Lead Story

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans boosts ideas

Stephanie Burns, July 18th, 2018

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship welcomed 22 veterans to Aggieland for the 11th annual Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) on the evening of Saturday, July 14.

EBV at Texas A&M University is an exceptional initiative that leverages the resources and infrastructure of higher education to provide entrepreneurial skills and small business management training to post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities. Part of a nationwide consortia of nine universities offering EBV to disabled veteran entrepreneurs, the overall goal of Texas A&M’s program is to open the door to economic opportunity for our veterans and their families by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining a commercial venture.

The opening ceremonies were held at the Association of Former Students with a welcome address made by Kathryn Greenwade ’88 of the Association of Former Students and opening remarks made by David Shimek ’86 of the program’s underwriter, The Reynolds and Reynolds Company.

Honoring the past, encouraging the future

Ron Poynter, retired Army helicopter pilot and EBV Class of 2012 graduate, was recognized with the Robin ’76 & Robert Starnes ’72 EBV Outstanding Alumni Award and delivered an encouraging and thoughtful speech to this year’s participants. Poynter encouraged the 2018 class to stay focused and engaged in their industry’s trends and to be prepared for a lot of hard work.

The program consists of a 21-day online course followed by a nine-day residency at Texas A&M. During the in-residence portion of EBV, participants will spend the week attending lectures and workshops at Mays Business School’s Center for Executive Development, where they will learn about enterprise basics, lean startup methodologies and small business growth strategies. The bootcamp extends well into the evening hours with individual breakout meetings between participants and volunteer mentors from the local community. Thanks to the generosity of the program’s individual and private-sector sponsors, EBV is offered at no cost to the participants.

This year’s class includes business ventures ranging from an eco-friendly flower alternative to healthcare to drone-imaging services, with nearly every venture focused on employing and giving back to fellow veterans.

Unlike the twenty-something characters on the popular “Real World” television show, Mays College graduate students realize challenges await them upon commencement. To help ease the transition of entering, or often re-entering, the workforce, the college’s Graduate Business Career Services recently hosted its annual career conference. Unlike typical career fairs, the conference used a roundtable format, matching a handful of students with representatives from a particular company for a 45-minute discussion.

“Students like the fact that the conference provides a more casual atmosphere, and they are more comfortable asking questions and discussing job opportunities,” said Kaci Yates, coordinator of this year’s conference. Yates said representatives from more than 30 companies and approximately 300 students attended the two-day event, which was held in Reed Arena.

Categories: Departments, Students

Thanks to the generous support of Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte, 75 undergraduate and graduate distinguished business students are pursing their educational through the Mitte Scholarship Program. The Mittes were recently honored at a reception and dinner by the college, which featured entertainment by the Texas A&M Singing Cadets. The 2000 Mitte Scholars were also recognized during the program for their academic achievements.

Categories: Donors Corner, Texas A&M

Representatives of Ford Motor Company recently visited Texas A&M, meeting some of the Mays College’s brightest students. Undergraduate and graduate students in the Ford Scholars Program were on hand to greet representatives from Ford Motor Company and acknowledge the company’s generous support of their academic pursuits in the college. Members of Ford’s team visiting the college included: Carlos E. Mazzorin, group vice president of global purchasing and South America; Chuck Maitland, director of manufacturing; Linda Plawecki, purchasing manager; Candy Chatawanich, body structures engineer; Alberto Piccone, purchasing manager; and Denny Igun, recruiting account manager.

Through a recent partnership with the college, the Ford Scholars Program was established to recognize students’ outstanding academic achievements. Thanks to the collaboration, the Mays College also established the Ford Motor Company Chair in Consumerism/E-Commerce/E-Business, the Ford Faculty Fellowship and the Ford Excellence Fund.

Categories: Donors Corner, Texas A&M

Graduates of the Mays MBA program are getting more bang for their buck, according to a recent issue of Business Week. The magazine’s “Best B-Schools” issue ranked the MBA program as having the best return on investment, or ROI, particularly when it comes to careers in marketing. Figures released in the biennial rankings show that Mays MBA graduates who chose careers in marketing could earn back their educational investment faster than graduates of any other U.S. business schools. The program was also touted as having the sixth fastest payback for MBAs, regardless of career choice, as compared to other programs nationwide.

“Texas A&M has relatively low tuition costs, especially for Texas residents,” said Dan H. Robertson, director of the MBA program. “Students who choose Mays for their MBA can potentially leverage a modest investment into a very attractive starting salary.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

David M. Szymanski has been appointed director of the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) by Dean Benton Cocanougher. Szymanski served as associate director of the CRS from 1997-2000 under founding director Leonard L. Berry. Szymanski, a professor of marketing and retailing, has been recognized by the Mays College as the Outstanding Researcher in 1993 and received the Association of Former Students’ Outstanding Teacher Award for the Mays College of Business in 1994. The CRS was created in 1983 as a liaison between the academic and business communities.


Categories: Departments, Faculty

The real-world focused Mays Executive MBA Program is proving to be a hot commodity at a host of Fortune 500 companies. The modular and integrated curriculum program – one of the few MBA programs of its type in the nation — is generating a high degree of interest, noted John Dinkel, director of the program and associate dean for graduate studies.

“More than twice as many applications were received for the available positions this fall,” Dinkel said. “We’ve literally been overwhelmed. In fact, we’re already reviewing applications for the class starting in August 2001.”

Aimed at mature professionals with significant and progressive managerial experience, the Executive MBA Program provides knowledge participants can immediately use on their jobs, Dinkel emphasized, noting that their companies have been highly supportive.

Visit the Executive MBA Program’s Web site at http://emba.tamu.edu for more information.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Key positions within the college have been filled, including naming Ricky Griffin executive associate dean. Griffin, who joined Texas A&M in 1981, formerly served as department head in the Department of Management and director for the Center for Human Resource Management. He is the Lawrence E. Fouraker Professor of Management.

Angelo DeNisi replaces Griffin as the department head in the Department of Management. DeNisi, who joined Texas A&M in 1997, also serves as the director for the Center for Human Resource Management. He is the B. Marie Oth Professor of Management.

In addition, Clair Nixon has been named associate dean of the Mays College. Nixon will oversee the college’s undergraduate programs, information technology, and communications. He also is the PricewaterhouseCoopers Accounting Excellence Professor.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Staff

The Business Student Council recently held its semi-annual Business Career Fair, bringing the state and nation’s top businesses to the Texas A&M campus.

The Fall 2000 Business Career Fair kicked off with a reception on Sept. 18 and ran through Sept. 21. More than 160 companies were on hand to meet with business students over the three-day event, with approximately 60 companies exhibiting each day. By bringing prospective employers into the Wehner Building, business students had an opportunity to interview for internships and full-time employment, distribute their résumés, and gather information about various companies.

“I think the career fair was very successful this year. The companies were very pleased with the number of students who attended and were impressed by the quality of students,” said Nicholas Schoolar, a senior finance major and vice president of the career fair.

“The students were able to walk through the halls of Wehner and learn about a wide range of companies, from banking and accounting firms to retailers and technology companies. A lot of students also went to the reception, which allowed them to talk to the recruiters on a more informal level.”

Categories: Students