First-generation college students at Mays Business School like management senior Myroslaba Martinez know firsthand the challenge of transitioning to college life without the experience of relatives to guide them. She admits it was sometimes a bewildering and lonely process. But there is one thing she said made the transition a little easier: like-minded peers.
PRO Team student leaders Myroslaba Martinez and Kenyatta Brisco are both first-generation college students.
This semester Martinez and more than 20 other Mays students have launched PRO (Peer Outreach and Recruitment) Team, a volunteer organization to connect high school seniors and younger Mays students from underrepresented populations with older mentors. PRO Team assists with on-campus and off-campus recruiting events in Aggieland and statewide, including Aggieland Saturday, Aggie Rallies, Mays for a Day campus trips, student dinners and tours of the Wehner building. Many of the student recruiters are first-generation college students themselves.
Martinez and management information systems sophomore Kenyatta Brisco serve as PRO Team’s undergraduate leaders, overseeing the week-to-week operations. Mays’ full-time undergraduate recruiters and advisors Corey Stone and Ana Davila advise the team.
Stone saw a need for a team like this a few years ago when he began his career at Mays. “The advantage of PRO Team is that it is highly personalized recruiting,” Stone said, adding he hopes the team makes the path easier for incoming students. “We want to educate first-generation college students and their families about the tremendous opportunities for them at Texas A&M and Mays Business School.”
PRO Team members welcomed prospective students to Mays at Aggieland Saturday.
The inspiration for the team came from Martinez and her peers’ own experience of finding mutual support in learning communities like the Regents’ Ambassador Program. “In our classes and other activities, we pushed each other and helped each other succeed,” Martinez said. “Now we want to give opportunities to students that we didn’t have as freshmen. We’re passionate about Mays and feel fortunate to be here. We hope to help other students because we’ve been in their shoes.”
The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas, and in the case of the inaugural Spirit of Texas Festival, it couldn’t be any truer. The free festival aims to round up Guinness World Records in Aggieland for the largest serving of chili and Frito pie and largest Texas two-step.
That’s 5,000 pounds of chili and 4,000 boots.
To accomplish this feat, the festival has recruited Mays Business School’s Department of Marketing to help publicize the event, which will be March 2-5 at Wolf Pen Creek Park in College Station.
More than 100 Mays marketing students have worked with event organizer Cynthia Caronna to coordinate the festival’s social media, facilitate vendor relations and media partnerships and create a promotional magazine and other collateral. Caronna said she has been impressed by the hard work of the students. “This is truly giving back – building something that will outlive them,” she said. “It is a new tradition that will give them pride, much like the Aggie Ring does.”
In addition, the spring semester Services Marketing course, taught by Clinical Marketing Professor Janet Parish, will audit the entire 2017 event and provide recommendations for the 2018 Festival. She said this has been the largest-scale project marketing students have been involved in.
Pi Sigma Epsilon, a professional fraternity for students in marketing and sales management, advised by marketing faculty advisor Andrew Loring, has sold magazine ads and sponsorships for the event.
The event will also feature food trucks, a barbecue cook-off, a pie contest, car and bike shows, a marketplace of more than 200 antique and craft vendors, and live entertainment, and will benefit the Ronald McDonald House, Mobility Worldwide, K9s4Cops and other local charities.
On the morning of Feb. 17, the Cocanougher Center was filled with an audience of business and community leaders serving as judges, anxiously waiting to learn the mission and goal of 16 start-up companies that teamed up with the first-year students from the class of 2017’s Full-Time MBA program. Held in partnership between the Mays MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the 2017 MBA Venture Challenge wrapped up its 15th year with three winning teams going home with a total of $10,000.
The day kicked off with the first round: the elevator pitch competition. Pitches ranged from a simplified physical fitness booking app and streamlined water purifying approaches to emerging drone security system technology. Elevator pitch winners Eric Jensen, Matt Larsen, Zain Hanif and Ellen Schott took home $500 after impressing the judge and company representative audience with their interest-sparking and comical pitch for InfinitySoft, a scalable data analytics platform provider for the oil and gas industry.
