Alumni Spotlight: Aaryaman Singhal

 

Aaryaman Singhal HeadshotBy far one of the greatest things you can do for your community is to give back. Canfield BHP Alum Aaryaman Singhal has decided to do just that. We caught up with him recently to discuss his time as the Chief Operations Officer at Groundwork Dallas, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the natural surroundings of Dallas and beyond. Aaryaman also walks us through projects that have been keeping him occupied since graduating and explains what he enjoys most about his job as COO.

Tell us about Groundwork Dallas’ story and what interested you in the position?

Groundwork Dallas is an environmental nonprofit that focuses on two types of programs.  One is restoring green spaces in Dallas; that means removing litter from the environment, building trails so that people can access wilderness areas, and installing benches, picnic tables, wide-viewing platforms, and bridges so that people can enjoy the spaces with family or friends. Groundwork Dallas also runs a wonderful youth program primarily for students who are underrepresented in the outdoors. Their families might not have the means to buy equipment or take camping trips. The program allows them to go canoeing, camping, and mountain bike riding – all for free. They also receive environmental education, volunteer opportunities, and environmental job training. Through these experiences, they also benefit just from being outside, which research shows, provides physical and mental health benefits.

I found Groundwork Dallas as a volunteer while working at Southwest Airlines. I volunteered regularly for a year, served on the board for a year, and have now been on staff as Chief Operating Officer for a year. Because we’re a small nonprofit, I have received many opportunities for growth here. With my business background, I try to manage as many office tasks as possible so our team can focus more on the fieldwork. For me, I felt it was a great opportunity to use and develop the skills I developed during my time at Southwest. Here, I do finance, accounting, strategy, marketing, sales, operations, and technology. There’s never a dull moment.

Take us through a day in your shoes as COO at Groundwork Dallas.

There is no “typical day” in my job. Just looking at a random day on my calendar, last Tuesday, we hosted 110 students from a local high school at one of our cleanup sites. I helped load trucks and set everything up for the day.  Some students picked up trash in our canoes, others helped move debris from flood events that occurred over the last couple of months. Halfway through that, I stepped away to meet with my city council member. I’ve been working on building a relationship with him and letting him know a little bit more about our organization so we can improve our city together. Later, I came back to the cleanup site and finished out the day there.

My days range from hosting cleanups to facilitating board meetings. Anything outside of our direct programs to building trails or work with our youth directly tends to fall into my lap – and even those do sometimes.

What do you enjoy most about working at Groundwork Dallas?

One is that I regularly get to go outside for my job. Last week, there were two different days where we were working on building relationships with different groups of funders and partners, and I got to take them paddling down the fork of the Trinity River. Getting to canoe, camp, or volunteer outside for work is incredible.

Secondly, the sheer variety of tasks that I work on at Groundwork Dallas is exhilarating. There’s always a new challenge. I’m always learning something new. I don’t think that I would have been able to get that type of hands-on learning in any organization that was larger than 12 or 15 people. It’s only been a year so there’s so much more to learn still – and it’s really exciting.

Tell us about a project you’re currently working on and what you plan to achieve.

When I arrived at Groundwork Dallas, we tracked all of our expenses in a way that combined GL accounts,  grant-specific expenses, and project-related expenses into one hierarchy. In reality, this metadata is all different and independent. I worked with our accountant to define all of our grants and types of expenses we have, such as office supplies, tools, and machinery costs. Then, we identified every program that we run, every grant we have, and the spending restrictions on each grant. After implementing some new financial tracking tools and processes, we can track each transaction to all appropriate spending categories.

A big project for Groundwork Dallas is the Frasier Dam Recreation Area. It’s 115 acres of wilderness in West Dallas, which is an industrial and more neglected part of the city. After many years of cleanups and partnering with the City of Dallas, the recreation area is now open to the public.  We’re working to build more trails and install more picnic areas there now.

How do you think your time at CBHP aided your success at Groundwork Dallas?

Two ways. First, education in all aspects of the business (marketing, finance, law, org behavior, technology, etc.) is critical for me in my role. I have a major role in all of these verticals of our organization. The second way and more important way is that in MIS301H I learned how to figure stuff out when I am lost. While having some background in many aspects of business is great, I mostly figure stuff out on the fly like I had to in 301H.

What can the community do to help Groundwork Dallas in its mission to regenerate, sustain, and improve the Dallas Elm Fork Greenbelt and Great Trinity Forest?

