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.

New to Texas? Here Are 5 Ways to be a Successful Canfield BHPer by Katherine Wu

Students from the Canfield Business Honors Program pose for headshots outside the McCombs School of Business on May 14, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

Check out these five ways to be a successful Canfield BHPer! Student, Katherine Wu explains below:

If you think you know what you want to do after college, great! If not, also great!

There are so many resources for both ends of the spectrum! In the first business honors class freshmen take during fall semester—BA 101H—there are so many resources, seminars, and activities you do that can clarify your interests and potential career paths. However, if you’re really set on a certain career path, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the amazing resource that is Greta Fenley! She is the Canfield BHP career advisor that has an abundant amount of connections and can connect you with alumni who are in your field of interest.

Please join clubs/get involved on campus!!

I really can’t stress this enough! It’s also always great to have a mix of on-campus involvements—one great piece of advice my peer mentor gave me freshman year was to have interactions with both business-related and non-business organizations. Getting involved provides you with community here on campus, and some clubs can also be an avenue for career help.  Some orgs can provide early education, mentorship, and helpful tips for recruiting. I came into UT knowing pretty much nothing about these clubs, and if it wasn’t for older friends at UT who had advice, I probably would have been clueless.

Enjoy the city – here are some Austin places I love

Austin is the best city. From breakfast tacos to snow cones to all the fun things there are to do, there’s seriously so much to love. I highly recommend taking advantage of everything the city offers, and to start off with a list of favorites, here are some places easily accessible from campus that I love: Austin Public Library (brand new and beautiful), Cabo Bob’s (they make tortillas right in front of you!), Mango Mango Desserts, and Zilker Park. If anyone is in need of a foodie or hiking buddy, I’m here to give any recommendations or explore with you!

Capitol and downtown at night as seen from the 4th floor President’s Office of the Main Building.


BONUS tip for new Texans: It might seem like everyone else is from Texas, but embrace that!

Coming into UT, I didn’t know a single person—and then when I got to UT, I felt like I was the only person not from Texas. It might be a little nerve-wracking at first, but soon enough, the Texas culture will make you feel at home! Everyone is so nice here, and even though the single most frequently asked question I get is “why did you choose UT,” it’s always fun having your fun fact be “I’m not from Texas!” (I even used that in an interview). Canfield BHP is also the best community, and it made the transition to UT so much better due to all our bonding and instant friendships. With CBHP, it’s not even a big deal to be from out of state. 🙂

Katherine is a rising CBHP & Finance sophomore from Inverness, IL, where she graduated from William Fremd High School. This summer, she interned within the Equity Research division of Morningstar, a global investment research firm headquartered in Chicago. On campus, Katherine is involved in Texas Equity Group, Young Life, and Undergraduate Real Estate Society; she also leads Young Life at Anderson High School in Austin. Katherine loves hiking and the outdoors, exploring the Austin food scene, and yoga.

If you’d like to hear more from Katherine or want to ask her a question, contact her at:

Email: katherinewu@utexas.edu
Phone: (224) 279-9180

Newly Named Canfield Business Honors Program Recognizes Generous Alumnus

Written by Kylie Fitzpatrick

Phil Canfield drew on his UT business knowledge to become a successful private equity investor. Now, he’s investing in the university that helped launch his career, making a generous multimillion-dollar gift to advance the Business Honors Program at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

Canfield, managing director at the private equity firm GTCR in Chicago, and his wife Mary Beth are giving the program $20 million. In their honor, it will be renamed the Canfield Business Honors Program.

“We both believe if you’re helping education and you’re helping people get access to education, that is the single highest leverage and best ROI investment you can make philanthropically,” Canfield said.

A Texas native and 1989 Business Honors graduate, Canfield has been deeply reflective and thoughtful about the decision to make the gift. He says it’s his way of showing gratitude to the university for the substantive education he received.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been in that program,” Canfield said. “It launched what’s been a really fun and successful investment career, and in many ways, I feel like it’s a dividend back to the school for the investment that the school made in me back then.”

The gift will provide full-tuition scholarships, improve recruitment of the brightest and best students, increase the national reputation of Business Honors and help boost and broaden program offerings and student resources.

“In order to make a gift like this, you have to have confidence in the leadership,” Canfield said. “My conversations with Dean Hartzell give me faith and trust in his vision for the program and his ability to execute. My confidence is very high.”

Canfield says one of his defining moments in deciding to make the gift was when he returned to campus three years ago as a parent of a prospective Business Honors student.

“It made me realize two things,” Canfield said. “First, for as great as I thought the program was when I was here, it’s 100 percent better now. Second, it’s the best undergraduate business education in the country and world, but it’s not broadly recognized at the national level, so part of what I want to do is elevate the status of BHP.”

“Phil and Mary Beth’s transformative gift will take McCombs’ outstanding Business Honors Program to new heights, and they’ll provide greater opportunity for business students to come to UT, pursue their dreams and make vital contributions,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of the university. “The Canfields’ gift will change the game for the McCombs School of Business. And, for future UT students, it will also be a life-changer.”

We are thrilled and grateful to the Canfields for their investment in our honors program. Their generosity will allow us to improve what is already an amazing program, and to ensure that we will always provide our students with the education, exposure and community they need to become excellent leaders in business and society,” said Dean Jay Hartzell. “I also firmly believe that this investment will make a material difference — not only in the honors program, but also in the broader community, increasing our national reputation and the impact of our school and university.”