This year’s MBA Venture Challenge contained 68 first-year MBA students tasked with assisting applicant companies with business advice and financial/competitive analysis on current and future market and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between teams, for both sponsored cash awards and significant bragging rights. Additionally, the competition provides networking opportunities as well as high-value insights for participating firms.
The Venture Challenge asks the MBA student teams to provide a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of their selected firm’s market and financial viability. The start-up firms are invited to apply from throughout the Aggie Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, and the MBA teams selected their favorite firm, based solely on a short summary provided by the applicants. The program operates through partnerships and sponsorship from the Aggie Angel Network, JB Knowledge and the Texas A&M University Division of Research. The original 26 business applicants came from a wide variety of industries, including human tissue engineering and ecommerce, adventure media and consumer products.
While the MBA teams were allotted only two weeks of direct contact with their assigned company representatives, they were provided feedback and direction from industry and university mentors, including the MBA program faculty and volunteer entrepreneurs. Full-Time MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains “the MBA Venture Challenge encourages our students to integrate what they have learned across the business disciplines” and allows each team to “demonstrate the ability to navigate ambiguity and intellectual curiosity – two critical skills our employers seek in our students.”
The MBA Venture Challenge consisted of a full-day competition over three rounds of judging by an audience of experienced judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round required the teams to present a concise yet in-depth analysis of the start-up and provide meaningful recommendations for future company success.
“Now in its 15th year, the MBA Venture Challenge has clearly set the standard for high-intensity and high-impact interaction between student teams and startup ventures,” said Blake Petty, director of the CNVE. “The analysis provided by these outstanding MBAs has proven to be immediately invaluable to the participating companies, and there is simply no better way to expose our students to the real-life challenges of entrepreneurship than to immerse them into a startup…even if only for two weeks.”
For those companies or judges interested in participating in the 2018 MBA Venture Challenge, be on the lookout for application information to begin circulating in November 2017.
The winning MBA teams were announced Feb. 17 at a networking and awards reception immediately after the Venture Challenge:
$5,000 – First Place (sponsored by the Texas A&M Division of Research) – Brent Carter, Nick Cheng, Philip Spencer, Jana Soares; CelaCare
$3,000 – Second Place (sponsored by the Aggie Angel Network) – Mario Coll, Thomas Dowlearn, Eclair Lehmongkol, Ankur Soni; IntuiTap Medical
$2,000 – Third Place (sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Meagan Altman, James Cochran, Lia Rojas Unamo, Rahul Sharma; FireDisc
Learn more about the results of previous MBA Venture Challenge competitions.
The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS), Mays Business School and the Department of Marketing are hosting a reception on Feb. 23 to welcome TIAS Faculty Fellow V. Kumar (VK).
During the reception, VK will share comments about the directions in which his work is heading. In addition to marketing, his research connects to a variety of scholarly fields, including information systems, computer science, finance, accounting and health care.
The reception will be 3-5 p.m. in Cocanougher Center (Wehner 183), with formal comments by VK at 3:30 p.m. Pay parking is available in Lot 72 off Olsen Boulevard (UB accepted).
VK is the Regents Professor; Richard and Susan Lenny Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing; executive director of the Center for Excellence in Brand & Customer Management; and Ph.D. program director at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. He also is the Chang Jiang Scholar at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. He has been recognized with 14 lifetime achievement awards in several areas of marketing from the American Marketing Association (AMA) and other professional organizations.
He has been honored in multiple countries with prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Chang Jiang Scholar, HUST, China; Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Singapore Management University, Singapore; Indian School of Business Senior Fellow, India. He spends his “free” time visiting business leaders to identify challenging problems to solve. VK has worked with several Global Fortune 1000 firms to maximize their profits and publish studies with rigor and relevance.
He has published more than 250 articles and 25 books (translated in multiple languages), and has received more than 25 research and teaching excellence awards. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Marketing and in 2017, was recognized as a Fellow of AMA. In 2017, he has been chosen as a “Legend in Marketing,” where his work is published in a 10-volume encyclopedia with commentaries from scholars worldwide.
