The ventures at this year’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Disabled Veterans (EBV), hosted by Mays Business School’s McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, ranged from network solutions for small businesses to artisan products to novel applications of artificial intelligence. The 21 veterans in this year’s class came from across the United States and represented nearly every branch of the military.

Since 2008, the McFerrin Center has hosted the intensive training program developed to help disabled veterans develop the competencies and skills necessary to create and sustain an entrepreneurial or small business venture.

‘Boot camp’ a fitting name

The term “boot camp” is not used lightly when it comes to EBV. In order to graduate from the program, each participant must complete a 30-day online training program and a nine-day residency hosted at Texas A&M University. During the in-residence portion, the participants were in class from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and worked on their business plans and final presentations every night during mentoring hours. McFerrin Center Executive Director Richard Lester referred to the program experience as akin to “drinking from a firehose.”

The lectures and presentations throughout the week covered topics such as finance and accounting, government contracting, human resources and marketing. The deluge of information caused a visible shift in the veteran’s energy levels throughout the week. Participants bounded into class on Sunday morning full of excitement and by Thursday they shuffled into the classroom, coffee cup in hand.

An Aggie integration

While EBV does consist of a significant amount of hard work, McFerrin Center goes to great lengths to ensure that none of the veterans burn out from information overload. On Tuesday, participants enjoyed a relaxed evening of networking at the Benjamin Knox Wine Gallery. The Southwood 4-H club hosted their annual evening of fellowship with home-cooked Tex-Mex food and a table filled with hand-made desserts on Wednesday. Thursday evening, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets hosted a dinner at the Sanders Corps Museum and participants met current members of the Corps of Cadets and learned about the history of Texas A&M.

The week-long residency culminated with final presentations and closing ceremonies on July 21. Mentors from the Bryan/College Station community attended final presentations at the Center for Executive Development and provided feedback and final words of encouragement to the veterans. The program officially concluded on Saturday evening with closing ceremonies. There was a distinct celebratory feeling to the event as each veteran was awarded their program diploma. Honored guests such as Nancy Williams of the Cockrell Foundation and Eli Jones, the dean of Mays Business School, were in attendance. The evening was made even more special when Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr. ’79, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, delivered a poignant speech on what it means to be a leader that resonated with the entire room.

After spending the week with the participants and watching them grow as entrepreneurs, it can be hard to say goodbye. However, the journey isn’t over. Being an EBV graduate from Texas A&M means becoming a member of the Aggie family. As each veteran returns home with renewed fervor for their venture they will receive continued support from both the McFerrin Center through mentorship and guidance.

Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Diversity and Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Programs, Texas A&M

Two Mays Business School MBA graduates, Thomas Dowlearn and Willie Dennis, were included in Poets & Quants’ 2018 list of “MBAs To Watch.” The criteria for inclusion on the list MBAs who possess unique backgrounds, innate talent, and long-term goals that make them transformational leaders to watch in the coming years.


Thomas Dowlearn

Dowlearn is working toward an MBA while pursuing an MD. The co-op is designed to prepare students to tackle the managerial, financial, and leadership aspects of the medical field.

He said he chose Mays Business School because of how welcomed he felt throughout the admissions process. He felt he was surrounded by a group of people who believed in him, and he sensed the deep sense of pride that people associated with Texas A&M tend to have. The advice he would give to students looking to pursue an MBA is asking yourself “why” every day because it will help you discover yourself and find purpose in your decisions.

Since being at Mays, Dowlearn competed in and placed second at the Venture Challenge as well as earning the Best Presenter Award in 2017.

Willie Dennis
Dennis earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s in business management at the University of Texas at Arlington. He worked for Exxon Mobil as a revenue accountant and then Multiview Inc. as a financial reporting associate. When deciding which MBA program to pursue, Dennis said was intrigued with the worldwide recognition of Mays Business School. What sealed the deal was that Mays has one of the best ROI’s of a top-ranked business program.

His advice for students looking to get their MBAs: Be yourself and be able to tell your story in a unique way. Be able to understand what you want to accomplish by going to business school, particularly Mays, and be able to deliver that message to the admissions committee as well.

