The first step is the hardest

If you have ever asked a 6-year-old what they want to be when they grow up, you know that there are few things that dissuade them from their dreams. In their mind, the possibilities are endless. However, at some point in their journey of becoming, they’re told there’s a step that has to be made, a benchmark to be accomplished, a kink in the plan. Often, higher education can feel like that. When I finish all my research, then I can genuinely make a difference… If I could get one more certification, then I can prove I’m a world-changer… Once I have my degree, I can really do something… Jim Kolari’s Finance 462 “Live Bank Case” students are already changing the world for a bank in Hondo, Texas.

Humble beginnings

Community National Bank (CNB) has found itself between a rock and a hard place. A mostly rural town, Hondo has been watching the Texas giant, San Antonio, slowly encroach on their city limits. CNB board member, Bill Freed said, “Our community is changing, and if there is anything I’m interested in seeing in the overall growth product, it’s what can help us define our community and what happens when a community changes so rapidly.” Freed likened the Hondo/San Antonio growth to that of Sugarland to Houston and McKinney to Dallas. “They were their own well-defined communities for years, then the sprawl of the metropolis comes in and not only encroaches but actually acts like a tsunami and washes over the area,” Freed explained.

For a once small-town bank like CNB, the imminent danger of large-city encroachment with big bank players like Frost and Wells Fargo could be detrimental to the local bank. CNB was started with a group of businessmen who formed a small-town community financial institution and obtained their charter in 1980. CNB Chairman of the Board, Tom Rothe, said, “The bank opened in 1981 with $1.6 million. That sounds like nothing now: you can’t get a bank off the ground without $10 or $15 million capitalization, but then that was a lot of money.”

Banking in the real world

And Kolari’s students know that. The 41 commercial banking students who took the field trip to the bank are either graduating seniors or graduate students and have taken multiple banking classes, completed internships, and are all about to enter into the real world of banking. Kolari said, “This (live bank case) is ideal for us. This portion of the program is focused on community banking. They get to get in here and find out real problems that community banks are having in the U.S. and Texas, and they’re happening all over, with small, community banks being challenged by the growth that they have in their communities, and also the survival, against bigger banks.”

This Live Bank Case is the first that Kolari has executed in his 40 years at Texas A&M, and Kolari could not have predicted the outcome. For the study, the students were broken into small groups to come up with solutions to maintaining business, while creating new customers and establishing a sustainable strategy. “I was flabbergasted,” Kolari said. “I had a front-row seat to the Aggie Spirit at work. [The students] took this project to heart – it wasn’t just a grade to them. They sought counsel from industry professionals, drew on experience from past internships and jobs, and even looked into the fine details (like finding the coordinates of the busiest intersection and calculating the cost of a billboard installation) to create actionable plans.”

Kolari mentioned, “I can tell you that 99% of schools don’t have a banking class in their college of business. We’re a very rare program; we have a little over 100 students, graduate and undergraduate.”

CNB executives saw the effort and knew that the Commercial Banking Program students would deliver, so they traveled from Hondo to College Station to hear the students’ presentations.

“We had not been able to share the presentations with all of our board members before the May board meeting, but now we have all seen the presentations and it is on our agenda to discuss at the June meeting,” Rothe explained when talking about the solutions they were presented. “[Other board members] and I have been discussing many of the ideas presented and have been scouting locations and opportunities for growing our brand using the input received.”

High impact learning yields high impact results

At Mays, it is common to hear that we are committed to providing high-impact learning experiences. That means we commit to educational experiences that deepen learning and foster student engagement. Rather than simply listening to a lecture, learning by rote, and taking an exam, Mays students are given the opportunity to actively pose and solve problems, work collaboratively in a community of peers, experience real-world applications of knowledge, and reflect on their learning processes. Through these high-impact learning experiences, Mays students change the world, a degree in hand or not.

Categories: Finance, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Three driven Mays Business School undergraduates will be interning with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center this upcoming summer. In their internship, they will apply their education in complex revenue cycle operations and health care administration with the primary goal to define, measure, analyze, and improve revenue cycle processes. This unique opportunity is available to Mays undergraduate students as a result of Mays’ recent partnership with MD Anderson. This strategic partnership seeks to develop transformational leaders in the rapidly expanding health care industry.

Prause aspires to make strategic decisions in healthcare

Grace Prause is an accounting major from Beaumont, TX, and is eager to learn more about revenue cycle analytics in the health care industry. Prause’s interest in the health care industry stems from the fact that her father is a pediatrician, and he instilled in her the desire to find a career that improves people’s lives. She has a passion for hard work and dedication and desires to use her drive to make a difference in the field of healthcare administration.

