BBA News

9/10 – HBSA presents: 33rd Annual Company Night


The Hispanic Business Student Association is hosting its signature Company Night Career Fair on September 10th, 2013 from 6 – 9 PM in the McCombs School of Business Atrium. Company Night is now in its 33rd year and will be featuring a multitude of high-caliber companies including Deloitte, CapitalOne, KPMG, Shell Oil, Goldman Sachs, New York Life Insurance, Accenture, and others. Resumes and student IDs are required and business professional dress is mandatory.


Come and join the university’s “Most Outstanding Organization” for a night of opportunity!


Date:              September 10, 2013
Time:             6 – 9 pm
Location:       McCombs School of Business Atrium

Summer in Scotland: Business Law and Birdies

Blake Jones is no stranger to traveling overseas. He has visited Ireland and England and most recently chose to spend the summer in Edinburgh, Scotland to study Business Law for six UT credits. In addition to travel, Blake also enjoys golf. Not only does he enjoy golf, he plays it well, maintaining a single-digit handicap. In the spirit of working hard as well as playing hard, Blake checked his golf bag with the rest of his luggage en route to Scotland.


How did golfing fit into your schedule while also studying Business Law?

Class got out at 1pm, which left plenty of time to play since the sun would set so late. Once we finished a round at 10:45pm, so time was never an issue. We routinely took a twenty-minute train out to play the courses in East Lothian where courses such as Muirfield are located and St Andrews and Gleneagles, site of the 2014 Ryder Cup, were only an hour train ride away. All in all, I believe I played 13 rounds during my time, and very easily could’ve played more, but I wanted to thoroughly experience Scotland beyond golf.

Was golfing more difficult in Edinburgh than in Texas?

 Golf carts are seemingly nonexistent in Scotland so definitely have your legs and back ready if you plan to play over there. But, the weather is what gave me the most trouble. In Texas I rarely encounter wind that calls for more than a one-club adjustment, but in Scotland the wind was often so strong that I found myself adjusting two or even three clubs and when there were crosswinds I found myself trying to hit something on a lower trajectory and just hoping I had judged the direction right, which unfortunately wasn’t always the case.

What role do you see golf playing in your future?

 My Dad has always told me golfing is a good hobby to have as a businessman and I can definitely see why. Golfing is unparalleled among sports in the way that it is so competitive yet at the same time allows for conversation in a relaxed setting.

What is most memorable about your time golfing in Scotland?

When we played a course out in North Berwick we happened to see Rory McIlroy walking the streets and then at the British Open I snapped a really cool photo with Phil Mickelson who went on to win.

Another notable memory of mine was when I birdied the 18th hole at St Andrews to a large on looking, clapping crowd of people just spectating at the historic Old Course.

What did you learn during your time abroad that you might not have learned otherwise?

Traveling abroad gives you a social experience that would be hard to come by otherwise. I compare it to a first year away at college in the way that you’re in a completely new environment forcing you to learn and adjust as you go. When you add in the change of culture as well, studying abroad definitely helps grow your social skills and perspective. The Law of the European Union class, taught by Professor Lane of the University of Edinburgh, was also a unique learning experience.

The structure and actions of government in the EU are often very different than what we see in America so it was neat to learn how and why they govern differently. I compare the class to a UT UGS class because while one may or may not use the material directly in their major, broadening your horizons by learning something new or different is always beneficial.

What advice would you give to someone traveling abroad?

Definitely plan to see the major landmarks and sites, but otherwise don’t feel the need to plan every little detail of your trip. Some of our most memorable experiences occurred when we were spontaneous or even ventured outside the parts concentrated with tourists.

Learn more about the Business Law Program in Edinburgh and other study abroad opportunities through Short-Term International Programs.

McCombs Kickoff 08/26 – Meet your team leads Eileen & Forrest

McCombs Kickoff – August 26

The event is now sold out!
Please find waitlist instructions at the bottom of this post.


Eileen Kao

Year: Senior
Major: Marketing
Hometown: Plano, TX

“It was so encouraging coming into my freshman year knowing a few familiar faces. I loved the opportunity to get to know new people before the school year started and it was a great introduction to different organizations.”

Working as a Nordstrom Retail Management intern this summer, Eileen knows a thing or two about fashion and especially about spending her time at UT in style.

This former Resident Assistant of Jester West has been a member the Undergraduate Business Council as well as a member and current president of her business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi (DSP). For the past five semesters, Eileen has served as a Tower Tour Guide, leading eager viewers to the top of our iconic landmark.

Aside from serving as President of DSP, a job in itself, Eileen will continue to work as a Tower Tour Guide and in the spring will venture to Vienna, Austria to study abroad. Get to know this extremely sweet team lead at McCombs Kickoff, maybe she’ll take you on one of her tours of the tower! Come meet Eileen!