While at Mays, the faculty and staff nominated Dennis to be recognized as one of the “Best and Brightest” business school students in Texas, which led to him being honored as a Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholar in 2017.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Students, 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

Mental and physical challenges in an unfamiliar environment with a brand-new team taught the second-year students in the Professional MBA Class of 2019 at Mays Business School about leading. The experience was part of their “Leadership and Professional Development Course” on May 5 at the Corps of Cadets Leader Reaction Course (LRC) at Texas A&M University.

The goal for the Mays group’s LRC event was for students to experience leadership, make quick decisions, communicate thoroughly, express adaptability and use teamwork – all in a new environment under time pressure with limited resources. Through the obstacles and experiences the students were able to build their leadership skills and confidence and team.

Zach Majzun, Professional MBA Class of 2018, wrote the curriculum and led much of the day using his knowledge of LRCs in both military and civilian training job to best fit the Mays Professional MBAs learning objectives. The objectives included: experiencing a high-pressure leadership situation, using and learning a straightforward task leadership framework, and exposing students to teamwork within a new environment. …Read more

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

The Mays Business School Department of Accounting and Professional Program (PPA) recognized several former students for their outstanding achievements and continued support of the accounting program at Texas A&M University. The recipients were recognized at a dinner in College Station with faculty and peers on April 25.

Accounting Hall of Honor

The Accounting Hall of Honor recognizes annually those who have contributed to the growth and success of the accounting program over an extended period of time. The 2018 honorees are Richard Hanus ’76, Stephen Parker ’88, Robert Penshorn ’89, and Jack Suh ’97. Hanus is a retired EY partner, Parker is an assurance energy partner at PwC, Penshorn is a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Suh is a partner at Deloitte and the first PPA graduate to be inducted.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jimmy Smith Headshot

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a PPA graduate whose collective body of work has resulted in a substantial incremental change in the business community, the accounting profession, and/or the lives of those that practice accounting. The 2018 recipient is Jimmy Smith ’97, COO and CFO of FCD Holdings which operates the FC Dallas soccer team, Toyota Stadium in Frisco, and the National Soccer Hall of Fame. 

Smith’s life reflects his passion for sports, and the opportunities sports provides to the community, and to the growth and development of the individual. He is treasurer and sits on the FC Dallas Foundation Board, which is targeted at helping underserved youth through sports. He lives out his passion of service through sports by coaching his own sons in soccer and basketball. Smith lives in Dallas with his wife and three sons.

Rising Star Award

RT Dukes

The Rising Star Award recognizes a recent PPA graduate who is making a substantial impact on society through business acumen, exceptional leadership, or entrepreneurial success. The 2018 recipient is R.T. Dukes, research director for Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research and consultancy group. 

Dukes is a visible media presence for Wood Mackenzie in places like Bloomberg and Forbes, a daily presence on Twitter, and host of Wood Mackenzie’s Soundcloud podcast, “Crude for Thought.” He contributes to profit as well through his consulting roles and his valuation and due diligence work for the firm. He is an advisor to company boards and executives and a regular speaker at international industry conferences. Dukes lives in Houston with his wife and three children.

 

 

 

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Departments, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, PPA, Programs, Texas A&M

FEDFIS, a financial institution data provider for financial institutions and investment banking firms, has renewed the agreement allowing access to their financial database of all United States banking institutions to Mays Business School finance department and Commercial Banking Program (CBP). Dave Mayo, CEO of FEDFIS, commented that understanding how to use data to make decisions on operations and technology choices is critical to today’s banker.

Only a select few partnerships exist with FEDFIS. Dwight Garey, executive director of the CBP at Mays, said, “Members of our board like FEDFIS are deeply engaged in the governance of our program and are actively involved in all aspects of the CBP, including classroom instruction with our students. This is a tremendous and very valuable benefit to our program.”

