Alumni Spotlight: Krystel Baeza, Class of 2007 – Strategy Director for Wunderman

Krystel Baeza, BHP 2007, is a Strategy Director for Wunderman based in London. Wunderman is a leading digital agency with 175 offices in 60 countries. Prior to her time at Wunderman, she completed a three-year rotational fellowship with WPP, the world’s largest marketing services company, where she worked with numerous brands including Volkswagen, Hasbro, Nestle, Cannon and Heineken. Krystel is also involved in the Texas Exes UK Chapter, helping to bring Longhorns living in London together.

The WPP MBA Fellowship allowed you to explore various roles and work with different clients. Tell me about that program and about what you learned from it.

There are two WPP programs, the MBA Fellowship and the Graduate Fellowship, which is for people who are fresh out of college or have other master’s degrees, but not an MBA like mine. I went to Carnegie Mellon to get an MBA to help me transition from agency-side to client-side, but I ended up realizing I still preferred agency work. When I returned to school after an internship, I talked to my advisor about my career options, and she told me about the WPP MBA Fellowship.

The MBA fellowship is very competitive. Hundreds apply each year, but only 5 people from all over the world are selected. The program is three years long with three one-year rotations within the different companies WPP owns worldwide. It is a very large company, so I had the opportunity to find the path that was right for me. I found that the consumer was my passion, so I felt a career in strategy was the best fit. The first year, you get a spreadsheet with all the roles they have worldwide. You are able to pick the roles which interest you, and interview directly with the CEOs, or other leaders of those companies.

The first year, I chose a year at Grey New York, working in strategy for the Hasbro account. I then moved to London to do a media and consumer insights rotation at Mediacom with the Volkswagen account. The last year I did digital strategy at POSSIBLE London for a luxury chocolate company owned by Nestle, called Cailler. At the end of the program, I knew I wanted to stay in London and work in digital strategy so I ended up working at Wunderman UK for a software client, Dassault Systemes.

The years I spent in the fellowship helped me figure out my true passion, which was consumer insights. The program also helped me learn to adapt to different cultures. You go in at a pretty senior level for each rotation, so you learn very quickly because you have a whole team relying on you. As soon as you learn to do one role, it is time to interview again and switch gears. It makes you realize that you can do anything, you just have to have a team willing to let you learn, try and fail.

What made you stand out among all the hundreds of applicants vying for a spot in the fellowship?

I had to write seven to eight essays for the application, some of which were personal, so I was able to tell my story. I made it to the interview round, where you interview with multiple CEOs. One CEO focused entirely on one of my essays about an obstacle I had faced.  In that essay, I had written about how I came to the U.S. from Venezuela at 13, not knowing any English. As an immigrant family trying to build a new life in America, we didn’t have the money for me to go to college, but my mom made it clear that I needed to go, so I had to figure out a way to pay for it on my own. I worked hard to become the valedictorian of my high school so I could get a full scholarship for school. I ended up getting a full scholarship to UT. It was a huge accomplishment for me, and the CEO recognized that I had been able to achieve that, and was very impressed by it.

You have worked with numerous brands in different capacities throughout your career, but the common theme seems to be brand strategy and customer insight. How do you successfully use customer insight to drive brand strategy?

For me, the key thing about being a strategist is that in a room filled with creatives, project managers, producers and account services, you are the true voice of the consumer. Everything I do is rooted in the consumer insights. You have to be able to discover the undeniable human truth and lead with that. I ask questions like, how are they consuming content, what are they reading, how can I convert someone past just awareness. I have to make sure that every meeting I go to, despite all other objectives, if my feedback isn’t rooted in consumer insights and my gut feel, we can’t move forward. For Wunderman, it begins with strategy and ends with strategy. Consumer insights isn’t an afterthought, which I appreciate. Our motto after all is “creatively driven, data inspired”.

Was there a campaign you worked on which you think did this really well?

Last year I worked on Cailler, which is a mainstream brand in Switzerland similar to Hershey’s in America. The company wanted to turn it into a luxury brand, like Godiva outside of the U.S. They decided to change the packaging and launch it on Amazon, which is pretty much the worst place to launch a chocolate. Chocolate is very tactile, and when you’re charging $35 per box, it is difficult to sell online. Cailler was pretty successful in Switzerland, but no one had heard of it in the U.S. They had issues with delivery not going well, including the chocolate melting during the shipping. We knew they needed a do-over. I used secondary research to determine who was their target audience, then asked if we could do a primary research study to validate the audience and get further insights. I partnered with a research agency, and did focus groups in Austin, New York and the West Coast. I validated insights and found new ones which drove the strategy and were the base of all of our creative work.

