Accounting graduate David Kandolha ’89 advised current students to find the right fit for their first job and to seek guidance from mentors throughout their careers. Mentors are ideally more than two years ahead in their careers and have common interests, he told a group of Business Honors students at Mays.

Business Honors and accounting major Madeline Kelly said one of the things she took away from the talk was that she should takeDavid Kandolha advantage of opportunities like the one to meet with Kandolha. “He thinks learning from mentors is the best way to grow as a person and learn from the mistakes of people who have already been in our shoes, and it will help us get knowledge about the best way to go about a situation,” she explained.

After graduating from Texas A&M University with an accounting degree, Kandolha began his career at Arthur Andersen auditing energy companies. He also holds a JD from South Texas College of Law and a certificate in International Studies from the Bush School of Government. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the New York Bar Association.

Kandolha said when he was going through the interview process, he had a feeling public accounting was the place to be. He worked at Arthur Anderson initially, then attended law school at night while working for the energy trading division of Metallgesellschaft.

He had four job offers from big accounting firms when he was about to graduate. He gave the students advice on what to consider when seeking a job:

  • Do not choose a firm based only on starting salary
  • The biggest firm with the best reputation may not be the best fit for you
  • Learn about the training the company will provide
  • Think about what skills you will gain that are going to be important for you five to 10 years down the line

Kandolha said the most important thing to look at is what employees take away from a particular job – the skills and the network. “Look at the people you’re going to be working with and connecting with and learning from,” he said. He also advised looking very carefully at the company’s culture. “Make sure it’s a good fit for you,” he said. “There’s a lot of prestige that goes with saying, ‘I worked for Goldman Sachs’ or another company, but if the company’s culture is not a good fit for you, if will not be the best choice for you.”

He also recommended that the students find mentors to meet with at least monthly, once they have secured a job. “Those are the people who, when an opportunity for promotion comes up, will stand up for you,” he said. “Look for people you relate to and who are willing to take the time to be an effective mentor.”

Kandolha is a co-founder of Akeida Capital Management, an environmental investment manager that invests in carbon reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects globally. Akeida raised more than $100 million, which it used to finance the construction of four biomass power plants, solar facilities and carbon reduction projects. Akeida owns two biomass power plants, a solar thermal system on the Arizona State University campus and a portfolio of emission credits.

Kandolha was previously a managing director and a founder of Natsource Asset Management, which invested in carbon reduction projects and managed $800 million dollars at its peak. Natsource was started in 1994 by Kandolha and his 4 partners in New York City.  The company went international within four years, opening opened offices in Toronto, Washington, D.C., Calgary, London, Oslo and Tokyo.  At its peak, Natsource employed over 200 people. He aided in the formation and management of businesses in New York, London and Oslo on behalf of Natsource.

Prior to Natsource, Kandolha was a broker of natural gas swaps and options at Euro Brokers Capital Markets and a natural gas analyst with Metallgesellschaft.

Kandolha said he has learned a tremendous amount along the way. “I always consider my mistakes to be seminars,” he said. “And I try to learn from my mistakes and other people’s experiences.”

The students listened intently as Kandolha spoke. Shiv Bembalkar, a Business Honors and finance major, said he always finds it interesting to hear about the careers of former students from Mays. “Mr. Kandolha repeatedly expressed how he felt when he was sitting in our chair,” he said. “His presentation was geared to how he came up in his career path, while noting key things that would help us take advantage of situations when we first start working professionally.”

Caroline Fluke, a Business Honors and supply chain management major, said listening to Kandolha speak was highly motivating. “One of the best takeaways I got from Mr. Kandolha was his advice on how to choose our first job,” she said. “He spoke about the importance of having a mentor and enjoying the environment and people you work with. I am glad I went!”

Vivek Singh, a Business Honors and finance major, added: “David Kandolha served as living proof that the unconventional path can lead to success. It was exciting to hear about his career decisions, and his worldview focused on finding inefficiencies and creating change to fix them. From environmental investing to interactions on a trade floor, it was a truly interesting discussion!”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

 

Catagories: Business Honors, Departments, Mays Business, Texas A&M

The Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School has partnered with Retail TouchPoints and CashStar to identify a new profile of empowered and engaged digital shoppers.