For CBP students, FEDFIS’ data has been incomparable in their coursework, in researching banking companies for bank case projects, as well as in preparation for their interviews for summer internships and permanent employment with banks. Without this database, finance and CBP students would not have convenient access to the depth of banking information provided by FEDFIS, which has been crucial to their success in the classroom and beyond. …Read more

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

By Molly Kulpa ’15
Marketing Specialist, Texas A&M Foundation
NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Support to Texas A&M: Jacqueline and Alan Mitchell ’85 Aggies on Wall Street Endowed Excellence Fund
Even when far from their alma mater, Aggies continue to help other Aggies succeed. Jacqueline and Alan Mitchell ’85 of New York City share a passion for giving Aggie students an advantage—particularly for helping them get their foot in the door on Wall Street

The couple established an endowment to permanently provide funding for Mays Business School’s Aggies on Wall Street Program, which provides opportunities to students interested in investment banking, including internship placement and a two-week trip to New York where they meet Wall Street professionals at leading firms. Students who successfully complete the Aggies on Wall Street program are awarded a Certificate in Investment Banking upon graduation. In addition to giving his financial resources, Alan also spends time with Mays Business Honors students to share career advice and serves on the Wall Street Advisory Board for the Department of Finance.

“Investment banking firms in New York tend to recruit from East Coast schools, and primarily Ivy League graduates,” Alan said. “Schools in the South just don’t carry the same name recognition when it comes to recruiting in New York, but we hope this endowed fund will expand the Aggies on Wall Street Program and boost the number of Aggie graduates working on Wall Street over time.”

Alan’s career in investment banking led the couple to New York City, while Jackie’s work as a natural gas trader translated well to the Wall Street atmosphere.

In addition to their support of Aggies on Wall Street, Jackie also serves on the Board of Trustees at The Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls school that their children attend in New York City. They also support the Children’s Museum of the East End on Long Island, the East Hampton Historical Society, The Thomas Moran Trust and the Sigma Chi Fraternity. The Mitchells have also established a family foundation to be more focused with their giving and to provide a family tradition for future giving.

The Lead by Example campaign, Texas A&M University’s third comprehensive fundraising campaign, began on Jan. 1, 2012. With a goal to raise $4 billion by 2020, it is the third largest public higher education campaign in the nation and the largest ever in Texas. Donations of any size to the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation count toward the campaign total, which stands at $2.91 billion as of January 31, 2018, representing 72 percent of the goal. Learn more at leadbyexample.tamu.edu.

Categories: Donors Corner, Finance, Mays Business, Programs, Texas A&M

As 2017 comes to a close, Mays Business School celebrates another successful year. Here are 12 of our favorite moments:

1. Strategic plan launch
Mays Business School officially launched its new strategic plan, after hundreds of Mays faculty, staff, students and former students worked together to develop it. The strategic planning process itself was innovative and unique among business schools, using Appreciative Inquiry – a positive approach to change – to affirm Mays’ past and present strengths, to discover what makes Mays truly distinct, and to envision ways to amplify that distinctiveness.

2. Business school with a heart
When Mays junior Ashton Robison shared her touching photo of Mays Clinical Assistant Professor Henry Musoma holding her baby during a lecture, it immediately went viral. From the headline “Mommy Was Able to Graduate” in People to a guest appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” news quickly traveled around the world about the culture of caring and connectedness at Mays Business School. It all started with the simple act of Musoma inviting Ashton to bring Emmett to his “Ethical Decision Making and Conduct” class when she didn’t have a babysitter. To recognize Musoma for his selfless service, Dean Eli Jones presented him with the first Mays Business School Spirit Award on Sept. 14. Watch “The Ellen Show” clip at tx.ag/ellenshow.

3. Largest single gift
The Texas A&M Foundation receives a commitment of $25 million from the Mays Family Foundation, the largest single commitment in the school’s history. The gift is part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million, including a $15 million commitment in 1996 to rename the school to Mays Business School.

4. 50th to 1st anniversaries 

Many anniversaries of Mays programs were celebrated this past year, including the 50th of the MBA, the 5th of the Professional MBA, and the 1st of the MS Business program.

5. Inaugural Impact Award

Mays Business School gave the inaugural Peggy and Lowry Mays Impact Award to the award namesakes during the 25th-Year Anniversary Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner. The award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the vision and mission of the school. Recipients must exhibit a long and distinguished record of impacting Mays Business School in significant ways, which include exemplary giving and strong leadership.