What do you think has changed in brand strategy since you started and where do you see this work headed with the proliferation of platforms competing for attention in the digital age?

There are a lot of new formats. In one day you might be competing in one format and the next, that format is obsolete. The rise of Snapchat is an example of that. Tons of brand jumped at the opportunity of using Snapchat as part of their marketing mix and quickly realized that it didn’t fit in with their consumer strategy. Marketers have to learn all these different platforms very quickly. You’re always finding yourself reading tech trends to see what the new social app of the moment is. It’s no secret that digital is going to pave the road for the future. There is a move towards content. Brands are starting to behave more and more like a publisher, and moving from doing ads to doing more thought leadership pieces which are more valuable for consumers, especially in the B2B market. That is where I see it moving. Being a thought leader really increases brand image. Think EY – it’s no longer a financial services company, it’s a financial thought leader helping people ask better questions for a better working world. I am seeing a trend of ad agencies looking more like consulting companies, offering digital transformation consulting services, and hiring management consultants to lead such projects. This means that as we move forward, we not only have to worry about other ad agencies taking our clients but we also have to worry about companies like PWC and Deloitte wanting a piece of the pie.

You have been working in London for three years now. What do you enjoy most about working abroad?

I love that I am able to leave work at 5:30. When I worked in New York, I was working until 10 pm most days and 2 am some days. I couldn’t make plans with friends or family. In London the mentality is different. If I wanted to take a vacation when I was in the U.S., I had to ask permission from at least five people for it to be approved. In London, when I want to take vacation, I don’t need to ask for permission, I just inform my team I’ll be out and they’ll figure it out. People respect your family time there much more than here. There isn’t a feeling like you can’t leave work whenever you want. As long as you get your work done, you can leave. We also get a lot more vacation days there – 27! You can have a much better work/life balance. I see my family more now living abroad than I did when I was living in New York!

For students studying abroad or hoping to work abroad after graduation, what would you tell them?

In general, be resilient. It is possible to have an internship abroad and work abroad. People love Americans, and love the education system here. Coming from BHP, you will have opportunities. Also, things change. You might have a plan, but life hits you. It is okay to do something different than your peers. I was the only one in my class to pursue advertising and I always felt different, like the odd sheep, but it’s super important to not compare yourself to your peers. You are your own person, you’re following different dreams. It is okay to be the odd person out and follow what you really want. Just keep at it and you will get there.

Alumni Spotlight: Brittany Johnson – Digital and Social Advertising Manager, NFL

Brittany Johnson, BHP 2012, is the Digital and Social Advertising Manager for the National Football League, where she develops marketing content for digital platforms and works alongside creative agencies developing advertising campaigns. Prior to working for the NFL, Johnson interned with ESPN, and was a producer for Publicis and Grey Group. She is based out of New York City.

What kind of content are you producing in your role with the NFL? What are the strategic goals of this content?

I’m part of our advertising team, which is part of our marketing department. I focus on our digital and social content but also have crossover in TV and print. Our team reports to the SVP of Marketing, Creative and Branding, who answers to our CMO, so all our work is pretty high-profile and highly scrutinized. As far as number of campaigns, we have multiple initiatives going on throughout the calendar year including youth, brand, community relations and our product campaigns, like apparel brands or game ticketing. The content we produce varies depending on our demo and the marketing goal, but I would say generally we’re producing video content ranging in length from Snapchats to long-form YouTube episodes.

We work closely with all 32 NFL teams on our various League initiatives and we’re often featuring their players or team events. As a result, I travel to a lot of their markets to capture content with their staff and players, especially over the summer leading up to the season but also in season. Most of what we produce lives on TV, YouTube and our NFL social media channels.

Walk me through the process of rolling out a new campaign.

