BBA News

McCombs BBA Scholarship for Continuing Students


Important Scholarship Information

The 2014-2015 McCombs BBA Scholarship Application for Continuing Students, is currently available until May 2, 2014. The application can be found online through the McCombs website:

Deadline to apply: MAY 2, 2014

**Note: If you currently receive a “renewable” McCombs Scholarship, you must apply with the McCombs Undergraduate Scholarship Application to be eligible to renew your award. If you do not apply, we cannot renew the award.***

Apply to University-wide Scholarships

We would also encourage you to apply with the University-wide Scholarship application. For information regarding university-wide scholarships, please visit the Office of Student Financial Services (

Questions? We have answers!

For questions please contact Charles Enriquez, Director Recruiting & Scholarships, at [email protected].

Do not delay and good luck!

7 Business Tips From Former American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton


By Madison Hamilton

Every great leader has their tips and tricks for success and Thomas Horton, former CEO of American Airlines, is no exception. On March 25, students filed into the Student Activity Center auditorium at The University of Texas at Austin to hear Horton speak as part of the VIP Distinguished Speaker Series. Organized by the Undergraduate Business Council at the McCombs School of Business, the lecture series invites influential executives to come share their stories and advice with students. David E. Platt, Dean of Undergraduate Programs at McCombs, conducted the interview.

Horton gave attendees seven top takeaways:

1. Tone at the top.

“I’m a strong believer in tone at the top. I think the tone you set with what you say and do matter a lot. And who you hire is really important because they’re setting the tone at the top of their chain.”

2. Think ethically.

“I think that we all have a duty to be ethical and behave in a way that’s responsible.”

3. Be humble.

“Have more than you show, speak less than you know. I figure anytime you get Shakespeare and George Strait saying the same thing, it’s good. In all seriousness, it comes to humility. I don’t care if you’re the guy tossing the bags or the CEO — it’s important to remember your place in the universe and to be humble.”

4. Make the tough decisions.

“We’re going to do some things that are hard and they aren’t going to benefit everybody, but we’re trying to create the best outcome for the most people in the end.”

5. Capitalism is good.

“Capitalism has done a really good job at raising living standards around the world for hundreds of millions of people. So as a leader in business, I think a lot about being successful in producing a good product for our customers which will produce a good product for our owners, which really, and more importantly, will produce security and hopefully growth in jobs.”

6. Work hard.

“If you want to succeed, you’ve got to work hard. There’s no substitute for hard work — I don’t care what college you went to.”

7. Just keep running.

“I usually get up at about 5:30 a.m. and shoot straight out the door to get a run in wherever I am in the world. I just find that it’s a great way to clear the head and level yourself for the day.”

Photo courtesy of Sarah Mithani. 

This article originally appeared at McCombs TODAY.

Texas BBA Alum Brings Biotechnology to Consumers

glofishCEO and co-founder of Yorktown Technologies, L.P, Alan Blake, BBA ’01, introduced, GloFish® fluorescent fish, the first mass-marketed biotech animal in 2003. Blake and business partner, Richard Crockett, grew their entrepreneurial careers form a landscaping business serving one customer to a product that is now sold in 7,000 retail chains across the country. The GloFish brand offers 70 products including nearly a dozen lines of fluorescent fish in six different colors and three species. The company just met the 10-year mark of selling GloFish®.


Blake spoke on March 25 during a session with moderator and previous Entrepreneur In Residence and 25-year veteran of the Austin technology scene, Laura Kilcrease. The appearance was part of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.


“It’s not just the first biotech animal that’s widely available to consumers, it’s the most visible biotech product available to consumers,” said Blake as he explained the revolutionary aspect of GloFish®.

However, GloFish® did not find success without trials. Shortly after the introduction of the fluorescent fish, concerns were raised by the public and researchers across the world about what types of affects this new genetically modified species may have on the environment. “We sit at the intersection of biotechnology, ornamental fish and politics,” explained Blake.

GloFish® became somewhat controversial gaining a tremendous amount of publicity. In a short amount of time the topic had accumulated about 750 million media impressions, the number of times someone sees, hears or reads about GloFish®, including the front page of both The New York Times and The LA Times. “The question was, what would happen if these fish were to get out? And sadly the answer is that they would die,” said Blake.

GloFish® approached the issue in the only way that made sense, by going through the proper procedures and receiving the appropriate approvals from the FDA and conducting and passing ecological risk assessments. “Having the right team has been really the core. Rich and I go back 25 years now and it’s kind of like a marriage,” said Blake. “We have our better times and our worse times, but there’s always that baseline that we’re going to pull together and we’re going to solve problems.”

Blake believes there are many factors that have contributed to the growth of GloFish®. The co-founders have made a point to be well-aligned around their vision, “The vision of GloFish® now is to building a category of fishkeeping, like freshwater fish, saltwater fish, GloFish® has it’s own category.”