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Ram Janakiraman, a marketing professor and a Mays Research Fellow, was the lead researcher for the project. He analyzed survey data from Retail TouchPoints, the online publishing network for retail executives, to profile the influential “Brand Maven,” or enthusiastic brand advocate.

“It was good to get the reassurance that both digital and social media were the two big channels for consumers when it comes to engagement and interaction,” Janakiraman said. “I expected that people would prefer to use gift cards, but there was overwhelming evidence that digital technology is present throughout many transactions of retailers.”

The report, published by CashStar – a leader in prepaid commerce solutions such as branded gift cards – stands to influence the way retailers interact and view the impact of branded currency and behavior of usage. Its findings also explain how the relationship between a consumer and digital payment evolves, from the introductory point of giving or receiving a gift card to the transition into becoming a loyal customer.

According to Janakiraman, Brand Mavens are among us, with more than 53 percent representing the current shopping population and contributing approximately $1,800 of purchasing power annually through redeemable gift cards and loyalty credits.

Pleased with the collaboration efforts of Texas A&M University with CashStar and Retail TouchPoints, Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies, shared the impact of generating thought leadership. “By leveraging the unique analytical expertise of [our] faculty, the Center for Retailing Studies can help retailers identify their best customers or in this case, Brand Mavens, and quantify their financial value to a firm,” Hollinger said.

Last fall, the Center for Retailing Studies and Janakiraman partnered with Knights Apparel and Texas A&M University for the Back-to-College Roadshow promotional campaign, measuring the impact of social media engagement and evaluating sales of Aggie apparel at Costco Wholesale locations across the state.

According to Hollinger, partnerships like these can help “retailers better know where to invest their money to improve marketing efficiency and effectiveness.”

Janakiraman agrees.

“As researchers, we take a lot of pride working through case studies, marrying practice with academia,” he said. “But each time I work with the Center for Retailing Studies, I learn a lot.”

See the full report at CashStar.com.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

 

Catagories: Centers, Mays Business, Research Notes, Texas A&M

Jordan Bob and Kelly

Kelly P. ’86 and Robert E. Jordan ’85 of Flower Mound, Texas, wanted to honor Kelly’s father, a military veteran. In December 2013, they created a President’s Endowed Scholarship in his name, designated for business.

The Major Soren Alfred Potz-Nielsen II President’s Endowed Scholarship pays tribute to the memory of the Air Force fighter pilot, who was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars. “It was important to honor him and the rich association between our military and Texas A&M,” Bob Jordan explained of their $100,000 gift to create the endowment. The $12,000 scholarships are awarded to freshmen, and financial need is not a criteria.

In addition, the Jordans have created an Endowed Business Honors Scholarship fund with a gift of $125,000. The first scholarship is scheduled to be awarded in fall of 2015 to a full-time undergraduate student – preferably a freshman.

Bob is executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Southwest Airlines and president of AirTran Airways. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1985 and an MBA in 1986. Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1986.

Bob said financial aid kept him in school. “It was only because I received a Lechner Fellowship from the business school that I was able to stay and obtain my MBA,” he said. “Endowing the Business Honors Scholarship is a small way of paying that back.”

Mays Interim Dean Ricky Griffin expressed appreciation for the scholarships. “The generosity of Kelly and Bob Jordan provides a great example of how Aggies give back,’” he said. “As Bob notes, financial assistance helped him complete his education, and now he and Kelly will provide the same kind of support for future students.”

The Jordans continue to enjoy their affiliation with Texas A&M. In October 2014, Bob was given a Mays Outstanding Alumni Award and in November he spoke with MBA and undergraduate students. “We have been so blessed by our association with Texas A&M, starting with Kelly and I meeting here on campus as students,” he said. “We are an Aggie family through and through, with over a dozen in the family graduating from A&M, including our two children. We will always be involved with the school.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Catagories: Donors Corner, Mays Business

Varadarajan-Rajan

The American Marketing Association (AMA) has announced Mays Business School Professor Rajan Varadarajan as the recipient of the 2015 AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award. He is a University Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Regents Professor, holder of the Ford Chair in Marketing and E-Commerce at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. He is also a self-proclaimed “student for life.”

He will be presented with the award at the 2015 Winter Marketing Educators’ Conference in February.

