MBA | Mays Impacts

Clara Orlean ’20 sees her family’s influence emerging strongly in her life’s professional path. Her father opened her eyes to entrepreneurism and both of her parents encouraged her to pursue a graduate degree. Now the recent graduate of Mays Business School’s Full-Time MBA Program has created ClaraTech, which assists older adults with their growing need for technology support. The idea for this start-up business was based on her mother-in-law’s experiences during the pandemic.

Orlean’s efforts thus far in building her business have proven successful. The increasing demand prompted Orlean to leave her full-time job at ExxonMobil to devote herself to ClaraTech in February 2021. Nine months later, Orlean had the winning pitch in the services category of the Lift-Off Houston Business Plan Competition, hosted by The City of Houston and Capital One Bank.

Getting Her Bearings

However, her entrepreneurial path took some unexpected turns. After studying Global Supply Chain and Operations Management as well as Business Management at the University of South Carolina, the sixth-generation Texan joined Gexpro, an electrical distribution company formerly owned by GE. She participated in the leadership program, rotating to work in a different division every 6-8 months. “In every rotation, I had a different focus, including warehousing, operations, inside sales, outside sales, and pricing,” she said. “I received a really holistic view of how a company is run from a lot of different roles and management perspectives.”

Eventually, Orlean decided to pursue an MBA, a dream sparked by her father’s experiences. “My father has always been very entrepreneurial. He started his own law practice and is a real estate investor in his free time in Fort Worth. He’s always looking for new ways to fill an unserved need,” she said. “I knew that my undergraduate degree only would get me so far in the corporate arena—or it would just take a long time to rise up the ranks and get promoted the natural way. An MBA helps you fast track.”

Orlean’s plans for graduate school were almost derailed when she didn’t score as well as she initially hoped on the GMAT. While contemplating what to do next, she found herself checking out the website of her mother’s alma mater, Texas A&M University, and noticed the admissions deadline for Mays FTMBA program. She reached out the next day and was encouraged by Assistant Director Katie Stober to retake the GMAT. After earning a much higher score, Orlean soon found herself moving to College Station.

Starting a New Chapter

The young professional decided to fully commit to the full-time 18-month program at Mays Business School in College Station, instead of combining graduate school and work. “I knew myself and that wasn’t going to work for me after trying to work and study for the GMAT,” Orlean explained. “I knew I was going to be able to make a good jump in my career because I pressed the pause button and attended the FTMBA program. That allowed me the opportunity to interact with the myriad of companies who were coming to interview Texas A&M students and attending the career fairs.”

She quickly found that the program was preparing her to take her business knowledge and skills to the next level. “I took basic business courses in my undergraduate degree, but the FTMBA program at Texas A&M took that subject matter to a deeper level,” she said. “I learned to look at things from a manager’s perspective. I was able to connect my learnings and prior work experience, connections that would be very useful in my career.”

The FTMBA program’s self and leadership assessments, as well as intimate coaching sessions, also provided a transformative mirror for improvement and building confidence. “I had never really looked at myself under a microscope,” she said. “It was very insightful and caused me to strive to be a better version of myself. The Full Time MBA Program promoted a culture of continuous improvement. You get really comfortable giving and receiving feedback.”

Orlean believes the FTMBA provided a strong foundation for her entrepreneurial venture, even though she wasn’t aware she would be launching a business at the time. “The practical knowledge I gained in the FTMBA coursework has allowed me succeed as a new business owner. I understand my financials and know how to speak to them in pitch competitions and business meetings,” she said. “My critical thinking skills, self-awareness, and ability to work with others have improved. These are skills that have been extremely helpful as a new business owner.”

The Aggieland environment

She credits the FTMBA program with creating a special comradery among her cohort, which continues to this day. “Since we were all in College Station and solely working on our MBAs, we spent a lot of time together inside and outside the classroom,” she said. “From tailgates to football games, to intramural sports, and nights out in Northgate, we really grew as friends.”

She also found time to become involved in key Mays leadership roles. “I really enjoyed giving back to the program by serving on the MBA Association Board and working in the admissions office for the FTMBA program,” Orlean said. “I loved talking to prospective students, helping them through the application process, showing them around Aggieland, and celebrating with them when they were accepted into the program.”

