Finance | Mays Impacts

Joseph Escobar ’22 stays busy between being a student managing partner for The Reveille Fund, starting his own small business, leading the Aggie Investment Club, and recently appearing on Mays Mastercast.

Growing up in El Paso, Escobar turned his attention to investing when his high school economics teacher decided to take some liberties with his curriculum. After running through the basics of macroeconomics for a month, Escobar’s teacher switched to financial literacy.

“My teacher said: I’m going to teach you how to file a tax return, how to make a stock portfolio, how to balance a budget with an annual income, and how to figure out what the cost of college is going to be,” said Escobar. “That gave me a whole lot of insight.”

Growing Interests

As his interest in investing grew and high school came to a close, a meeting with a Mays Business School recruiter turned into a visit to campus, and through the contributions of donors and the support of scholarships, Escobar soon found himself at Mays Business School.

“When someone comes over here from El Paso, it’s mesmerizing how many more opportunities there are,” said Escobar. “I was able to get hands-on experience from very successful alumni and faculty so soon.”

A few years down the road, Escobar is a stand-out student in the Adam C. Sinn ’00 Department of Finance, already differentiating himself from his peers through involvement in several clubs and his passion for the “fast-paced, highly competitive” elements of investment banking. Through stock-pitch competitions organized by the Aggie Investment Club and a trip through Aggies on Wall Street, Escobar would connect with Britt Harris ’80, chief investment officer of the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). When The Aggie Investment Club was struggling to set up a student-run investment fund on their own, they reached out to Harris.

“He’s been one of the most influential people I’ve listened to and learned from,” said Escobar. “He just has an extremely deep amount of knowledge to share.”

Harris expanded the vision for what would become The Reveille Fund, interlocking it with a class at Mays Business School, allowing more students to have hands-on investing experience. While Escobar and the other officers of the Aggie Investment Club originally aimed for $100,000 to be set aside for the fund, Harris and UTIMCO allotted $7.5 million in January 2021.

“It was definitely an amalgamation of anxiety, of wanting to know what the future held during the first month. I still have anxiety, you know, how the fund will do week to week, month to month and that’s I think that’s a good thing,” said Escobar. “When I got to the moment where I’d had that first class, I just felt I had this big duty and responsibility on my shoulders.”

As the fund finishes its first year, Escobar and many other students have found the growth they experienced extremely rewarding. By the fall of 2021, The Reveille Fund had passed 9 million in assets under management.

“It’s like when you see NFL athletes crying when they win the Super Bowl,” said Escobar. “All that hard work, all that dedication, all of it was worth it in the end.”

Investing in his education and his future

Escobar attributes his success in his role within the fund and the Aggie Investment Club to the valuable mentorship he has received from Harris, as well as Mays Business School faculty members Dr. Sorin Sorescu, Dr. Christa Bouwman, Brent Adams, and William Jene Tebeaux and the support of Former Students, particularly Bryan Farney ’06.

“They’re so loyal to Texas A&M and so dedicated to educating students on real investing and how real investment managers make money in the market,” said Escobar. “They’re very helpful in going from all this theoretical talk and debate to action items.”

Although he felt the pull to go to New York City, Escobar turned down multiple offers in Manhattan and will be working for the Jefferies group in their energy investment banking practice in Houston.

“I wanted to be working with good people and I got the impression I would be when I interviewed with Jefferies. I’ve seen it myself that Aggies end up in New York or end up in San Francisco,” said Escobar. “But I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and I’m happy I chose to stay.”

Escobar will graduate in May but is excited to keep in touch with Mays and give back when he can.

“I just say to myself: How could I raise or help contribute to the prestige of Mays? Mays Business School, in terms of its national rankings, is so appealing to undergrad students that want a competitive, exciting career. Hopefully, one day I can be in a place where I can donate back and hopefully mentor as many students as I can.”

 

Categories: Finance

A $20 million gift from Adam C. Sinn ’00 will support students and programs in Mays Business School’s Department of Finance.

A $10 million gift—and a pledge for an additional $10 million—from Adam C. Sinn ’00, a commodities trader and owner of Aspire Commodities, will help Mays Business School’s Department of Finance enhance the quality of education it provides and offer financial support to undergraduate and graduate students.

“I applaud Mr. Sinn’s willingness to invest in our university,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, president of Texas A&M University. “Contributions such as these not only help elevate the department but provide a brighter future to our students for generations to come. We appreciate his support of our mission.”