Our internal team briefs in our creative and media agencies on specific campaign initiatives. Our creative agency develops creative concepts and the media agency finds the right platform(s) based on our targeted fan demographic. There’s a lot of collaboration between the two agencies and I work to manage that relationship to make sure everything is going smoothly. From there, I’m connecting with our different internal teams to confirm approvals on the concepts. Once our creative concepts, scripts, etc are approved, we move into production mode. Productions vary in scale ranging from a small and nimble camera crew of say three people all the way up to a large-scale production with 200 plus individuals contributing in various roles. Our shooting locations vary from team training facilities, to stadiums, to chicken farms, to you name it. As you would imagine, a lot of our advertising campaigns involve our NFL players so that adds another unique responsibility when it comes to our shoots. We always want to make sure they’re comfortable and having fun on set. After shooting the content, we move into multiple rounds of edits until we get to the final content that is approved by all departments. After delivering final content to our media team, I get to sleep.

Do you have a favorite campaign or project you have worked on, or one which really stands out to you?

Our NFL Shop campaign from last season was one of my favorites. We had a really entertaining group of featured players. For one of the spots, I worked with Drew Brees, who went to my high school, which was a surreal and memorable experience. The concept also really relied on dry humor and a little cheekiness which is right up my alley. The campaign featured each of the NFL players describing how hard they had worked to earn their jerseys, hours of practice, years of playing, etc., then the camera pans over to a fan who candidly confesses they just bought the same jersey at NFLshop.com.

What is most challenging and rewarding about your work?

Travel is probably the most challenging and rewarding. I love the travel side of it, but it is unpredictable. Events will pop up and I will have to fly out to capture content very last minute. It’s definitely more unpredictable in the summer, which makes vacation plans difficult to lock down. However, I do get a solid t-shirt tan. Through the travel though, I have been able to see so many cities and meet so many kind people who work in football. I’ve met some incredible people doing incredible work in their communities, and my job is to highlight it. I’m truly lucky to love what I do.

You have worked at ESPN, NFL and even when you were working for the Grey Group, the NFL was one of the clients you were working on. What is it about sports marketing that you enjoy so much?

Obviously, football is huge in Texas, so working in football is kind of a childhood dream. But even beyond that, I think it’s the passion that people feel and express in sports that I love so much. I grew up playing competitive soccer, so I’m not even working in a sport that I grew up playing, but it’s the sports world in general. You see these fanatic fans and players who put in so much hard work every year to become better. It can be fulfilling or it can be heartbreaking. Each year there’s a sense of hope for everyone in the sports world to cling to no matter what happened in the past season. That passion and hope is contagious. Marketing in general is compelling to me because of the psychology involved. Putting myself in our fans’ shoes to think about what they would be interested in seeing and hearing allows you to be a more empathetic and self-aware human.

How do you think your BHP and Marketing degrees from McCombs have aided you in the work you are doing?

In terms of competitive workplaces and highly sought-after positions, BHP sets the standard. I didn’t get into BHP as a freshman, so I had to work incredibly hard to earn my spot as a sophomore. From BHP, you learn if there is something you want to achieve you have to work hard and be humble. New York is also very competitive so I’ve continued to work hard to get where I am. I worked on an additional NFL project for 6 months on top of my existing role when I was at Grey Group. 6 months after that project wrapped up, I got a call from my now current boss about this job because I had worked tirelessly on the previous project. Serendipitous.

For students interested in working as a digital producer, what advice do you have for them?

You have to be a people person. So much of what you do relies on relationships and being able to relate to people. You also have to be a detail-oriented person and definitely can’t be a pushover. A lot of times you are going to hear no, but you still have to figure out a way to get it done. Persistence is key.

If you had it to do over again, would you do anything differently?

No, because I am so happy where I am now. I wouldn’t change anything because I don’t know if I would end up in the same place. I have only been in my position for a little more than a year, so I am still learning so much. I feel like I can make more of an impact this year now that I have experienced a full season. I don’t think when I came to New York I thought I would be here this long, but now I am kind of addicted to the pace of it and the opportunities here. When I travel for a while, I really miss it and look forward to coming back to New York. My heart will always be in Texas though.

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!

Alumni Spotlight: Ben Pyne and Bekah Thayer Pyne – Global Health Corps Fellows

Ben Pyne and Bekah Thayer Pyne graduated from BHP in 2013. They met in the program and married a few years after graduating. They both went to work as Deloitte Strategy & Operations consultants, but after three years, they felt called to use their skills to further social justice causes of importance to them. In the fall, they both became Global Health Corps (GHC) Fellows and moved to Kampala, Uganda. It has been a big adjustment for them, but they are loving the experience and the work they are doing.