As an added benefit, she met her soon-to-be husband, Alex Orlean ’11 ’20, in the FTMBA program, and they grew close working together on group projects. She noted that the FTMBA’s assessments helped her better understand the complimentary nature of her own personal work style as well as that of her future husband. “We found that we worked really, really well together,” she said. “When there was conflict on the team, we worked through it together.”

Finding Her Own Path

After graduation, Orlean joined ExxonMobil, where she worked in procurement for the transportation and logistics team. But the COVID-19 pandemic soon forced the company into lockdown. Orlean began working from home, and re-evaluating the type of life she wanted to lead.

A few months later, her mother-in-law, Terri Orlean, reached out for advice on how to organize the various Zoom links for meetings as well as help on other technology issues. Soon her mother-in-law began advertising Orlean’s skill and patient counsel to her friends, who all needed help. “I saw the very rapid and uncontrollable dependence on technology that we all had to figure out quickly. I also saw that there was such a need for a service here that wasn’t being offered,” the resident of Houston, Texas said. “I started helping older adults with tech before work and during my lunch breaks.”

The need continued to grow, soon leading to Orlean’s realization that a promising business concept had found her. She created ClaraTech in October 2020—and five months later, the company had grown enough that its founder left ExxonMobil to concentrate full-time on building her new venture.

The young company takes a personalized approach to service. Orlean develops a tailored technology plan for each client, including identifying the best technology for a specific situation and then training the older adult how to use it. In some cases, this technology supports older adults who have mobility or hearing impairment. “People don’t know what opportunities are out there to make life easier,” she said. “If we can introduce some tips, tricks, or ways in which older adults can use technology to stay safe, connected, and independent, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Over the past year, she’s refined her business model based on what she’s learning from multiple datapoints. While she continues to work primarily with individual older adults, Orlean also has received invitations to train care providers and employees of small businesses.

She also is initiating technology workshops in Houston-area retirement communities, which she sees as a huge gap in services. “Tech education is not provided at retirement communities, and I really believe it should be,” she said. “They want to learn, but nobody’s taking the time to show them how to use their iPhone or how to FaceTime. My goal is to change that so retirement communities regularly have tech education on their activity calendars.”

Increasing Tech Literacy

Realizing the growing opportunities for ClaraTech, Orlean decided to participate in the Lift-Off Houston Business Plan Competition. Impressed by ClaraTech’s business plan, the organizers invited the Aggie to pitch in a Shark Tank-like competition in front of influential decision-makers. “It was my first pitch competition, and I hadn’t done anything like that before,” she said.

Her pitch in the services category earned her first place and $10,000 to cover costs associated with growing her business—and she credits the FTMBA program for preparing her for the intense competition. “The MBA program gave me the confidence to stand up in front of the room and pitch my business. It was nerve-wracking,” she said. “My big transformation in the MBA program was my confidence and belief in myself. Texas A&M’s MBA program allowed me so much time to progress and to get over my fear of public speaking. It turns out that I’m pretty good at public speaking once I got over the fear.”

She’s also really good at identifying the needs of older adults and is committed to figuring out how to help them incorporate technology more seamlessly in their lives. “I want to impact more people and help more older adults stay safe, connected, and independent through technology,” Orlean said. “I want to change tech from being this frustrating thing that is a barrier making their life more difficult into a tool that can enhance their lives. Tech can and will change the lives of older adults if we provide this service, education, and training in a way that is tailored to them.”

Orlean is grateful for how her family and her “chosen family” from Mays FTMBA Program have influenced her life, both in personal and professional life. Now she wants to remain connected to Mays to reciprocate—and to keep learning. “I have a deep desire to stay involved and give back. I have really enjoyed staying involved with the admissions team to serve as a panelist and just helped with a marketing campaign for the MBA programs,” she said, adding that she remains close to her classmates. “We had our annual reunion for the FTMBA program called Brisket Bowl back in October of last year and had about 20 of our classmates come from all over the country to be together. It was like we didn’t skip a beat.”

Categories: Entrepreneurship, MBA

Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and leading health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) have announced the winners of the 2021 Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition, a competition during which students use their analytical abilities to solve a real-world business problem. The student team of Siyan Cai, Jia Shi, Manqiu Liu, and Tsz Fung Pang from Georgia Tech received the First-Place prize of $50,000 following a virtual presentation on Nov. 11 to an executive panel of judges.

