HBA Dinner with Professor Events Connect Students Outside of Class

Each year, the Honors Business Association (HBA) coordinates Dinner with a Professor (DWAP) events for BHP students. These are some of our most popular events. Students and professors enjoy getting to know one another outside of the classroom. For the professors, it is also a chance to share their interests and life outside of academia with the students. We thought we would recap some of the events we had this year. Thank you to parents who support these events by donating to the BHP Parents Endowment!

Dinner with Prof. Ashish Agarwal and Prof. Prabhudev Konana, April 2017

Freshmen attended our most popular DWAP with MIS 301H professors Konana and Agarwal. Prof. Agarwal hosts the event at his home. Around 50 students attend each year. Per usual, students were treated to Indian food and a brief dance party hosted by the two professors.

Dinner with Prof. Neuhann at Clay Pit March 2017

Students enjoyed family-style Indian cuisine at Clay Pit, talking about anything from travels, finance, to famous soccer players with their FIN 357H professor.




Dinner with Prof. Scott at Peached Tortilla, February 2017

These students “R” happy after enjoying a meal with their statistics professor at Peached Tortilla! If you aren’t in the calss, we might need to explain that the pun references the programming language R, which is used in professor Scott’s BHP statistics course. After dinner, the group went to Amy’s Ice-Cream for dessert!



Dinner with Prof. Hann at El Mercado, November 2016

BHP Students shared chips and queso with thFIN 357H professor Joe Hahn. Although he is not teaching the class this semester, he will be back teaching for BHP in the fall.



Dinner with Prof. Newman at Maudie’s Tex-Mex, November 2016

Students enjoyed a filling meal at Maudie’s with everyone’s favorite accounting professor, Dr. Paul Newman. Dr. Newman will be retiring this year after having taught at UT Austin since 1987. He will be greatly missed.




Dinner with Prof. Greenberg and Prof. Lukoff, November 2016

BHP Sophomores had a great time grabbing pizza with their STA 309H professors.




Dinner with Prof. McAlister and Prof. Peterson at Trudy’s, October 2016

BHP juniors made important connections with their marketing professors over queso and stuffed avocados. Do you see the Mexican food theme arising? It is always one of the students favorites!




Dinner with Prof. Greta Fenley at Gusto Italian Kitchen, September 2016

Amid plates of delicious Italian food, students got to know Prof. Fenley outside of the classroom and had the opportunity to share their backgrounds and interests.

Alumni Spotlight – Chris Crump – Class of 1991

Like most BHP students, I started my career with a desire to achieve as much as possible.  A 1991 BHP graduate, I started at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in 1992 after getting my MBA at McCombs.  I worked at Accenture for 22 years, 12 as a partner in Accenture’s Strategy practice.  Focusing on organization change, leadership, and employee engagement, I worked on some of Accenture’s largest global accounts at places like Exxon, Chevron, Cargill, and DuPont.  Along the way, I enjoyed exciting work; fantastic teams; and the opportunity to be on the inside of some of the biggest companies in the world.  I also earned 4 million airline miles, and though that sounds great, the travel began to take a toll on my health and well being.

Time for a Change

The plan was never 22 years.  Like most new consultants, I thought 2-3 years of experience across industries would give me a good idea on what I wanted to do next.  As it turned out, I was too busy to figure out what to do after consulting.  After preaching change management to my clients for two decades, it became clear that I needed to embrace change in my own life.  So I walked away from consulting to start a sabbatical, and I did so without a plan!

So, Now What?

On March 12, 2014, I was unemployed for the first time since the Reagan Administration.  Not surprisingly, I was a bit lost on what to do next.  There was no new promotion to go after, no new client to win over, no important executive to network with.  With none of the usual demands on my time. I was able to spend more time with my family and friends and to nurture some new interests.

When I left Accenture, my son was a 7th grader.  After having missed way too many teacher conferences and school events due to business travel, I fully embraced being a stay-at-home dad.  Making breakfast every morning, and cooking with my son in the evenings are memories that will stay with me forever.  Even though he is about to be a high school junior, I am still the first 30 minutes of conversation after school each day.  It is nice to be available at 3:30!

