A Big Thank You!

If you haven’t already noticed, Canfield BHP’s social media presence has been refreshed and updated constantly. We’ve made an effort to provide our students, parents, alumni, and readership the best and most engaging content possible. To accomplish this, we often source fresh ideas from you, our students! However, many times we brainstorm and generate content as a team. By we, I mean the Canfield BHP Student Marketing Team.

Madison Mohns Headshot

Canfield BHP Senior and Social Media Assistant, Madison Mohns

Although we’ve been at it for what feels like a very long time, it’s only been a year since I came along and started working with this incredible team of creative and ingenious people. But the person who kick-started this effort deserves all the praise in the world. That person is, of course, Madison Mohns. She’s a senior this year and will be graduating this month.

I speak for the rest of the staff when I say that Madison has been an amazing Social Media Assistant. The work and effort she has put into making our online presence what it is today has been incredible. It’s her proactive and creative ideas that keep our audience wanting more and engaging with us always. During Madison’s time here we’ve seen our presence increase dramatically. Through her efforts, Madison helped us achieve our goal of over 1000 followers on Instagram before the end of her tenure with us, an achievement we’re very proud of. Madison has been a big part of the team from the very beginning and though we’re sad to see her leave, we know she’ll do great no matter where she goes! 

As Canfield BHP Staff Director Shelley Nix put it, “Madison has been an integral part of building the Canfield BHP social media presence and she has taken it to a new level with her fresh and innovative ideas. I am so grateful for her contributions to the program and the Canfield BHP team.” 

Canfield BHP Director of Academic Services, Paul Pritchett, who has known Madison since the day she started on the Student Marketing Team, had this to say, “I remember when Madison was hired by our office as a freshman in the spring of 2017 to lead our social media team and be a peer advisor. We didn’t have an Instagram account and our overall social media presence needed quite a bit of work. Madison quickly jumped in and made a huge impact in our office, on social media, and of course in our program. Madison has been instrumental in helping Canfield BHP increase our out-of-state reach. Madison’s creativity, hard work, and passion for helping current and prospective students have helped to shape Canfield BHP into one of the top programs in the nation. I had the unique pleasure of being Madison’s supervisor, co-worker, advisor, and friend. I can’t thank her enough and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for her!” 

We can’t thank Madison enough for all that she has done for the program and our social media. We wish her the very best in all of her future endeavors but we know she will go on to do some amazing things. Any place would be lucky to have her. Thank you, Madison! We wish you all the best and more! 

 

Student Spotlight: Katherine Z. Chen

Katherine Chen Headshot

Katherine Z. Chen


Katherine Z. Chen

Class: Junior

Topics of Interest: Finance, Impact Investing, Entrepreneurship, International Development, Non-governmental Organizations

Studied Abroad: In Spain, 2020 Spring Semester  

One of the best ways to make society better as a whole is by giving back. Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Therefore, it makes sense that finance and community service would find synergy in non-governmental organizations like ‘Caritas Madrid,’ where fellow Canfield BHPeer Katherine Chen volunteered her time to help refugees in need during her time studying abroad in Spain. 

We caught up with Katherine recently and heard about her interests in finance and impact investing, working with NGOs around the world, and how that has shaped her worldview.  

Why Finance?  

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what major I wanted to pursue coming into college. I decided to choose finance because it seemed like a major that would be difficult to learn on my own. Over time, I’ve found an interest in impact investing and using finance as a means to help traditionally underserved communities.   

The field that I’m most passionate about right now is international development. This is where I see the greatest intersection between business and social impact but on a global scale. The summer before junior year, I interned at an international development organization called the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, which is a program of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. As an intern, I worked with various NGOs, institutions, and foundations to figure out how to support local entrepreneurs in developing countries. Much of my time was spent researching how financial inclusion can help spur economic growth, and I felt like this was an area where I could continue to utilize my skills and channel my passion.  

I also spent my first year of college volunteering at a nonprofit called Manos de Cristo, where I taught fifteen low-income, Spanish-speaking adults fundamental computer skills. Many of these students were able to use these skills to build resumes and find jobs online, and three of them ended up securing jobs in Austin. It was very rewarding and by far one of the most memorable aspects of the job. Working directly with communities is something I want to continue to do in the future.  

Katherine posing in front of a castle in MadridTell us about your Study Abroad experience in Madrid.  