In recognition of Sinn’s $10 million gift through the Texas A&M Foundation, the department has been renamed the Adam C. Sinn ’00 Department of Finance. This is the second named department at Mays, following the naming of the James Benjamin Department of Accounting in 2017.

“On behalf of Mays Business School, I want to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Mr. Sinn for his extremely generous support,” said Dr. Duane Ireland, interim dean. “Through Mr. Sinn’s gift, we will have opportunities to continuously increase the value of our students’ educational experiences. The type of support we are receiving from Mr. Sinn reflects the unique relationship between Mays Business School and Texas A&M University with former students.”

Sinn’s gift includes $7.5 million for undergraduate and graduate scholarships to assist finance students whose financial challenges might prevent them from attending college. The gift will support students from Sinn’s hometown in Hoopeston, Illinois, and nearby Cissna Park, Illinois, as well as those from Dorado, Puerto Rico, where he maintains a residence today.

If there is an insufficient number of eligible finance students from those regions, a portion of Sinn’s gift will benefit Aggies enrolled in Mays’ Trading, Risk and Investments Program (TRIP), which prepares participants in the fields of energy trading, investments and risk management by combining exceptional class instruction with hands-on, internship-based experience. Sinn’s gift will cover part of participants’ graduate fees as well as a portion of their undergraduate tuition.

“Considering that the cost of education is increasing for most graduate programs, this gift will allow us to provide a significant level of financial support to TRIP students across the program annually,” said Mays Reliant Trading Center Director Detlef Hallermann ’89, who serves as the TRIP director. “This is a monumental achievement.”

In addition to the current gift, Sinn pledged an additional $10 million gift to be funded over the next five years in support of student and faculty success initiatives in the department.

Continuing Success

Sinn’s gift offers the department’s latest indicator of success. “In our world of higher education, philanthropy is more than a fundraising tool; it is actually a metric of performance,” said Mays Executive Associate Dean Sorin Sorescu. “Named departments can be seen as a seal of approval from influential, successful individuals like Mr. Sinn, who has had tremendous career success and is encouraged by what he sees in our programs at Mays. We are so honored to have his support.”

The department’s undergraduate program ranked 34th nationally in 2021 by U.S. News and World Report. In 2021, Eduniversal Best Masters rated the department’s Master’s in Real Estate Management 3rd globally and the graduate portion of TRIP 15th globally. Also in 2021, the department’s Master of Science in Finance Program was ranked 10th among U.S. public programs by TFE Times.

Prospective student interest in the department’s programs is also increasing. More than 1,000 Aggies are enrolled in finance programs for the 2021-22 academic year, a 30% increase over the past five years.

The department prides itself on cross-campus interdisciplinary partnerships and high-impact programs that provide students with cutting-edge academic knowledge and industry best practices. Additionally, innovative opportunities such as Aggies on Wall Street and the Reveille Fund, a student-run investment fund, require students to apply their learning.

The remaining portion of Sinn’s gift will support the department’s efforts to recruit top faculty and create and expand these types of innovative programs. Funds may also support the Master of Science in Finance, career development offerings, educational travel opportunities, etiquette dinners, and training in personal skills. These offerings are designed to create well-rounded graduates who can make an immediate impact when they start their careers.

“When we can do more as a finance department, it’s not only our department and the students in Mays who win. Texas A&M also wins,” said Interim Department Head Christa Bouwman. “These interdisciplinary programs and partnerships are very valuable.”

Luck and Hard Work

 

Sinn grew up in Hoopeston, Illinois, which like many Midwestern small towns, particularly those not proximate to an interstate, had its share of successes and struggles in the 1980s and 1990s. The area’s economy primarily revolved around agriculture and particularly growing and canning corn and other products; Hoopeston is the Sweetcorn Capital of the World.

Minimum-wage jobs like one Sinn held at a hog farm during high school and good-paying blue-collar jobs in the local industries remained to a degree but became less available over time. However, Hoopeston maintained a strong Midwestern work ethic that influenced Sinn. That work ethic was bolstered greatly by his parents and grandparents, who he described as being part of “hard-working Middle America,” and his role models for hard work. Sinn’s father started a small business as an electrician and his mother performed office functions for the business. His parents saved ardently so they could provide some assistance to their sons if they chose to pursue college degrees.