“Healthcare administration interests me for the fact that it is so expansive and requires a lot of teamwork and coordination,” said Prause. “All departments of the hospital need to be in constant communication to not only ensure all the finances are correct, but to fulfill the bigger picture of keeping the hospital a well-respected institution by having continued top patient care.”

As for her accounting degree from Mays Business School, Prause believes that accounting is the “true language of business.” She knows that all companies, including MD Anderson, must have a thorough understanding of their finances in order to be successful. Prause is confident that her accounting degree will help her make strategic decisions that advance MD Anderson’s mission of “Making Cancer History”.

Cullinane’s ultimate goal is to run his own hospital

Daniel Cullinane is a business honors and management major from Dallas, and looks forward to understanding the factors that set MD Anderson apart from other leading cancer centers. Cullinane had an interest in the health care industry as an incoming freshman at Mays, as he was also pursuing pre-medical studies. He also believes that Mays has helped equip him with the necessary tools for success in his upcoming internship.

“Mays has also launched new initiatives focusing on the business side of medicine and started a club called the Mays Medical Guild, which helps PreMedicine/PreDental business students through their classes and applications for post-undergraduate school,” said Cullinane. “Mays also has so many fantastic professors who encourage, inspire, and assist students daily.”

Cullinane’s ultimate goal is to one day run his own hospital. He plans to use his experiences with working in teams from various classes to better understand how healthcare could be made more accessible for all.

Johnson will use big data to create healthcare solutions

Sydney Johnson is a marketing major with an economics minor from Houston. Johnson’s interest in a career in the health care industry is tied to her fascination with data and understanding the reasoning behind numbers. Johnson believes that big data is the key to narrowing down and learning where outbreaks occur, who is being affected, +and efficiently finding solutions to problems. She aspires to use her analytical mindset to tackle cancer as an intern for MD Anderson.

“Cancer affects everyone in some fashion, whether it is themselves who is affected, a parent, loved one or friend,” said Johnson. “I want to use my abilities in data analysis to help with the fight against cancer in any way possible.”

Johnson also explained that Mays Business School allowed her the opportunity to study abroad in Italy this spring at Bocconi University, where she is taking a big data in business analytics class. This course has helped her to further understand big data collection and how it can be used to create solutions for businesses.

Partnership bonds make this fledgling program successful

Sorin Sorescu, the Head of the Department of Finance at Mays Business School, played an integral role in creating the partnership between Mays and MD Anderson.

“The Educational Experience Program is a high-impact internship that will reshape how our students advance the world’s prosperity, our vision at Mays Business School,” said Sorescu. “We have been discussing the right fit and right time with leaders at MD Anderson for several months, and I am thrilled this program is coming to fruition with the incredible individuals at this great organization.”

Categories: Accounting, Finance, Health Care, Mays Business, Students, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are launching a program to develop transformational leaders in the ever-important health care industry.

Undergraduate Mays students, particularly finance majors, will apply their education in complex revenue cycle operations and health care administration with the primary goal to define, measure, analyze and improve revenue cycle processes in a three-month rotation.

Students will gain exposure to Revenue Cycle Analytics and Business Analytics Departments, including but not limited to the Division of Finance; Financial Clearance Center; Patient Access; Patient Business Services; Health Information management; Revenue Capture and Coding; Treasury Services and Operations; Managed Care; and Clinical Revenue and Reimbursement.

“The Educational Experience Program is a high-impact internship that will reshape how our students advance the world’s prosperity, our vision at Mays Business School,” said the Head of the Department of Finance, Sorin Sorescu. “We have been discussing the right fit and right time with leaders at MD Anderson for several months, and I am thrilled this program is coming to fruition with the incredible individuals at this great organization.”

“We’re excited to partner with Mays Business School in a program that will create a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Connor Burdine, executive director, Revenue Cycle Analytics for MD Anderson. “We know the talented students from Texas A&M will bring diverse perspectives, and we will be able to utilize the work ethic and intellect of these students to help solve business challenges faced by the broader health care industry.”

The Mays – MD Anderson Educational Experience Program is open to sophomore and junior undergraduate majors at Texas A&M University, with a preference for finance majors. Application information is available through Brandy Tuck in the Department of Finance (btuck@mays.tamu.edu), and the first class will intern in summer 2019.

Categories: Featured Stories, Finance, Health Care, Mays Business, News, Programs, Research, Students, Texas A&M

Philippe Hercot, Executive Professor of Finance and Director of Aggies on Wall Street at Mays Business School, received the Aggies Celebrate Teaching! – Recognizing Transformational Learning’s Teaching Excellence Award on March 21.

Each year, the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University welcomes nominations for this award from all current undergraduate and graduate students in College Station, Galveston, Qatar, Health Science Center, School of Law, and College of Dentistry. Students write 1,000- to 1,500-word essays giving evidence of and reflecting upon the professor’s impact on their lives. The criteria included challenging students to think in new ways, inspiring students to learn more deeply, supporting learning through transformation of educational experiences, and impact on students. Out of the numerous nominations submitted by a wide range of students, only six were selected for this prestigious award.