Blake has found passion to be the most important driving force behind the business, “We love what we’re doing and we’re trying to create something greater than ourselves,” said Blake.

“There are an infinite number of things that we can do to make money, but there are only a certain number of things we can do to make us happy,” said Blake. “Do something you love and you’ll probably be really good at it. When you’re really good at something, money will usually follow.”

Michael Dell Says It’s A Great Time For Entrepreneurship In Austin

Michael Dell took a leap of faith in 1984 when he dropped out of UT and founded Dell Computers. “It was a very personal decision,” said Dell as he further explained making the decision to follow an idea that he felt was promising.

Dell, a Houston native, spoke on March 6 during an interview moderated by UT Entrepreneur in Residence and co-founder of BazaarVoice, Brett Hurt. The session was hosted by UT Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency (UT LEA) and the McCombs Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship as part of UTEWeek.




Dell Computers found success quickly, as predicted by Dell, “For the first nine months, the company had revenues of about $6 million,” said Dell. In the second year, Dell Computers grew to $33 million in revenue.

Although he dropped out of UT, Dell is glad to have the 40 Acres close by, “If you find any great company in the world you will find a great university nearby. We’re very fortunate to have UT nearby,” said Dell. He has hired many graduates of the university and believes UT is part of what attracts people to Austin.

Dell has given back to the city of Austin and UT in various different ways since founding Dell Computers. Last year, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation donated $60 million to start the Dell Medical School at UT. “I was supposed to be a doctor, so I figured I could do the next best thing: a medical school,” joked Dell.

When asked about the climate currently surrounding entrepreneurship, Dell responded positively, “A great thing we have in this country, is that we have a culture that accepts and embraces risk,” said Dell. “There really hasn’t been a better time to be alive in the world. This is a fantastic place. It’s hard to imagine a better place to be.”




Application Now Open: Barbara Jordan and George Mitchell Leadership Awards

The Barbara Jordan George Mitchell Awards Committee is excited to announce the opening of its annual award applications.

Each year McCombs School of Business students have a chance to receive recognition for their achievements by their peers. The George Mitchell Student Leadership award is given to two outstanding freshmen, sophomores, and juniors for their ability to inspire leadership in themselves and others. Seniors are eligible to apply to the Barbara Jordan Senior Legacy Award that recognizes their commitment to leaving a legacy of mentorship, leadership, and passion at the McCombs School of Business. In addition, McCombs Affiliated Student Organizations may apply to either the Most Outstanding or the Most Improved award.

 All four award applications are evaluated by a committee of students and are meant to encourage continued leadership, innovation, and a lasting legacy at the McCombs School of Business. Students, faculty, and alumni may fill out a nomination form, although a nomination is not necessary to apply. Both the nomination form and the application can be found at

All applications are due to [email protected] 11:59 p.m. on March 7th.

 For any questions or more information, please contact committee chair, Nicole Ferraro at [email protected]. The committee is looking forward to reviewing another year of outstanding McCombs students.

McCombs Students Advance to Deloitte Nationals

McCombs students, Mustafa Ali, Parakh Jain, Steven Minkus and Matthew Rindelaub, will represent McCombs at the Deloitte Consulting National Undergraduate Case Competition, at Deloitte University on Thursday, Feb. 27.

The team of four qualified to compete after taking first place in the Preliminary School Competition at UT, which was held on Feb. 5.

“It is a great honor for us to represent McCombs at Deloitte Nationals. We can show the high quality of the business program at McCombs,” said Parakh Jain. The team plans to use the feedback they received from Deloitte officials at the preliminary competition and apply that to their next presentation at Deloitte Nationals.

“I hope to network with Deloitte partners and employees to gain more insight about consulting and business,” said Mustafa Ali.

The team will compete against 15 to 20 other top business schools including New York University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan and Cornell University.


Integrated MPA Info Sessions – Join the #1 Program in the Nation



The MPA Program Office will be holding three integrated MPA information sessions this spring. Learn about the application process, curriculum, career opportunities, and more! The fall 2014 application for admission will open on April 1, 2014, and the application deadline is June 1, 2014.


Thursday, March 6
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Legacy Events Room (CBA 3.202)

Wednesday, March 26

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Legacy Events Room (CBA 3.202)

Monday, April 7
2:00-3:00 p.m.

Legacy Events Room (CBA 3.202)

Former President & CEO Of OfficeMax Says Confidence Is Key

ravi-saligramRavi Saligram, former President and CEO of OfficeMax, sat down for an interview with Dean Gilligan as part of the Undergraduate Business Council’s VIP Distinguished Speaker Series.

