Sophomore Jacob Spangler is majoring in BHP, Plan II Honors, Government, and Supply Chain Management. He is in the Longhorn Band, serves as a peer mentor and recruiting liaison for the BHP, is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and is a Texas Ambassador with the Office of Admissions. We recently visited with Jacob to find out more about all he is doing.
BHP: You are involved in so much on campus. How do you manage all of your commitments?
JS: I am involved in things that I love to do. My activities don’t feel like commitments to me. I am excited to do as much as I can, so I just find a way to make time for whatever is on my plate. I have learned to be smart about what is involved with a commitment before signing on. Before each additional activity, I researched and asked people who were currently in the organizations about the time commitment. I know my limits and I have recognized what I can and cannot do.
BHP: You are in the Longhorn Band. What is it like playing at the football games and what has been your favorite part of being in the band?
JS: Longhorn Band is so much fun; I love serving as a member of such a wonderful organization. I get to see UT traditions and partake in something way bigger than me. Participating in a unique school culture has been such a treat that I know I wouldn’t have gotten at any other school. A particularly poignant memory for me is the Texas vs. OU weekend where I host my entire band section, all forty people, at my house. My friends in band have come to be my family, friends I know I’ll keep for life. Longhorn Band has come to define my college experience. I spend 9 hours over 3 nights a week, plus games, rehearsing: it is a lot of time, but so worth it. I also love being part of the games: football, along with volleyball and basketball, too.
BHP: What has been your favorite class so far?
JS: The Operations Management (OM) class taught by Edward Anderson I am currently taking has been my favorite class. I started this semester not knowing what I wanted to do, but from the very first class session, I knew I had a passion for the subject. I love the operational aspect behind consulting, the field I hope to enter after graduation, and feel this is a great route to get there. There is a science behind helping others find solutions to challenging situations, with never one correct answer. We looked at the restaurant, Benihana, in a case study. It was really interesting to study what the company’s strengths were and how it could use that to express its value proposition, while minimizing its costs.
BHP: You were a peer mentor for BHP this year. What is the best piece of advice you gave your mentees?
JS: I told them to calm down. BHP students are so motivated. It humbles me to be surrounded by such driven students, but I realized in working with them that they need to understand that they can handle the work, and that worrying about it isn’t going to help them. I told them they just need to be prepared and plan, but not spend their time stressing so much. I also reminded them that they don’t have to be perfect in everything, they just need to do what they love and it will all work out.
BHP: Are you doing an internship this summer?
JS: I am going to be working at ConocoPhillips in their supply chain area. I will be working in the procurement and exploration division, particularly in identifying new oil fields. I am taking a class on energy in modern America, which I think will apply to what I’ll be doing this summer. Energy is a hot topic right now, so I am excited to see its applications to industry. I found the internship through OCR and Conoco was so good to me when I interviewed that it made it easy to decide to take the internship.
BHP: Over the break you volunteered with a group of students in Ghana. Tell me more about that.
JS: I went with Global Brigades, a nonprofit microfinance program. There were 40 students from UT who went, and started a community bank. Most community members lived off of about $1 a day. We taught them some basic skills, but they taught us so much more. My experience made me appreciate what I have. The people were so wise and kindhearted. I can’t wait to go back; I plan to visit again next December and help with some of the program’s other initiatives. One key takeaway was the importance of school, that it is such a precious resource that we take for granted. It shouldn’t be a chore; rather, it should be an avenue we take advantage of through which we achieve our goals.
BHP: Do you have a favorite activity that you like to do in Austin?
JS: I like to go to the Master Pancake shows at the Alamo Drafthouse. I think they are hysterical. I also involve myself with Rec Sports whenever possible, and love going to eat on South Congress, especially at the trailers.
BHP: Do you have any goals for the rest of your time here at UT?
JS: I feel like I have already done a lot, and am grateful to the UT community for making that possible. BHP offers so many avenues for involvement. I would like to help coordinate an event for BHP like Discover BHP. I had such a great experience at Discover BHP and really fell in love with the program during that event. I would love to get more involved in tutoring, so that I may give back to the future generations of the campus community. I want to help make learning fun and help students be more excited about school.