Sinn was also fortunate that his local Rotary Club was a strong supporter of the Rotary Youth Exchange program. He studied abroad in Japan for a year through that program, which was instrumental in him learning to be open to new experiences and places.

After consideration, Sinn set his sights on Southern Methodist University, which offered degrees in international business and Japanese, and qualified for numerous scholarships, which paid for his entire education there.

However, he soon realized that he didn’t feel at home at SMU. Several of his college friends transferred, including one who enrolled in Texas A&M—and Sinn quickly followed. “Texas A&M was exactly what I was looking for. I liked the culture and the camaraderie,” he said. “It was an easy place to flourish, and I liked the college town environment.”

But he also discovered Texas A&M was harder academically, and he found himself in the mid-tier of students scholastically. He said, “I decided that if I couldn’t get the grades, I would beef up my resume. I had three internships, was involved in several organizations, and held jobs while I was a student.”

His penchant for hard work paid off. After initially being declined for an internship with Dell, Sinn offered to work for free. Impressed, the company representative invited him to reapply. He did when another opportunity arose—and was quickly offered a job when the interviewers realized that the Aggie knew more about the company than they did.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2001, Sinn wanted to pursue a career in trading, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who bought and sold livestock in the small livestock business founded by his great-grandfather and sons. However, it took him a while to find his niche. He briefly worked in accounting and finance jobs before he was in the right place at the right time—without a job when Lehman Brothers folded—to step into energy trading. “People sometimes end up in a spot due to sudden life circumstances,” said Sinn, who now operates one of the largest speculative trading firms in the commodity market. “It’s what you do with that situation that can determine the course of your future and whether you reach the next level.”

Sinn has embraced Texas A&M’s core values during his career. Now, his selfless service through creating this endowment will help middle-tier students avoid taking on student loan debt. “I want others to not have a financial burden so they can attend the best university on the planet,” he said, adding that these scholarships will also help position finance students to be successful in their lives after college. “I hope to lay the foundation so that at some point in time, these students can bet on themselves like I was able to do when they need to. The person who is financially burdened by rising educational costs may be unable to take that shot.”

Mays faculty, staff and students appreciate Sinn’s commitment to selfless service as he opens doors for the next generation of Aggies. “He wants to give people an opportunity,” Hallermann said. “He’s got an unbelievable talent for trading power and electricity, but when he looks around, his focus is always, ‘How do I help people get to where they need to be?’”

About Mays Business School

At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research.

About the Texas A&M Foundation

The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time. To learn more, visit txamfoundation.com.

Categories: Alumni, Departments, Donors Corner, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Finance, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Selfless service, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University’s MS Finance program was ranked #2 in the nation in a new analysis of student debt and median earnings by The Wall Street Journal. This ranking was published July 15, 2021.

This recognition highlights the program’s track record of providing an exceptional and affordable education that prepares students for high-earning jobs. “Debt-to-median earnings combines two things that students care about – program quality and program cost. An important assessment of program quality is earnings upon graduation. If the program is expensive, a student may have to borrow a lot,” said Dr. Christa Bouwman, acting head of Mays Business School’s Department of Finance. “A program with a low debt-to-earnings ratio is one that is inexpensive relative to what the student will earn upon graduation.”

To develop these rankings, The Wall Street Journal used 2015-16 data about student debt and graduate median earnings from 40 universities that offer master’s degree programs in finance and financial management.

Texas A&M’s MS-Finance program had a debt-to-median earnings ratio of 0.28, which was lower than every institution except for the University of Pennsylvania (0.2). “Graduate programs are costly in terms of both money and foregone earnings,” said Professor Kevin Moore, director of Mays’ MS Finance program. “The debt-to-median earnings gives a quick way for students to assess which programs are delivering on their optimum investment of time and money.”

The median debt for Texas A&M’s MS-Finance graduates was $20,500, which tied with Goldey-Beacom College as the third lowest. Only two institutions had lower debt: Florida State University ($19,250) and the Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Cupey Campus ($19,086). In comparison,

Texas A&M’s MS-Finance graduates have median earnings of $72,448.

The Wall Street Journal ranking underscores the sound investment that students make by enrolling in Texas A&M’s MS-Finance program. Moore noted, “Our focus on return on investment permeates everything from the curriculum to the culture of the program. We only admit the best and brightest students, who are also committed to getting their money’s worth from the program.”