Volunteer – bring your office or community group. We love hosting groups of all sizes, 10-200. Email us at volunteer@groundworkdallas.org to learn more.

Partake – come enjoy the spaces we have developed in Dallas (Hines Park and Frasier Dam Recreation Area) and/or tell others about them.

Do you have any advice for current Canfield BHP students?

I almost dropped the program on a few occasions because I didn’t always feel like I fit in. I am so glad I stuck it out for the background knowledge which makes me more effective in the field of my choice today. There are lots of Canfield BHP students who don’t go the consulting/banking route. Follow your passion because your day to day job is too much of your daily life after graduation to be doing something you don’t deeply care about.

Groundwork Dallas believes that everyone deserves a green, healthy, and resilient environment. Be a part of the wonderful work Aaryaman and the amazing people at Groundwork Dallas are doing for their community. If you have a passion for the great outdoors and would like to help keep Dallas Elm Fork greenbelt clean visit groundworkdallas.org or email Aaryaman at Aaryaman@groundworkdallas.org.

 

Sign Up! Connect with the Canfield BHP Alumni Mentor Network

The Canfield BHP Alumni Mentor Network is a program that connects alumni to Canfield BHP sophomores and juniors. It is an opportunity for current students to be mentored by alumni based on similar academic and/or professional interests. Canfield BHP alumni come from a variety of professional fields and many go on to top medical schools, law schools, MBA programs, and other graduate programs. Alumni mentors may provide advice to students on major and career exploration, career and/or graduate school preparation, professional development and balancing school, career and outside interests.

If you’re interested to learn more, read on to explore how both mentors and mentees describe their experiences in the network. Below, mentor Seth Gideon and mentee, Canfield BHP junior Carrie Cruces, describe their experiences from both sides of the network. We also hear from mentor Neo Nanna who paired with his mentee, Canfield BHP junior Jessie Meek. Sign up for the Canfield BHP Alumni Mentoring Network to begin your mentorship today!


Seth Gideon headshotMENTOR: Seth Gideon, Canfield BHP/MPA ’18, Investment Banking Analyst at J.P. Morgan

What have you gained from being part of the Alumni Mentoring Network?

Being on both sides of the Alumni Mentoring Network, I have been able to see firsthand the impact mentors have on mentees. Whether it’s offering you life advice, putting you in touch with other Canfield BHP alum or giving you tips on how to pass certain classes, the Alumni Mentoring Network is very rewarding. Back at UT, my mentor and I would hop on the phone once a month to chat and update each other on our lives. At that time I was applying to a grad school program and my mentor happened to be in that program. She told me her perspective on the school, offered me advice on the GMAT, helped me with my application and answered every question I threw her way. That’s why the program is so special because we help each other out. Now, being on the other side, my job is to help out my mentee as best as I can and take the things I learned from my mentor and use them with my mentee. It’s also great to stay up-to-date on McCombs/UT.

What topics do you and your student mentee discuss?

We discuss a variety of topics whether its educational, work-related, social or personal. When recruiting kicks off we dive deep into best practices and tips to navigate the recruiting intricacies. When the semester kicks off we discuss the best classes to take, etc.

What advice do you offer current students?

Definitely, take advantage of this program. There are Canfield BHP alum around the country who have been in your exact shoes that can help you succeed. We’ve all made a ton of mistakes and it’s nice to hear someone on the other side of the phone who understands what you’ve been through. And of course, don’t spend too much time in NRG. When you look back at your college memories you rarely remember your late nights studying – go to that football, basketball, volleyball game, etc.

Why should other alumni join the Alumni Mentoring Network?

Just to add on from above, it also helps bridge the gap between fellow Canfield BHPers irrespective of age. We’ve all been through or will go through much of the same classes, recruiting and high-stress situations. Not to mention it also gives students an informal method to be themselves and ask the “dumb” questions.

Carrie Cruces HeadshotMENTEE: Carrie Cruces, junior Canfield BHP/MPA

What have you gained from being part of the Alumni Mentoring Network?

I have gained a lot of knowledge and confidence from being matched with an alum who did the same major as I am in but is also doing the same career I want to do. It can be difficult to approach people you don’t know, but talking to current professionals in the industry is the best way to gather honest information about it and determine whether it’s right for you and your skills. I’m much more confident in my career choices as I recruit now, and I wouldn’t know half as much if I hadn’t been matched with an alumni mentor.

What topics do you and your alumni mentor discuss?