Forrest Ripley

Year: Senior
Major: BHP/Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

“I met several of my best friends and one of my roommates at McCombs Kickoff and also got connected to some of the organizations that have greatly impacted my college experience”

If you have any questions about anything, chances are Forrest Ripley can answer them. Don’t let this team lead’s sense of humor fool you, he really knows how to get down to business. during his time at UT, he’s served as President of the Honors Business Association,  an Orientation Advisor, and played on 22 IM sports team, winning two championship shirts.

This summer he has been interning in San Bernadino California for where he worked to improve daily operation in the warehouse. When he gets back to Austin, aside from attending every sporting event under the sun, he will be serving as Vice Chair of Texas Blazers, a men’s service organization as well as being the supervising peer mentor for the Business Honors Program. Get to know Forrest and ask him any questions you have about BHP, Longhorn Sports, how to adjust to college, or how to juggle because he’s pretty good at that too.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peak into the many experiences that the McCombs Kickoff Team Leads have to offer. Get to know all 51 team leads at McCombs City Limits on August 26th to learn about their unique experiences here in McCombs and on the Forty Acres.


Waitlist Instructions:

The event is now sold out and the online waitlist has also filled. There is still a chance that you can join in the fun:

  • Show up the day of the event if you’d like to be added to our manual waitlist. At  9:30 check in will open, participant will sign in and will be asked to come back at 10:30 to fill out your forms if the name makes the waitlist.
  • However, if these participants on the waitlist don’t show up, we will move on to the hand written waitlist of the day of the event.

If you’ve any questions, feel free to contact Betty Castillo-Rios at [email protected] or Oscar Barbosa at [email protected].


How to develop into a successful leader: McCombs Leadership Program

You’re a Texas BBA here at McCombs where “Leadership is Earned.” And you’re looking to develop those leadership skills that will help you succeed in the business world as you work with people and need to get stuff done!

The Texas BBA program can help you prepare yourself for the future and support your development as a young, ambitious leader. Our McCombs Leadership Program will prepare you at the individual, organizational, communal, and global levels while utilizing the 7 C’s of the Social Change Model and creating a Leadership Portfolio!

Find out more details about our Leadership Program, and apply soon~ Application- deadline is September 12th at 5PM.

Click on the images below to see how you can fill all holes in your education:


Countdown to McCombs Kickoff 08/26 with Neal & Janet

Freshmen and transfer students:

Have you marked your calendars for McCombs Kickoff on August 26?



Neal Makkar

Year: Junior

Major: BHP/Finance

Hometown: Katy, Texas

“As a freshman, McCombs kickoff helped me meet several of my best friends at UT. We got to spend the day making new friends, exploring the amazing city of Austin, and asking our team leads about college life.”

This former McCombs Kickoff attendee is involved all over the 40 Acres including the Texas Undergraduate Investment Team, Indian Cultural Association, Honors Business Association, McCombs College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee (CTBAC) andTexas Blazers, a men’s service organization on campus.  Adding to his list of accomplishments, Neal has been a Summer Analyst with Goldman Sachs in Dallas, Texas. Last Summer, Neal got to study abroad in Scotland with his team lead, Michelle Moon. So if you’re interested in a summer study abroad program or visiting Scotland, you can talk to two out of many team leads that have been involved with the program.

For his junior year, Neal plans to stay involved with his many organizations, specifically organizing Texas Blazers’ signature philanthropy event known as the Frisbee Fling, an annual Disc Golf tournament around campus that raises money for scholarships for students from East Austin high schools. Come meet Neal!


Janet Zhou

Year: Junior

Major: Supply Chain Management

Hometown: Plano, Texas

“It gave me a better sense of what the McCombs culture was like, and allowed me to get integrated within the Business School right off the bat.”

This summer Janet has been exploring Houston thanks to her Supply Internship with BHP Billiton Petroleum where she’s been working on the cutting edge of the oil and gas industry. When she’s not doing awesome internships, she’s actively participating in Intramural sports and acapella singing with the Asian American Campus Ministry (AACM). Janet is also the Co-Founder and President of the Texas Chinese Dance Company. But don’t let Janet’s fun recreational side fool you. She’s also involved in the Asian Business Students Association (ABSA) where she served as the Professional Director and Professional Vice President last year.

This year, Janet is excited to serve as a mentor in ABSA and meet the new freshman class. She also plans to start a Social Entrepreneurship Team to allow members to get hands-on exposure to working with non-profits and social enterprises, something she has always been passionate about. So if you think entrepreneurship is something you’d like to explore during your time at McCombs, some say hello to Janet!


Join them on August 26th, and be sure to buy your all-access pass before they sell out at
For any questions, contact the McCombs Kickoff Chair, Oscar Barbosa at [email protected].
See you there!

McCombs Kickoff 08/26: Meet Ezequiel & Fer

Freshmen and transfer students:

Have you marked your calendars for McCombs Kickoff on August 26?



