational presentation of life as a professional in investment banking and what it takes to succeed in any way of life.” He recalled her description of her at BNP Paribas and at a firm in London, and then on the importance of M&A activities and how people love to do it even though they have a reputation of being unsuccessful. “Personally, Mrs. Rhoads spoke on how as a young professional having the ability to think and push yourself out of your comfort zone will lead you to a life of success.”
ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 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.