This is the fifth year of the competition, which has grown to be one of the top healthcare analytics case competitions in the country. Over 750 master’s level students, representing 75 major universities in the U.S., registered for the national competition to compete for $80,000 in total prizes. The Second-Place prize of $20,000 was awarded to Alejandro Sáez Coma and Ignacio Aguilar Ramos from New York University (NYU), while the Third-Place prize of $10,000 was presented to Eunjin Jeong, Yuxuan Mei, Ji Qi, and Linh To from Boston University.

The student teams examined a multifaceted and complex real-world business problem.  This year’s competition focused on providing vaccination opportunities for vulnerable and underserved populations, as existing disparities in health equity have become more evident during the vaccination response to COVID-19.

Students were asked to create a model to predict vaccine hesitance among a specific population. The students’ challenge was to propose solutions so that Humana can design a targeted outreach that prioritizes the most vulnerable and underserved populations to receive health solutions.

“By materializing our commitment to minimizing health inequities and mitigating bias, we are leveraging prescriptive analytics and predictive modeling to reach our most at-risk and hesitant member populations,” said Heather Cox, Chief Digital Health and Analytics Officer for Humana.  “This year’s participants have shown great dedication to identifying populations and creating elegant solutions that drive forth positive change. This is just one glimpse into the transformative power of quality data.”

“I am pleased that the students’ analyses will help Humana shape the way the industry delivers healthcare,” says Arvind Mahajan, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Mays Business School. “This case study is an example of how students learn to apply their analytical skills to solve complex business problems which can have a social impact, and in this case, improve the lives of patients and their families.”

The fifth annual competition was held virtually and was open to all accredited educational institutions based in the United States. Full-time and part-time master’s students from accredited Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Information Systems, Master of Public Health, Master of Business Administration programs, or other similar master’s programs in business, healthcare, or analytics, were eligible to enter.

The teams were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Quantitative analysis identifying key business insights
  • Professionalism, data visualization, and presentation skills
  • Ability to provide meaningful implications and recommendations based on results/insights

Prior top winners include the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2020); University of California, Los Angeles (2018 & 2019); and Purdue University (2017).

For more information, visit HumanaTAMUAnalytics.com.

 

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 nearly 6,300 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, information systems and operations management, management, and marketing. Mays ranks consistently among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

About Humana

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information

Categories: Health Care, Mays Business, MBA, News, Students, Texas A&M

#1 Texas Program - Texas A&M EMBA - Financial Times '21

Mays Business School’s EMBA program lands No. 15 in the U.S. in 2021 rankings

Texas A&M’s Executive MBA (EMBA) program, offered by Mays Business School, has been named the No. 1 program in Texas and the No. 5 program offered by a public university in the U.S. according to Financial Times. The rankings are based on surveys of 2018 graduates concerning salary, career progress, and overall satisfaction post-graduation.

“This ranking highlights Mays Business School’s commitment to delivering a rigorous program to the contemporary student during the pandemic and beyond in an effort to advance the world’s prosperity, which is our school’s vision,” says R. Duane Ireland, Ph.D., Interim Dean for Mays Business School.

The EMBA program lasts 21 months with an interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning and intellectually stimulating activities and features a flexible format for busy leaders.

“The students’ personal and professional transformations in the Mays Executive MBA are real. Whether they are heading to the c-suite, leading an organization, or pursuing an entrepreneurial career, the expertise of our faculty provides the foundation for students to develop their executive skillset. Having one of the more experienced cohorts in the nation adds to the rich learning environment and increases the value of the Aggie network,” says Julie Orzabal, director of the program.

“The aim of the faculty in our graduate programs is not only to impart business acumen and technical skills for our students but to also engage them in wider conversations about leadership and inclusivity,” said Arvind Mahajan, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate programs for Mays Business School. “This holistic and innovative curriculum is what has the most significant effect on our students.”