 

 

 

Categories: Finance

Company Makes Joint Investment to Texas McCombs and Texas A&M’s Mays Business School

The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) has agreed to invest $7.5 million to the Texas McCombs Longhorn Fund, now called Texas McCombs Investment Advisers LLC, and $7.5 million to The Reveille Fund at Texas A&M Mays Business School. The funds are actively managed domestic equity funds benchmarked to the S&P 500. Operated by business students, the funds enable the business schools to provide unique experiential learning opportunities, continued investment education, financial research, and practice for their students.

Created in 1996, UTIMCO is the first external investment corporation formed by a public university system and manages investments for The University of Texas and Texas A&M Systems.

“UTIMCO is excited to support the student investment funds at the McCombs and Mays business schools and help give top students the opportunity to learn in a controlled and mentor-led setting and to receive exposure to real-world investment management processes,” says Britt Harris, UTIMCO president and CEO.

In addition to the financial investment, UTIMCO plans to strengthen its active involvement with both schools. Its leadership team will meet regularly with students to review portfolios, discuss performance, and comment on market conditions. UTIMCO will also facilitate meetings with the top external investment managers in the country.

“It is exciting that the discussions that President Jay Hartzell initiated more than one year ago have been fruitful,” says Clemens Siam, professor of finance and director of the AIM Investment Center at McCombs. “This collaboration with UTIMCO will ensure that this path-breaking program that was founded by Keith Brown and George Gau more than 25 years ago will continue to enhance the educational experience of our MBA students.”

“I am thrilled that UTIMCO offered this opportunity to Mays Business School last year, and I am really grateful to Sorin Sorescu, our Interim Executive Associate Dean, for working tirelessly (with input and help from many people) to make this a reality,” says Christa Bouwman, associate professor and acting head of the Department of Finance at Mays Business School. “We already offer a high-impact Aggies on Wall Street program focusing on investment banking. We can now give our students a top-notch Reveille Investment Management Program as well. The Reveille Fund is currently run by my colleagues Hagen Kim and Jene Tebeaux, and we’re delighted to have Brent (B.R.) Adams join as Program Director, bringing over 30 years of hedge fund experience to guide our students.”

Texas McCombs Investment Advisers LLC will initially manage $7.5 million in its Longhorn Portfolio and $7.0 million in its Endowment Portfolio. The Endowment Portfolio manages assets for the AIM Investment Center, the Business School Foundation, and several scholarships.

The Reveille Fund at Texas A&M University will complement The Tanner Fund, which started in 2000 with a $250,000 gift from Jamey and Richard Tanner, ’53. The fund has grown over the past two decades and currently has around $920,000 in portfolio. It has been a student-run portfolio under Jene Tebeaux’ leadership for the entire duration.

About the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin

Texas McCombs is a premier business school at a world-class public research university. We are a community that fosters lifelong engagement with our students and alumni. We cultivate principled leaders and develop ideas that will advance our economy, improve lives, strengthen our communities, and create new knowledge for future generations. Through high-quality instruction, experiential learning, and the pursuit of relevant, groundbreaking research, we are shaping those who will shape tomorrow and solve our most challenging problems.

About Mays Business School at Texas A&M University

At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research.

Categories: Departments, Donors Corner, Finance, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

In gratitude for the dedication and leadership of Mr. Bruce D. Upshaw, retired Sr. Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer and current member of the Merichem Board of Directors, Merichem Company endowed a scholarship in Accounting and Finance at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School. Mr. Upshaw has served Merichem since 1981 and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration – Finance.

“Leaders like Bruce are the reason why Merichem has delivered innovative solutions to customers for over three-quarters of a century. Our vision is scholarships like this one will enable more business leaders to rise up and I couldn’t think of a better place than Mays Business School for Bruce to select as the place to direct this investment,” shared Kendra Lee, Merichem Company Chairman & CEO.

Upshaw joined Merichem in 1981 after filling a variety of accounting and supervisory positions over eleven years with Shell Oil Company. He began his Merichem career as Accounting Manager, became Controller in 1985, and was elected Treasurer of Merichem Company in 1995.

In 1997 Upshaw was elected CFO of Merisol USA, the Texas Operating Company of Merisol, a Merichem-Sasol Joint Venture. In 1999 he rejoined Merichem and became CFO in 2002. Upshaw has served on Merichem’s board of directors since 2006.

“I was blessed to join an amazing organization and work with wonderful people in my career,” shared Bruce Upshaw. “I’m thrilled Merichem has this program in place and we, together, contribute to fostering the next generation of leaders.”