With an exceptional record of service to the AMA, Varadarajan served as editor of the Journal of Marketing, has chaired multiple AMA conferences and currently is the AMA Vice President for Publications. He serves on the editorial review board of numerous journals, including the Journal of MarketingJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science and Journal of International Marketing. Varadarajan refers to these roles as a way to provide service to the marketing profession as well as “an opportunity to be tutored by hundreds of leading scholars from all over the world on leading edge substantive issues in marketing, philosophy of science related issues and the research process.” He cites the volunteer roles that he has held over the years as “greatly beneficial” to him, “an opportunity for learning, and in turn, [to] become a better teacher and researcher.”

Varadarajan’s primary interests are in marketing strategy, innovation, international marketing and environmental sustainability. He has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, and made more than 200 presentations at international conferences, doctoral and faculty consortia, universities and other forums.

Mark Houston, head of the Department of Marketing at Mays, called the award “the highest honor in our field.” He said the selection, based on career contributions, is based upon “the total package – not just a high count of top-tier publications and citations.” He added:
“In short, the winners are scholars whose contributions have helped shape the field, through research, as well as through mentoring and service to the discipline and to the public. Rajan, a true scholar and gentleman, is a wonderful exemplar of the kind of scholar this award was created to celebrate.”

Varadarajan has received nine industry honors and awards, including the AMA Paul D. Converse Award for contributions to the field of marketing (2008) and the AMA Marketing Strategy Special Interest Group’s Vijay Mahajan Award for Lifetime Contributions to Marketing Strategy (2003). He said he is eager to add The AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award to the list, referring to it as “the pinnacle of awards” and commenting that he is “honored and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award.”

The award honors living marketing educators for distinguished service and outstanding contributions in marketing education. Recipients must have notable careers with accomplishments across research, teaching and mentoring, public service, creativity and innovation, service to the marketing profession and administration. Honorees must be universally acknowledged as a long-standing leader in marketing education, and must have made extensive contributions to marketing education and the marketing discipline in general.

Upon receiving the award, Varadarajan will join such marketing luminaries as fellow Mays professor Leonard Berry and George Day, Paul Green, Philip Kotler, Don Lehmann, Leigh McAlister, Louis Stern and Valarie Zeithaml.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN MARKETING ASSOCIATION
With a global network of more than 30,000 members, the American Marketing Association (AMA) serves as one of the largest marketing associations in the world. The AMA is the leading professional association for marketers and academics involved in the practice, teaching, and study of marketing worldwide. Members of the AMA count on the association to be their most credible marketing resource, helping them to establish valuable professional connections and stay relevant in the industry with knowledge, training and tools to enhance lifelong learning.

 

Catagories: Faculty

15746800769_6a8aa1522d_zIn a series of presentations to Mays undergraduate and graduate students on Nov. 24, General Josue “Joe” Robles captivated his audiences by advising them to “never graduate.” Robles elaborated on this message by emphasizing the importance of lifelong learning in building a successful career and cultivating an engaged workforce.

As president and CEO of USAA and a retired U.S. Army officer who served on numerous active duty posts as well as director of the Army budget and commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One), Robles knows a thing or two about professional development and leadership. He shared a number of insights gleaned from his 28-year military career and his experience leading one of the world’s most successful diversified financial services firms.

In an intimate roundtable discussion over lunch, Robles offered advice to Business Honors students as they prepare to graduate, apply for jobs and begin their professional careers. “You need to know yourself, your preferences and tendencies,” he said. “How are you different from other job candidates? What do you bring to the table that is truly unique?”

Robles also stressed to the students the importance of following their passion, citing the example of one of his sons, who has recently embarked upon a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in hopes of discovering a natural, non-chemical cure for cancer. He noted that internships provide students with a great opportunity to “test the waters” to see if the organization—namely its mission and core values—along with the work itself will hold their interest over the long haul.

Even as students graduate and begin a new chapter in their lives, Robles stated that “never graduating” is the most important factor in building a successful career. “You have to be committed to learning new skills and acquiring more knowledge throughout your life,” he said. “That will be the key to enjoying a satisfying career and continuously delivering value to your employer.”

When asked about the differences between leading in the military and leading in the civilian world, Robles commented on some of the changing generational attitudes today. “When I was coming up through the military ranks, leaders gave orders and expected them to be followed,” he said. Commanders, he noted, didn’t have to focus as much on their “softer” communications skills or provide explanations about why an order was being given. “The workplace today has become more collaborative and more team-oriented. The younger employees want to know the ‘why’ behind leaders’ decisions. So to cultivate an engaged workforce—where employees understand, accept and embody your mission and core values through their customer interactions—leaders must commit much more of their time to communicating with employees.”

