For the first time in its history, Mays Business School hosted the Master’s in Finance (MSF) Career Lunch with Executive Professors for incoming students as part of the MS Finance Boot Camp on Aug. 8-25. This unique event gave students the chance to hear a panel of Texas A&M University faculty members discuss key insights and experiences within the finance field, as well as the opportunity to network with the panelists and ask questions.

The MSF curriculum provides intense study in finance, with supporting coursework in accounting. It is designed to help non-finance undergraduates launch a finance-related career. The 36-credit-hour curriculum begins in August with a mini-mester (MSF Boot Camp) and ends the next May. Twenty-four credit hours of required courses are completed during the fall and spring semesters, and includes a six-hour practicum spread over the August Boot Camp and fall semester.

The panel event was moderated by Len Cannon, a news anchor for KHOU Houston Channel 11 News. Cannon co-anchors the 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts and has a popular segment called “Len at Work.” He has won Emmys and the prestigious Columbia University Dupont Award for his work in reporting.

The panel included:

  • Executive Professor of the Mays MBA Programs Lemar Brown, who told the students to “Set goals, lay out a plan, and work the plan”
  • Executive Professor and Director of Real Estate Programs Cydney C. Donnell, whose advice was to “make opportunities happen by planning to be in the right place at the right time”
  • Executive Director of the Commercial Banking Program Dwight Garey, who suggested that “a strong work ethic outweighs talent, intelligence, and is a requirement for success”
  • Executive Professor of Accounting K. Sue Redman, who quoted Amelia Earhart in telling the students to “build and use runways”
  • Executive Professor of Finance Ed White, who encouraged the students to “be curious, add value, and have fun”

Students gained insights and key takeaways such as how to weigh job opportunity versus job salary, steps to networking, and how to impress people in your workplace. The panelists finished the session with advice like “don’t make the salary the reason you take a job,” “Networking never stops,” and “people will embrace you if you show a passion to grow and improve.”