My mentor and I discussed both academic and professional topics. He gave me a lot of information about how to structure my course and workload throughout the different phases of college, what classes and professors to take, and which majors would be best for the career I’m interested in. He also gave me a good overview of what my recruiting timeline would look like and advice for each step of the way.

How has your alumni mentor helped you develop professionally?

My alumni mentor gave me good advice for both technical and behavioral interviews, as well as providing me other contacts to reach out to. This not only helped me expand my network, but I was able to learn even more about different areas and companies within my industry of interest.

Why should other students join the Alumni Mentoring Network?

Everyone should join the Alumni Mentoring Network to expand their professional network and learn more about careers they are interested in. It’s the best way to get the most relevant recruiting and career advice because it’s coming from someone who recently recruited and is currently working in your field of interest. The Alumni Mentoring Committee does a great job of matching students to alumni based on both academic and career interests.

Neo Nanna headshotMENTOR: Neo Nanna, Canfield BHP/Finance and Psychology ’17, Associate Consultant at The Bridgespan Group

What have you gained from being part of the Alumni Mentoring Network?

When I was a student, the most enriching aspect of the Alumni Network was the perspective I gained from hearing about what was possible after graduation. I knew that I wanted to pursue business-related opportunities for socially-driven enterprises, but was unclear about how to break into the social sector given that is an uncommon route. I was fortunate enough to be paired with an alumna that worked at an international education not-for-profit and charter school network which helped me visualize just how feasible that pathway can be. Hearing her insight about her career led me to make my slow, but intentional move into social impact work. As an alumnus, the Alumni Mentoring Network allows me to impart similar knowledge about my experiences in undergrad and beyond for current students navigating their time at UT.

What topics do you and your student mentee discuss?

For our first meeting, my mentees and I had the opportunity to meet in person where we spent time getting acquainted and familiar with one another. We’ve discussed how to set goals personally and professionally, how to refine interests into different majors and concentrations, and how to map those interests into a potential career path. As we have continued our relationship, I check in to see how they are doing at the start of the semester and where I can plug in, whether that is serving as a sounding board or providing assistance in connecting them to resources to learn more about an opportunity.

What advice do you offer current students?

Two things: First, I would surround yourself with people who intellectually challenge you, push you to be better, and support you wholeheartedly in your personal life. Even after graduation, I have continued to rely on my Canfield BHP peers for advice to test my thinking concerning my professional development and for emotional support; both have proven to be invaluable as I continue to grow. Second, if you have atypical interests that may not align with the stereotypical profile of a business student, continue to follow those passions either in your full-time pursuits or in extracurricular activities. It is important to recognize that your cohorts’ career paths will look drastically different after college ends, and I think those unique qualities, skills, and interests you carry will pay off in the long-run for personal and professional reasons.

Why should other alumni join the Alumni Mentoring Network?

Most individuals I know that have graduated from the Business Honors Program would not be where they are today without the mentorship of their more senior peers, so why not begin to foster those relationships for people who wish to learn from you? As alumni, the Alumni Mentoring Network gives you a chance to actively reflect on your experiences in school and your growth after your time at UT.  Those insights can really help guide and shape a students’ professional and personal life, especially since that information is coming from the perspective of someone who has been in their shoes not too long ago.

Jessie Meek headshotMENTEE: Jessie Meek, junior Canfield BHP/Marketing and Educational Psychology minor

What have you gained from being part of the Alumni Mentoring Network?

Through the Alumni Mentoring Network, I have gained valuable career advice, clarity in my decision making, and a kind, helpful, and experienced Canfield BHPeer to help me figure out the age-old question of “what I want to be when I grow up.” Having been the student that finds every subject interesting, choosing a major and a career path proved daunting. If it were not for Neo’s ability to piece together my passions, his knowledge of the industry, and his expansive network of Canfield BHPhriends, I would still be thinking about being a tennis coach by day, pop singer by night, and children’s book author on the side!

What topics do you and your alumni mentor discuss?

Neo and I are both very people-oriented and mission-driven. I have had the absolute pleasure to hear and be inspired by the way Neo has positively impacted the world through his work. I am lucky to have a mentor who knows what it means to be impactful and thus can effectively direct me toward the right career where I will be given the ability to do what I love – to serve others.

How has your alumni mentor helped you develop professionally?

