Alumni Spotlight: David Liu, Recruiter for Dropbox

David LiuDavid Liu, BHP Class of 2013, is a recruiter for the Austin office of Dropbox. He loves the challenge of finding the best talent for the company and has enjoyed interacting with BHP students at recruiting events over the past couple of years. Dropbox will be hosting the BHP junior class social at Easy Tiger on April 30. Juniors can register for the event here.

Why did you choose to go in to HR and recruiting?

I was thinking about consulting and investment banking as a freshman, but after reflecting on what I wanted to do after graduation in terms of community involvement and work/life balance, I decided I wanted to follow a different path. I started off with an internship that I found on OCR with AMD in their Global Benefits & Mobility group. I stepped into the HR world, and it was eye-opening to learn how diverse of a world HR was and how many high-impact business problems there were to work on. I enjoyed being the “people behind the people” and seeing the impact my work had on AMDers as a whole and how that translated into them being able to make greater impact for the company.

The next summer I went to National Instruments and did some learning and development work, mainly around training for employees in their marketing communications group, and then my last semester I had an internship where I helped out with new employee onboarding among other HR functions at Samsung.

I actually had an offer lined up with a very early-stage startup after graduation that fell through due to the vicissitudes of startup life, but in ending up at Dropbox it all worked out for the best. An acquaintance contacted me about Dropbox letting me know they were looking for people to join their recruiting team in Austin, and I signed with them the summer after graduation. I say it worked out for the best because in joining this team I had the privilege to be among the first six people to help start the Austin office and actually found out later that I was the first person to be hired for the Austin office. While I’ve definitely had to learn a lot and very quickly, and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to have been part of building this office together.

What skills were most transferable to your role?

The Art & Science of Negotiation Class (MAN 337) I took has been really helpful. I’ve had to navigate my way through some fairly complex offer situations, and many of the concepts that I learned in that class have been directly relevant to those situations. More generally, having had to work in many diverse groups and learning to proactively think about how people will respond to different situations has been very valuable. I’ve learned to examine problems from different perspectives, objectively weigh the merits of those perspectives including my own, and work towards a common goal. Finally, I make it a central focus of my work day to be proactive rather than reactive, and having had multiple commitments to juggle while in school has helped me a lot in making sure I’m taking care of the different responsibilities I’ve been entrusted with now.

You have worked on several initiatives to increase efficiency in your role. Can you talk more about this and how your BHP degree has helped you in this work.

When you have an open role to fill, the goal is to fill it as fast as possible with the best possible person because the business impact of that role isn’t actualized until someone fills the role. That being said, there are a lot of steps to get right in the process, and we care tremendously about making every hire the right hire at Dropbox. I have had many opportunities to figure out ways to decrease the time it takes for that process to run and to find more efficient ways of identifying if a candidate is a good fit earlier on in the process to save both candidates and us time. Finally, the case competitions and projects I did in BHP helped me learn to look at a problem in a systematic fashion, break it down into all the relevant components, and identify the areas of highest impact. In short, I learned how to find the low-hanging fruit, go after it, and work your way upwards.

What do you love about working for Dropbox?

It comes down to the people. I know a lot of companies say that having heard it a lot in college from a lot of different companies, but I can confidently say that the collection of people here in terms of their caliber (what they have done in the past and are doing now), how helpful and genuine they are, make them a pleasure to work with each and every day. While we may not always agree on the best way to do everything, we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other and are able to get a lot done.

The other thing I really enjoy is the type of work we are doing. We have a lot of interesting challenges here to address. We aren’t as young of a start-up as we used to be, but there is still a lot that needs to be figured out and could be done better. There’s a lot more that could be said here, but suffice it to say that I couldn’t have imagined going into Dropbox how much I’d learn and experience in less than two years.

Lastly, a question on what I love about working for Dropbox wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the benefits and perks that Dropbox gives to its employees to make life easier and more enjoyable. The whole range is pretty incredible: free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, unlimited vacation, a $100/month wellness subsidy that can be used on everything from fitness equipment to massages, a cell phone subsidy that basically takes care of that bill, and of course as much Dropbox space as you need/want. I’ve said this many times before to new grads, but having Dropbox as a first job out of college makes it pretty hard to imagine a second job.