The Canfields’ gift will not only assist UT Business Honors students, it will also leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

“Mary Beth and I try very hard, in all the organizations and all the communities we’re involved with, to lead by example and do it with kindness and humility,” Canfield said.

Leadership Kickoff and Sophomore Social Co-Chair Applications Being Accepted

The BHP office is currently taking applications for the roles of Leadership Kickoff Co-Chair and Sophomore Social Co-Chair (as well as other positions). These positions are essential to the program and a great way to get more involved, gain skills and help others! Read more about the experiences of the fall 2015 Kickoff co-chairs, Kate Shanks and Michelle Zhang, as well as Maya Josiam’s experience as one of the Sophomore Social co-chairs. Applications for these positions are due Friday, March 11 to the BHP office no later than 5 pm. Check your email for an application.

LKcochairs2015 Leadership Kickoff Co-Chairs – Kate Shanks and Michelle Zhang

Why did you apply to be a co-chair?

Kate: I heard about the position from one of the co-chairs from the year before; she loved the experience, which made me look into it. As I learned more, I really wanted to add more social events in the schedule of the weekend to encourage more bonding.

Michelle: I think first impressions are an incredibly important factor for pretty much ANYTHING, and I wanted the Class of 2019’s first impression of BHP to be nothing but amazing.

What have you gained/valued from the experience?

Kate: I know how to make jello now.

Michelle: Same. Also we know who our perfect team counterparts are, because it’s each other. (I’m the creative, experience-focused one, and Kate is the logistic, practical one.)

Why (or to whom) would you recommend applying for this position?

Kate: I would recommend other students apply to be kickoff co-chair because it’s an incredible way to have an impact on the BHP experience of an entire entering class. Also your co might become one of your favorite people.

Michelle: If you have good organizational skills and genuinely want to provide a great introductory experience for the incoming freshmen, I would for sure recommend applying. Even if you’ve never planned an event like this but you have some great ideas – do it!

 

2015 Sophomore Social Co-Chair – Maya Josiam

MayaWhy did you apply to be Sophomore Social Co-Chair?

I applied to be a co-chair because I wanted to get to know the members of my own class better while organizing a fun event. Sophomore Social is a great event to introduce people to each other and create friendships that may not have time to form in just a classroom setting. I am a big proponent of party games, and the Sophomore Social was a chance to put together a big social just for the sophomore class to reconnect and get to know the new transfers too.

Why (or to whom) would you recommend applying for this position?

I would recommend applying for Sophomore Social Co-Chair to anyone who likes planning fun events and wants to get to know the sophomore class (and office staff) better. If you like party games, planning hangouts, or working with fun-loving people to create a relaxed event, this is the position for you!

What have you gained/valued from the experience?

I gained valuable event planning experience like learning how to market an event and set up a timeline. Also, I learned how to improvise and delegate on the fly, which was a great learning experience in a relatively relaxed environment. I really valued being able to create an event that brought my class closer and work with the awesome staff and my co-chair, Katie, to put this event together.

BHP Senior Takes First Place in Case Competition While Studying Abroad

Josh_profileBHP senior, Josh Hu, was recently awarded the Barbara Jordan Senior Award, which honors two graduating seniors whose outstanding motivation has left a lasting legacy at McCombs. He also received a BHP Outstanding Student Award, chosen by BHP faculty, staff and peers.

Josh spent last semester studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. While he was there, he had many unique and memorable experiences, including participating in an international case competition, which his group actually ended up winning.

joshscotlandHu was taking a Financial Services Marketing Class in Edinburgh that challenged students to find a solution to a case presented by TESCO Bank. The class was split up into groups of four and the situation became even more unique because Hu, the only McCombs student in the class, was paired with other exchange students from around the world including: Hong Kong, England and Scotland.

An executive from TESCO Bank asked the groups to come up with a mobile banking app for clients to access account information at their own convenience. There was a lot of freedom and flexibility with this project and the students were told to use both research they could find as well as research they would conduct themselves.

Many banks in the U.S. now offer mobile banking applications, so Hu started his research in the states, “I was surprised to find that the states are actually very technologically ahead in terms of innovation and new ideas for banking,” said Hu. Through his research, he was able to bring a lot of ideas to his group, like mobile check deposits.

JoshProjectHu’s group put together consumer focus groups to gauge what consumers valued, liked and disliked, “Using feedback from the focus groups, we found that the number one reason people aren’t using mobile banking apps is fear that there’s a lack of privacy,” said Hu. The group used this information in their final presentation to emphasize the safety of the app to the consumer. The combination of new, innovative features and making sure the app is secure to use, won the competition.

“Going abroad was a chance for me to be an ambassador for my school,” he said. “The perceptions of Americans aren’t always positive while abroad so I thought of it as I’m representing my school, and the students at McCombs are great, and I wanted to show them that and that I had a lot to contribute to the group.”

Hu is back on the 40 Acres now. His group’s proposal for the new application was presented to TESCO executives in February and was very well received. Each group member will receive a new tablet for their winning idea.

After graduating from the program in May, Hu will stay another year to complete his MPA degree. Before finding a job, Hu plans to travel around Asia.