Bruce demonstrates his continuing passion for Texas A&M through support for The Texas A&M Foundation, The 12th Man Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the Aggie Band, Parson’s Mounted Cavalry and the Yell Leaders.

“The faculty and students at Mays Business School are grateful for the generosity of Merichem Company and Bruce Upshaw,” shared Eli Jones, Dean of Mays Business School. “Scholarships allow students an opportunity to experience all that Texas A&M has to offer and to fulfill our vision at Mays to advance the world’s prosperity. We are developing transformational leaders and support from individuals and organizations are how we raise up equipped and experienced talent.”

The Bruce D. Upshaw ’70 Endowed Scholarship in Accounting and Finance was established at Texas A&M University on August 21, 2020 for the benefit of Mays School of Business. Merichem Company of Houston, Texas provided the gift funds and the endowment honors Mr. Upshaw of Hays County, Texas.

About Merichem Company

Founded in 1945, Merichem Company serves the global oil and gas and petrochemical industries as a leader in full-service sulfur removal, caustic treating and spent caustic treatment technologies. Merichem also provides safe and reliable spent caustic handling services through beneficial reuse and recycling of spent caustics, turning would-be waste into valuable and viable commodities.

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Finance, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Thanks to the generous support of the Texas Bankers Association, Dwight Garey ’67 has been named the Texas Bankers Foundation Executive Professorship in Commercial Banking at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. Garey has led the Commercial Banking Program since 2016 and this endowed award speaks to the difference Garey brings to the Department of Finance within Mays.

Garey’s career in banking and financial services spans more than 40 years, with 27 years of his banking career in correspondent banking at First City Bank-Houston, and Amegy Bank in Houston. He managed Amegy Bank’s Correspondent Banking department from 2006 to 2016, a regional line of business for a three-state region. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in finance, then earned an MBA from the University of Houston Clear Lake.

He is also a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, where he was a director of the Alumni Board of Directors and was president of the Alumni Board 2012-2015.

“I am truly pleased with the appointment of Dwight to this important endowed professorship at Mays,” shared Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “This appointment, which I supported along with others in Mays Business School and the highest level of administration at Texas A&M, reflects Dwight’s continuing contributions that are bringing distinction to the Department of Finance and Mays Business School. Endowed professorships are a priority at Mays, established as part of our grassroots strategic planning process which began in 2016. Through these professorships, we are able to recruit and retain individuals who will advance the world’s prosperity, our vision at Mays.”

“We’re fortunate to have Dwight represent the Texas Bankers Association in this endowed professorship and know that it will be a resource within the Commercial Banking Program for developing transformational leaders, part of our mission at Mays,” shared Sorin Sorescu, Interim Executive Associate Dean at Mays Business School. “Banking is a relationship-driven business, and our college is thankful for the generous support the TBA has established to help us educate the next generation of bankers. All of us at Mays know that Dwight will continue performing in this high honor in order to serve our students and equip them to enter the banking industry fully prepared to bring the necessary hard and soft skills, along with the Aggie Core Values, every day.”

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About Texas Bankers Association

Founded in 1885, the Texas Bankers Association is a member-centric state organization based in Austin whose members represent the voice of the banking industry within the state and national halls of Austin and Washington, D.C. In addition, its members participate in discussions around financial and economic roundtables where community leaders ponder safety and soundness issues confronting the state and national economics.

About the Commercial Banking Program

The Commercial Banking Program at Mays is designed to equip students with the banking and finance skills needed for a career in banking. The program prepares students to serve the personnel needs of banking organizations in Texas and the United States. The students in the program establish relationships with banking professionals, and other students, who serve them throughout their banking careers, and develop the financial skills critical to success when beginning careers with a commercial bank.

The Commercial Banking Program allows students to learn industry skills and terminologies within a focused curriculum and provides experiences that are not otherwise available to finance majors.

About Mays Business School

At Mays Business School, we strive to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,300 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

For more information, visit mays.tamu.edu.

Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

Officials from North Dallas Bank & Trust Co. and the Mays Business School celebrate the bank’s $1 million gift to the school.

In support of the Mays Business School’s Commercial Banking Program, the funds will be used to establish an endowment and annual awards program.

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has received a $1 million gift from North Dallas Bank & Trust Co. (NDBT) in support of its Commercial Banking Program.

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

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