Robles delved into his leadership philosophy during his afternoon presentation to a group of Full-Time MBA students. As a backdrop for this discussion, he noted the three mandates given to him by the USAA Board of Directors when he took over as president and CEO of the company in December 2007. “The great recession had just begun,” he said, “so the Board made it clear that I could not let the company sink like so many other companies in the U.S. and abroad. But just as important, they wanted me to improve the morale of the troops and reconnect the company with the communities in which we operated.”

One of his first initiatives was to implement a formal leadership development program ultimately focused on improving overall employee engagement. “I knew from experience that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you,” he said. USAA’s enviable 16-percent attrition rate for its contact center employees (compared to an industry average of about 35 percent) speaks to the success of the company’s efforts in this area.

Robles also knew he needed to create a safe and open environment in which employees felt comfortable sharing bad news as well as good news with their managers and the USAA leadership team. To engender that kind of trust, he increased his communications with employees through casual “walk around” conversations as well as small group meetings.

Robles also noted that most big mistakes in companies are the result of breakdowns in character, so he redoubled USAA’s efforts to inculcate its core values in all employees. “We emphasized that taking care of our members (USAA’s customers) was more important than focusing on our profitability,” he said. “Acting in the best interest of our members has always served as a guiding principle for everything we do.”

When asked by a student about the greatest hurdle facing USAA and other companies in the coming years, Robles stated unequivocally that leaders’ ability to manage the people equation represents the biggest challenge. “In a global marketplace where your workforce is becoming increasingly diverse along gender, racial, cultural and generational lines, the ability to attract, train and retain talent will spell the difference between success and failure,” he said.

“General Robles stated that in order to build a successful company or become a successful leader in the business world, you must have strong core values and professional ethics,” said Business Honors student Michael Formella ’18. “But even after you attain success, he made it clear that you must never be satisfied. The company, along with its leaders, must always challenge themselves and their employees to learn more every day.” 

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

Catagories: Executive Speakers

Jordan

Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Robert Jordan went straight for the heart when he revealed the story behind the company’s brand refresh. He showed a video of employees sharing stories about how they had accommodated and interacted with their customers, from saving a lost teddy bear to keeping a military family together as long as possible before the husband/father was deployed.

“Our employees’ mission every day transcends their daily duties,” said Jordan, who is Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing marketing, advertising, network planning, revenue management, and the call centers. “It’s about creating moments that are important to our customers: $20 too high or 20 minutes too late and that opportunity is gone. What is really wonderful about Southwest is that the caring is real. It’s inculcated in our employees.”

Jordan is also president of AirTran Airways, which Southwest acquired in May 2011. The AirTran acquisition added about 20 percent to the size of the company, and the integration will be fully complete this December.

Jordan said that despite being the largest domestic carrier in terms of passengers boarded, and the second-largest in the world, having a large and loyal fan base, and having unique customer-friendly policies like no bag fees and no change fees, there had been worry that the brand had lost a bit of its edge as a maverick, and that the visual identity had not kept pace as the brand had evolved. “Compared to just five years ago, Southwest now offers international service, onboard satellite-based wifi, free live TV, and free streaming music in partnership with Beats Music.” As part of the refresh, the company decided to emphasize the core values that have made it so successful since it started in 1971, the unique connection their employees have with their customers. The new tagline, “without a Heart, it’s just a machine,” does just that. The centerpiece of the visual campaign, a tricolored heart with silver accents, is on the belly and at the door of every plane. Jordan said the airlines’ brand refresh was meant to build on the company’s proud history, not run from it. “The new branding is loyal to our past, but expresses the company we have become, and our future.”

While at Mays, Jordan spoke with groups of Business Honors undergraduates and MBA students. His presentation to the MBA students was informational, but all the students enjoyed the informal setting of the roundtable discussions.

Jordan boasted about the students’ accomplishments already – getting into Texas A&M University and Mays. “This is a very elite group of people,” he said. “It’s fun to see what a great group of leaders we have coming up.”

He told the students to always remember someone might be watching how they work. He said he has not applied for any job promotions. Instead, he was approached about every one of them.

