This year’s Honors Business Association (HBA) president is Katie Stephens. Katie is a senior majoring in BHP and Supply Chain Management, with a minor in MIS. She is from El Paso, and attended Coronado High School. In addition to her involvement in HBA, she has also served as treasurer of Texas Sweethearts and leads a weekly prayer group for the Baptist Student Ministries. She loves being in Austin and can be found paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake on the weekends.
Katie has loved being a UT Student and being in BHP. When she started searching for the right college, she knew she wanted to combine quantitative skills with a social atmosphere. She also knew she wanted to be challenged. She had researched BHP and knew it was competitive and that she would be challenged. “Your BHP peers push you in class, encourage you and teach you about things you never knew before,” she says. “My classmates are so smart. They are extremely competitive, but that doesn’t affect how kind they are.”
Katie first experienced HBA as a freshman on the bus ride to the BHP Leadership Kickoff. Members of the HBA executive team were on the bus and struck up a conversation with her, helping to connect her with upperclassmen who were active in groups she was interested in joining. “Freshman year I went to every meeting and loved it. It was my home. My first semester I felt really far from home, and HBA helped me adjust,” says Katie.
When asked about her favorite HBA event, she quickly answers the Konana/Agarwal DWAP (Dinner with a Professor). This event is a favorite for many students. Of all of the DWAP events HBA puts on each year, this one, hosted in the home of BHP MIS professors, garners the largest turnout. Katie tries to go every year and has enjoyed bonding with classmates and professors at this and other DWAP events.
One of Katie’s and the HBA executive team’s goals this year is to increase inter-class relations. “Students in the same grade level are really close, but it is common that they won’t know anyone in the grades above them, especially freshmen,” she says. HBA is working to create events and programs that will help freshmen get to know those in the classes above them. Their hope is that eventually students will start to form “BHP families”, and will have connections in each of the classes to go to for help.
Katie values the friendships she has made through HBA and what it has added to her BHP experience. “HBA is the best way to get to know your BHP peers and to interact with faculty outside of class,” she says. We are lucky to have her leading this year’s great executive team, and look forward to another year of memorable HBA events!