Applications for entering the program in the fall of 2022 are open now for Texas A&M’s MBA programs – including Full-Time, Professional, and Executive MBA Programs. For more information, visit mba.tamu.edu. Or, learn more specifically about the EMBA program by visiting: learn.mays.tamu.edu/emba

Categories: Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M

Full-time MBA #13 U.S. Public Program per Businessweek 21-22

The No. 13 ranking among public programs and No. 35 overall highlight the success of Mays Business School’s Full-Time MBA program

Texas A&M University’s Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) program, offered by Mays Business School, has been named the No. 35 program in the nation and No. 13 among public universities, according to the 2021-22 rankings released by Bloomberg Businessweek.

The rankings are based on surveys from students, former students, and recruiters, as well as compensation and employment data from each school. This year, the rankings included a first-ever Diversity Index, measuring race, ethnicity, and gender in classes. Criteria in the overall score includes compensation, learning, networking, entrepreneurship, and diversity.

“The 13-spot advancement from the latest ranking to number 13 public program shows the continuing strength of the lifelong learning partnership between students and faculty,” shared director, Richard Castleberry.

“We pride ourselves in a rigorous program that develops the whole leader at Texas A&M,” said associate dean for graduate programs, Arvind Mahajan, Ph.D. “The rankings reflect how our MBA programs’ faculty and staff work collaboratively with students who are organized into intimate cohorts to develop what Aggies are known for: leadership, integrity, and excellence along with strong technical competence.”

Texas A&M’s 18-month FTMBA program provides each student with individualized experiences that emphasize effective leadership practices, so they can effectively manage challenges, time, and resources.

Applications for entry in the fall of 2022 are open now for Texas A&M’s MBA programs – including Full-Time, Professional, and Executive MBA Programs. For more information, visit mba.tamu.edu.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Rankings, Texas A&M

August 31, 2021Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and leading health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) are launching the 2021 Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition to showcase students’ analytical abilities to solve a real-world business problem. The prize package for the winning teams has increased to $80,000, with $50,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place, and $10,000 for third place.

The fifth annual competition will be held virtually and is open to all accredited educational institutions based in the United States. Full-time and part-time master’s students from accredited Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Information Systems, Master of Public Health, Master of Business Administration programs, or other similar master’s programs in business, healthcare, or analytics, are eligible to enter. Students are invited to create teams of two to four to tackle a real-world case. Each team can only include students from the same school.

“Healthcare is one of the three grand challenges established at Mays during our strategic planning process. This process also yielded our vision, which is “to advance the world’s prosperity,” said Duane Ireland, interim dean of Mays Business School. “The national analytics competition is an important part of our commitment to address healthcare issues. Enhancing the quality of this competition is the fact that it attracts the brightest graduate students from across the country. Using real-world, anonymized data in the case, the analyses students complete create high-impact learning opportunities for them while influencing the future of the dynamic healthcare industry.”

“At Humana, we’re passionate about helping our members achieve their best health. We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with my alma mater Texas A&M University on this unique real-world experience for students,” said Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard. “We recognize healthcare can be challenging and complex. The future of health care depends greatly upon data analytics as a means of creating personalized experiences and designing a better system for our members – one that’s simple to navigate, connected and contributes to better health outcomes.”

 

The teams will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Quantitative analysis identifying key business insights
  • Professionalism, data visualization, and presentation skills
  • Ability to provide meaningful implications and recommendations based on results/insights

 

Key dates for 2021 participants include:

  • Sept. 8: Virtual kickoff call for prospective participants
  • Sept. 17: Team registration due
  • Sept. 24: Virtual Q&A session with competition leadership
  • Oct. 10: Completed team analysis due
  • Oct. 22: Finalists selected and notified
  • Nov. 11: Virtual presentations to executive panel; winners announced

 

Prior top winners include The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2020); University of California, Los Angeles (2018 & 2019); and Purdue University (2017).

See official rules and guidelines for more information.

 

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 nearly 6,300 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays ranks consistently among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

 

 

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience with the goal of making health care easier to navigate and more effective.

 

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s website at humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information.

 

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Categories: Health Care, MBA

Mays Business School FTMBA #25 in nation, per Fortune '22

#9 U.S. Public program ranking highlights Mays Business School’s former student’s success

Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) program has been named the #25 program in the nation and #9 U.S. public program, according to the inaugural 2022 rankings released by Fortune. The methodology used includes a heavily weighted outcome score (65%; including median base salary, mean base salary, and job placement rate), brand score (25%; based on Fortune/Ipsos brand survey to hiring managers, March ’21), and Fortune 1000 score (10%; number of MBA alumni in C-suite and MBA graduates in Fortune 1000 organizations).