Dropbox has almost completed construction on the new Austin office. Describe what that office is going to be like and how you think that will impact your Austin recruiting efforts.

We have a space at the corner of 5th and Congress and will eventually be on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors. We will have an exclusive on-site gym, on-site food as I mentioned, and a private rooftop patio. Being so centrally located will be a huge draw. We are right in the thick of things downtown, and I’m really excited for all the ways it’ll really showcase our culture. There will be a lot there, and I’d go so far to argue that it’s going to make us the best workplace in Austin in terms of what we’re going to be able to provide.

What should students do in order to be successful in recruiting with Dropbox?

This won’t be earth-shattering revolutionary advice, but as BBA Career Services says do your company research and be able to clearly and succinctly articulate a specific interest in the job. Also, while we’re absolutely looking for people who are high achievers, it’s a non-negotiable for us for that the people we work with are people we look forward to working and collaborating with each and every day. Be real and genuine and help us to see that you’re one of those people.

Ethics Week Brings Focus to BHP Honor Code

During the week of April 6-9, the BHP Student Ethics Board hosted Ethics Week, complete with t-shirt giveaways, delicious treats, and of course, a focus on the BHP Honor Code. This annual weeklong event encourages BHP students to always conduct themselves with integrity and make ethical decisions not only at school but in the workplace too.  The week kicked off with #BHPEthicsChallenge where participants were asked to complete a series of fun challenges related to business ethics. The prize? A Dr. Prentice shirt! Other events during the week included an Honor Code puzzle (with free cookie cake upon completion) and a BHProfessor Panel where students and three professors had the opportunity to meet and chat about ethics over donuts.

The Ethics Board was excited to see so many BHP students come out to the events and enjoy the stellar mix of ethics, food, and fun. The goal of each event was to initiate thoughtful conversation about and reflection on the Honor Code and ethics in everyday life. After all, as individuals who represent not only a top-notch Business Honors Program, but also the outstanding McCombs School of Business and vibrant University of Texas at Austin, each student has the personal and social responsibility to uphold ethical decision-making and integrity. What starts here changes the world. 

View the BHP Ethics FAQ and the most recent Ethics Report online.


BHP Students Honored with Top McCombs Awards

Congratulations to all of the students recognized at the McCombs Honors Convocation today. Here is a list of the BHP students who received awards at the event. In addition to these individuals, we were proud to honor many of you for your outstanding scholastic achievements and want to congratulate all business students and organizations who were honored with an award this year.

McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board Award

Angela Morisette and members of the BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board

Angela Morisette and members of the BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board

Rising Star Leadership Award – Angela Morisette

This award is presented to a graduating McCombs undergraduate or MPA student who has proven an established commitment to service within the McCombs School through outstanding scholarship and achievements, as well as exemplary leadership and community involvement. The recipient demonstrates significant growth potential as a future leader in the McCombs community.




Neal Makkar and BHP Faculty Director Robert Prentice

Neal Makkar and BHP Faculty Director Robert Prentice

BHP Award

Conrad Doenges Award – Neal Makkar

This award is given to a Business Honors senior, who in the judgment of their peers and the BHP faculty and staff, have distinguished themselves in academics and leadership.




The 2015 George Mitchell Award Winners

The 2015 George Mitchell Award Winners

Undergraduate Business Council Awards

George Mitchell Business Leadership Award  This award recognizes students who have exhibited strong leadership within the McCombs School. There are two winners per class.

Freshmen – Mickey Li, Eric Saldanha

Sophomores – Farahn Seibert-Hughes

Junior – Amy Enrione


Barbara Jordan Award winners with Dean David Platt

Barbara Jordan Award winners with Dean David Platt

Barbara Jordan Business Leadership Award – This award recognizes outstanding seniors who have shown great initiative, strong leadership, and outstanding motivation through their activities within the McCombs School.

