On Saturday, March 31, the Business Honors Program hosted Discover BHP, a day-long showcase of the BHP community for admitted students and their families. Knowing that Discover was the closest these students would come to experiencing a day in the life of a BHP student before matriculating, we did our best to highlight every facet of our one-of-a-kind honors program.
Together with my co-chair Bekah Thayer (’13), I had the opportunity to coordinate logistics and programming for the event, and we were extremely pleased to announce that Discover BHP 2012 had record-breaking attendance. Nearly 40 student volunteers graciously offered up their weekend to show some Southern hospitality to our approximately 300 guests.
We kicked off the day at the Student Activity Center with a welcome from our faculty director, Dr. Robert Prentice, before splitting off into groups to conduct a raucous round of icebreakers on the East Mall. In the interim, Angela Mirabito and Samantha Perry, our academic advisor and admissions director, fielded questions from parents in a candid information session.
Introductions made and queries answered, we then headed to the McCombs School of Business for breakout sessions featuring our staff, students, and alumni. Our guests partook in panel discussions on careers and internships, study abroad opportunities, and student life.
Shortly after noon, we trekked across campus to Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, where attendees received the invaluable advice of alumnus and keynote speaker Boris Siperstein (’95) over a plated lunch. Boris, who currently serves as chairman of the BHP Alumni Advisory Board, illustrated that BHP graduates have the multitasking skills to handle any number of complex interdependencies with a gravity-defying juggling act.
Our admitted high school seniors then made their way back to the business school for a taste of the BHP classroom. Many were lucky enough to experience their first “cold call” in mock classes on corporate ethics and information technology. Parents were introduced to members of the BHP Parents’ Council via an interactive forum at Jester Auditorium.
The final activity of the day was a faculty panel featuring a dais of dedicated BHP professors. The faculty proved to be riotously hilarious, demonstrating that big personalities and excellent teaching are by no means mutually exclusive.
Not fans of the abrupt farewell, Bekah and I extended an open invitation to our guests to partake in a tour of the honors residence halls and join us in the Hall of Honors for a brief reception. Amid mingling at this reception, a few truths readily presented themselves for observation and analysis.
All our attendees came away with a strong understanding of our unique case-based curriculum and inexhaustible opportunities for leadership and professional development. More importantly, they came away with a feel for the unwavering passion of our program’s many talented supporters. Our human capital is by far our biggest asset, and our faculty, parents, alumni, and students are united by the singular goal of preserving the BHP’s reputation as the best undergraduate business program in the nation.
I saw glints and glimmers of that same passion in the eyes of many admitted students. In fact, regardless of where they decide to pursue their degree, I have no doubt that the students I met at Discover BHP will go on to become the ethical business leaders of tomorrow, and I cannot wait to greet our incoming class of BHP freshmen this August at BHP Leadership Kick-Off!
Class of 2016: Welcome to The University of Texas at Austin! Welcome to the BHP!
–Austin Rogers (’13)