“Our whole team is extremely excited about this ranking outcome because our main focus is getting the right faculty and the right students engaged in the MBA program at Texas A&M University,” said Arvind Mahajan, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Programs for Mays Business School. “The rankings are another data point that show we are making progress to ‘Advance the World’s Prosperity,’ which is Mays Business School’s vision. We are fortunate to have the incredible Aggie Network that actively recruits our graduates, bringing them into world-class organizations, altering their careers and lives.”

Mays Business School FTMBA #9 U.S. Public program, per Fortune '22

Texas A&M’s FTMBA excels at providing each student with individualized experiences that emphasize effective leadership practices. Faculty and staff are committed to knowing all degree candidates personally and to understanding their previous experiences as well as their professional and personal goals. Program leaders mentor MBA students so they can confidently assume leadership roles in all areas of life.

The intensive 18-month FTMBA program offers hands-on experiences in managing challenges, time, and resources. The program’s cohort format allows MBA students to establish meaningful connections with peers, faculty, career coaches, and program leadership. Outcomes of doing so include developing cutting-edge professional knowledge and skills including critical thinking. These skills are foundational to the ability of FTMBA graduates to assume leadership roles immediately upon completing their degree.

“We at Mays Business School take pride in the ability of our students, faculty, and staff to contribute positively to companies and the broader society through their dedicated efforts. This top 10 U.S. public program ranking from Fortune provides evidence of the quality of our program and certainly the talent of our students,” shared Duane Ireland, Ph.D., Interim Dean for Mays Business School. “Important to the accomplishments of our FTMBA program is our decision to center the activities of our graduate programs’ office around student success. Our staff and faculty collaborate to identify ways to support our students in their drive to learn and grow as a means of enhancing their professional and personal lives.”

Applications for Texas A&M’s MBA programs – including Full-Time, Professional, and Executive – are being accepted now for the class of 2024. For more information, visit: mba.tamu.edu

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Rankings, Texas A&M

College Station, TX — On June 26, 2021 members of Mays Business School attended a Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity Wall Raising ceremony to honor the Espinoza family – the future owners of the home. 

Held at the building site of the in-progress home, Mike Alexander, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs at Mays Business School, and member of the Mays Builds program was the emcee for the Wall Raising event. 

“Watching the walls go up on a new Habitat home is one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences for all of us who are involved in B/CS Habitat,” said Mike Alexander. “To see the family, who’ve already been through months of sweat equity and financial and homeownership education, watch the community come together to raise the walls, to give of their time, to sweat and celebrate together, is inspiring and reminds me of why I got involved in Habitat and reminds me of the positive power of a group of people, like Mays Builds, coming together to serve other and our community.”

This particular home, of which Mays Builds faculty, staff, and students donated nearly $7,000 towards, will be going to the Espinoza family. Enrique and his wife, Luz Maria, are originally from San Diego, California, before making Bryan, Texas, their home over five years ago. They are the proud parents of five beautiful children. The oldest is Kayla (12), followed by Kevin (9), Andrew (7), Anthony (4), and Kamila (2). 

After a prayer, a welcome from Mike, and some words of gratitude from the Espinoza family, the ceremony closed with a call to attendees to leave messages with sharpies on the support beams of the home. Although these messages will be covered by sheetrock and paint, the sentiments will remain a part of the home for as long as it stands.

The Texas A&M Core Value of Selfless Service is what inspired Mays Business School to begin the Mays continuing contribution to Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity through the Mays Builds program, a collegewide project that involves undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff in all departments and programs at Mays. Aimed at serving the greater Bryan / College Station community, Mays Builds allows students, faculty, and staff to enhance the climate of the business school specifically by sharing a goal to serve the surrounding community. 

The Mays Habitat for Humanity project was started in 2017 and so far has raised over $27,000 for the local Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity. In 2020, Mays Builds was a partial sponsor for the first Mays Builds home for the Salas/Mendez family. The recent sponsorship of the Espinoza home continues Mays Builds impact on our community.