As a GHC Fellow, Ben is working with IntraHealth International as a Health Worker Performance Management Officer. The organization’s mission is to improve the performance of health workers and strengthen the systems in which they work. IntraHealth has partnered with local communities in over 100 countries since 1979 to make sure health workers are present where they are needed most, ready to do their jobs, connected to the technology they need, and safe to do their very best work.

In Uganda, IntraHealth is implementing a five-year USAID-funded project called Strengthening Human Resources for Health (SHRH). Across the country, a high rate of absenteeism in the public health workforce hinders patients’ access to care. The absenteeism rate has been estimated consistently above 40% in past years and stems from a number of systemic factors. In his role, Ben is planning, designing, implementing, and monitoring a sustainable system for tracking attendance of health workers and making data-driven decisions to manage absenteeism across the Ugandan healthcare system.

The SHRH Project builds capacity to manage HR (including attendance) data from the largest national hospital to the most remote facilities that may only have one formally trained health worker. This means involving central government stakeholders, 111 Ugandan decentralized districts, and health workers across thousands of health facilities. “Not surprisingly, working in this role and in this context has been a huge challenge and growth opportunity for me both personally and professionally,” said Ben. “Still, I am thrilled to be one of many helping to solve such a systemic and troublesome problem impacting Ugandans’ healthcare.”

Bekah is working with Days for Girls (DfG) as a Monitoring & Evaluation Officer. DfG’s mission is to create a more dignified, free, and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions. The mission is carried out in three main ways – through offering locally-made, high-quality washable menstrual hygiene Kits; reproductive health education training; and women-led enterprise development. Days for Girls has already reached over 640,000 women and girls in 100+ countries.

“When you give a woman or girl a Days for Girls Kit, you give back days of education, health, and economic opportunity that would otherwise be missed,” said Bekah “Equipping half of our global talent pool isn’t just the right thing to do – it has an insurmountable impact on the growth and development of our societies.” A UNESCO report estimates that in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 1 in 10 girls miss school during their menstrual cycle.

Bekah is developing the infrastructure, tools, and evaluation systems for the global M&E department. “Days for Girls’ innovative approach to empowering women captured my heart along with the role which is perfectly aligned with my desire to use data to promote gender parity.” A report by No Ceilings points out “Only by collecting consistent and complete data can governments and policymakers fully understand the issues facing women and girls, develop targeted solutions, and measure progress or lack thereof.” Bekah created digital field data collection tools which work without an internet connection to ensure the organization can manage information across all of the areas in which they work no matter how remote. She’s excited to see how the new M&E systems are helping Days for Girls make data-driven decisions and share the impact of their work in a credible and tangible way.

The Global Health Corps program operates a partnership model. All fellows work in teams of two at each placement organization, with one national fellow and one international fellow. Both Bekah and Ben have greatly enjoyed and benefited from that model. They are also enjoying the program’s commitment to producing tangible results and the structured professional development opportunities during the fellowship year.

Ben and Bekah have another four months of work through GHC and their placement organizations in Uganda. After completing the year-long fellowship, they plan to combine their past corporate experience with their field experience to continue their pursuit of careers in development and social innovation. Ben and Bekah assert that despite the stresses of working in a new field, living in a new country, and no longer benefiting from corporate America’s generous benefits, pursuing these opportunities has been one of the most interesting, joy-giving, and enriching experiences of their lives.

Alumni Spotlight: Laura Rosen, Class of 2004 – Senior Policy Analyst

Laura Rosen, BHP 2004, is a Senior Policy Analyst and Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, where she manages program strategy, advocacy, marketing and communications for their job quality and asset building work. Prior to joining the CPPP, Laura worked for Wells Fargo. She completed a master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in social enterprise and economic development from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.

Briefly take me through your career path.

At BHP I discovered microfinance. I was inspired by a community development and social enterprise course taught by Eugene Sepulveda. I felt motivated to use my business skills to give back and do something non-traditional. I received a Fulbright scholarship and worked in Cusco, Peru for a bank providing micro-loans for women starting businesses.