This spring semester, I studied abroad in Madrid at Universidad Pontificia Comillas. I took three business classes and one Spanish class at the local university. One of my favorite classes was my international finance class because it was interesting to learn about the global economy from the perspective of the Eurozone, rather than the U.S. We had a lot of interesting discussions about current events, such as Brexit, the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, and towards the end of the semester, the impact of coronavirus on the global economy. Through these classes, I learned how interconnected and interdependent the world really is. On a personal level, my business courses were very impactful because I want to work internationally in the future, and it was helpful to learn from professors who have had careers all over the world.  

During my time in Madrid, I volunteered at a local NGO called ‘Caritas Madrid’ that supports refugees coming into Spain. I also volunteered with a group of students at my local university to teach Spanish to refugees through a program called ‘Proyecto Hospitalidad’. It was such a cool experience, especially since there has been a major influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa into Spain in recent years. Although my time was cut short there, I’ve thankfully been able to continue the research project that I had started in Madrid, which focuses on the ethics and transparency of refugee-related NGOs. It’s been great being able to continue that work back at home.  

The best part of studying abroad is by far the people. I had five roommates — three from the United States, one from Switzerland, and one from Spain — who quickly became my family. I also made friends with other U.S. and international students, for instance, one from Morocco who I still keep in touch with today. We’ve all promised to visit each other and return one day, especially since things ended so soon.

Katherine rides a camelWhat interests you about working with global NGOs?  

I think I’m privileged to have the type of education that Canfield BHP offers. A lot of people around the world don’t have access to the same quality of education, experiences, or opportunities to make an impact in their own way. On a personal level, I want to extend my resources to people who need it. And on a cultural level, I want to learn from people who come from backgrounds that are vastly different than mine, yet still play a unique role in our global community. It’s challenged my assumptions, for sure.


What is your advice to students interested in a similar path?
 

My path has been a bit more non-traditional, which comes to show that one of the greatest things about Canfield BHP is that it’s so flexible. There are so many ways to broaden your education outside of the business school, especially through minors or certificates in other colleges at UT. There are also so many unique opportunities outside of the classroom to explore other interests, such as doing a more non-traditional internship or volunteering in the community. I think by pursuing your individual passions alongside business, you’re able to find fulfillment in your own way. Plus, we can all benefit from a more diverse community.

I would also encourage everyone to study abroad, if possible. Studying abroad has definitely been the most fulfilling experience of my college career.

Student Spotlight: Jada Davis

Jada Davis poses for a professional headshot

Jada Davis

Jada Davis

Class: Junior

Internship: Launch Intern at EY

Topics of Interest: iMPA, Accounting

Houston native, Jada Davis is a junior at UT and Canfield BHP. She is currently in her 3rd year as an iMPA student pursuing her master’s degree in accounting. Jada is a member of the Black Business Student Association and a member of the Master in Professional Accounting Council. Her motivations for becoming part of UT and Canfield BHP centered on Jada’s passion for business, math, and working with numbers. Ultimately, her interactions with upperclassmen at Discover Canfield BHP helped her make the final decision to be part of our program.

Jada’s passion for business and numbers doesn’t end there. Her interest in mentoring and helping her peers along their academic journey developed during her time as a camp counselor at the annual McCombs DYNAMC program. The week-long program features world-renowned faculty and keynote speakers, networking opportunities, a case competition, and much more. It’s made possible thanks to the support provided by fellow partners at EY, formerly known as Ernst and Young. The acronym stands for ‘Discover Yourself iN Accounting Majors and Careers’ and helps introduce students to the opportunities offered with a degree in accounting. Jada recalls when she participated in the program as a high school student.

“I was a part of the program when I was in high school, and I enjoyed being able to return and give back to those students. I remember how much of an impact it had on me in deciding what I wanted to do after I graduated from high school. I gained more exposure to all of the possibilities available.”

Jada and DYNAMC Camp Counselors posing for a picture at the stadium

Jada and DYNAMC Camp Counselors

As a camp counselor, Jada enjoyed advising high school students and answering questions about her first-year college experience as she assisted them with their projects. Her advice to high school students prepping for college is to get used to reading informational texts more.

“When I first got to UT, there was much more reading than I was used to. Even after taking AP and dual credit classes in high school, there was more material that had to be absorbed in a shorter amount of time. Another huge piece of advice is to go to office hours. Every semester, I encourage my friends to go because professors really want to help you succeed and understand the material. Being able to learn the material and see it more than once, in different ways, makes a huge difference.”

Through DYNAMC, Jada cultivated several key relationships as she networked with EY representatives during her time as a camp counselor. Overtime, Jada continued to work on those relationships she made and was eventually presented with internship opportunities with EY. Jada credits the resume building and networking skills she developed at McCombs and Canfield BHP for her early success.