Saligram began his 35-year career at Leo Burnett Chicago, the best advertising agency at the time. It was at Leo Burnett that he began to understand brands and become a marketer. Only 21 years old at the time, Saligram also learned the importance of having courage of your convictions to defend yourself.

“I was working on the Keebler Company and we had the campaign of elves in the hollowed trees,” said Saligram. “The client got tired of the elves because it was an umbrella ad campaign and they kept pushing for individual brand campaigns and we had to tell them they just didn’t have the money. You have champagne taste, but beer money and it just doesn’t work.” Saligram was later thrown out of a campaign pitch when he repitched the elves campaign instead of a new approach. Ultimately Saligram’s team convinced the company that the elves were the best equity they had.

When asked what it is about himself that allowed for his career to advance so quickly, Saligram attributed his success to a mindset centered on teamwork. “I never looked at it as a competition versus my peers, because I think when you get into that sort of a thing it gets to be a rat race,” said Saligram. “Something I’ve subscribed to all throughout my career is making your team look good rather than making it all about yourself.”

Ethical responsibilities of a company are also very important to Saligram. OfficeMax is regarded as having one of the most progressive ethical and compliance policies in the U.S. and Saligram believes this should be of value to companies across the world, “Having spent five years working in different countries, I feel it’s very important to do business in an ethical way and that has nothing to do with being American or being Chinese. I just have always felt that if you’re an associate of a company, you always feel better if you can sleep well at night,” said Saligram.

When asked about the motivation behind the merger between OfficeMax and Office Depot, Saligram explained that it was a decision that had been talked about for 20 years and was ultimately the best decision for the company. “To me it was a simple economic argument. Even though OfficeMax was at $7 billion, Depot was at $11 billion. Together that was $18 billion in revenues,” said Saligram. “The synergies alone were double to triple that of what we were making. So, I felt for the long-term viability of the companies, that the only thing that made sense was to merge.”

As Saligram offered an overarching piece of advice to students, he recalled a critique of himself from a Korean direct report that had stuck with him, “He said, ‘Saligram, you always single out the super stars. You’re running a company and in a company most of the people are average. Your job is to take the people that are average and make them above average,’” said Saligram. He has carried this with him throughout his career and made a point to inspire his employees at all level so that they feel they are serving a purpose and contributing towards company goals creating a powerful company culture.

Saligram offered McCombs students many valuable pieces of advice to be applied to their own future careers. The Undergraduate Business Council will host Thomas Horton, Chairman of American Airlines, for the next VIP Speaker Series on Tuesday, March 25.


Global Brigades Gets Down to Business in Panama

McCombs Sophomore, Christen May, first heard about Global Brigades through a friend’s blog post about their time spent rehabilitating a community in Ghana. Global Brigades is a community service organization with university-sponsored chapters nationwide. The focus of the group is to send college students to Honduras, Ghana and Panama to rebuild communities in need.

Depending on interest, volunteers are split into groups based on their skills, which determines the project they will execute in the destination community. There are nine different skill-based groups including: architecture, business, dental, environmental, human rights, medical, microfinance, public health and water. As a McCombs student, Christen was placed in the business sector to work on a Co-Op project in Platanilla, Panama, where previous business brigades had helped members of the community to start and maintain a bank.

Volunteers for Global Brigades are expected to pay for their airfare and a program fee, totaling $1,600. Christen decided to volunteer in February and would leave the following May. With only a few months to come up with the money she began fundraising. She used Facebook to spread the word and reached out to family, friends and friends’ parents to ask for donations. Most people were more than happy to donate $50–$300 allowing Christen to quickly raise enough money for the trip.

Just one week after classes ended in May, Christen was on a plane headed for Panama. The group of 12 students shared one room in a large camp with multiple buildings. There were other skill-based brigades there such as medical and dental. The campus was centrally located to reach all communities in Panama and Platanilla was a two-hour bus ride to and from everyday, which did not allow for sleeping due to unpaved roads with large potholes.

Meeting children in the community on the first day

On the first day, the group introduced themselves by bringing all of the children together for games and fun to build trust with the community. Christen’s group then sat down with the members of the community running the bank to hear what they were struggling with and what their needs were, which was more team work and leadership skills. Every evening the group prepared lessons for the community members and taught classes from 9am to noon about leadership, team work, confidence and how to present an argument.

The group of 12 students were split into three groups of four and assigned a client to work with during the afternoons. Christen’s small group was assigned to Senorita Zaraitha, who started operating her own chicken coop with the help of a previous brigade. Senorita Zaraitha was raising a son a now wanted to expand her chicken coop revenue and operate more than one coop. Christen describes one of the most difficult challenges arising when the group needed information from Senorita Zaraitha about how she was operating her business. “The people in Panama are very private. It was really hard for her to give us the information about money. It embarrassed her, it was a pride thing,” explained Christen. Language was another barrier that made things challenging, but a translator was always present, which helped communication.