When I first met with Neo, I was pursuing a career as an accountant. Neo was the first person who questioned this decision of mine, and I am so glad he did. After fumbling through an answer, it became quite clear that I was following that path for all the wrong reasons and that with my current interests and health situation, being an accountant just wasn’t the right option. After this, I stopped, thought critically, and redirected my ambition toward a profession where I would be able to be more successful and be my best self. In addition, Neo has offered advice on places to recruit, supplied me with a rough career plan, and connected me with people in his network. Neo is always ready to help.

Why should other students join the Alumni Mentoring Network?

Simply put: all Canfield BHP students should join because alumni have so much to offer and we have so much to learn. For those students who are not entirely sure what they want to do (like I was) and even for those that have a path, our mentors KNOW what to do, how to help, and who to talk to – they can help connect you and get you where you will be the most successful! The Alumni Mentoring Network is a depiction of the incredible Canfield BHP culture we experience daily: people who are willing and wanting to help because they too received help when they were in our shoes and they know we will pay it forward.

Student Spotlight: Brooke Reaves

Brooke Reaves in front of TaskUs LogoMajors: Canfield BHP, Plan II, Government

Company: TaskUs

Position: Research and Product Development Intern

Topics of Interest: Entrepreneurship, Women’s Empowerment, Civil Discourse, and Education


From her time as a Research and Product Development Intern to her insightful exploration of India, while conducting personal research, Brooke Reaves goes in-depth about her experiences as an intern and student seeking karma this summer.

Brooke is a junior at Canfield BHP and as a Business Honors, Plan II, and Government major, she has a full plate this year. She recently spent time interning at TaskUs, a global tech outsourcing company that delivers next-generation business strategy, process optimization, revolutionary technology, and the best talent available. Brooke spoke to me about her projects and overall experience working as a Research and Product Development Intern and described her learnings.

On her travels abroad, Brooke talked to us about her wonderful experience as a student studying in India as part of her Plan II sanctioned research on women’s education and entrepreneurship. We also learn about how she worked with an organization called Women on Wheels that helps to promote a woman’s right to drive in India.

Tell me about your internship at TaskUs.

View from TaskUs Austin office

View from TaskUs Austin office

TaskUs is a Global tech outsourcing company. They work with several firms to help maximize their customer experience and customer service offerings. I specifically worked on a solo project building a business case and recommending a corporate strategy to upscale their workers from entry-level workers to high skilled workers so they can become even better competitors in highly saturated marketplaces.


What sorts of projects were you involved in?

I performed research, shadowed employees, built a financial model, and got to research different types of training programs. Specifically, I conducted market research and utilized financial models, just like we do in Canfield BHP classes, and built a slide deck that I presented at the firm. Essentially, I was able to build a business case and presented it to the executive team which included the SVP of Client Services (my boss), CCO (Chief Client Officer), and CEO at TaskUs. It’s not normal for interns to be given this much responsibility on a solo project and the amount of trust that I was given felt unparalleled. This was a genuinely amazing opportunity and I’m grateful to have had the chance to do this.

I also had the opportunity to oversee the education program at TaskUs. This program provides a variety of educational programming to entry-level workers who may or may not have some college training. It serves to elevate their skill sets in any field they want and enables them to take on new roles within the firm. My job was to develop the education program and build a solid case that would help convince the board to preserve it.

Tell us about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

Working on a solo project like this is a lot of responsibility. Normally, you can build off of each other’s strengths in a Canfield BHP class. If you have questions or problems, you can go to each other. For me, it was increasingly challenging because I had questions. I had to do more research and dig in to find potential ways to come up with a solution before asking my boss. I wanted to show my boss that I had already tried doing everything I could to find an answer before coming to him. I wanted to prove that I was trying my hardest and taking the time and effort rather than coming off as an ignorant intern who just needed to be babysat. They gave me so much responsibility and I wanted to do my best with it. They gave me a lot of freedom because they trusted me. It was a wonderful experience and I loved it so much.

Any advice for current students?

Take advantage of every opportunity you get. I know it sounds cheesy but all I had to do with my boss was just ask him. He didn’t offer me the chance to sit in on a sales department visit. I just asked him. I said, “Hey, I got this email by accident. I think this potential client is going to visit. Is it possible that I can I sit in?” He thought it would be a cool idea and it worked out. This wasn’t something that was given to me. I had to pursue it and be eager to show up. I had to be willing to be there and ready to learn from a different department. As interns, you just expect to stay in your lane and do your work but if you reach outside your comfort zone or job description of your internship, you’ll find there can be a lot of opportunities available and you’ll have an even better experience.

How was your time in India? What piqued your interest in traveling there?

