Lead Story

Professional MBAs develop leadership through a day of high-impact experiences

Kelli Levey Reynolds, June 5th, 2018

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

It’s probably fair to say that most doctoral students are ecstatic when they complete their dissertations. Assistant Management Professor Dr. Wendy Boswell has reason to be even more excited.

The 2000 Cornell University graduate recently received honorable mention in the Industrial Relations Research Association’s 2001 Best Dissertation Competition. Boswell’s dissertation, “Aligning Employees with the Organization’s Strategic Objectives: Out of ‘Line of Sight,’ Out of Mind,” contributes to the emerging debate regarding employee engagement with the strategic goals of the organization.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The Texas Business Hall of Fame recently recognized second-year MBA student Dustin Stanton for his performance in the classroom. He was among 20 MBA students from across the state that received the annual scholarship award.

According to MBA Program Director Dr. Dan Robertson, it’s no surprise that Stanton was honored by the Hall of Fame. “Dustin has that rare combination that I wish all our MBA students had,” says Robertson, who nominated Stanton for the award. “He’s incredibly gifted academically, but also has the interpersonal skills and gives back to the MBA program.”

Stanton, who graduated with a bachelor’s in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State, worked at John Deere Company prior to attending the Mays College.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs, Students

Advising students, assisting with projects and events, overseeing incoming and outgoing money. Welcome to the lives of several staff members in the Mays College. Faculty and students no doubt play center stage in a university setting. But, it’s the dedicated staff members keep things running (and keep people paid).

For four Mays staff members, that’s clearly the case. The college recently recognized these women for their exemplary service at its annual staff awards.

Those honored include Holly Clark, Center for Retailing Studies; Kristi Mora, Department of Management; Claudia Orum, Center for International Business Studies; and Jody Trenckmann, Department of Marketing.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Dr. Dan Robertson, Mays MBA Program director and marketing professor, was recently honored by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents for his dedicated service to the university. He was named a 2000-2001 Regents Professor, which is among the highest honors given by the board.

Also known as Dr. Dan, Robertson joined the Mays College in 1981 and has since held numerous administrative positions both within the college and university. In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate marketing courses, he has also served as faculty advisor to various student groups, including the MBA Association, Pi Sigma Epsilon and the Graduate Student Council.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Texas A&M

Mays students know that solving problems quickly and effectively is fundamental to success in today’s competitive marketplace. And, at the annual Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) case competition, they put their abilities to the test.

The contest required students to solve an actual case that had been analyzed by ENFORM Technology. With only one week to develop a solution, the competing teams fine tuned their research and faced a stringent selection process judged by senior IT executives. Winners were selected from a pool of 25 undergraduate teams and five graduate teams. Each winning member received scholarships up to $400 and ExxonMobil gas cards.

The undergraduate team taking home top honors included senior information and operations management students Christine Lochte, Jennifer Boyer, Jenny Howard and Stephanie Lewis. Members of the winning graduate team were Jason Davis, Steve Schrib, Leslie Adkins and Matthew Edge.

“The case competition was a great learning experience for them and a wonderful way to expand job networking,” says CMIS Director Dr. George Fowler. “Our goal [at CMIS] is to enhance the education of students to give them great experience. I think this competition met all expectations.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs, Students

Sy Sternberg, chairman, president and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company spoke to Mays MBAs about the (some times) counterintuitive philosophy of the 156-year-old, Fortune 100 company he leads. He also discussed the events of September 11 and how New York Life responded that day. Sterberg shared his strategies in opening New York Life in international markets, as well as the importance of adhering to company values in every decision.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers

Some of the state’s best and brightest students got their first look at career opportunities during the college’s Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP). The weeklong camp, which was held in June, aimed to peak minority students’ interest in studying business, primarily at Texas A&M.

Funded by Ernst & Young, the first-year program was modeled after a nationwide program sponsored by the National Association of Black Accounts, which exposes African American students to career opportunities in accounting. While the Mays College’s version of the program also emphasized accounting, it also gave the 36 students a firsthand look at all aspects of business.

“The goal of the week was to teach the students certain business skills, primarily putting together a business plan,” says Dr. Thomas Lopez, assistant accounting professor and BCAP coordinator.