There are upcoming ways to get involved with Mays Builds’ Habitat for Humanity project:

  • On the evening of July 16 is “Bowl To Build,” a fun fundraiser for Habitat. 
  • There’s also a raffle to take part in online.
    • Contact Mike Alexander for a few remaining ‘buy 4 get 1 free” raffle tickets.
  • Or, just donate, using “MaysBuilds” in the “In honor of” line at: https://habitatbcs.org/donate/

For more information about Bowl to Build, the raffle, or other questions, contact Mike Alexander at malexander@mays.tamu.edu or visit the Mays Builds website.

Categories: Mays Business, MBA

Mays MBA Student Leads Aggie Team That Earns 3rd Place in International Case Competition Focused on Addressing International Food Production Problems

Ryan StaplesA Texas A&M University interdisciplinary team led by Mays Business School Full-Time MBA student Ryan Staples ’22 earned third place in the 2021 Norwegian Business School Global Case Competition. The Aggie team–which included Danette Philpot, Garrett Brogan, and Meikah Dado, who are graduate students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communications—earned this international recognition by proposing an innovative use of technology to improve food production in Uganda by empowering women.

The Mays-sponsored group competed against 85 teams from 60 top-tier universities to generate game-changing solutions to food production issues involving obesity, malnutrition, and climate change. These topics will be discussed at the United Nations Food Systems Summit in Fall 2021.

Uganda

Once the case problem was released, Texas A&M’s team decided to focus on Uganda, which Brogan had visited through his studies. That focus was important because more than one of every three Ugandans suffer from chronic malnutrition.

This issue is compounded because the nation has a significant gender inequality issue in its food production system. Eighty percent of the food consumed by the nation’s residents is produced by women. However, for every one pound of food produced by a woman in Uganda, a man can produce three. “Our whole idea is how can we bridge this knowledge and gender gap between men and women so that the country of Uganda can produce more food,” Staples said. “With 80% of the food producers only one-third as productive as their counterparts, there is a huge area of opportunity. “

Tech Solution

The team proposed providing the women farmers with electronic tablets filled with agricultural knowledge so they can become empowered. Using technology allows the nation’s women farmers–who often do not attend extension programs because they are doing the farm work and caring for the children and elderly—to have ready access to extension resources, such as videos. “This is supplying them with knowledge so they can help themselves,” Dado said. “It is a bottom-up approach.”

The team projects that if this initiative is implemented over a 10-year period, 3 million women would be empowered. This would lead to a 30% increase in overall agriculture productivity and a $450 million boost to Uganda’s GDP.

Interdisciplinary Aggies

The Aggie team, which was the top-performing team among North American and South American colleges and universities, benefitted from the support by Mays Business School faculty members Dr. Daniel Usera and Dr. Mary Lea McAnally and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Dr. Jack Elliott, a professor and senior scientist at the university’s renowned Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. These faculty members were able to provide feedback before the team moved into the semifinal round of the case competition.

Staples believes that the team’s interdisciplinary representation was critical to the Aggies’ third place finish. “Our success was truly a testament to the power of synergistic team effort,” he said. “The true kudos go to my three new friends in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who shared this case competition journey with me.”

His counterparts agreed and appreciated Staples’ openness to learning about agriculture and his facilitation and leadership skills. “Ryan had knowledge in so many different ways that we didn’t have, but we had that knowledge of the agriculture aspect,” Dado said. “We were able to come together, and I do not think we would have been as successful if we hadn’t been interdisciplinary.”

Go to Market Plans

The Aggies are now seeking ways to bring their idea to the marketplace. They have presented to the Borlaug Institute’s director and senior faculty, who have offered positive feedback and are considering including the project in future grant proposals. In addition, Staples is using Mays’ contacts to pitch to Fortune 500 companies about corporate funding. The team also may receive an invitation to present at the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

These types of high-impact learning experiences that challenge Mays students to solve real-world problems are aligned with Mays’ vision to advance the world’s prosperity. “Case competitions offer students the opportunity to practice being transformational leaders through combining theory, research, and practical application while working in a team,” said Mays Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Arvind Mahajan. “We feel so strongly about the power of these learning experiences that Mays collaborates annually with Humana Inc. to host the Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition, which challenges 1,300 U.S. masters-level students to analyze the company’s data to identify innovative healthcare solutions.”