Ezequiel Calderon

Year: Senior

Major: Marketing

Hometown: Pasadena, Texas

“A day doesn’t seem too significant when you compare it to weeks, months, or years, but McCombs Kickoff sincerely catapulted me into the networking groove that I needed to build the one I have today.”

From studying abroad in Madrid, Spain to getting to see the new Google Glasses, Ezequiel is one of the most interesting and friendly people you will meet this year at McCombs Kickoff.

During his time at UT, Ezequiel has been involved with the GLBTQA Business Student Association, Longhorn Singers and the Gateway Scholars Program. He also worked as a Peer Advisor in the McCombs BBA Programs Office, so he gives great advice about classes!

This summer he’s been in San Jose, California interning with PwC in their management consulting group and has loved working in the high tech atmosphere of Silicon Valley. This fall he will be interning with the ZACH Theatre in Austin and will be working with their Development Department where he will help organize fundraisers and actual shows on stage. He’s so excited to get back into music and the arts!

If you want to see Ezequiel’s million dollar smile, just ask him about riding in a hot air balloon for his 21st birthday at McCombs Kickoff.


Fernanda Alvarez

Year: Senior

Major: Marketing

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico


“At this event, I got to talk to student leaders who inspired me to get involved in the McCombs community, and I’m so grateful to them for that that I’ve been paying it forward every year since. I also got my first taste for what UT life is like and a lot of the advice that I carry with me to this day.”


Maria Fernanda Alvarez, or Fer as her friends call her, is one of the fabulous team leads you should get to know at McCombs Kickoff this year.

Fer is a member of the Texas Orange Jackets, a women’s organization that serves as the officials hosts for the University of Texas. She is also the former Academics Director for the Undergraduate Business Council, where she has been a member for the past three years and has worked closely with Administration on strengthening the BBA curriculum in McCombs.

This summer, she has been interning in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Target Headquarters with their Enterprise Loyalty Strategy Team and has been enjoying the beautiful Minneapolis weather. At her last year at UT, Fer will be continuing an internship with Kinnser Software, as well as leading the freshman class in the the Undergraduate Business Council as a First Year Leadership Co-Chair, and will serve as the VP of Special Events for Orange Jackets. Come say hello to Fer!


Join them on August 26th, and be sure to buy your all-access pass before they sell out at
For any questions, contact the McCombs Kickoff Chair, Oscar Barbosa at [email protected].
See you there!

The Five Things I Learned Climbing Kilimanjaro

by Nancy Bonds, BBA Finance Junior


1. Fear is a good thing.

When people heard about my summer adventure in Tanzania, they asked if I was scared to climb the mountain. “Are you ready? Is it hard? Aren’t you scared?” they would rattle off as I chuckled to myself. I would sort of smile, and reply, “I’m pretty excited, but I am afraid of heights.” Most people looked pretty confused after I told them I barely made it to the second level of the Eiffel Tower when I was eight years old or that my freshman year of college I couldn’t walk across the Golden Gate Bridge without two people as buffers to the outer edge, but now I was climbing the tallest mountain in Africa?

Before I left, I stumbled upon a quote by Seth Godin that said, “If it scares you it might be a good thing to try.” I always enjoy challenging myself, and facing fears are sort of an ultimate challenge.

That’s never been more real to me than on the part of the hike that forces you to scramble along a 600ft wall, known as the Great Barranco. You have to climb, scoot, and hike up the wall and pray you don’t look down and see the small creek at the bottom.  I’m sorry to report I looked down. I immediately closed my eyes and was suddenly certain that climbing this wall was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life. However, I also knew it was all in my head. I had to contain the fear and utilize the energy to keep climbing.

Fear, at the end of the day, is a good thing. If you harness your fear, you can use it to motivate, to encourage, and to prove to yourself and to others that you don’t let your fears win. Overcoming fear creates a mental toughness that will pay dividends not only when you’re trying to climb a mountain, catch a spider in the house for your younger sister, or watch bats on the South Congress Bridge, but also when you have to make a presentation, confront people with issues, or carry out your own big decisions in life.


2. Go Slowly.

I am an incredibly competitive person.  So, when we began our trek up the mountain, I was sure we could cut some minutes or even an hour off the “approximated hiking times.” However, as it turns out, the mantra for the guides is “pole pole” (pronounced poe-lay, poe-lay), which means slowly.   We started off on the trails and my first thought was a quote from The Devil Wears Prada, “by all means, move at a glacial pace,” coupled with a long eye roll.  I couldn’t have imagined how hard climbing uphill for seven days would be, so after the first thirty minutes I was thankful for the pace.

As you hike along the trail, porters and other guides simply see you and say “pole pole,” and it’s a reminder to go slowly along the way. But the phrase, I soon realized, was for more than just for the hiking speed. The guides encourage you to take in the views, the experience, and the people. More importantly, the saying is not just relevant while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’m in college, and sometimes I forget to take in the view from West Campus every once and a while; I forget to be spontaneous just because I can, and sometimes it’s easy to forget people as I continue through school. “Pole pole,” everyone. College is only four years.