There are 10 scholars in the 2016-17 class of Faculty Fellows. TIAS was established in December 2010 by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to build on the growing academic reputation of Texas A&M and to provide a framework to attract top scholars from throughout the nation and abroad for appointments of up to a year. The selection of Faculty Fellows initiates with faculty nominations of National Academies and Nobel Prize-caliber scholars who align with existing strengths and ambitions of the University. To learn more, visit http://tias.tamu.edu.
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has named three of its most distinguished former students as 2017 Outstanding Alumni. The honorees are Gregory M. Cokinos ’79, Cydney Collier Donnell ’81 and Carri Baker ’84. They will be honored at the 25th-Year Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner on April 6.
Mays Business School honors graduates who have led lives of distinction and who embody the Aggie core values – loyalty, integrity, excellence, leadership, selfless service and respect – with the Mays Outstanding Alumni Award. Recipients come from all industries, have been active in their communities and continue to serve their alma mater. The recipients learned of their honor when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of Mays Business School representatives, including Dean Eli Jones.
“Mays Business School’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni are great examples of Mays Transformational Leaders: Responsible, ethical leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets and vision, who have strong business competencies and personify selfless service,” Jones said. “Here at Mays, we have no shortage of leaders who have excelled beyond their college careers and who help advance the world’s prosperity. We are pleased to recognize and celebrate them at our annual awards dinner.”
To date, the school has honored 79 former students who have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields with significant impact, innovation and influence at the school, in their community and beyond.
Gregory M. Cokinos ’79is co-founder of Houston-based Cokinos, Bosien & Young, the largest law firm in Texas focusing on construction and engineering law. He has been named as one of The Top 100 Super Lawyers in the State of Texas by Texas Monthly every year since 2007. He was instrumental in the creation of the Construction Law Journal and has been the Journal’s editor since its inception. He is also an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He is a graduate of the Department of Management.
Cydney Collier Donnell ’81is the Julio S. LaGuarta Professor in Real Estate, executive professor and associate department head of finance at Mays where she teaches graduate level classes in real estate capital markets. She is also the present Director of Real Estate Programs overseeing the Master of Real Estate Program and undergraduate real estate finance classes. Prior to this, she was the Managing Director for European Investors, Inc. in New York City, where she managed more than $3 billion in real estate securities on behalf of U.S. pension funds, foundations, endowments and high-net-worth clients. She is a graduate of the Department of Finance.
Carri Baker ’84has served for 32 years as a key executive and chief operations officer for San Antonio-based Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, a nationally recognized law firm representing governments and school districts throughout the U.S. Her civic leadership has made a significant impact in the education, health and economic development of San Antonio. She currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Mays, and the Chancellor’s Century Council and the President’s Advisory Board for Texas A&M San Antonio. She is a graduate of the Department of Marketing.
The 2017 Women in IT Conference on March 3 will provide an opportunity to network and learn from colleagues and professionals and hear from leaders at Kendra Scott, Salesforce and Intel Security.
The conference is hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems at Mays Business School. Speakers and topics
include the path to leadership, trends in technology, career management, cybersecurity and more. Three roundtable sessions will focus on increasing your network and meeting other dynamic women.
Featured speakers include Brandie Claborn, vice president of Global Corporate Communications at Intel Security; Stephanie Kinser, senior vice president of Enterprise Solution Engineering for Salesforce; and Christine Rose, CIO and head of eCommerce for Kendra Scott.
The conference will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Texas A&M University’s Ballroom 2400 in the Memorial Student Center. It is open to Texas A&M students, faculty, staff and the general public.
In a rapidly globalizing environment and ever-changing world, business schools are providing more value than ever. Today at its 2017 Deans Conference, AACSB International (AACSB) — the world’s largest global education network — unveiled 35 innovations that represent critical work being done by business schools to better their communities and society at large.
Mays Business School was recognized for its submission on the Texas A&M University Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP), which detailed a bold new entrepreneurial training program that better prepares students to be leaders in the oil and gas industry. By connecting the curriculum with industry needs, PVP gives students a competitive advantage in an interdisciplinary way.