“The classes like BA101H that we took early on had an impact on how I viewed myself professionally, helped me provide recruiters with what they were looking for, and enabled me to add my personal touch on things. There are so many opportunities here at McCombs. The advisors and career coaches at Canfield BHP are super invested in you and have played an influential role in my success.”

As Jada pursues her Masters in Professional Accounting through the McCombs iMPA program, she is preparing herself for an auditing track as her career of choice while maintaining a steady list of internships to develop experience along the way.

Jada and fellow EY Interns posing for a picture

Jada and fellow EY Interns

“Fortunately, this summer I’ll be interning with Phillips 66 to get a taste of what internal accounting roles look like. I’m hoping my experience gives me a little more clarity on how to move forward as far as my career decision so that I’ll be able to decide what I want to do once I get my master’s degree.”

Her advice to current Canfield BHP students, and those following an iMPA path, is to stay focused and learn good study habits early in your college career.

“Once you find what works for you early on, things will get much smoother. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your peers, academic advisors, professors, or even staff. Canfield BHP does a great job focusing on each student. The way we get to interact with our advisors and professors is awesome. All the resources they’re able to provide to students shows that they care.”

Student Spotlight: Jarod Tolbert

Jarod Tolbert posing for a picture
Jarod Tolbert

Class: Junior

Major: Canfield BHP

Topics of Interest: Multinational Corporations, Neurology, Paleontology, Healthcare

 

You’ve heard the phrase, “not all heroes wear capes”. This couldn’t be truer today given the facts on COVID-19. Healthcare workers are on the frontlines defending the rest of us from an invisible enemy and we need them now more than ever. As a top educational institution in the country, we must continue to produce the nurses and doctors that we need to keep the good fight going.

We’re interested to hear from some of our Canfield BHPeers who are gearing themselves up to be the future of our healthcare workforce – our lab coat heroes if you will. We caught up with Canfield BHPeer Jarod Tolbert, whose path in the program will soon lead him to medical school after graduating next May. Although he has many interests in science, his mind is laser-focused on the study of the human nervous system, neurology.

Jarod’s time here at UT and Canfield BHP has been spent prepping him for the moment he’s ready to take the MCAT. During his sophomore year, Jarod began taking pre-med classes that he felt would help him gain further understanding of the topics he’ll need to know eventually. Though, he admits there were times when he felt overwhelmed with classes like Organic Chemistry.

“You felt like you knew what you were doing but then when it came time to take the test, it was just overwhelming. It was manageable though.”

Jarod explained that there is no set path for most people interested in the medical field, but it helps to have friends with the same interests who support you along the way. “I started making pre-med friends, especially older friends and found out what I needed to do to get into medical school. I found out I needed to volunteer, shadow doctors, and work in a lab. Later, I started volunteering at St. David’s Hospital several hours a week during different shifts.”

Jarod explained that his motivation to pursue this path stems from two potentially traumatic experiences that he endured when he was younger. He explained that his little brother had to have several extensive ear surgeries as a child due to being born with a bad eardrum. “I was 7 or 8 and it was tough to see my younger brother in so much pain. It was intense and I felt helpless.” Then, when Jarod was in the eighth grade, he experienced a spinal injury while playing sports in school. Jarod had a herniated disc and another compressed disc on his spine. He was forced to quit sports after doctors explained that further injury could cause him to become paralyzed one day.

“I was a 13-year-old kid and it really scared me, but this also caused me to research a lot and got me interested in neuroscience. It fascinated me. The complexities of the nervous system in our bodies is amazing.”

Although Jarod’s goals are hinged on him becoming a neurologist, he is still on the learning path and understands that it can take him anywhere. He is open to other fields as he learns more about them. “My policy right now is to test different things that I’m interested in. Currently, the nervous system fascinates me but I recently shadowed a head and neck surgeon this past summer at M.D. Anderson who is one of the coolest and most awesome doctors I’ve had the opportunity to work with so I wouldn’t mind being that kind of a doctor either.”

The current COVID-19 pandemic has been top of mind for Jarod. It has heavily influenced his thinking about the type of medical path he wants to take moving forward. Unfortunately, it has also influenced when Jarod can take the MCAT. “I was supposed to the MCAT on April 4 but that got canceled. It’s all up in limbo at this point. I don’t know if I’ll be taking the exam in August either. Chances are I won’t be able to take the MCAT until next fall.”