All this is great, but I still needed to figure out what to do with my time and energy.  I considered any number of possibilities, from writing to teaching to opening my own coffee shop.  As nothing seemed quite right, I decided to spend my time learning instead of stressing on what’s next (didn’t I leave work to avoid stress in the first place?).

First, I dusted off the French textbook from college and committed to learning a second language.  Three years later, I am largely fluent, devouring French newspapers, movies, and novels.  Despite all my business travel, I had rarely traveled internationally for leisure.  With my new found language skills in tow, that quickly changed.  With time for longer trips abroad (yes, I backpacked, no I did not stay at a youth hostel), I gained a deeper appreciation and study of European history, politics, art, and architecture.  No longer worried about the next client, I can now be found tweeting on the French election instead.  I have enjoyed the process of learning French so much, that I have recently began learning German as well.

The break from work also gave me more time to reconnect with the University.  Now serving on the BHP Advisory Board, I enjoy the time I have spent talking to students and other alumni.  It has served as a good reminder about how much I care about the University and how nice it is to connect to today’s BHP students.  They are truly an impressive group of young people.

Second Act

Still in my forties with lots of energy, I have started a more active search for what’s next.  Freed from concerns about the next promotion or the next deal, I am looking at opportunities differently  than I did in my prior life.  One of my favorite things about Accenture was working on globally diverse teams.  Of all the  I miss from my prior career, what I miss most is the opportunity to work with smart people from other countries, learning how they do things and what they value.

Given my preference for international work, and my new-found language skills, I have begun the process of networking in Europe with the goal of finding meaningful work there.  Specifically would like to apply what I learned in the business world to education, teaching, and preparing future leaders.  I’m not sure yet if that will lead me to a think tank in Paris, a classroom in Zurich, or the UN in Geneva, but, as I now live my life free of plans and expectations, I am happy to patiently wait to see what comes my way.

Like many BHP graduates, I left school looking to always have a plan and to be in control.  Surprisingly, I have found that giving up control can actually lead to a more fulfilling life. I know not everyone can take multiple years off from work, but for those that can even take a short sabbatical, I highly recommend it – you never know where you may end up!

Student Spotlight: John Falke

BHP and Supply Chain Management senior John Falke never thought a big state school would be the right fit for him, but after attending Discover BHP as a senior in high school, he realized that UT and BHP were exactly where he wanted to be.  After four years at UT, his love for the University and for McCombs has only grown stronger.

One of his favorite experiences so far has been participating in the study abroad program for BHP, which took him to Buenos Aires his freshman year. Falke is also minoring in Spanish, so the experience helped him keep his Spanish skills sharp while learning more about a culture that was so unique and interesting. Following the coursework in Argentina, he was inspired to enroll in the Business and Public Policy program after taking “Non-market Strategies in Emerging Markets” at Universidad de San Andres. Through this program, Falke was able to examine the intersection of political decision-making to aspects of private sector business operations across the globe.

Within the Business and Public Policy Program and BHP, Falke thought critically about the impact he wants to have in his career and it prompted him to join Teach For America to participate in a grassroots movement for educational equity. He recognized how a broad level of community and academic support gave him a boost in high school and college. “In school, I had so many teachers who helped me guide my interests, but I didn’t really realize until I came to college that so many students don’t have that opportunity.” He will be teaching at a middle school in Dallas next year and hopes to support his students in the same ways that he was supported by his teachers in the past.

Outside of his school and career interests, Falke has been an active leader on campus. During his freshman year, he was elected as Business School Representative to Student Government (SG) and served on the Financial Affairs Committee. He later ran for and won his university-wide Representative election and became the chair of Financial Affairs, where he oversaw the SG budget, scholarships, organization appropriations, and funding for student initiatives. In addition, he has been involved in Senate of College Councils, Honors Business Association, Undergraduate Business Council, the College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee, and served as a Camp Texas counselor. Last spring, he ran a Student Government presidential campaign and said that it was the most rewarding experience he has had at UT so far.