He shared some pointers with the students:

  • Work hard and be ready for whatever comes up.
  • Try to work with a company that is great to work with, and where you enjoy working.
  • Realize there is a lot more to life than work. Have balance.

Mays undergraduate Angela Lowak commented afterward on Jordan’s easygoing, friendly demeanor. “My biggest take away from this professional development event is the importance of sticking to what your company is known for despite potential revenue and also the effectiveness of efficiency to create revenue,” she said. “Mr. Jordan also was a good example of a humble and well-balanced leader.”

Alan Clayton called the interaction with Jordan “one of the most interesting encounters of my semester.” He said: “He had many interesting insights regarding how Southwest has made an effort to distinguish itself as the most successful airline in the world. The way he spoke about the remarkable firm made us question, ‘Well, why doesn’t every airline do the same thing?’ However, at a closer glance, it’s clear the amount of conflicting balls the C-Suite has to juggle – such as low fares, low costs, high efficiencies and high wages – is incredibly difficult and requires a uniquely effective team.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

Catagories: Executive Speakers

An interdisciplinary team of marketing and finance students placed second in a competition in Dallas in early November. The team members were Kathryn Gaines and Jamie Roy (MKTG) and Anna Savage and Arian Jafari (FINC). They competed against seven other schools in the case competition of the Texas regional conference of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

A team of MS-MIS students placed second in the BMC Student Case Competition in conjunction with the FUSION 14 Service Management Conference in Washington, D.C. Team members included Darryl Alva, Parul Rannot and Aravindan Rajamani. Six other teams from across the U.S. also competed in the mid-October program.

Six finance students passed the CMT Level I & II (Chartered Market Technician) exams: Ariel Barnett, Jake Nixon, Maya Lunceford, Jared Radcliffe, Joseph Sahinen and Tom Saint John. These students were awarded scholarships to take the exams through a partnership with the Market Technicians Association.

The all-freshman “Go Fresh” team from Startup Aggieland’s Startup Living Learning Community made the finals in UT’s The Food Lab and Food Challenge Prize. The team is now doing a patent search and, if not patented already, will go forward with provisional patent preparation. Business majors on the team were Berryman Toler, Hunter Pearson, Price Burnett and Felipe Estrada.

Full-Time MBA student Elizabeth Bostwick received an outstanding presenter award at the 8th Annual MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership. Twelve teams participated in the Nov. 14. event at Baylor University.

Sixteen marketing students participated in the American Advertising Federation-Houston’s annual student conference: Jossue Velasquez, Deanna Urban, Emily Nero, Frank Fusselman, Daniel Unrue, Marilea Schmidt, Aubrey McCullar, Angelica Perez, Zach Rother, Gisele Bohorquez, Sarah Page, Bailey Strohmeyer, Austin Wyble, Rachel Gonzales, Anjali Yadav and Jordan Smith. The two-day event consisted of a day-long advertising campaign competition for a real-life client, Midtown Houston. More than 200 students from a four-state area competed in cross-functional teams to develop and execute an integrated, multi-media advertising campaign. Out of more than 20 teams, Aggie Advertising Club members Daniel Unrue, Emily Nero and Aubrey McCullar led their teams to first-, second- and third-place wins, respectively. The second day of the event consisted of resume reviews and panel discussions with local advertising agency executives. While the students worked on their campaigns, Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing Lisa Troy and MS Marketing student Lindsay LaRosa attended a faculty tour of Minute Maid Park and the Houston Chronicle.

Catagories: Mays Business

During the weekend of Nov. 7, students from all over the Texas A&M University System came together to do the impossible: create a business in only three days. Every semester, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) hosts 3 Day Startup and challenges students to compress three months’ worth of work into one weekend. This semester was the first time West Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M at Galveston and the Texas A&M School of Law sent student participants to College Station.

3 Day Startup aims to teach students through experience about the trials and triumphs of starting a business. The students are encouraged to use the risk-free environment of the weekend to work on ideas they are passionate about and would be interested in pursuing after the program has ended. Mentors and professors from Texas A&M are present throughout the weekend to help the students fine-tune their businesses.

Students began their weekend by meeting that Friday at Startup Aggieland and brainstorming ideas that they then pitched to one another. When pitches were completed, the students voted on the top seven ideas worth pursuing and then broke into teams. They had until Sunday to turn their idea into a feasible startup venture.

