Analytics professionals and industry leaders gathered at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School at Houston CityCentre to present real-world uses of analytics to strengthen organizations’ operations. This year featured a diverse group of organizations such as organ procurement/transplantation, federal government, and oil & gas.

“Organizations accumulate data by the second. In the age of digital transformation, companies need the power of analytics to improve their competitive advantage and operations. They need to consistently utilize data to drive better business decisions.” said Myra Gonzalez, MS Analytics Program Director. This annual event provides a venue for people in the Houston business community, faculty, staff, and students to gather to discuss analytics and share best practices.

The need for data scientists and analysts was further remarked by Jenna Whitmire, Vice President, Data, Tools & Advanced Analytics at AT&T and a Texas A&M Class of 2005 graduate. During her keynote address, she shared that as a leader of 500+ data engineers, analysts, modelers and developers, the need for people with data analytics skills has never been greater than today, and there’s never been more investment in data and AI. In addition to a strong statistics foundation and coding, Whitmire emphasized that expertise in communications and partnering with business leaders is critical to success. “If you are a student in this program, then you will have the opportunity to make scaled impact with your skills. You will influence outcomes for customers and businesses, but it takes ingenuity, courage, and tenacity in addition to great analytics skills.”

Presentations were made by current and former students of the Master of Science in Analytics program. Bilal Zuberi currently serves as the Head of Business Systems for SLB where he is tasked with accelerating digital transformation and enterprise software solutions for the Production Systems division. His presentation was on how to accelerate tendering capacity and improve the “engineer-to-order” quotation process using neural network models. Other industries also saw the need to improve operations through analytics. Master of Science in Analytics Class of 2023 student, Jonathan Hewlett, felt his organization would benefit from process improvements and knew the data they collected was the answer. He built Machine Learning prediction models to study geographically based organ donation. This helped his organization to increase potential transplants and increase the number of lifesaving organs available for transplant.

Our final presentation was conducted by Master of Science in Analytics Class of 2023 student Victor Frausto, who serves as a Program Analyst for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He wants to help the agency with data-driven decisions to assist investigations and operations along the southwest border. His approach analyzes National Seizure System data to identify trends or patterns to disrupt the flow of dangerous drugs.  Better decision-making also helps his organization improve the allocation of resources and workforce.

“We enjoy providing a forum to foster discussion about data and analytics challenges that companies face and share ideas for Houston-area businesses to stay ahead of the game,” said Gonzalez. “We can’t wait for next year’s event!”


Presentation slides and more information can be found at

The free event was hosted by Texas A&M University’s MS (Master of Science) Analytics Program, which offers a business analytics master’s degree available in Houston and across North America via live video stream to teach working professionals the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly data-driven world. For program information, please contact Javier Aldape, Associate Director: or 979-845-2149

Categories: Analytics

For more than ten years, Mays Business School has been coaching and guiding Aggies through the unique world of mergers and acquisitions through the innovative high-caliber class, “Dealmakers in Mergers and Acquisitions.” The class, the students, the faculty, and the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) sponsors work together to showcase Mays Business School to the business world, and how Mays graduates are helping to lead the future of developing transaction professionals.

Dealmakers in M&A is the next step in innovative learning, both at Mays and in the country. Active real-word M&A professionals from leading private equity firms, credit firms and corporations around the nation lead students in team competitions, class lectures and discussions, and case studies on real-world deals. Dealmakers encourage students to be creative and authentic in their thinking and performance, learning to deal with ambiguity and take risks so that they hit the ground running when they land in the post-graduate world. Not only do students get to work on real transactions, but they are also able to work in a diverse, cross-functional team of undergraduate, Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) and graduate students to meet their learning goals.

Dealmakers is not just another class or curriculum requirement. Selected students must weather an extensive application process to demonstrate their ambition, ability, and interest in M&A. Each Fall, Dealmakers invites 30-35 high-performing Mays undergraduate and graduate students with a particular interest in investment banking, private equity, corporate M&A, transaction consulting or other M&A and transaction-related professional services to step outside their comfort zone and stretch themselves intellectually and interpersonally. The purposeful inclusion of diverse student backgrounds, work experiences and academic majors drawn from across Mays ensures the uniqueness and real-world perspective of the class while forming the next generation of M&A professionals.

This class and these students are unlike any other business-related class in the country. So, what makes the class special? Drew Koecher ‘88, the class’ founder and Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey, stated that “We teach the students to work with ambiguity, uncertainty and real-world M&A conditions; we translate academics to application through the lens of the nation’s leading M&A practitioners– that’s what we do.” Encouraging the students to think outside of the classroom by placing them in a competitive, high-intensity transaction world where there is market inefficiency and things move at deal speed allows them to reach further and prepares them for what to expect in their future careers.

Dealmakers specialize in authenticity; each group of students brings something new to the table each Fall semester, and each guest M&A professional has a different story to tell and case to share, with a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience. William Davenport ‘93, the CFO of Topgolf, is a returning speaker to this classroom, bringing the company’s closed cases for students to practice on and think beyond the boundaries of a classroom. After all, the students are what make the class different. As Davenport described, “They all just seem to have high integrity. They all work hard, and this class requires them to work very quickly. And as a group, they all support and learn from each other.” With an unparalleled student-caliber class drawn from across Mays, Dealmakers like William continue to set Mays students up for success in the professional world of M&A.

Students walk out of this classroom prepared, excited, and eager to start a career in M&A – the vast majority landing in marquee investment banks and M&A advisory firms. Along with Houlihan Lokey as a participating firm and the leading employer of Dealmakers graduates, global investment firms and companies such as Stone Point Capital, The Sterling Group, Fortress, Audax, HollyFrontier, EQT, Partners Group, Dynegy, and many more, are involved in helping students prepare for and navigate the professional M&A world. Mays 2018 graduate, Courtney Nutting, jumped into M&A directly after graduation and is grateful for what Dealmakers taught her. She expressed that, “The Dealmakers class can give you as much as you put into it, and from my experience, it has given me the most out of any other “High-Impact Program” in Mays. Following Dealmakers, I was able to leverage my experiences from the course in interviews, which ultimately landed me a full-time job at a Private Equity shop in Denver.” Dealmakers put in the work for their students, and they return the favor to make Mays and Texas A&M more proud than ever. Courtney has continued the circle of learning as she is repeat Dealmaker case presenter and champion of Mays students in the private equity community.

Dealmakers is leading the next generation of M&A professionals, setting itself apart from other business-led classes around the country and with it, is driving Mays to the forefront of market-based progressive learning. Sean Murphy ’96, the class’ co-founder and a Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey tells each class at the outset, “This will be the most challenging course you take at Texas A&M, but the personal growth you earn and the real-world experience you gain repays your efforts exponentially.”

To apply to become a Dealmakers student or to find more information about the program, please visit

Categories: Accounting