The second annual “Innovations That Inspire” initiative showcases unique ways business schools are changing the status quo to address societal needs, while empowering the business leaders of tomorrow.
The AACSB’s second annual “Innovations That Inspire” initiative recognizes institutions that have championed change in the business education landscape. A total of 315 submissions were received across 33 countries, mirroring society’s growing global demands, as well as the critical need for strong, connected and forward-thinking business schools. The initiative—and the impressive work it showcases—underscores the important role that innovation plays in achieving the industry-wide vision for business education, which AACSB unveiled in 2016.
“With great pleasure, I am thrilled to recognize Mays Business School for its role in driving innovation in business education and fostering positive change in the areas of diversity and global economic prosperity,” said Tom R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB international. “Through meaningful ideas and increasing opportunities for engagement, Mays Business School has created a remarkable impact, to ensure a better and more connected world for many years to come.”
Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School, said the Texas A&M Petroleum Ventures Program “an example of connecting innovation with our school’s vision to advance the world’s prosperity.” He added, “We are honored to receive this recognition for stepping up to serve our state and nation in this important area.” As part of the school’s new strategic plan, Mays aims to build the school’s research presence in the Mays Grand Challenge area of Energy.
The academic collaboration between Mays Business School and the College of Engineering fosters teamwork among petroleum engineering students and students in the Department of Finance at Mays. The first classes for the PVP Certificate Program were offered in Fall 2016. PVP is funded by a $12 million gift by Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, business partners in Houston-based WildHorse Resources Management Company in Houston.
About AACSB International
As the world’s largest business education network connecting academe with business, AACSB provides business education intelligence, quality assurance, and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations across 97 countries and territories. Founded in 1916, AACSB accredits 780 business schools worldwide. Its global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, USA; Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore; and its EMEA headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.aacsb.edu.
About Mays Business School
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 6,200 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, 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 vision of Mays Business School is to advance the world’s prosperity.
Escalators may be quick, convenient and even fun, but according to Rory Vaden, author of Take the Stairs, they aren’t the fastest route to getting ahead. The New York Times best-selling author recently spoke to students at Mays Business School about the virtues of taking the stairs in an “escalator world.”
“We live in a society of shortcuts and procrastination,” Vaden told a packed Ray Auditorium on Wednesday, the second group of Mays marketing students of the day. “When faced with the decision to ride an escalator (the easy route) or take the stairs (the hard route), most people choose the path of least resistance.”
Vaden’s appearance was a team effort. Ron Lamb, president of Reynolds & Reynolds – the first founding partner of the Professional Selling Initiative (PSI) at Mays – had introduced PSI Director and Marketing Clinical Professor Janet Parish to Vaden’s works. “After reading the books, I was so moved that I led a special topics course with 13 students to study the books,” Parish said.
She told Lamb she was doing this, and he in turn told Vaden. After a chain of events and contacts, Parish invited Vaden to campus. Once he accepted, Parish asked fellow instructor Sandi Lampo to provide the audience – her large marketing classes – to create to biggest impact for M
Vaden is co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, a multimillion-dollar global sales consulting practice. He said part of his job is to study what makes other people successful. Throughout his career he has encountered countless successful people, from entrepreneurs to athletes to founders of large churches, and discovered the common denominator of their success. Surprisingly, he said, it had nothing to do with age, personal background or education. “The real secret is self-discipline,” Vaden said. “Successful people are those who have formed habits of doing things they know they should do even when they don’t feel like doing them.”
He recalled when he was age 10 and he complained to his mother about not enjoying martial arts and wanting to quit. His mother quipped: “Enjoying it isn’t a requirement of doing it.” From then on, he learned the value of following through with anything painful, uncomfortable or even boring. “It’s not just about making your life
as hard as possible,” Vaden said. “Difficult short-term choices lead to easy long-term consequences.”
Vaden said he believes success is never a one-and-done deal. It comes at a daily price. He summed it up with what he calls the “Rent Axiom:” “Success is never owned. It is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”