6. $150,000-plus to nonprofits
The Strategic Philanthropy class at Mays awarded $100,000 to nonprofits – double what was given the first year – in the spring of 2017, and another $62,500 in the fall. The funds are distributed by students in the class.

7. The Most CEOs
Texas A&M University is tied with the University of Michigan for having the most graduates currently serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, according to a Fortune magazine study. Three Fortune 500 CEOs are Mays graduates: Bruce D. Broussard ’84, CEO of Humana; David M. Cordani ’88, CEO of Cigna; and Jeff Miller ’88, CEO of Halliburton.
…Read more

Categories: Alumni, Centers, Departments, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, Programs, Rankings, Spotlights, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

“Imagine that it is a Friday night, you’re tired from a long week, and you just do not want to do much,” freshman Daniel Shulkin said to the crowd. Shulkin added to the narrative by mentioning how the weekend flies by, then Sunday rolls around and suddenly, “It’s 7 p.m. and you have economics homework due at midnight and two tests coming up.”

To help the average college student, a group of Mays Business School freshmen have come up with a nearly foolproof framework for beating procrastination.

Procrastination is something most students have struggled with at some point in their college years. Most college students become stressed, and force themselves to stay up late getting school work and studying done at the last minute. Daniel Shulkin, Allison Kaczynski, Hannah McNease, Tanner Malone, and Zoher Darugar from Richard Johnson’s Freshman Business Initiative (BUSN 101) class were competing against 5 other groups which had developed mental frameworks for tackling college’s challenges. These freshmen were chosen amongst six other groups to give a presentation on Nov. 13 introducing a plan for procrastination, a GAME Plan to be exact.

Out of the entire class, 35 students were chosen to be apart of the Freshman Excellence Initiative (FEI), which is a more exclusive branch of the Freshman Business Initiative that included an intense application process. Students who were chosen exemplify not only the Mays Business School core competencies, but also have the skills and the drive to make a difference in the business world. Jack Youngblood, a BUSN 101 peer leader, came up with the idea to split the students up into groups of five, and then have them come up with a framework in just one week to present to all the BUSN 101 peer leaders. After this, one group was chosen to present in front of the entire class.  

The group presented to their 200-person class a four-step plan for beating procrastination, which consists of:

  • The Gathering stage. In this step, students are to write down dates for everything they need to do or might do in a planner or in their phones.
  • The Assigning stage.This is when students sort all their gathered information and prioritize each event, giving each activity a time slot.
  • The Making stage. Once students sort through their gathered information, they should make a concrete schedule of what they need to do during the day.
  • The Execution stage. This final step is when students actually put their plans into action.

Gathering, Assigning, Making, and Execution make up the acronym GAME, which is an almost foolproof way to beat procrastination, if implemented correctly. Darugar said “the acronym made [their] presentation stand out amongst the other groups, because it is so memorable.” He also mentioned that he thinks their group was chosen over all the other groups because their plan was the most applicable to students, since every student has procrastinated at some point.

McNease added that she now knows how to manage her time better, because she has actually started using The GAME Plan in her everyday life. “Once you get used to the process, it is really easy to implement” McNease said.

“This process has really helped me improve my presentation skills and increase my confidence, considering I have presented more in this one semester than I have in my life” Kaczynski exclaimed. “As a freshman, getting up in front of so many people is intimidating, but now that I have done it, I am ready to take on any other presentation in the future.”

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

For this season’s #GivingTuesday, Jon and Debbie Bethancourt have generously committed to a $10,000 matching gift if current and former students from the Strategic Philanthropy course raise $10,000 in additional funding for future grant making. The gift and the match will go straight to nonprofit organizations in the form of grant funding in the 2018-2019 school year.

The Strategic Philanthropy course at Mays Business School is heavily oriented toward the sustainable, responsible, and measurable ways in which nonprofits address and solve problems in local, national, and global communities. This course provides opportunities for students to practice strategic giving as a group while also developing a personal approach to philanthropy to carry forward into their personal and professional lives.

Donations to this initiative not only fund other nonprofits, but also provide a unique learning experience for students to learn how to “give well.”

…Read more

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