Christen’s group formed a 42-week cyclical plan for Senorita Zaraitha. If she executed the plan correctly, she would expand from one coop to four and her revenue would grow from $173 every two months to $173 every two weeks. Senorita Zaraitha had a smile from ear to ear and was very happy and grateful for their help.

Tribal dancing

In addition to helping the Platanilla community, the brigades were also given the opportunity to go on cultural excursions into indigenous tribes. On one visit in particular, the women wore hand-made skirts and no tops. Their skin was painted and they were selling craft items they had made themselves such as masks and clothing. The women also performed a tribal dance for Christen’s group, stomping and clapping in a circle formation.

Christen had an amazing experience with Global Brigades and loved experiencing a new culture. “The communication aspect was huge. We had a language barrier, but the compassion translated and they were so grateful to have us there. Their opinion of people from the United States is that we’re always busy, and it really touched them that we would take the time to come help them.”

Beverly and Will O’Hara give $10,000 to support Ethics at the McCombs School of Business


Beverly and Will O’Hara


In January, Beverly and Will O’Hara, BBA ’68, gave $10,000 to The McCombs School of Business Bachelor of Business Administration Student Ethics Advisory Board. The Ethics Board was formed in 2013 by a group of students to represent McCombs BBA students in all issues related to the ethical climate and standards within the college. Working closely with the administration, the Board’s goal is to further develop and maintain the ethical climate in the school.


Will O’Hara recently retired after 10 years as a lecturer for the Department of Accounting. The O’Hara’s gift is a testament of the continued deep commitment they feel for the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin, and higher education. In 2008, he and his wife, Beverly, pledged $16 million to McCombs for uses including scholarship and faculty endowments.

We had the opportunity to ask Will about their motivation for the gift to the Ethics Board, their reasons to give in general and how they are doing in retirement.

What motivated you and Beverly to make this gift to the Ethics Board?

I was privileged to have taught the Business Honors Students and became very familiar with their passion for ethics at McCombs. When this new effort was being formed, I met several times with Chris Pavlich during which Beverly and I offered to fund the start-up of this committee.

There are many great attributes to a McCombs degree. This effort hits at the heart of a very important one: integrity, the integrity of a McCombs degree.  Prospective employers know that a McCombs degree is earned honestly and that McCombs graduates understand ethical business behavior and will always “do the right thing.” That’s why we have a strict Honesty Policy at McCombs.  However, it is not enough to just have a policy.  It must be communicated effectively to all students and faculty members and, most importantly, enforced.  Unethical behavior cannot be tolerated – there are no misdemeanors.  This committee has the promise to see that these efforts continue.

What initiatives have you given to in the past and why should others do the same?

BeverlyQuote300x300Giving is a personal thing.  Without getting into details, suffice to say, Beverly and I  continue to support and are active in various things and efforts at the McCombs School, the University and the UT System.  We believe that we have an obligation, along with everyone else who benefitted from the great education they received at the University, to give back.

We must preserve and enhance the experience we all had here for future generations.  This is especially true now, with the decreasing state funding. As our Campaign for Texas fundraising winds down, there has never been a better time to support The University of Texas. Every gift of every amount matters!

What are you doing now?  How is retirement treating you?

I already retired once, from Morgan Stanley in 2000, so I know how to do it.  Teaching at McCombs was “hands down” the most rewarding thing I ever did.  I was so privileged to get the chance to be a member of our award-winning faculty.  There are many things and many people that I miss, but you always know when it’s time to go.  I am still very active both at the University level and the McCombs School through various committees and advisory councils.


We are grateful to Beverly and Will O’Hara for their continued generous support of the McCombs School of Business.


For more information on the O’Hara’s and their support of The University of Texas at Austin and the McCombs School of Business, please follow the links below:

O’Haras Pledge $16 Million to Support Top-Rated Accounting Department, Business Honors Program

Fulfilling Dreams for Generations to Come: O’Haras pledge $16 Million to McCombs

Student Org. Spotlight: Texas Startup and Venture Capital Group



We first met Alan Rochard, Finance ’16, at the Three Day Start-Up event in fall 2013, where he made it to the final round to present his startup idea to the judges.

He is now connecting the Texas BBA Program to the local entrepreneurship networks through the founding of the brand new McCombs Affiliated Student Organization: “Texas Startup and Venture Capital Group.”



We caught up with Alan earlier this week and were able to ask him a few questions about the new student organization.

What made you want to start the “Texas Startup and Venture Capital Group” (TSVCG)?