BCAP participants attended sessions on business management, writing business plans, presentation skills and using multimedia equipment, which were taught by college faculty members. And, to give them an example of how those tools translate to the business world, they took a daylong field trip to Ernst & Young in Houston and toured a client’s facilities, which just happened to be Enron Field.

“I think the students realized there are a lot of career opportunities in accounting and business,” says Lopez. “Some they hadn’t ever thought about.”

Many of the incoming high school seniors had not considered Texas A&M as a college choice prior to coming to campus, yet they left the program with a little taste of life as an Aggie, staying in residence halls with current Mays business students.

“Overall, I think the week went well and the students enjoyed themselves,” Lopez says. “I think it left them with a favorable impression of A&M and many of them told me they were planning to apply to A&M, which was one of the goals of the program.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

The Mays MBA Program continues to rank among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report‘s 2002 rankings. In the yearly rundown of the nation’s best schools, the program was named 45th among the 341 schools surveyed for the publication. For the first time ever, the college’s general management program was ranked by U.S. News, garnering the 25th spot among all schools in the category.

The rankings are based in part by information the Mays College provides the magazine, said Wendy Flynn, assistant director of the Mays MBA Program. Then, U.S. News & World Report surveys academics and recruiters to rate the schools.

“It’s nice to receive the recognition,” she said. “We are very excited to remain in the top 50 because it’s an important distinction. We are also very happy that the general management program appeared in the rankings for the first time ever.”

For more information on the rankings, visit U.S. News & World Report online.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

“It seems that most people get into retail accidentally and that very few people plan to get into it,” said R. Bruce Bryant, senior vice president for Western Store Operations for Walgreen Co. during a recent visit to the Mays College.

While that may be true for some, students in the Mays College are preparing now for careers in the retailing field. And, through the Center for Retailing Studies’ (CRS) Executive-in-Residence Program, students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, such as Bryant, who are shaping the retail industry.

During his guest session, Bryant recounted his experiences in the field, particularly the opportunities and challenges he’s witnessed during his 30-year career with Walgreen. Like many Mays students, Bryant was mesmerized by the industry and wanted to make it his career. “My dad had a wholesale grocery business that I worked at when I was in high school,” said Bryant, who serves on the CRS Advisory Board. “I loved it and went to college knowing that I wanted to go into retail.”

The interactive session also provided time for students to volunteer suggestions on how Bryant could help improve Walgreen’s retail efforts, ranging from offering more drive-through window services and removing clutter from storefronts.

For more than 15 years, the CRS has been bringing retailing executives to campus from numerous companies, including Payless ShoeSource, JCPenny, Hastings Entertainment, Zale Corporation, Pizza Hut, Walgreen and Mary Kay, among others.

To learn more, visit the Center for Retailing Studies online.

Categories: Departments, Programs

For the first time ever, the Mays MBA Program was named one of the top 100 MBA programs by the London Financial Times. The list, which includes schools from throughout the world, designated the program 67th overall and 16th among the 51 U.S. public institutions named to the list.

“We feel especially gratified that, in the first international ranking in which we were included, our fairly young program has held its own with the best of the best,” said Dan Robertson, director of the Mays MBA Program. “This is a unique ranking because unlike the BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Gourman and Princeton reviews, the Financial Times ranking is international. It looks at programs, many of them long-lived, thought to be outstanding, not just in the United States, but throughout the entire world.”

To determine the rankings, the Financial Times conducts two surveys, including one of institutions offering graduate business degrees and the other of students who graduated from the programs three years ago. The surveys are designed to gauge career progression as accrued by earning an MBA, including salary, salary increments, and international mobility. The surveys also focus on institutional diversity and the quality of the schools’ research, looking at the number of journal publications by faculty members and doctoral graduates.

Because of the rankings are international, Robertson noted the Mays program will likely attract more interest from potential students around the globe. “As a result of our good showing in the Financial Times rankings, the Mays MBA Program will get more attention both from U.S. and international students,” he said. “We’re extremely gratified to be so well thought of among stiff worldwide competition.”

For more information about the Mays MBA Program, visit http://mba.tamu.edu.

Categories: Faculty, Programs