3. Don’t eat the vegetable sauce.

Do you remember when you were a little kid and your parents made you have three bites of everything on your plate? Do you remember when you didn’t get to have dessert until you finished your vegetables? After a few days on the trail, I had reached a point where I couldn’t manage 3 bites and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten dessert. They served something called “vegetable sauce” with almost every meal. I cringed whenever I heard the word. It is a word I associated with a guaranteed upset stomach and a certain berry flavored tablet you can put in your water that I hope to never use again. The best thing about making it to the top was that they no longer had any reason to force me to eat it.

At the end of the day, the life lesson we can all gain from hiking Kili is just don’t eat the vegetable sauce. You don’t know what’s in it, and you will definitely regret it.

On a more serious note, we all have things we can’t change. Randy Pausch once said that “we can’t control the cards we’re dealt, just how we play the hand.” We will never know what’s in vegetable sauce, but I know that my experience on Kilimanjaro would not be the same without it. Even the things or people we don’t like can positively influence parts of our lives, so embrace your bad card every once and a while, it won’t ruin the entire hand.

4. Tired is not an illness.

The entire hike, I worried about making it to the summit. My legs hurt. I couldn’t eat. I was cold. I remember days where I struggled to put one foot in front of the other. The summit hike on the night of day six and the early morning of day seven (you depart at midnight and hike at night) is roughly six hours straight uphill. Every 15 to 30 minutes our guide, Solomon (an incredibly fitting name), would ask how we were doing as we ascended the mountain. After about two and a half hours he turned to me and said, “Jambo, Nancy!,” which essentially means “how are you doing?” I sort of wryly smiled and said “I’m just so tired,” and I am sure he could see it written all over my face.  He looked back at me and said, “Tired is not an illness, so we’re not turning around.” Solomon’s wise words could not be more applicable, even to our non-mountain climbing lives.

Often times at school, at work, or while climbing a mountain we just tend to wear down as the journey progresses. Most of our jobs as students, interns, or hikers revolve around maintaining a mental attitude that motivates us to keep studying for that exam, making that excel model, or trekking up that mountain. We just need to remember that “tired is not an illness,” and we shouldn’t turn around. Studying, working, and hiking all have their own purposes.  Even though you don’t understand why you need to know accounting, don’t want to rebuild your model, or can’t see the top of the mountain, just keep pushing forward. The class will end. The project will stop. And I promise the view from the top is worth it.



5. We all have stories.

As it turns out, Mount Kilimanjaro is not wi-fi enabled, so I had to spend two weeks in Tanzania (with a couple exceptions) talking to the people on my trip. Initially wary of the lack of phone usage, I soon adapted to some old school communication methods, from writing letters to chatting in front of fires. We told stories from elementary school, awkward tales from middle school, absurd high school drama, and incredible adventures. We all have stories. Whether they come from family trips to Brazil or the time you tried to jump over a wall and missed. I think most of the time we just forget to tell them to each other . We forget that we make stories every day. After hearing about my friend pulling a row boat to shore in a hippo pool, after listening to my guide talk about his first trip up the mountain, and after rattling off my own tale about a fall down a switchback, I realized we all have something to say. We all have moments that we can share with each other. Be adventurous, take a step back, and remember to tell your story.

Meet your team leads – McCombs Kickoff August 26

Freshmen and transfer students:

Have you marked your calendars for McCombs Kickoff on August 26?



Josh Hu

Grade: Senior

Major: BHP, MPA

Hometown: Plano, Texas

“The people you meet at the event become your classmates, best friends, and mentors. Meeting great leaders at McCombs Kickoff also encouraged me to become involved in McCombs!”

Josh may be leaving for Scotland to study abroad this Fall, but that’s even more of a reason to learn about his experiences as a leader in McCombs at McCombs Kickoff. This Business Honors Program Student Recruiter has served as the External Director, External Vice President, and President of the Asian Business Students Association (ABSA) in McCombs as well as the ABSA organization representative to the Undergraduate Business Council. He’s excited to serve as a mentor in both organizations upon his return in the Spring.

Josh has also had his share of traveling along both the East and West Coast with his current summer internship with GE Capital in Connecticut and his internship last summer with

During his off time, this former President likes to play basketball with his intramural team, the Basket Brawlers. We also hear he’s a great dancer.


Morgan Lucey

Grade: Junior

Major: Supply Chain Management

Hometown: Milwaukee Wisconsin

 “Being an out of state student, I did not know a single person coming to Texas…Because not many students know each other before the Kickoff, it forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and talk to strangers. For me, these strangers soon became my friends, classmates, and study partners.”

