Mays Business School at Texas A&M University celebrated the unveiling of the Accenture Business Honors Office Suite with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 23, 2021. The event was attended by Mays Business Honors students, Mays leaders, faculty, and staff as well as Accenture team members.
The Accenture Business Honors Office Suite’s renovation creates an inviting and colorful space where faculty, staff, and students meet. The office suite features a wall display depicting the history of the nation’s higher education honors’ programs, which started in the early 1900s. “We love our office space,” said Kris Morley, director of Mays Business Honors Program. “I literally walk in every morning and smile. It’s bright and colorful, and we get to work with great people.
The renovated office suite, which was funded through a gift from Accenture in 2019, underscores the strong partnership between Mays and Accenture. “A corporate partner means that the organization—Accenture, in this case—is very supportive of our vision, mission, and values. There’s strong commonality between our six Aggie Core Values and those of Accenture,” said Mays Interim Dean R. Duane Ireland. “There’s also alignment between our vision to advance the world’s prosperity and what Accenture seeks to do through its work as an organization in the private sector. We’d like to thank Accenture for being a great, great corporate partner.”
These shared values strengthen the partnership. “Texas A&M’s Core Values are very similar (to Accenture’s),” said Blake Pounds ’89, Accenture’s senior client account director. “I think that’s what really makes Accenture and Texas A&M such a good cultural fit.”
The creation of the Accenture Business Honors Office Suite is a natural extension of the company’s ongoing collaboration with Mays Business Honors Program, which began in 2015. “Accenture started funding our summer reading program and bought books for all of the students in our program,” Morley said. “But they didn’t just buy books; they came every fall and joined in the book discussions.”
This collaboration—which continues to involve the investment of Accenture’s time, talent, and treasure in Mays Business Honors students and offerings—is growing. The company also is involved in the Mays Leaders Forum, case competitions, and presentations such as a 2019 Design Thinking workshop.
Expanding Accenture’s Influence
The company continues to look for new ways to support Mays’ efforts, including funding scholarships and offering internships. Most recently, Accenture created an endowment that underwrites Mays Inclusive Student Leadership Program’s activities. As part of this effort, four Accenture team members were the featured presenters at the August kickoff workshop attended by over 50 Mays student leaders. “Our student leaders are provided with opportunities to learn how to lead in an inclusive manner,” Ireland said. “All of us are very dedicated to the importance of diversity, inclusion and engagement, but this generous gift gives us an opportunity to provide superior learning experiences for our student leaders and make certain that everything we do within organizations is, in fact, oriented to diversity, inclusion and engagement.”
These various efforts give Accenture leaders an opportunity to interact with and recruit top Mays’ students. “We love hiring Aggies who come out of the Business Honors program because they hit the ground running,” said Pounds, a member of one of Mays Business Honors’ initial cohorts and a recipient of Mays Business School’s 2020 Outstanding Alumnus Award. “They have leadership skills, poise, and confidence. They know how to analytically solve problems and challenges that our clients are facing. They thrive in our organization.”
The partnership also prepares Mays’ students for success following graduation. “I’m such a huge proponent of the things that Mays and Business Honors do for their students,” said Landry Strawbridge ’22, who works in the Business Honors office, interned with Accenture, and plans to join the company after graduation. “I appreciate the way the Honors Program Staff engages with us and wants to get to know us for who we are and help us find out who we want to be. Accenture has the same approach—and Mays equipped me to succeed in my internship and beyond.”