Student Spotlight: Kobi Naseck

Senior Kobi Naseck

Kobi Naseck will graduate this spring from Business Honors, Plan II Honors, and the Business & Public Policy Certificate Program. He is the president of the BEEVO Beekeeping Society. The organization, which was started in 2015 as a class project by three students, has now expanded in scope and has been successful in securing land on campus for beekeeping. Naseck and the group have been working to make the UT campus a more pollinator friendly space and decrease the stigma around bees and beekeeping in an urban environment.

Naseck discovered his passion for beekeeping during his freshman year. After graduation, Naseck will be headed to Green Corps, a one-year program that trains environmental organizers and places them on campaigns in different communities nationwide.  “I’ve always been environmentally-oriented,” says Naseck. “One of my really good friends from my freshman year was one of the founders of the beekeeping society, and she asked me to help. At first it was help writing petitions for grants, or helping at the site, and it turned into me becoming a part of it.”

Now the president of the organization, Naseck is working towards a bigger goal. “We’re working to get UT certified as a pollinator-friendly campus. It’s an actual certification by an organization called Bee Campus USA. We’ve adopted their framework as part of our activities. It’s things like having more native plants on campus and having workshops to educate people. We also have a committee of faculty that talk about how to make UT a pollinator home by using less pesticides or less toxic pesticides. Essentially, it means that there’s a little more aesthetic beauty to campus. Native plants are a little prettier and there’s a lot of hedge space at UT, so it’s nice to have flowers too. If UT does complete this, we’d be the biggest campus to have this certification.”

The BEEVO Beekeeping Society also sells the fresh honey collected from the bees they keep. “The money we receive from honey sales pays for the extractors, which is the centrifuge we spin the honey out of, as well as the filter, buckets, gear we need, and landscaping. We have weekly hive checks where you can get your hands dirty, put on the suit, and interact with the bees. We’ve had over 250 people in UT community do hive checks, which they might not have done in their lives otherwise. In the process they learn a lot about bees and how we care for them, how it’s not as hard as they might think, and that there’s a space for bees and other pollinators to coexist on campus.”

His advice for students looking to branch out by exploring their interests is to take chances. “Don’t be afraid to cold-email someone or reach out. The beekeeping society has students of all different majors, and that’s one of the reasons why I like it so much. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, especially because I think a lot of the organizations on campus are no-experience-needed, and there’s a place for you.”

Naseck believes that it is always worth it to pursue your passions. “The BEEVO Beekeeping Society brings together students, faculty, graduate students, UT staff and administrators, and landscapers. It’s a very interdisciplinary and diverse committee, and it’s one-of-a-kind. Don’t be afraid to let something surprise you,” says Naseck. “It may be something you didn’t know you could be passionate about. I never once in my life before thought I would spend so much time enjoying beekeeping. The most rewarding part of it has been meeting other students and creating relationships outside of who I see every day. I’ve learned just as much from them as I have from the bees.”

After completing the training program with Green Corps, the organization will help place him in a full-time position with an organization with an environmentally friendly mission.


BHP MIS Professors Bond with Students at Annual Dinner Event

This week, BHP freshmen went to Clay Pit Indian Contemporary Cuisine for the annual, and much anticipated, MIS Dinner with a Professor, with professors Ashish Agarwal and Prabhudev Konana. The dinner started with Mango Lassis and Samosa for all, while Dr. Konana and Dr. Agarwal underwent the enormous task of ordering food for everyone at the table, family style. Students feasted on Naan, Biriyani and even some lesser known Indian cuisine like Dhingri Mattar Paneer and Channa Saag.

Student were delighted to listen to interesting conversation about the professors’ personal life, advice and insights.

BHP freshman, Josh De Anda, says, “Dr. Konana talked about the value of a math or economics background in business, cultural differences he’s seen, and the state of American higher education.”

Specifically, Dr. Konana explain how so many top traders and bankers have backgrounds in economics and math since these fields are the building blocks for the kind of financial modeling that they do. He discussed how he incorporates those concepts into his course for that reason, to give BHP students a leg up.

Dr. Agarwal spoke about his favorite music, hobbies, adolescence and schooling, as well as his philosophy on teaching. Students compared their favorite Guns and Roses and Led Zeppelin songs with Dr. Agarwal, as well as opinions on cold vs. warm calling.

It was a great night full of learning and laughs and at the end the students surprised the professors with a  card thanking them and expressing how wonderful they thought the event was! Dinners with a Professor are organized by the Honors Business Association, and supported by BHP fundraising efforts.

BHP Students Honored for Leadership and Service to McCombs

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 – Sai Yeluru

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 – Sai Yeluru

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.

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 – Nivva Emmi

Sophomores – Siji Deleawe, Daniel Madden

Juniors – Daniel Miyares, Megan Tran-Olmsted

Barbara Jordan Business Leadership Award – This award recognizes seniors who have been committed to leaving a legacy of mentorship, leadership and passion at the McCombs School. There are two students selected each year for this award.

Seniors – Mackenzie Moore, Eric Saldanha

Texas BBA Program Awards

BBA Outstanding Service and Leadership Awards – Erika Rodrigues, Jon Burstain, Rakshana Govindarajan, Mackenzie Moore, Aasim Maknojia, Kenny Young, Kobi Nasesk, and Callie Blumenfeld


McCombs Teams Dominate at National and International Case Competitions

Ashley Akin, Swetha Davuluru, Anushka Madhuvarshi, and Rebecca Ortiz

This past weekend, McCombs sent a team comprised of four BHP sophomores, Ashley Akin, Anushka Madhuvarshi, Swetha Davuluru and Rebecca Ortiz to the University of Washington Global Business Case Competition in Seattle. The competition featured a short and long case. The UT Austin McCombs Team won their bracket for the short case and took second place for the long case.

