BHP senior, Jace Barton, recently took on the role of president for the Honors Business Association (HBA). Since first becoming involved with the organization as a sophomore, Jace has found a new level of confidence in himself, which he hopes will have a positive impact on HBA during his presidency.
Why did you choose UT and specifically, BHP?
I chose UT and the BHP because of the community environment I sensed on my visit here. I came from a small high school, so I was worried that if I chose to come to a big school like UT, I would get “lost” so to speak. But the Business Honors Program extremely impressed me by showcasing its passionate, remarkable students and more importantly for me, the amazing relationships they were able to develop with one another during their time on the Forty Acres.
What do you think is HBA’s role in BHP?
The official explanation is that the Honors Business Association (HBA) is the official student organization of the Business Honors Program. But the way I like to describe HBA is as “home” to Business Honors students. I think this works on several levels. The word “home” has a connotation of comfort and belonging. For most people, no matter what happens in the world, you know you can always go home and be welcome. Some people like spending a lot of time at home, and others prefer to spend their free time elsewhere. All of this rings true for HBA. We have some students who get extremely involved, and others who come to an event or two a semester. But no matter what, every BHP student is always welcome at HBA events, be it a freshman who doesn’t quite know how they want to get involved on campus or a senior who is just now discovering all of the wonderful things HBA does for BHP students.
How did you become involved in HBA?
I attended some HBA events my freshman year, but I really started to get involved in HBA my sophomore year. In addition to attending more events, I was also a member of the Alumni Relations committee. My junior year, I was elected as the Financial Vice President. And now, as president of the organization, I’m responsible for overseeing all of the operations of HBA as well as representing the organization at official functions of both the BHP and McCombs in general.
What have you gained by being part of HBA?
Personally, I have gained a lot of confidence in my event planning and leadership skills. If you had told freshman Jace that he would one day be HBA President, I wouldn’t have believed you. It took a while for me to develop confidence in myself, especially since I was surrounded by such high caliber students in the program, but HBA helped in that development. That brings up another thing I’ve loved about getting involved in HBA – I’ve gained an even greater appreciation of the incredible people who constitute the Business Honors Program. That includes faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Everyone is so caring, nice, genuine, and talented. Being in such an outstanding environment motivates you to be the best person you can be.
What do you hope for HBA to do differently under your presidency?
I want HBA to be more flexible and responsive as an organization, which entails doing a better job of gathering and responding to feedback. If our members aren’t enjoying one type of event, I want to know about it as soon as possible so we can plan events that better match the preferences of our members. I’ve also made it an initiative to have more cross-functional events. For example, we’ve always had Alumni and Philanthropy events, but we’ve never had events which combine those two functions. We haven’t seen a lot of those yet this year, but I know we have some great events like this in the pipeline that I’m super excited about.