If you’re looking for some advice about careers and networking, Morgan is the Team Lead you need to get to know. This year, Morgan will be a mentor for Target Your Future, a weekly seminar that seeks to develop networking skills and foster professional development, where she will be organizing networking events and planning activities for her team. During her time at UT, Morgan has also been a member of the Supply Chain Management Student Organization and the McCombs Leadership Program.

Morgan is definitely targeting her future with a summer internship with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance working in Information Architecture where she working on strategy and high level design for IT related projects.  She also got a new puppy which she says “is a full time job in itself.”

Morgan will also be studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland this Spring so get to know Morgan at McCombs Kickoff! Who knows? She might be your mentor this semester at Target Your Future!


Join them on August 26th, and be sure to buy your all-access pass before they sell out at
For any questions, contact the McCombs Kickoff Chair, Oscar Barbosa at [email protected].
See you there!

McCombs Kickoff, August 26, meet your team leaders!

Freshmen and transfer students:
Have you marked your calendars for McCombs Kickoff on August 26?

McCombs Kickoff a fun-filled day of networking for new McCombs students and the best way to meet new friends, find out about student orgs and ask upperclassmen about McCombs and college life.

At the event you’ll have the chance to meet 50 current McCombs students! We’ll feature some of them on this blog over the next weeks, so that you’ll know them when you see them at the Kickoff.

Garrett Oliveira

Year: Senior

Majors: Marketing and Government

Hometown: Brownsville, TX

 “McCombs Kickoff has been a huge stepping stone for me at UT. It’s given me introductions into the best organizations and people on campus.”

Meet one of your Kickoff Team Leads, Garrett Oliveira. Garrett is a Resident Assistant for the University of Texas Football and Basketball student athletes, is a brother of Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, and a member of Texas Blazers.

Garrett recently returned from his semester abroad at the University of Economics in Prague and says “it was definitely one of the best decisions of my life.” While abroad, Garrett was able to make lasting friendships, run the Prague marathon and travel all over Europe; including a trip to Italy where he took a five story dive off the Cinque Terre Bridge.

Now that he’s back, he plans on assisting his government professor, Sean Theriault in authoring his 4th book, as well as serving as a tutor and big brother at Eastside Memorial High School.

Kayla Messamore

Year: Senior

Majors: Engineering Route to Business

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

 “I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today going into my senior year if it   wasn’t for that day I spent out in the heat on McCombs Kickoff.”


Kayla Messamore, one of the last remaining ERB majors is as interesting as she is rare. During her time at UT, she has been involved with the Undergraduate Business Council as Technology Director, a member of the College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee for McCombs, a Social Dance teaching assistant, and an undergraduate research assistant. All while finding time to play on an intramural ultimate frisbee team and compete in case competitions.
Kayla  just returned from her internship in Shanghai where she worked for a design, manufacturing, and logistics company. With graduation around the corner in May, she plans to enjoy her senior year by going out with her friends, partaking in social dance adventures, and doing some research on the side. Be sure to get to know Kayla at McCombs City Limits!

Join them on August 26th, and be sure to buy your all-access pass before they sell out at
For any questions, contact the McCombs Kickoff Chair, Oscar Barbosa at [email protected].
See you there!

McCombs Kickoff for freshmen and new tranfers – August 26

Welcome to all incoming McCombs Freshmen and
Transfer  Students!
You’re invited to McCombs Kickoff!
Mark your calendars for August 26!

What better way to make new friends and learn about McCombs than McCombs Kickoff?




Kickoff is all about you and getting to know your new community, McCombs and the great city of Austin! The Undergraduate Business Council puts together a fun-filled day with lots of networking.

The day starts on campus with team building activities at McCombs.  Next you’ll join the boat party on Lake Austin for lunch and then take a swim in the 68-degree waters of Barton Springs Pool, voted the “Best Swimming Hole in Texas.” We’ll finish off the day in style with a concert in Zilker Park.

You’ll network with freshmen, transfer and current students. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the different McCombs Affiliated Student Organizations and ask questions about college life and McCombs from upperclassmen. You’ll get to meet 50 student org leaders representing all majors and interests! And we’ll introduce you to them over the next weeks on this blog, so you can get to know them.

Austin is known for its many festivals and live music scene, so this year’s theme is “McCombs City Limits.” Just like Austin City Limits, you will enjoy local food and music, have fun, and make new friends. This is certainly not a day to miss.

 “It definitely was a great way to meet people and ease into the business school. All the people who were team leads were really passionate and excited, and it made me excited for the opportunity to go to a school like that.”
-Ed Zhang, Senior, Finance and Economics

“Kickoff is a great way to meet new and current McCombs students. You build your network from Day 1 and that way you already know people when you go into classes.” -Charlie Adkins, Sophomore, BHP/Accounting

“I met some of my best friend at the McCombs Kickoff last year and it was a great way to get to know the McCombs community.” -Montana Blair, Sophomore, BHP


So join us August 26th, and be sure to buy your all-access pass before they sell out at For any questions, contact the McCombs Kickoff Chair, Oscar Barbosa at [email protected]. See you there!