Angela Morisette




Texas BBA Program Awards

BHP  Outstanding Service Award – Chirag Agrawal

BHP  Student Leadership Award – Rachel Solomon

International Programs/Admissions  Outstanding Service Award – Elise Loney

Office of Student Life Student Leadership Award –Adam Petras


Student Spotlight: Nakul Shah

NakulShahBHP senior Nakul Shah will graduate with business and biochemistry degrees this May. He has maintained a nearly perfect GPA, all while conducting research and being involved on campus and in the community. He also scored in the top one-percent of MCAT test takers. It is no surprise that Nakul has been accepted into numerous competitive medical schools. He will soon be deciding which school to attend and hopes to go on to leave his mark through Oncology research.

You are majoring in BHP and Biochemistry. Tell me about combining those majors and how difficult the workload has been.

It is difficult because both majors are focused on different things. The application of business outside the classroom is a focus in business classes, so there are frequent projects outside the classroom. Science classes are more focused on reading the material and sticking to the material inside the class. Combining both has allowed me to focus on my passion of science, but also practice case-based learning through business. Doing both has allowed me to focus on the science and find my passion for oncology, but I also got a wider view of the medical field through the business side.

What was the process of applying to medical school like?

You start early in the year you want to apply. You should start getting materials together in January of the year you want to apply. For rec letters you will need two to six, so it takes a while to talk to your professors and organize it. You have to put down references for all of the student organizations and extracurricular activities you have been involved in, and make sure those people feel comfortable vouching for you. Then there is the personal statement about why you want to be a doctor and it takes a while to write a really good, unique essay. You have to get it in early, before October. I submitted mine in July, but I recommend early June if possible because it is a rolling admissions process, so there will be less spots left the later you submit.

First you turn in primary application, then complete the secondary application that focuses on the mission of that school because they all have different missions. I was focused on those with a research mission. From there you may be asked to complete an interview on campus. Usually with two med school faculty members – one professor and one doctor. Their questions focused on science and my interest in being a doctor. For Texas schools there is a pre-match and match program so you will know as early as November or as late as January. Out of state schools let you know by the end of April.

It is very hard to balance a full school workload and manage the interviews. Students should keep that in mind when setting their course load for the fall semester of their senior year.

You were accepted into very prestigious medical schools. What do you think differentiated you from other applicants?

The main thing that set me apart in my opinion was my diverse education at UT. I had the business background, took advantage of the scientific computing program at UT and the top chemistry program. I had the whole view of healthcare – business of healthcare, big data of healthcare and the science education. I applied to 9 schools and received interviews at 7.

You scored in the top one-percent of MCAT test takers. Do you have any tips for other students preparing to take the MCAT?

One misconception about the MCAT is that you should do something else outside of studying the summer before the MCAT because it will look good on your application. Some schools will immediately reject your application if you do not make their GPA and MCAT cutoff, so make sure you spend enough time on it. It is memorization/materials based so you have to have make a lot of time for it. I spent two full months studying eight hours a day.

What are you involved in outside of school and how did you manage that with two difficult majors?

In the business school, I am involved in the Undergraduate Business Council and Undergraduate Computational Finance team. Outside of the business school, I was in Eastside Community Connection, which is a non-profit food pantry. I am also involved in research. I started researching my sophomore year and am still doing it. The College of Natural Sciences has a database of research professors, so that is how I found my research opportunities. I am currently researching cancer cells, trying to find drug targets for different kinds of cancers to try to stop tumor growth. I have been on this project since junior year. I applied to medical schools that are research focused, so my current researched was a big topic of conversation in my interviews.

What particular area of medicine would you like to be in?

Oncology is my interest. Because of the research I have been doing, I became passionate about cancer cells. There are more than 200 kinds of cancer cells, so it is very interesting and challenging research. I also want to stay in academic medicine. I will likely spend 5 years in medical school, as opposed to four, to get more research projects in. After that, the residency program will be four years, then after that I would do a research fellowship, then apply for positions in oncology at a hospital or medical school.

Does it seem overwhelming to you when you think about how many more years of learning you have ahead of you?