When I first came to UT, I got in touch with the UT entrepreneurship organizations such as the Technology Entrepreneurship Society (TES), the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency (LEA) and the McCombs MBA Entrepreneur Society. What was missing was an organization for BBA students interested in entrepreneurship right here at McCombs. With TSVCG we are able to connect BBA students to each other and to the entrepreneurship resources at UT and in the Austin community.

What is TSVCG’s main focus and program?

Our main goal is to connect McCombs BBA students interested in startups and venture capital funding to companies and professionals in the Austin area. It’s all about getting to know like-minded people, networking and exchanging ideas.

We will have bi-monthly meetings that will feature invited speakers and offer workshops on specific topics such as “Application Building” or “Coding.” And we’ll work closely with TSE and LEA and hope to co-host events together.

How can students get involved?

Come to our first meeting on Tuesday, February 11, from 6-7pm, in CBA 4.346.
FB Event:

For the inaugural meeting our speaker will be Michael Goldstein, who will give a presentation entitled “Bitcoins 101” that will explain the basics and the future of the digital currency.

Meetings:      every second Tuesday from 6–7pm starting February 11, no membership fee

Join our Facebook group and find out about entrepreneurship events and opportunities to get involved.

Questions? Email Alan at [email protected]

2014 Mr. McCombs Beauty Pageant: Meet The Contestants


On Friday, January 31st, 10 contestants from various McCombs Affiliated Student Organizations will come together to compete for the title of “Mr. McCombs.”

Mr. McCombs is a male beauty pageant that raises money for charity. The contestants choose the charity of their choice to award the money to. The Mr. McCombs 2014 Winner at the end of the night will be the one who will give his preferred charity the funds.

The contestants will be judged based on talent, personality, and audience support. They will be dancing, dressing up in their finest suits, swimsuits, and an outfit of their choice. Most importantly, there will also be a round where the competitors will show off their various talents. At the end of this fun-filled evening, one contestant is crowned Mr. McCombs.

For charity purposes, we ask that everyone enters with a fee of $3.

This event is organized by the Undergraduate Business Council. Thank you to the Office of Student Life.


Meet the contestants

Jonathan OngJonathan Ong – ABSA

Hometown: Singapore, Singapore
Freshman; Unspecified Business, Economics
Charity: Salvation Army World Service Office
Escort: Yiwen Xu
Fun Fact: He is afraid of ducks.


Daniel NovotonyDaniel Novotny – ALPFA

Hometown: El Paso, TX
Senior; BHP & Marketing
Charity: Eastside Community Connection
Escort: Melina Montellanos
Fun Fact: He owned a pink Easy-Bake-Oven when he was eight, because he wanted to be a chef.


Marcus MoutonMarcus Mouton – BBSA

Hometown: Houston, TX
Freshman; Unspecified Business
Charity: Houston Children’s Charity
Escort: Ariane Rodriguez
Fun Fact: He loves to go bowling.


Ryan FitzgeraldRyan Fitzgerald – DSP

Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX
Sophomore; Supply Chain Management
Charity: The Miracle Foundation
Escort: Audrey Constant
Fun Fact: His mom wanted to name him after Luke Skywalker, but his dad won a coin flip and chose to hame him after Nolan Ryan.


Brandon KeavenyBrandon Keaveny – FBA

Hometown: Southlake, TX
Freshman; Unspecified Business
Charity: Red Cross
Escort: Crystal Keaveny
Fun Fact: He’s won hula hoop competitions in three different countries.


Kyle CampellKyle Campbell – HBA

Hometown: College Station, TX
Sophomore; BHP, Finance & Economics
Charity: Mary Lee Foundation
Escort: Jemma Miller
Fun Fact: He’s in the process of becoming a a licensed sky diver.


Oscar BarbosaOscar Barbosa – HBSA

Hometown: Brownsville, TX
Senior; BHP & Finance
Charity: Central Texas Home for Children
Escort: Valery Piedra
Fun Fact: He once raised a Pikachu from level 5 to level 100 without using rare candies, and he is still proud of this accomplishment.


Parakh JainParakh Jain – UFA

Hometown: India
Sophomore; BHP, Finance & Actuarial Science
Charity: Red Cross
Escort: Gabriela De Padau
Fun Fact: He’s a vegetarian, but hates salad.


Archie AgarwalArchie Agarwal – UBC

Hometown: Coppell, TX
Freshman; Finance
Charity: Foundation for the Homeless
Escort: Nathalie Rovall
Fun Fact: He broke both his knees in the 7th grade while trying to impress a group of British girls.


Zach SunderlandZach Sunderland – USIT

Hometown: Weslaco, TX
Freshman; Unspecified Business
Charity: Foster Angels of Central Texas
Escort: Andi Trevino
Fun Fact: He’s travelled to over 10 countries.