Meet our BBA Student Commencement Speaker: Melissa Dunn

Melissa Dunn, BBA ’13, Supply Chain Major
by Sabine Wimmer, BBA Program


Before she was even 15 years old, Melissa Dunn had already visited more colleges than most people will see in a lifetime. Her mother, a high school guidance counselor, had been professionally visiting colleges for years and Melissa had been her trusted companion on these trips.

So when it came to her own college decision she had clear expectations and the nagging feeling that no school alone would be able to satisfy all her requirements: a top education in international business, excellent internship opportunities and a renowned Arabic program to polish her language skills. Melissa was convinced that she would have to compromise and choose one objective over the other. These were her thoughts until she visited The University of Texas at Austin.

Looking for a business degree following the advice and passion of her father, a trained accountant and CFO to several companies, Melissa was targeting the top 20 business schools in the nation. And this is how UT and McCombs came on the radar of this talented high school student from New Jersey.


On the tour of McCombs, she passed the stock ticker, saw a sign that advertised an event of the Undergraduate Business Council, and learned about the opportunities at McCombs and UT. “I arrived on campus on the Easter weekend of 2009 at 09:30 in the morning. By 11:00 a.m. I knew that this was the school I wanted to go to and that UBC was the organization I wanted to join, ” says Melissa.

She fully embraced all opportunities offered to her and approached them with the result-driven enthusiasm that defines her as a person. In her first years at McCombs she became an executive board member of UBC, served as the McCombs representative for Student Government and got involved with the organization “Teach for America,” a national teacher corps of college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years and raise student achievement in public schools.

As a result of her involvement she developed a deep interest in domestic policies to improve the lives of others. “I became so interested in and passionate about politics and the process of defining domestic policies that I started questioning my focus on business. My advisor, Lovelys Powell, helped me think through this and with his support I realized that a business degree is a strong foundation for policy making.”

Attending the White House Welcome for Prime Minister David Cameron


The applicability of business skills to policy making is a fact that she was able to prove to herself during her internship semester with the Bill Archer Fellow Program in spring 2012. As a full-time intern with the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. she was tasked to research the economic impact of  federal non-discrimination policies on federal contractors. Through her understanding of supply chain management, procurement structures and the ability to analyze balance sheets she quickly became a valued and respected team member.


Making an impact and changing things for the better has always been important for Melissa. “I was offered an internship at the White House to be in charge of the calendar of Melody Barnes, then Director of Domestic Policies. And my other offer came from the Center for American Progress where I would be able to do research. It wasn’t an easy decision but I went for the  option that gave me the most insight into what life as a policy maker is really like and gave me the opportunity to publish two papers ,” says Melissa. After the internship, Melissa was sure that she wanted to pursue her passion of improving the lives of others focusing on the educational opportunities for children.

Taking a class at the Archer Center

Back in Austin she added a government minor to her business degree and started to work as a recruitment intern for Teach of America. After her graduation, Melissa will join the teaching corps and has committed to a two year program in New Orleans teaching math to raise the skill levels of students in traditionally under performing high schools.

She knows that her business skills and her government training will serve her well on her path to Washington where she ultimately wants to be to influence policies on the highest level. “If we use what we learn in business school to fuel what we are passionate about, then we really change the world,” says Melissa and we know that this longhorn will do nothing less than that. We think “Melissa Dunn 2028” BBA ’13 sounds really good!*

*The presidential election of 2028 is the first time Melissa would be eligible to run for president of the U.S.A.

Papers co-authored by Melissa Dunn:

The State of Gay and Transgender Communities of Color in 2012

Supporting Gay and Transgender Youth Most in Need


McCombs Honors Convocation – Spring 2013

We congratulate all the students and student organizations who were recognized at the McCombs Honors Convocation on Friday, April 12. Congratulations to all for their outstanding scholastic achievements and for their accomplishments. In addition, some of our BBAs received an award at the Honors Convocation and below you’ll find the list of the recipients. The McCombs Honors Convocation also honors our faculty and the Undergraduate Business Council presented the list of BBA faculty that made this spring’s Faculty Honor Roll.

Texas BBA Program Awards

BBA Career Services Award

  • Anna Martinez
  • Sara Saastamoinen

The McCombs BBA Career Services award recognizes a student who has demonstrated superior integrity, time, effort, and dedication toward advancing the mission of BBA Career Services.

Student Leadership Award

  • Robert Belanger
  • UZ Zhan

This award recognizes excellence in student leadership.

Texas BBA Outstanding Service Award

  • Michelle Moon
  • Christopher Schulze

This award recognizes students who have made a significant contribution through dedicated service to the Texas BBA Program.