Brooke visiting the Taj Mahal

Brooke visiting the Taj Mahal

I did a section on Indian literature in my Plan II World Literature class freshman year and loved it. We read the Ramayana and it was amazing. It’s probably one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. That was what initially interested me in the country and the culture. Then I saw that Plan II provides a scholarship grant every summer that offers $2500. To earn the scholarship, you propose a country and why you want to visit, then if you win, you get selected to go. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore a culture that I had very little knowledge about.

How do you apply for that scholarship and how does it work?

India Gate in Mumbai

India Gate in Mumbai

You propose the country and research topic then create a formal report. Then you have to perform independent research or conduct personal discovery of that topic. I proposed women’s education and entrepreneurship. While I was there, I arranged informal interviews with a handful of women in small businesses and got the opportunity to work with an organization called Women On Wheels. They work to promote women driving cars in India, which is still unpopular and to a certain extent, stigmatized in India. I had many conversations when I was with these drivers about what it was like to be part of an initiative like that. We also visited a restaurant that is run entirely by acid attack survivors, as part of that personal research, and I was able to speak to and learn from these women and their experiences as well.

What were your key takeaways from the trip?

Friends in Pushkar

Friends in Pushkar

It was overwhelming in the best way possible. It made me think about the happenstance of birth, and just how lucky I am to be at UT and be born in the US. Especially as a woman, having that amount of opportunity in my life is a gift. It’s not part of the norm in many parts of the world and some parts of India to have that level of opportunity. However, in India, there’s so much hope and progress in this area. There’s plenty of room for advancements but they’re definitely at the forefront of women’s rights. However, the privilege of being born in the US just can’t be emphasized enough.

If you’re interested in studying abroad in India, Brooke highly recommends learning about the culture in advance. Culture shock is a real thing that can happen if you don’t prepare for it. She explains that power outages are commonplace, the water quality is questionable throughout the country, and bottled water is king. Nonetheless, Brooke fell in love with the people and the culture of India. If you like the color pink, she highly recommends the city of Jaipur, which is filled with beautiful pink buildings accenting the city. If you prefer a touristy locale, visit the neighboring city called Udaipur which is known as the Venice of India. Oh, and did we mention the monkeys?

Student Spotlight: Vibhav Joopelli


Major:
Canfield BHP, Finance

Company: Goldman Sachs

Position: Summer Analyst in Specialty Lending Group

Topics of Interest: Investing, Current Events, Entrepreneurship


 

 

Stocks and bonds, loans, assets, and commodities – oh my! Investing in today’s world economy is more complex than ever. This is why it’s important that we have really smart individuals overseeing our wealth. Smart people like fellow Canfield BHPer Vibhav Joopelli.

Over the course of the summer, Vibhav performed his duties as a Summer Analyst in the Specialty Lending Group at Goldman Sachs, a division which sits within the firm’s Special Situations Group (SSG). SSG is a “global, multi-asset class business, specializing in principal investing and lending in all levels of capital structures on a risk-adjusted return basis. SSG lends and invests Goldman’s capital directly to mid-sized companies.” We caught up with Vibhav and talked about his experience at Goldman Sachs this summer.

Tell me about your internship at Goldman Sachs.

The internship at Goldman Sachs was divided into two major parts. One part consisted of three major projects that we worked on over the course of the summer and synthesized a lot of what we had learned. The other part of the internship involved my participation in ongoing live deals. A full deal-team worked on these live deals but I specifically assisted the deal-team with specific aspects of the diligence process. Additionally, I also drafted slides for the Investment Committee memo, conducted financial analysis, and performed any unique research tasks that were needed by the team.

What projects did you work on specifically?

One of the biggest projects I worked on involved drafting up an Investment Committee memo for my final internship project, which was based off of a previous deal the group had closed. I was tasked with performing the qualitative and quantitative analysis for the deal. This included deriving valuation methods to evaluate the business, writing up a company and industry overview, and determining high level investment strengths and risks. Secondly, I worked on a live deal for a restaurant company that was going through a bankruptcy process. These were two of the largest projects that I was involved in. Additionally, I also worked on a deal for a real-estate software technology company and developed a tear-sheet for summarizing an investment into a telecom services provider.

What interested you in this opportunity?

I was originally interested in the internship because I wanted to experience learning how to invest from the perspective of one of the largest players in the industry. I thought the internship would provide me a great opportunity to learn the basics of financial analysis and performing due diligence into potential investment opportunities. I also liked the opportunity to be a part of a large organization that had a significant breadth of resources. During my internship, I was able to utilize some of those resources to learn more about various industries through conversations I was able to have with industry experts available to me in the Goldman Sachs network.