Falke says from his first student government position, to his upcoming Teach For America post, McCombs and the Business Honors Program have allowed him to explore different career options and gain insight from the diversity of career options of alumni and fellow students. Because of this, he has found a major, university activities and a job that connects with his passions, and allows him to encourage others to do the same.

Faculty Spotlight: Jedrzej Bialkowski – STA 375H

Written by Megan Tran-Olmsted

After building relationships with The University of Texas during his first visit in 2012, visiting professor Jedrzej Bialkowski was invited by the Department of Finance to teach and conduct research at UT for the Spring 2017 semester. With his breadth of knowledge in research areas such as microstructures and market risk management, The McCombs School of Business is lucky to have Professor Bialkowski for the semester!

Professor Bialkowski is teaching the Statistics and Modeling for Finance course (STA375H) to Business Honors Sophomores. The course serves as a hybrid between statistic skills learned in Statistics 309, market topics in Finance 357, and coding skills from MIS 301 – all courses required by BHP. The course seeks to help students utilize programs like SAS and @Risk to analyze market data and draw conclusions about financial performance. When teaching the class, Bialkowski routinely gives students real-world data from projects that he has worked on, allowing students to see the material learned in practice.

Jedrzej Bialkowski has been recruited by the world’s top universities and has been teaching for almost a decade after receiving several higher educational degrees. Professor Bialkowski was born and raised in Poland, but has received his education from universities around Europe. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, he pursued a master’s degree in mathematical finance, received his PhD in financial economics in Frankfurt, Germany and his post-doctoral degree in Paris, France.

Professor Bialkowski was then contacted by the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand for a research and teaching position within the finance department. After spending several years at the university, Bialkowski took an associate professorship at The University of Canterbury within the department of economics and finance.

When Dr. Bialkowski was choosing a career path, he briefly considered a career in financial services, but saw the benefits of academia as far greater. He says that his favorite aspect of teaching is that he can see students growing throughout the semester. Additionally, Bialkowski says that being a professor allows him to be the owner of his own time, something that he sees as invaluable.

In his free time, Professor Bialkowski enjoys traveling and has done so in several countries and across multiple continents. Though he was born in a country known for its chilly winters, Bialkowski says that he has an inkling for warm weather, and a particular weakness for the pacific island of Fiji. During class times, Bialkowski spends the last five minutes of class discussing notable places to travel within New Zealand, including famous beaches, museums, and even a bungee jumping spot that he ventured to.

If you spot him around McCombs, be sure to ask Dr. Bialkowski a couple of these questions:

  • Where are your favorite travel spots within New Zealand?
  • What are your favorite sports and classes that Gregory Gym offers?
  • Where else would you like to teach or live?

Stop by Professor Bialkowski’s office hours on Monday and Wednesday from 4:30PM – 5:30PM in CBA 3.440. He is eager to get to know students with interest in statistics, finance, and more.

BHP Students Honored for Leadership, Service and Scholastic Achievement

Congratulations to all of the students recognized at the McCombs Honors Convocation this past Friday. 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

Rising Star Leadership Award
 – Bethany Rolan

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.

BHP Award

Conrad Doenges Award – Bethany Rolan

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.

Accounting Award
Excellence in Accounting – Natalie McDole

This award is presented to an Accounting senior who has demonstrated excellence at all levels of their accounting coursework. The recipient of this award embodies a mastery of accounting knowledge that suggests the recipient will be a leader in a professional accounting environment.

Management Award

Management Excellence Award – Sarth Raj

This award is given to a Management major who exhibits outstanding academic performance and the potential to excel as a management professional.

Supply Chain Award

Outstanding Supply Chain Management Student Award – Katie Stephens

The Outstanding SCM Student Award recognizes an undergraduate Supply Chain Management student that exhibits academic excellence and significant peer leadership experience.

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 – Pranay Tamminayana

Sophomores – Genny Li, Uttam Eamani

Junior – Ananya Jha

Texas BBA Program Awards

BBA Outstanding Service  and Leadership Awards – Madison Gove, Zach Schultz, Katie Stephens, Paige Kimball, Humza Tariq, Neo Nanna, Sean Sellers, Imelda Resendiz