It’s been a surreal experience for Jarod. “If I’m going to be a doctor one day, I’m going to have to deal with diseases and pandemics like this because the situation will call for every available doctor to help. For a guy that doesn’t like germs at all, it terrifies me. I’ve been very protective of my family. I bought hand-sanitizer in mid-February before everyone thought of doing so. I was ahead of the curve there. But this is an honorable field at the end of the day. These people are putting their lives on the line to help people and that is very inspiring to me.”

When he receives his MD., Jarod’s primary goal as a doctor is to give everything he has to help one person at a time. In general, his passion is to help people.

Student Spotlight: Lucious McDaniel IV

Lucious McDaniel IV Headshot

Lucious McDaniel IV

 

Name: Lucious McDaniel IV

Class: Sophomore

Major: MIS/CBHP

Position: Founder, CEO of Phly

Topics of Interest: Technology, Business, Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy

 

The guy behind Phly

Lucious McDaniel IV took it upon himself to hone in on an idea and build it from the ground up. He and his team, composed of Electrical and Computer Engineering students Tara Kuruvilla and Grace Anconetani, have been working on this startup, Phly, for quite some time. When we first heard about the startup, we were unaware of how much the platform had to offer and the functionality it would bring to organizations to help them raise money. Lucious’s ambition matches up to his talent and intelligence, bringing him to where he is today – the start of something groundbreaking. 

Pronounced like the word “fly”, Phly comes from shortening the phrase Lucious coined, “philanthropy on the fly.” Lucious was motivated to create Phly so students and organizations on campus could be more philanthropic. The platform makes the fundraising process more efficient and painless for all parties involved. 

Lucious McDaniel IV and his Phly team at Capital Factory

Lucious McDaniel IV and his Phly team posing for a photo at Capital Factory.

 

The idea that took flight 

Lucious explained that his team came up with the idea out of necessity, “We realized that as student organization leaders ourselves – myself and my whole team included – that one of the most tedious parts of our roles as finance chairs and leaders of organizations is trying to manage the on-campus aspect of things.” 

After dealing with a variety of hodge-podge excel sheets and various documents with contesting formats, it was evident that there was a need for something better. The Phly team then created a solution that would work for their student organizations. 

Once we realized it was working for these [student] orgs that we are in, we said, “why not roll it out to the rest of the students at UT?” 

The Phly team had a mission to make student fundraising easy for everyone across the country, but before they could do that, their goal was to help their peers here on the Forty Acres! 

You have to run before you can Phly 

One of the major problems Phly was designed to solve was cutting out the need to use personal Venmo and PayPal accounts to collect donations. When organizations use personal payment accounts to, for example, collect money for baked goods they are selling on Speedway, donations and personal payments quickly get muddled. Before long, student organization leaders have a big problem on their hands which is only made worse by piles of spreadsheets. By eliminating that process, organizations can keep better track of money that is being exchanged. 

The Phly team knew integrating Venmo in their platform was going to make them very useful for student orgs, but it was tough.

The first two times we went to Venmo to get approved for our integration, they said “No”. After I kept being extremely persistent and going after them, talking to them, and trying to improve our product, they eventually said “Yes”.

Today, Phly has one of the few coveted partnerships that Venmo doles out to external organizations, allowing them to integrate the popular app into their platform.

Lucious McDaniel and the Phly team working

Lucious McDaniel IV and the Phly team working with the Austin Skyline in the background.

 

Ready for takeoff! 

Due to Lucious’ uncanny ability to find a problem that needs a solution, Phly was born and then fully developed by going above and beyond to develop that solution. Asked about his interests and what he feels his career trajectory is, Lucious shared, 

“…my end goal right now is either to be a startup founder myself or to work for another startup in a product-centered role.” 

Lucious spent quality time in San Francisco this past summer as an intern for Flo Recruit, a startup launched out of UT, which was participating in Y Combinator – the world’s best accelerator program. Going forward, Lucious plans on using his degree in Canfield BHP, MIS to either continue building his own company or work in product at a fast-growing startup.

“Early on, [Interning at Y Combinator] solidified my love for working at scrappy startups but it also solidified my interest and passion for sales, marketing, and especially product”

Parting Advice 

Lucious advises that anyone looking for a place in the Canfield Business Honors Program or wanting to get involved with startups should explore business-related organizations in high school like DECA. Being involved in organizations played a key role in building connections and long-lasting friendships. 

If you’re interested in learning more and run a student organization, signup at www.Phly.co and start fundraising the right way today by creating your first campaign with Phly. Lucious is also happy to make each of these lines of communication open for either academic or Phly related matters:

P: 832-341-7603

E: lucious4@utexas.edu