I have been prepared for this for a long time and it makes sense to me that if you are going to trust someone to make life and death decisions, they should spend that long in school learning and honing their schools. It is an honor to be trusted with those decisions and it takes a long time to get to that level of knowledge.

What has been your favorite class at UT?

Dr. Prentice’s LEB class. It set me up well for interviews. They will often ask about ethical dilemmas and he did an amazing job of preparing me for those questions. He makes you realize you aren’t as ethical as you think and forces you to think about how you would react in certain situations. It really prepared me to critically evaluate my actions.

What has been your most difficult class at UT?

I took a grad level class in computational chemistry, focused on advanced topics like quantum physics. It was interesting, but very difficult. It was an elective course so I didn’t need it, but I was interested in the topic and it made me a better biochemistry student.

As a senior, looking back on your four years, what do you know now that you wish you had known when you started school?

I wish I would have been open to more diversity of my education and experiences. From the start I knew what I needed to do and get involved in for med school. There were a lot of great opportunities that wouldn’t have helped my application, but would have helped me grow as a person. There are a lot of music and art opportunities that I would have liked to have done at UT.

BHP Team Participates in International Case Competition


The BHP team posing with their ambassador, Caroline.


Over Spring Break, BHP Students Angela Morisette, David Yu, Jany Xu, and Sabeeha Islam travelled to Montreal, Quebec to participate in BHP’s first international case competition entry in several years. They participated in the McGill Management International Case Competition (MMICC), hosted by McGill University, alongside teams from 10 other international schools including Shantou University, U. of Portugal, Queensland University, just to name a few. The case competition, which was 32 hours in length, was sponsored by McKesson Canada and revolved around how to shift the strategy of their Hospital Automation Solutions to better equip McKesson for future success.

In the 32-hour case crack period, the team didn’t have access to phones, their personal computers, or any other outside help – the only resources they could use were the internet (no sites with log-ins, though) and two textbooks that they brought. The team first spent some time doing some solo research to get to know McKesson as a company and the Canadian healthcare landscape, then came together to begin creating a strategy solution. The team ultimately decided on branching into remote, home hospital visits via webcam to automate patient visits for low-grade illnesses and patients that simply required referrals to specialists. The team presented twice to a panel of about 12 judges and fielded a total of 20 minutes of questions.

“This was definitely not like a case competition I had ever experienced,” Angela noted. “MMICC really pushed our team to be efficient, smart, and strategy-oriented. I never realized how much a team of peers working together could accomplish in such a short time period!”

But MMICC was so much more than a case competition for the BHP team; it was an international experience. The moment the team arrived at the airport, they were greeted by their loving ambassador, Caroline. Caroline is a Canadian native, and she served as the team’s host for the entire week-long competition. Every night, there were activities planned that Caroline would lead the team to that fostered camaraderie among the different teams.

One night, Team Texas (as affectionately referred to by all participants) would become friends with a team through singing along to Drake with Simon Fraser University. The next day, Team Texas hiked up Mount Royal (Montreal’s beautiful nature park) and made snowmen with Shantou University. The following days leading up to the actual case crack included activities such as an across town scavenger hunt, tours of Montreal’s history museum, and wonderful dinners. The team became friends with those from all universities and learned about different cultures.

“The McGill Case Competition was more like a mini-study abroad experience. Never have I learned so much so quickly, made so many memories, or met so many wonderfully diverse people in such a short time period. This will definitely be one of my favorite memories from McCombs/BHP for years to come”, Sabeeha noted.

As the week came to an end, the team went out one last time with Caroline to Montreal’s famous “Juliette et Chocolat” dessert shop for a sweet ending to a fulfilling week. The team talked with Caroline fondly about the memories they had developed in just 6 short days, and laughs were had by all.

As Team Texas boarded the cab to head back to Austin, they were sad to leave their new friends and such a beautiful  city, but fulfilled to have been given the chance to represent UT, McCombs, and BHP. They were also pleased to have spent their Spring Breaks in such a meaningful way meeting international peers from across the world.