Cole Holmes Academic Advising Support Award

  • Veronica Becerra

This award annually recognizes a Peer Advisor in the McCombs Undergraduate Program Office who supports the academic advising mission and who has demonstrated the qualities Cole exhibited during his tenure at The University of Texas at Austin where he served in multiple roles including: Orientation Advisor, Academic Advisor, Coordinator of the Peer Advisor Program, and Director of Advising.

Office of Student Life Service Award

  • Dima Horda
  • Eugene Hsiao

This award recognizes the outstanding contribution and support given by a student to the programs, initiatives, and mission of the Office of Student Life.

Undergraduate Business Council Awards

George Mitchel Business Leadership Award

  • Freshmen Charlie Adkins and Sarah Qin
  • Sophomores Parker King and Jacob Spangler
  • Juniors Lindsay Mulford and Dennis Thankachan

This award recognizes students who have exhibited strong leadership within the McCombs School of Business.

Barbara Jordan Business Leadership Award

  • Seniors Jeffrey Stevens and Khurram Kabiruddin

This award recognizes outstanding seniors who have shown great initiative, strong leadership, and outstanding motivation through their activities within the McCombs School.

Most Outstanding Business Organization

  • Hispanic Business Student Organization

This award recognizes an organization that has promoted leadership, encouraged service and developed professionalism through its various programs. This organization is set apart from other business organizations by its membership and activities.

Most Improved Business Organization

  • American Marketing Association

This award recognizes an organization which has drastically improved in the past year through effective new leadership or programs.

McCombs BBA/MPA Advisory Board Award

Rising Star Leadership Award

  • Jeffrey Stevens

Faculty Honor Roll

Rory Morgan McDonald – MAN374 – Management
Dean A Bredeson – LEB323 – Business, Government and Society
James D Miller – FIN367 – Finance
Douglas R Dierking - MAN337 –  Management
Frances A Pedersen – LEB323 – Business, Government and Society
Douglas J Morrice – OM368 - Information, Risk, and Operations
Robert A Prentice – LEB323H – Business, Government and Society
Kathleen A Edwards – MAN328 – Management
Gail A Gemberling – STA309 – Information, Risk, and Operations
Katie Gray – MIS304 – Information, Risk, and Operations
Gretchen B Charrier – ACC356 – Accounting
Regina W Hughes – FIN370 – Finance

McCombs BBA Scholarship for Continuing Students

Important Scholarship Information

The 2013-2014 McCombs BBA Scholarship Application for Continuing Students, is currently available from March 1, 2013 – May 1, 2013.  The application can be found online through the McCombs website:

Deadline to apply:  MAY 1, 2013

**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].

McCombs Executive Mentorship Dinner

written by Catherine Butschi, Freshman

At the McCombs Executive Mentorship Dinner, I learned what it means to be a part of the Red McCombs School of Business. Michelle Obama could not have said it better; “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

Over the course of two hours, relationships were formed over the common ground of being a part of the McCombs legacy. Alumni of McCombs took this evening to reach back and open the door for us. Executives shared their insight into the working world. These mentors gave us an opportunity to network and to ask how McCombs initiated their career path. They gave advice and shared admirable stories.

Holding the door open creates a legacy. It creates a community. Senior Jeff Stevens, chair of the BBA legacy committee, said, “Building a McCombs community is just as important as what we do in the classrooms and organizations.”

By listening and interacting with these fellow McCombs legacies, I saw what opportunities await BBA undergraduates. I feel honored to be part of McCombs and urge others to be apart of this legacy. These Executives have inspired me to assist in maintaining the McCombs legacy and I look forward to attending events like this dinner now and after graduating. Furthermore, every undergraduate can begin participating now during the BBA Legacy Campaign at the end of March.

Thank you to all of the peers, mentors, and everyone who assisted in executing such a wonderful evening. The legacy created before us keeps rolling, so my fellow peers, I challenge you to be a part of the legacy and to reach back and hold the door open for others. We bleed burnt orange. Hook ‘em.

We would like to thank the following alumni for their participation and for connecting with our BBA/MPA students.

1. Keat Wilkins – CEO, Sense Corp 2. Jeff Eller – Chairman, Public Strategies 3. Steve Rohleder – Group Chief Executive, Accenture (Health & Public Service Operating Group); former Accenture COO 4. Sandy Gottesman – LiveOak Gottesman 5. Darrell Windham – Head of the Corporate Law Practice, Greenberg Traurig; former Head of the Corporate Law Practice at Fulbright & Jaworski 6. Jim McBride – Founder and Managing Member, Blue Sage Capital 7. Gary Valdez – CEO, Focus Strategies 8. Joe Holt – CEO, JPMorgan Chase, Central TX 9. Kevin Hegarty – CFO, UT; former CFO of Dell Financial Services 10. Ken Cho – Co-Founder, Spredfast 11. Rick Thielke – Portfolio Manager and Head of Analytics, SandRidge Capital 12. Jack Baum (to confirm) – Partner 2m Co, CEO of Food, Friends & Company

Leadership Awards: Apply & Nominate NOW


The Barbara Jordan and George Mitchell Leadership Awards recognize two first, second, third, and fourth-year business students for their outstanding leadership qualities and service to the McCombs School of Business.

