Alumni Spotlight: Aaras Shah

Aaras Shah is the Associate Director of Finance at Zeta Charter Schools, an organization whose mission is to build and sustain high-performing schools that forge thriving communities of lifelong learners, problem solvers, and innovators. At Zeta, Aaras leads budgeting, accounting, and financial analysis for the organization. Previously, he worked at Bain & Company as a Senior Associate Consultant where he focused on strategy and cost-work for Fortune 500 clients across a variety of industries. Aaras got his start working with charter schools at KIPP DC as a Strategic Projects Extern supporting their academic team. He graduated from McCombs in 2015 with degrees in Canfield BHP and finance. We caught up with Aaras recently and talked about his experiences at Zeta and how Canfield BHP helped prepare him for his journey. Continue reading

Canfield BHP Celebrates National Siblings Day

Great things happen when siblings experience the world together. The Wright brothers, for example, were the first to take man to the air. Together they changed the history of travel and aviation with their achievements in the early 20th century. Venus and Serena Williams changed the world of women’s professional tennis forever when the two sisters burst onto the scene in the 1990s, racking up numerous titles throughout the world. Both sisters have won Olympic gold medals. Many siblings often go off to run a business together and others venture off to great things to make the world a better place.

Today is National Siblings Day and in honor of this occasion, we wanted to feature current Canfield Business Honors siblings to share their experiences with our readers. The Canfield Business Honors Program has seen a fair share of siblings come and go throughout the years. It’s always a bittersweet moment to see them part when the oldest one graduates and enters the post-college world. For now, however, we’re just happy to have them with us!

Ellie and Emily Gex

Ellie (Left) – Freshman – Canfield BHP Class of ‘22
Emily (Right)  – Junior – Canfield BHP Class of ‘20 Continue reading

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