Participants returned to Startup Aggieland early Saturday morning to begin researching market viability, creating logos and business plans, and building their mid-point pitches. That evening, students presented their startups to a room of mentors and fellow participants and gained feedback on how to improve their ventures. At this point many groups had changed their names, logos or entire business models multiple times and now only had 24 hours to perfect their startup for Sunday’s final pitches.

By Sunday evening, the participants were ready to face the judging panelists. Each team gave a 10-minute presentation to a panel of mock investors and answering five minutes of Q&A. Their knowledge about their startup was tested, but each group of participants rose to the challenge. Once final pitches concluded the groups received final feedback comments from investors.

This semester’s teams focused on solving consumers’ problems. Their ideas included:

A phone app to help those fighting substance addiction
High-quality modular housing that could be used overseas in relief efforts
A phone app that provides users with information on how busy their favorite places are
Visual information mapping that could help doctors easily identify correlating diseases
For many groups, their hard work paid off when they were approached by possible investors or were invited to become Entrepreneurs in Residence at Startup Aggieland.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Catagories: Centers

An idea to preserve fresh food propelled a team of five freshmen from Startup Aggieland’s Startup Living Learning Community to be named one of 21 finalists for the inaugural Food Challenge Prize. The competition was sponsored by the Food Lab at the University of Texas.

Team members from Mays include Berryman Tolder, Hunter Pearson, Price Burnett and Felipe Estrada.

More than 120 registrants of all experience levels and from a wide range of backgrounds entered the competition, which encourages innovations of all types in the global food system. Judges from the Food Lab’s advisory committee selected the finalists, who will continue to work with industry mentors for around 13 weeks before the Food Challenge Showcase in February 14, 2015. Over $30,000 will be awarded in prize money.

Animal science major McCalley Cunninham described the team’s idea, “Go Fresh!” products, which seeks to preserve food during transport in order to reduce food waste. “Go Fresh!”” products contain an OYA gene that absorbs ethanol to prevent deterioration of produce, she said. We are losing $165 billion a year by throwing away wasted food. If we can resolve this issue, then we can help with the challenge of feeding the world in the next 50 years.”

The “Go Fresh” team is doing a patent search and, if the idea is not patented already, will go forward with provisional patent preparation.

For more information on the competition, visit http://utfoodlab.com/2014-ut-food-lab-challenge/.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Catagories: Executive Speakers

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The Mays Full-Time MBA program at Texas A&M University retained its strong standing among the top 20 U.S. public universities, ranking 17th among U.S. public schools according to rankings released Tuesday by Bloomberg Businessweek. Among all U.S.-based schools, the Mays Full-Time MBA program was ranked 42nd down from 26th in the previous ranking in 2012.

“This was clearly unexpected news. In the coming days and weeks we will consider more deeply the causal factors of these rankings and how we can address them,” said Mary Lea McAnally, associate dean for graduate programs. However, she noted that Bloomberg Businessweek’s new methodology contained a number of major changes that introduced significant volatility in this year’s rankings. “One of the strengths of our program is that our alumni return to campus to recruit year after year and they are continually pleased with their hires. But the new rankings methodology does not include the survey responses of those recruiters,” she added.

Earlier this year, the Mays Full-Time MBA Class of 2014 reported very strong employment results: full-time employment was 96 percent at the 90-day mark, and the average starting salary was more than $98,000, the highest ever reported by a Mays Full-Time MBA class.

Ricky Griffin, interim dean of Mays Business School added, “We will continue to do what is best for our students and stakeholders while always looking for areas of improvement. Our program can’t be driven by rankings.” He further noted that the Aggie network is one of the key reasons students are attracted to MBA programs at Texas A&M. “It is an extremely valuable resource that benefits our students throughout their careers,” he said. “Even though the various rankings methodologies and outcomes may vary from year to year, we will continue to focus on delivering world-class business education that leads to strong employment outcomes for our graduates.”

Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of full-time MBA programs is based on three elements: a survey of newly minted MBAs, a poll of corporate recruiters and an evaluation of faculty research output. The MBA surveys and the recruiter polls each contribute 45 percent to the final ranking; however, Bloomberg Businessweek noted the overall rank is more closely associated with the employer assessment than student appraisals. The faculty-research ranking contributes the remaining 10 percent.

To view the full rankings, go to businessweek.com/14/rankings

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s 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 undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Catagories: Mays Business