5 Ways to Ace the McCombs Career Expo

Are you planning on attending the Undergraduate Career Expo this Wednesday, January 29, from 12-5 pm? We sat down with seasoned recruiters to get the inside scoop on how to succeed at a career expo. Here are their tips for getting the most out of the experience and making a great impression.

You can also find these videos and many more helpful resources on the BBA Career Services Website – check it out now!


How to prepare for a Career Expo

How to approach a recruiter at a Career Expo



What Questions to ask at a Career Expo


How to follow up after a Career Expo


Career Expo Advice for Underclassmen

BBA Program Update by Dean Platt

BBA Program Update



Wednesday of last week Dean Platt delivered an update about the BBA Program to the Undergraduate Business Council. Below is a brief summary of the highlights of this program update. This program update now also includes the super big news of the Mulva Family Foundation’s $60 M donation to The University of Texas at Austin which was officially announced on
Friday, January 24.

If you have questions or want to share your comments, come and join Dean Platt at this week’s “Platt Chat” in the Atrium on Thursday, January 30, from
1:30 – 2:30pm and let him know what’s on your mind.



Mulva Family Donates $60 M to Business and Engineering Schools

On Friday, January 24, The University of Texas at Austin was pleased to officially announce the Mulva Family Foundation’s donation of $60 Million to the business and engineering Schools, the largest pledge in the Campaign for Texas. $40 Million of the donation will be used to renovate the GSB and CBA buildings, pending the approval of the Board of Regents. The buildings will collectively be renamed the James J. and Miriam B. Mulva Hall.

Dean Platt announced the donation to the McCombs BBA Students early on Friday morning with an email titled “Super-Big News!” explaining the immense positive impact of the donation on the Texas BBA brand.
Active Learning Classrooms

Beginning in Fall 2014, a large portion of the current Millennium Lab space will be converted into two Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs), an innovative classroom space for McCombs BBA Students.

Modeled after the classrooms at Deloitte University (Deloitte’s leadership development center in Westlake, Texas), these “team-based, adaptable and state-of-the-art learning environments” represent an important innovation in classroom design and an important new resource for the McCombs community. We are grateful to the partners, employees of Deloitte LLP, its subsidiaries, and the Deloitte Foundation who helped fund the creation of these Active Learning Classrooms through individual personal contributions that were matched by the Deloitte Foundation.

Dean Platt worked with a committee of students in the fall of 2013 to make the transition of the space and services as smooth as possible for the McCombs community. Please download the
road map for the introduction of the McCombs ALCs to find out what’s changing. On January 21, the Undergraduate Business Council also held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the upcoming changes with Dean Platt in person – you can view a recording of the presentation and the Q&A right here.
Undergraduate Program Committee & Departmental Undergraduate Committees

The Texas BBA program is run by the BBA Program Office and is overseen by the Undergraduate Program Committee (UPC) which is a group of faculty members that approves major changes to the program, monitors its activities and is a forum for generating new ideas. With the creation of the Departmental Undergraduate Committees (DUCs) we were able to close the loop between the departments, the program and the UPC to facilitate the sharing of ideas and feedback between these stakeholders. The DUCs (there is one for every academic department) exclusively discuss undergraduate issues and how they translate into departments. To be sure to get the students’ perspective, all DUCs have a student representative as a permanent member.

Thanks to this new structural setup, the program office, UPC and the DUCs were able to accomplish a lot this year:

  1. Establishment GPA Standardization Guidelines as Recommendation
    In response to students’ concerns about substantial differences in GPA outcomes between different sections of the same course, the UPC developed GPA guidelines to help faculty increase consistency

  3. The Internship Forum
    Are you planning your internship for summer 2014 or later? You might be happy to hear that you will no longer be required to submit an internship journal and paper. The BBA Program is designing a new model: the Internship Forum. And here are the highlights:

    • The Forum focuses on what you need to take away from your internship experience for personal development, career planning, and interviewing for full-time jobs.
    • Duration about 90-minutes.
    • You only have to attend one forum session.

    We are hiring an outside professional skills consultant to help develop the Forum model, which will be designed to improve the reflective process on your experience and make it more relevant to you.


  4. Implementation of additional curriculum flags including the Independent Inquiry Flag and the Global Cultures Flag.

  6. Approval of the new transcriptable Certificates for Business and Public Policy (final approved and available starting fall 2014), Energy Management (pending final UT approval), and Global Management (pending final UT approval and contingent on federal funding for the Center for International Business Education and Research).

  8. Approval of The Washington Campus Program: The Business, Government & Society Department (BGS) in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts’ Government Department (GOV), has developed an undergraduate version of The Washington Campus Program, which has long been available only to MBA students. The program will have its inaugural session in May 2014.