Twelve teams from around the world competed at the event. The competitors included American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Peking University (China), Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (Ecuador), Thammasat University (Thailand), Universidad Panamericana (Mexico), University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), University of Sydney (Australia), Western University (Canada), University of Arizona and University of Washington. The long case focused on global expansion for Amazon Web Services. The winning team was Thammasat University, but Texas was a close second.

“We were so much more invested in the product of our work because we had a whole week of bonding with the other participants,” said Rebecca Ortiz. “It was humbling to hear the experiences that led each international team to Seattle, and to present to a full auditorium about a case that particularly challenged us. When selecting the countries for our solution, we had to consider so many factors, yet create a cohesive strategy and story. The fact that there were no overlapping countries presented by the four finalists really shows the diversity of thought we saw during the week.”

Also this month, the USC Value Investing Group hosted its third annual USC Stock Pitch Competition and two UT teams took home first and second place. Twenty teams from across the country competed. Eric Sun (BHP sophomore), Nick Marchenko (BHP freshman), Dhruv Dhuper (BBA freshman), Joseph Buschmann (BBA senior), and Bryan Goh (BBA junior) took first place. They are all members of the University Securities Investment Team, a group which also financed their travel to the competition. Daniel Chen (BHP Senior), Michael Everett (BHP junior), Jackie Ye (BHP junior), and Reese Davis (BHP junior) took second place at the event.

“Competing at USC was an amazing experience,” said Eric Sun. “We got to meet a lot of students from around the country and watched some amazing stock pitches. Given the caliber of everyone there, we were shocked and ecstatic when we made it into the finals and even more so when we won! I definitely learned a lot from this experience and know more about the economics of the international tobacco market than I ever thought I would.”

Congratulations to all of these students on these impressive wins!

Eric Sun, Nick Marchenko, Dhruv Dhuper, Joseph Buschmann, and Bryan Goh

Student Spotlight: Abhishek Ramchandani

Abhi RamchandaniBHP senior Abhishek Ramchandani always knew he wanted to teach. After graduating, he will be pursuing a PhD in Accounting at the University of Texas at Austin. “The reason I first got into research was because I knew that I liked teaching. I looked at what would get me a teaching job. The answer was a PhD, and PhDs do research. So I realized that in order to start teaching, I would need to start doing research.”

Over the past four years, Ramchandani has indeed amassed a wealth of research experience across the fields of sociology, finance, MIS, and strategy. “As I started delving deeper, I realized that research is incredibly important. This connection is a little hard to see in business. Cancer research makes sense because cancer is a daily problem that people have, and we want to cure it. With accounting research, you have to wonder how it really changes the world,” says Ramchandani. “Yet, the real reason accounting research is important is because it redraws those lines that our economic society works on. We hold comments and beliefs that society is supposed to interact a certain way, that the economy is going to work a certain way, and that accounting information comes out a certain way. Research helps us look at how people are doing with the current state the world is in, and it tells us what is effective. We can redraw those boundaries. I have always thought research is really cool because you are extending the boundaries of what humanity knows and helping people lead better lives, even though it might not be super tangible.”

For students who may be interested in research, Ramchandani recommends reaching out to faculty, and going for it. “Freshman year, when I first started, I was looking to get into a finance project. I applied and didn’t get the position. I was very crestfallen. At the time, I was also in my sociology class for the core requirements. One day after class, I went up to my professor and told her I thought she was doing some really cool stuff, and then I asked if she would take me on. That’s all it took. We went to her office, talked for a while, and she told me that I had the necessary math skills but that my coding wasn’t up to par. So she gave me the resources I needed to learn.”

Through his experience as a research assistant, Ramchandani can attest that help is never far away. “Professors are so willing to help if you ask them. It’s important, however, to read their research – don’t just reach out to someone because they’re hiring. If you like their research and can talk meaningfully about it, professors will love it. I made sure that whoever I was reaching out to, I was reading their research and really, truly enjoyed it. You need to know what you’re talking about. If you come on for a year-long project and don’t think what they’re doing is interesting, you probably aren’t going to apply yourself to the work.”

Ramchandani has also honed several important skills through his time in research. “I wrote a case for Professor Hannah and he gave it back with a thousand edits. I rewrote it so many times. I learned how to write better, and more academically. Now when I am writing case reports or audit documents, I know how to write just the right amount to get all the information across but not lose the reader to boredom.” Another skill he learned was how to critically reason. “Research definitely helps you make connections between areas,” says Ramchandani. “I’ve learned to parse statements which are complex but perhaps logically flawed. Sometimes logical fallacies can be said in a way where you believe them simply because of the way they are said.” He believes the best skill he developed though is the ability to tell a story. “Research can be a particularly drab story. It’s a lot of data and numbers, and nobody’s going to delve into your numbers and models unless you can tell them why they should care about it. When I was working with these top-level researchers at McCombs, what I learned from them was how to be infectious with my passion.”

Ramchandani will be continuing his passion for research and teaching McCombs as a PhD student, but he is grateful for his years in BHP, and the skills he learned in the program, which he was able to apply to his research as an undergraduate.