Hercot is the first recipient from Mays Business School.

…Read more

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Round Rock High School graduate, finance junior Mikey Jaillet

Mikey Jaillet, a junior finance major at Mays Business School, was elected the Texas A&M Student Body President in the Spring 2019 elections. This is the second consecutive year that a Mays student has been elected to serve as Texas A&M’s Student Body President, as management major Amy Sharp was elected in the Spring 2018 election.

Jaillet’s victory was announced on Feb. 22, when Election Commissioner Mary Franklin announced the election results in the Memorial Student Center Flag Room. The results of the Spring 2019 elections were also released to vote.tamu.edu after Franklin’s announcement.

Jaillet said his experiences at Mays Business School significantly impacted his decision to run for Student Body President and shaped his campaign strategy.

“I think one of the biggest things I have learned at Mays is that you first have to be able to motivate yourself,” he said. “Mays does a great job of giving you the tools to be successful, but you have to be able to step up. Mays has really helped me in initiating the ability to take the first step to get things done.”

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Categories: Finance, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Mays students are often defined by passion and perseverance, and these two graduates are no different. They are both advancing the world’s prosperity and reflecting the Aggie core values through their commitment to serving others and developing themselves. …Read more

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Management, Mays Business, News, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Healthcare: it’s more than just an annual check-up with your doctor. At the Healthcare Careers Forum hosted by Mays Business School on Sept. 25, leaders and innovators in the healthcare industry spoke on the abundance of opportunities within this constantly changing industry. 

Leonard Berry, University Distinguished Professor and Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence, hosted and organized the event. He opened it by providing an overview of the Mays’ Grand Challenge of healthcare. The acclaimed researcher and author of Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic explained how Mays is committed to advancing the world’s prosperity by enhancing human health.

J.R. Thomas, Founder and Co-Managing Principal of Thomas Marshall Group, talked about lessons he learned in healthcare and why one should choose a career in healthcare. He said healthcare is the best industry for you and your family and to always remember that passion and hard work will provide invaluable experience. …Read more

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Health Care, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Bruce D. Broussard ’84 has been selected as a laureate of the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award. The president and CEO of Humana – an accounting and finance graduate from Texas A&M University – accepted the award at the Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner in New York on Dec. 12. His fellow laureates are President Barack Obama, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav. Robert Kennedy’s daughter Kerry Kennedy presented the awards.

The Ripple of Hope Award Award celebrates influential leaders from all communities who are committed to social change, equality, justice, and basic human rights. Past laureates include President Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bono, George Clooney, and Vice President Al Gore.

“I’m honored to receive the Ripple of Hope Award,” said Broussard in an article from GlobeNewswire. “Robert F. Kennedy inspired our nation to rededicate itself to social and economic justice for all Americans, and that critical work continues today.”

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Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Finance, Former Students, Health Care, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

The master’s in accounting program at Mays Business School ranked #1 in North America for the first time in the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking Financial Markets – a ranking of the best master’s and MBA programs.

Eduniversal classifies and highlights masters and MBA programs which prepare and graduate the most competent students into the global workforce by surveying current graduating students and recruiters. Their methodology takes into account the reputation of the program, the salary of the employed graduates, and the graduates’ satisfaction with the program. …Read more

Categories: Accounting, Departments, Featured Stories, Finance, Management, Marketing, Mays Business, MBA, MS Business, News, Programs, Rankings, Spotlights, Texas A&M

The Texas A&M Foundation recognized Cydney Donnell, executive professor of finance and director of real estate programs in Mays Business School, as the 2018 Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award recipient for her continued efforts to support and fundraise for the Texas A&M University Master of Real Estate program. Donnell received the award at a reception on April 27.

Cydney Donnell

Cydney Donnell ’81, executive professor of finance and director of real estate programs, was named the 2018 recipient of the Texas A&M Foundation’s Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award for her commitment and generosity to Mays Business School.

The Foundation established the Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award in 2016 to celebrate faculty members who demonstrate dedicated and lasting participation, commitment and creative leadership to philanthropy and Texas A&M University. This accolade acknowledges faculty efforts to build long-term productive relationships between the university, former students and other private partners in philanthropy.

To be selected, faculty must be nominated by a member of the Texas A&M Foundation development staff. Brian Bishop ’91, Texas A&M Foundation assistant vice president for development for Mays Business School, nominated Donnell for the award.

“Cydney is such a treasured asset to Mays Business School,” said Bishop. “Not only is she a tremendous leader of our Master of Real Estate program, but she is also willing to step up and contribute significant financial support to the program for the betterment of our students’ education and the future of the program.”

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Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M