McCombs Affiliated Student Organizations that foster and produce these leaders are encouraged to apply for one of two McCombs Organization Awards: Most Improved Organization and Most Outstanding Organization.

Recipients of the awards will be invited to attend a breakfast with the Deans of the business school as well as the Honors Day Convocation where the awards will be presented.

For more information and the application itself, go to and make sure to submit all necessary forms online, and turn in the application itself to the Office of Student Life by the deadline, March 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM.

3/6 Money Talks: Rudy Garza, G-51 Capital Management


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rudy Garza, G-51 Capital Management

AT&T Conference Center, Room #203

5:30 Registration, 6:00 Program and 7:00 Reception

RSVP: UTEWeek2013 Keynote: Rudy Garza



As founder and managing general partner of G-51 Capital Management, Rudy focuses on the development of

all portfolio companies, syndication partnerships and deal flow. Through mentoring as well as serving on

portfolio boards, he is instrumental in driving success through defining and then guiding the implementation

of well-grounded business and marketing strategies. Rudy is an expert at finding and defining business and

revenue models, market shaping services, business growth strategies and talent sourcing. Rudy has served

as an investor and board member for over 20 companies, selling several to publicly traded firms including SAP,

ADP, Prudential, and Cisco Systems among others.


Rudy is also an active leader in the venture community, as a longtime member of the NVCA and the Texas

Venture Capital Association.  He has served as Chairman of the Board of the University of Texas Alumni

Association (“Texas Exes”) in 2011. In addition, Rudy is a lifetime honorary trustee of the Dell Children’s

Medical Center Foundation.

Big Data is the New Oil – McCombs Executive Summit

written by Ryan Upchurch, Undergraduate Business Council

Last Saturday, the Undergraduate Business Council hosted the McCombs Executive Summit at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. The topic of this year’s summit was “Big Data.”

The panel with a cross-industry selection of executives.

The event hosted a Q&A panel featuring a selection of cross-industry executives from the fields of technology, social media, retailing, banking, advertising and mobile communications. Companies represented included Target, AT&T, Facebook, Adlucent, Cisco, and BBVA Compass. This panel was facilitated by our own McCombs professor, Dr. Michael Hasler.

The seven company representatives shared insights on how they use big data analysis in their decision processes. Dr. Hasler summarizes: “Big data analyzing is experiencing a shift from being a competitive advantage to being a competitive necessity.” After the panel, attendees were broken up into groups to work on case questions facilitated by the company representatives. The companies gave insight into the challenges that appear in their worlds, and how to approach and solve these questions.

Working on case questions.


The Summit concluded with a three course lunch and a presentation from keynote speaker, John Gordon, Director of Strategy & Product Management for the IBM Watson Solutions Division. Gordon spoke on the rise of a new era of data generation, and how the businesses that will harness and leverage this data will be truly successful. Gordon said, “80% of that data is unstructured and unleveraged. Data is growing exponentially. Soon, you will be able to ask more questions than anyone ever has before. You’re going to be more informed that anyone ever has before.”

Michelle Moon and Adam Petras

Gordon also pointed out that, “Data is the new oil.” Dr. Hasler explains, “Oil changed the economic structure in the beginning of the 20th century. Data is driving the activity in the beginning of the 21st century. When oil comes out of the ground, it is black mud and we cannot use it until it’s been refined. The same is true for big data. Once it is refined, it becomes information and we can make decisions.”

The event was enjoyed by the company representatives and the 80 students, who graciously gave up their Saturdays to learn.


Dr. Michael Hasler is the Director of the new Masters of Science Business Analytics Program to be launched in fall 2013. For more information and to find out how to apply, visit their website at the link above.

Upcoming Company Field Trips to Houston & Seattle

written by Jordan Costen, UBC – Company Field Trip Chair

Company Field Trips are designed to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the working world.  The Undergraduate Business Council is hosting four trips this year to Dallas, New York, Houston, and Seattle.  All of these trips focus on a specific major or job type such as consulting or investment banking.  In all, more than 120 McCombs students will attend these trips this year.  Some of the companies visited this year include McKinsey & Co., The Boston Consulting Group, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, and J.Crew.  At each of these visits, students have the opportunity to learn more about the company, network with alumni, and talk to recruiters.

The next Company Field Trip will be to Houston on Friday, February 22 to visit Bank of America Merrill Lynch, ExxonMobil, and Jefferies (sign up for the Houston trip).  Just a few weeks later on March 12, McCombs students will head to Seattle to visit Accenture, Amazon, Boeing, and Microsoft (sign up for the trip to Seattle).

Company Field Trip: McKinsey and Company

Company Field Trip Dallas: Bain and Copmany

Company Field Trip New York: Goldman Sachs




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