After my time in Peru, I felt I needed to get banking experience, so I went to work at Wells Fargo to get credit skills and ended up working in international trade. I knew that I didn’t want to stay in corporate banking long-term, so I went to grad school to study international development with an emphasis on social enterprise. I discovered a field called asset building, which aligned with my interest in finance. Asset building helps people build both financial and non-financial assets, such as savings and education, so they can reach financial stability.  My eyes were opened to how much need there is for this work and how limited the programs are for people. There are only a few positions in Texas that work in this area, but I was lucky enough to land one of those roles with a respected think tank in Texas, the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

In my role there, I have been focused on expanding household savings and financial education in Texas as well as advancing consumer financial protection policies. We have been working to reform payday and auto title lending in Texas for many years. Unfortunately, they remain virtually unregulated. These predatory lenders target low-income families with their payday loans, which average 500 percent APR in Texas. I am also working on trying to expand access to good jobs in Texas. It is so important to have adequate income to be self-sufficient and be able to save for your future. I am excited to work with the business community to try to advance the work. It isn’t sustainable for our economy to have a huge segment of the population that can’t make ends-meet.

You made a big shift in your career from finance to marketing and public policy. How hard was it to start down a new career path?

Graduate school provides a great opportunity to make a shift. Working in banking really helped me build my resume to take the next step. Having private sector experience in finance was helpful and appealing to the non-profit sector when I was moving into policy work. I knew I didn’t want to stay in the banking role I was in, but I think if I had shared more with my manager about what my interests were, I could have maybe moved into some of the philanthropic work that Wells Fargo was doing. Good mentors want to help you get to where you want to go.

How did your master’s degree in public policy complement the skills you gained in BHP and set you up for success in your current role?

The degrees are similar in some ways. They are both professional degrees, but the sectors are just different. The skill set is similar and a lot of what I learned in BHP was transferable, like strategy, writing, presentations and data analysis. I discovered the one of my good friends from BHP, Pamela Chan, transitioned to the non-profit sector and was doing similar work in DC, so she was very helpful to me in getting me to where I am. Some of my BHP friends have also helped me in thinking about next steps in my career. They are such a great network, professionally and personally.

What is most challenging about your role at CPPP?

Working in the non-profit sector is different from the private sector. Resources are constrained, but the need is so vast. The challenge is trying to be effective with fewer resources and be effective with my time by focusing on the right things. I have to wear a lot of different hats.

What do you envision things looking like for the people of Texas if CPPP is successful in their work?

Our mission is to make sure all Texans are healthy, well-educated and financially secure. We have a very long way to go, but it is such important work. There has been a shift in our economy. The share of low-wage jobs in Texas has grown 15% since 1979, while the middle class has shrunk. At the same time, Texas is not adequately investing in public and higher education, which we need to build a skilled workforce. Both of these trends will be detrimental to our state’s economic growth. We would like to see that regardless of where you live, you have the same access to quality healthcare, food, education, etc. that mean so much for your life trajectory. Even nationally less than half of households could cover a $400 unexpected bill. Many people are struggling to manage their money, because they don’t earn enough, but also because they don’t have access to tools and basic benefits that help them save and provide income stability or financial education.  Sixty percent of Texans have sub-prime credit scores.  Half of Texans don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work. Forty-five percent of private sector workers in Texas don’t have access to the basic benefit of paid sick days. It would be great if jobs paid enough and provided basic benefits so that families could make ends meet and work to move up the economic ladder.

You were selected as Fulbright Scholar and completed field work in Peru for a year. Tell us about that experience and what you were working on.

I would highly recommend it to people. It was a peak life experience for me. I heard about the opportunity to apply for a Fulbright scholarship and was interested in international work, so I jumped at the opportunity. I conducted research for a small organization in Cusco that operated village banks through the region. Through my research, I studied the impact of why people defaulted on their loans, which gave me the opportunity to interview a lot of people living in extreme poverty. Those interviews really impacted me.

For students interested in going into policy, non-profit or social enterprise work, what would you encourage them to do as students to prepare for that kind of role?

I think it is great to get some experience in non-profit and social enterprise through internships or other experiences. You can always volunteer. Try it out before going to get a master’s. I wish I had figured out what skill sets would be the best fit for me earlier. In grad school we had a course about looking at your strengths and what skills sets you enjoy most. I wish there had been more focus on self-exploration of aptitudes in undergrad. I am happy that I had the business honors degree because a business degree provides a lot of transferable skills and flexibility. I was able to easily transition to something else, and I feel I could always transition back.

I would also add that every year my colleagues and I speak about our work to the UT undergraduate tax practicum class that prepares income taxes for clients at a local non-profit, Foundation Communities. A similar UT business school class inspired my career trajectory, and I really enjoy giving back. Who knows, maybe I will introduce one of the students in the class to a non-traditional career in business like the guest lecturer in my class did when I was a student.