    First-Year-Interest Groups (FIGs) for all incoming McCombs Freshmen

    Many of our students have great memories of their first semester in a FIG, an environment that provides resources, guidance, and a community to incoming freshmen. We are excited to announce that starting Fall 2014 all incoming McCombs freshmen will have the opportunity to be part of a FIG. At the same time we are adding a Community Service Project to the FIG curriculum that will engage students with the local Austin community.

    Creation of the BBA Parents’ Council

    In Fall 2013 we were excited to witness the founding of the BBA Program Parents’ Council. Thanks to the significant financial support and guidance from this very active group we are able to fund exciting activities such as the new Internship Forum and the roll-out of the First-Year-Interest Groups program to all incoming McCombs freshmen. We are very grateful to have an active and involved Parents’ Council as a partner for the BBA Program.

    On the Horizon
    Dean Platt also mentioned a variety of other early-stage initiatives, including projects to increase excel proficiency, promote case teaching, and possibly expand opportunities for BBA students in the areas of entrepreneurship and health care.

Mulva Family Donates $60 Million to Business and Engineering Schools


Jim and Miriam Mulva. This photograph is from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and was taken by John Everett.

On Friday, January 24, The University of Texas at Austin was pleased to officially announce the Mulva Family Foundation’s donation of $60 Million to the business and engineering Schools, the largest pledge in the Campaign for Texas.We are especially excited that James Mulva is an alumnus of McCombs: James Mulva, who in 2013 retired from energy giant ConocoPhillips after 11 years as CEO, has his BBA from McCombs as well as his MBA.

$40 million of the donation will be used to renovate the Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration buildings, pending the approval of the Board of Regents. The buildings will collectively be renamed the James J. and Miriam B. Mulva Hall.

McCombs Dean Tom Gilligan said that the Mulva’s gift will open doors to produce state-of-the-art learning and research environments for undergraduate students and faculty members.






Dean Platt announced the donation to the McCombs BBA Students early on Friday morning with an email titled “Super-Big News!” explaining the immense positive impact of the donation on the Texas BBA brand.

All of us here in the Texas BBA Program at the McCombs School of Business offer our most sincere thanks and gratitude to the Mulva Family Foundation for making this possible.














Student Org. Spotlight: Texas Consult Your Community


At McCombs, there is a strong emphasis on applying what you learn here to giving back to the community. Anchor Ebanks, MPA ’16, and Dillon Mathers, MIS ’15, founded the Texas chapter of Consult Your Community (CYC) to help students help the Austin community. CYC is a nationwide organization that offers an opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students to offer pro bono consulting services to low-income and minority-owned small businesses.

Texas CYC will consult three Austin companies for the Spring 2014 semester: Guac N Roll, Acts Of Sharing and an Austin Food Trailers Council. Ebanks and Mathers hope to expand the services offered by Texas CYC and add to the client base for future semesters. In addition to real experience in consulting, Texas CYC will host guest speakers, featuring industry experts.

Dillon Mathers, MIS ’15 and Texas CYC president, is enthusiastic about the positive effect CYC will have on students and the Austin community, “We’ll be able to offer free consulting to businesses that may not be able to afford such services otherwise,” said Mathers. “Also, as students, there’s a huge barrier to entry in the industry. Texas CYC will offer real work experience, making McCombs students more competitive in the job market.”

Students interested in joining Texas CYC are encouraged to participate in the Third Annual Deloitte Consulting and CYC Undergraduate Case Competition to be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Registration closes Wednesday, Jan. 29. Candidates may also fill out an application for Texas CYC online.

To learn more about Texas CYC, visit the Facebook page or attend an info session:

6–7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28, CBA 4.348

6–7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 29, CBA 4.326

CYC Officers will also be available for a social happy hour at Tower Pizza beginning at 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30.

1/30 – VIP Distinguished Speaker Series: Ravi Saligram

VIP Distinguished Speaker Series

Ravi Saligram, Former CEO of OfficeMax

When: Thursday, January 30, 2014
              5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Where: Union Ballroom

Hosted by Dean Tom Gilligan, McCombs School of Business


Ravi Saligram’s 35-year career includes three years as President and CEO of OfficeMax and more than 20 years of General Management at ARAMARK, InterContinental Hotel Groups and SC Johnson. Mr. Saligram has lived in five countries and worked in many more across five continents. He is noted for his ability to grow global businesses and brands in tough industries, difficult economic conditions, and intense competitive environments.

Mr. Saligram was recruited in November 2010 to be President and CEO of OfficeMax, a nearly $7 billion Fortune 300 company. He recruited a world-class management team and led the company through a transformational journey by driving innovation and evolving the company from an office products distributor to an omnichannel provider of workplace products, services, and solutions. To accelerate transformation of the company, an historic merger with Office Depot was announced in February 2013. Shareholders from both companies voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed combination, and the merger was consummated in November 2013, after receiving unconditional clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In collaboration with the board, Mr. Saligram, with a core team of executives and advisors, drove a strong premium for OfficeMax shareholders. OfficeMax share price reached $15.26 on November 5, 2013, at merger close. Adjusting for a special dividend of $1.50 per share, the share price had more than tripled (+260%) since the launch of Mr. Saligram’s turnaround plan in November 2011.