Let’s talk about the challenges you faced while working on your biggest projects and how you overcame those obstacles.

The biggest challenges I had were for example, being thrown into the projects earlier on and not having as much familiarity with how to properly execute tasks and build out the models that we were utilizing. Trying to figure out how to do those on my own was difficult, at first, but I was able to reference past deals that the company had made and use other resources that the company had in the database to build up my knowledge and the skills necessary to complete the project tasks. There is a significant learning curve, at first. Admittedly, a lot of the stuff I did wasn’t 100% correct right off the bat but many of the people at the firm were willing to help and provide guidance on how to properly do some of the things that were necessary for the projects.

What was the company culture like at Goldman Sachs?

The company culture was welcoming and collegial. It was a really small group so you got to know everyone in the group very quickly. Everyone was generally very willing to help out as questions came up or as challenges arose. They understood we were interns. They also knew when to hold our hand versus when to let us figure things out on our own. Sometimes the best way to learn things is to figure them out on your own, rather than having someone walk you through the process step-by-step. There were also a good number of out-of-office activities that the company hosted to help you get to know everyone better.

What resources can students with similar interests and goals utilize to gain an internship like the one you participated in?

I’d highly recommend leveraging on-campus organizations. Within the investing space, there are multiple investment teams and finance organizations that provide mentorship and guidance through upperclassmen and through structured teaching curriculums. The next step, once you’re in those organizations, is to leverage the upperclassmen at McCombs and CBHP specifically, to talk about their experiences. Ask them to walk you through some of the challenges that they faced, how they overcame those, and what steps they took afterward. Additionally, ask them to point you towards helpful online resources.

In a nutshell, get involved in McCombs with different organizations and leverage upperclassmen at McCombs and CBHP. Do the grunt work on your own to talk to alumni and learn about what their experiences were like as well. At the same time, I’d encourage everyone in McCombs to step out of the comfort zone of the business school and get involved in activities and organizations outside of school. Whether they be social / service organizations or fun hobbies, getting involved outside of McCombs provides a unique perspective and can allow you to meet some really cool people.

Event Recap: Leadership Kickoff 2019 by Madison Mohns

Summer camp dreams don’t die out when you head off to college. This past weekend, 140 CBHP freshmen headed out to Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas for Leadership Kickoff. Freshmen were able to bond as a class all throughout the weekend; sharing meals together, laughing together, singing their lungs out to karaoke together, and even tight roping 50 feet in the air together.

Besides bonding, Leadership Kickoff is really a chance for the new class to gain some leadership skills. Freshmen engage in challenges which are intended to place them in some unexpected situations; testing their communication and getting them used to working on teams.

Henry Bradley (Class of ‘23) reflects on the weekend: “I learned that while I am a strong leader, I can also strive to be a good teammate.” Collaborative learning is a large part of the Canfield Business Honors curriculum and the class of 2023 is already getting a headstart to mastering this skill.

Students braved the high ropes course, and were cheered on by their classmates as they took big leaps into the unknown. The freshmen class took the initiative to come up with creative ways to incorporate their teammates strengths during the BHPlayoffs. Each one of them gave it their all and some hidden talents were exposed in the process. We’ve got some beatboxers, some dancers, and even some gymnasts among us… watch out corporate america.

But it isn’t just the freshmen who learned something during leadership kickoff. “My mentees honestly reinvigorated my excitement for the program” said Peer Mentor Katelyn Barclay. “Especially as I look back as a senior, it is incredible to see how much they each want to accomplish and get involved in the program over the next 4 years.”

Automatically having a welcoming and uplifting community to be a part of can make an otherwise difficult transition to college a lot easier. Coming into such a large school like UT, it can be difficult to feel truly known by your peers. By curating small peer groups of about 10 students, the CBHPhreshmen get the opportunity to start forming those vital relationships from day one.

Lauren Asay, a senior CBHP’er and peer mentor recounts what made her kickoff experience something that inspired her to pay it forward to her mentees. “Leadership Kickoff showed me that it was possible to be successful AND have fun in college. CBHP does an amazing job of fostering a sense of support and community, and I think LKO is what really sets the tone for your four years on the 40 Acres.” At the root of it all, it is the culture of CBHP that makes it so special, and a lasting legacy going forward. What started here at Leadership Kickoff 2019 really will change the world.