Ultimately, Staples credits Mays Full-Time MBA program for helping to polish his leadership skills to be able to successfully focus the team’s efforts. “The program helped me first to identify my leadership strengths, and then taught me how to leverage them. Apart from that, I have had the opportunity to lead team projects among my peers since last July,” Staples said. “The combination of understanding the unique skills I possess and the practical opportunity to practice those skills has been invaluable to my development as a leader.”

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Faculty, Featured Stories, Health Care, Mays Business, MBA, News, Perspectives, Selfless service, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s FTMBA degree earns #20 U.S. public program

Woman in graduation cap and maskFor the third year in a row, the Full-Time MBA program at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has been named a top program globally, according to the 2021 rankings released by Financial Times. The Financial Times 2021 Global Full-Time MBA Rankings placed Texas A&M’s program at #85 globally this year, advancing one spot from last year and 14 spots from 2019. Out of U.S. public programs, Mays Business School’s residential MBA program is ranked #20.

Former students (alumni) from the class of 2018 were surveyed to compile the rankings data. Of particular recognition by Financial Times this year was the #17 ranking for “FT research rank,” a weighted calculation according to the number of articles published by a school’s current full-time faculty members in 50 selected academic and practitioner journals between January 2014 and October 2016.

“The Financial Times ranking our program is an honor because besides technical competencies and business acumen, it points to the integrity, leadership, and selfless service qualities that all Aggies exhibit,” shared Arvind Mahajan, associate dean for graduate programs. “With these core values in place, our students, faculty, and staff strive for excellence, resulting in accolades that have an impact across the world.”

Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA program in College Station, TX is 18-months in duration, beginning in August of each year with a December graduation, and the degree includes the option to extend an additional semester for extra electives to match interest areas.

“Mays Business School’s vision is to advance the world’s prosperity,” said Richard Castleberry, director of the full-time MBA program. “Through this program, I witness students discover themselves, transform into the leaders they were meant to be with the support of faculty and staff, and graduate to impact the organizations and communities where they live. It’s inspiring and fulfilling to see the program receive this attention for the third year in a row.”

Applications for the Texas A&M Full-Time MBA program are being accepted now for the class of 2023. For more information, visit: mba.tamu.edu

Categories: Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M

September 2, 2020Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and leading health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) are launching the 2020 Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition to showcase students’ analytical abilities to solve a real-world business problem. The prize package for the winning teams has increased to $70,000, with $40,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place, and $10,000 for third place.

The fourth annual competition will be held virtually and is open to all accredited educational institutions based in the United States. Full-time and part-time master’s students from accredited Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Information Systems, Master of Public Health, or Master of Business Administration programs, or other similar master’s programs in business, healthcare, or analytics, are eligible to enter. Students are invited to create teams of two to three to tackle a real-world case. Each team can only include students from the same school.

“We have recalibrated one of the top national analytics competitions into a virtual format this year to continue to attract the brightest graduate students in the country,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “The teams will use data analytics to address real-world issues in healthcare, presenting in the digital format the whole world is adjusting to now.”

“Humana is grateful for the opportunity to again partner with my alma mater Texas A&M University on this impactful and real-world opportunity for students.” said Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard. “The future of health care increasingly depends on data analytics as a means to create personalized experiences and support emerging capabilities from telehealth to chronic disease management, all of which contribute to better health outcomes.”

The teams will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Quantitative analysis identifying key business insights
  • Professionalism, data visualization, and presentation skills
  • Ability to provide meaningful implications and recommendations based on results/insights

Key dates for 2020 participants include:

  • Sept. 9: Virtual kickoff call for prospective participants
  • Sept. 18: Team registration due
  • Sept. 28: Virtual Q&A session with competition leadership
  • Oct. 11: Completed team analysis due
  • Oct. 23: Finalists selected and notified
  • Nov. 12: Virtual presentations to executive panel; winners announced

2019 Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition

The student team of Ozgur Cetinok, Leah Kelly, and Erica Millwater from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) won the $30,000 First Place prize in 2019. Over 1,300 masters level students representing over 80 major universities in the U.S. registered to compete for $52,500 in prizes.

See official rules and guidelines for more information.

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 6,400 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 in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information

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