Prior to joining OfficeMax, Mr. Saligram served as president of Aramark International; and executive vice president and chief globalization office of Aramark Corporation. Prior to Aramark, Mr. Saligram held senior leadership positions with InterContinental Hotels Group, including president of Brands and Franchise for North America, chief marketing officer, and President, Asia Pacific; and held brand and general management roles within S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc. He began his career in advertising with Leo Burnett Company in Chicago, where he formed his relentless desire to meet and exceed customer needs.

Considered an inspirational and visionary leader by his associates and peers, Mr. Saligram is known for his ability to attract world-class talent and for forming cohesive, aligned management teams. In Mr. Saligram’s first general management role, SC Johnson Korea was named one of the three best foreign-managed companies in Korea by KBS-TV. He received the 2010 British American Business Council (BABC) of Greater Philadelphia “Building a Better Future” award for his role in helping ARAMARK to become one of the UK’s largest employers. At OfficeMax, under Mr. Saligram’s leadership, the company was one of only nine retail companies – and the only company in the office supply industry – to be named to Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list, for two consecutive years (2012 and 2013). OfficeMax was also awarded the National Employment Team 2013 “Private Sector Business of the Year” by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) for its commitment to employing people with disabilities, including veterans.

He is a board member of Church & Dwight, a consumer and specialty products company with leading brands such as Arm & Hammer and OxiClean; a trustee for the Eisenhower Fellowships; board member and on the Executive Committee of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail organization, and formerly served as a board member and vice chairman of the World Affair’s Council of Philadelphia and board member of OfficeMax Incorporated.
Mr. Saligram earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Bangalore University in India and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.

The VIP Distinguished Speaker Series strives to bring the most influential and relevant business leaders to speak to UT students regarding current matters. We encourage a large number of UT students from various majors and backgrounds to attend the events. Each event is 1 hour long, consisting of a 30-minute interview portion, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A from the students in attendance. Doors close right as the event starts, so please arrive early.

This event is organized by the Undergraduate Business Council. UBC would like to thank the Office of Student Life for their support.

For updates on the VIP Distinguished Speaker Series, or any of UBC’s other great events, like them on Facebook at:

or follow them on twitter at:

2/20 McCombs Executive Mentorship Dinner

Register nowMcCombs Executive Mentorship Dinner
February 20, 2014
Places limited: Sign Up Today

The McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board invites you to participate in the second annual McCombs Executive Mentorship Dinner. This event is an opportunity for you to join highly successful executives and McCombs alumni for dinner and conversation.

Listed below are some of the executive mentors attending this year’s event:

  • Liz Henke Yant – Retired Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Yvonne Puig – Head of Life Sciences & Healthcare, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Admiral  Bob R. Inman – U.S. Navy (ret.); Former Director of the NSA
  • Kyle  Bradford – Managing Director, American Capital
  • Cindy  Lo – President, Owner, Event Strategist, Red Velvet Events
  • Jeremy  Smitheal – Partner, Riverside Resources  (2013 McCombs MBA Rising Star)
  • John Bober – Managing Director, GE Energy Financial Services
  • Andrew Phong Vo – Managing Director, Accenture
  • Jack Cardwell – Founder & Partner,  Greenridge Investment Partners
  • Mike Sherill – Head of Operations, Alamo Drafthouse
  • Brett Hurt – Vice Chairman, Former CEO and Co-Founder, Bazaarvoice, and McCombs Entrepreneur-in-Residence
  • Rick Lacher – Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey
  • Joe Holt – CEO, JPMorganChase Central Texas

The Executive Mentorship Dinner will take place in the Hall of Honors on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. Each ticket is $20 and will cover a small portion of the cost of the event. Please register by purchasing a ticket.

The deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 7. This event will be limited to only 105 students. Therefore, we greatly encourage you to register as soon as possible. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to other students.

For more information on this event, please contact the McCombs Alumni Relations office at [email protected]. We look forward to meeting you all on Feb. 20!

About the McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board:
The McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board leads a network of 67,000 McCombs alumni, one of the largest alumni bases of any business program in the world. The board oversees strategic initiatives at McCombs, encourages alumni involvement and giving, and strives to make the undergraduate and MPA experience better for current and future students. The board is comprised of 28 members, who are leaders in the business world throughout North America and each have a passion to give back and make McCombs a better place.

McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board


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