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. Continue reading

Class of 2023 Discovers Possibilities with Canfield BHP

Written by Megan Tran-Olmsted, as told by Annie Wang and Tatum Lee

Discover Canfield BHP is a one-day event for students admitted into the Class of 2023. The event helps students get a sense of what the program is all about, learn about life at UT, and meet current Canfield BHP students. This year, the event featured student panels, mock classes, exciting speakers, and of course, time for newly admitted students to begin bonding with peers. Discover Canfield BHP is a great opportunity for the incoming students to connect with their future peers and dive into the community of the program from the very beginning!

One of the major talks during the day was given by the current faculty director, Dr. Andres Almazan. Dr. Almazan has had an extensive career at McCombs and joined Canfield BHP as director last year. In his address, Dr. Almazan welcomed the students and their parents. He emphasized that current students are not only driven to get good grades but are also extremely passionate about what they do, including taking time out of their day to volunteer and enjoy the overall Canfield BHP experience. In fact, he noted that the involvement of student volunteers at Discover was a testament to their passion for the program and the type of leaders that come out of Canfield BHP. Continue reading

Canfield BHP Students Celebrate Ethics Month

Written by Victoria Bennett

Over the month of February, the Canfield BHP Ethics Board put on their annual “Ethics Month,” a time to promote awareness and positive conversations about academic integrity and its application to the real world. Each week for the month of February, the board put on events and activities for students, ranging from Ethics-grams to a discussion with Brian Cruver, former employee of Enron. Canfield BHP sophomores Jessie Meek and Poonam Agarwal, co-chairs of the Ethics Board, recently shared their experience planning the events.

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Student Leadership Skills Reach New Heights Through Outdoor Expedition

By Stephanie Cantu. As told by Cindy, Derek, Elmer, Evie, Jerry, Kirsten, Nachiket, Richard, Robert, and Sreya.

The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is a one-of-a-kind immersive educational experience that teaches Canfield BHP students about leadership and decision-making in the unscripted context of the wilderness. Over the course of eight days in January, ten CBHP students travelled through the Galiuro Mountains of southeastern Arizona. Although conditions were largely cold and wet with intense precipitation, the group also experienced highlights such as making pizza, seeing a full arc double rainbow, throwing a backcountry birthday party, and forging deeper bonds and connections. As a group, we put together our top four take-aways from the trip:

  1. Gaining perspective and making the abstract more concrete

In the wilderness, concepts like self-care become real and you actually have to internalize what to do in difficult situations. We had a saying on our trip that we heard on day one: “Cold is a choice.” Essentially, it reminded us that if we were cold, we had to do something about it – put on another layer, do some jumping jacks to generate body heat, etc. This saying applied to any other feeling, such as sensing the start of a blister or being hungry or tired. “It is a simple concept, but one none of us had needed to act on before,” said Sreya. Also, the difficulties we faced on the trip put every day annoyances into perspective: “I complain less about the cold,” said Evie. And everyone else chimed in that “MIS 301H is not that bad.”

  1. Appreciation of nature

Backpacking for several days without technology may not be how most people envision spending their winter break, but everyone agreed that their love of nature grew as a result of attending. “I’m more motivated to get my friends together and go out into the Hill Country for a hike,” shared Kirsten. Jerry added, “I’m more romantic about the absence of technology. I bought this small notebook to take all my notes on instead of a laptop or a tablet.” The students also shared how rewarding it was to “work for the view” and hike to the top of Kennedy Peak for the sunset. “On most other trips, I would normally just take a bus to the top of a vista. It was much more satisfying to know I hiked to the top myself,” said Evie.

  1. Building character and leadership skills

Each day, we learned NOLS curriculum before the day’s hike began or on the trail. For example, one day a few of us took a snack break and learned about risk assessment and likelihood using red and green peanut butter M&M’s and our instructor’s hiking poles. In addition to formal curriculum, we also developed our personal leadership styles and skills through daily feedback from our hiking groups. “I learned I’m a stronger person and leader than I realized,” said Sreya. The leadership feedback also impacted Jerry, who has carried what he learned on the trek into his honors courses: “When I got my MIS 301H group, I immediately sent out a schedule with due dates for completing parts of the project. I was worried about being too commanding or dictatorial, but then I remembered all the feedback I got on the trip about how helpful it was when I took charge, and I felt less doubt,” he said.

  1. Closer friendships

Ultimately, the greatest take-away from our time in the backcountry were the bonds we formed. “I got close to people I didn’t really know well before,” said Elmer. A lot of bonding happened during the evening down time in camp, either over (responsibly-built!) campfires or having 8 students crowd into a 3-person tent to talk until 11:30pm. Because the students didn’t have any form of technology with them, they had ample time to connect interpersonally. “I’m more conscious of being on my phone now,” said Kirsten. “I think if we had had our phones on the trip, we wouldn’t have bonded as much.”

In the end, NOLS provides invaluable leadership experience and the chance to connect with the great outdoors and each other. The 2019 expedition encourages you to attend because, according to Cindy, “We’re the only undergraduate program in the country to do a course like this. It’s such a unique experience; when else would you have this kind of opportunity?” We promise if you go, you won’t regret it.

Check out a student-made video of our experience here!

You can also read Evie’s personal blog account of her experience here.

Curious what our 2017 and 2018 cohorts have to say? Read about them here and here.

BA 151 Lyceum Students Receive Priceless Advice from Alum

Written by Victoria Bennett

In a recent BA 151H Honors Lyceum class, the sophomores were visited by Mandy Price, Co-Founder and CEO at Kanarys, Inc. An alumnae of both the Canfield Business Honors Program and Harvard Law School, Price shared how her background working in financial services and practicing law led to her current passions and career path. Throughout the question-and-answer based discussion, Price not only shared her own unique story, but gave students insights into how to navigate their own interests during their time in CBHP and after graduation.

During her time on the Forty Acres, Ms. Price studied Finance in addition to the Business Honors curriculum. She was involved in multiple organizations on campus, and spent her summers interning in financial services. These experiences gave her practical experience in her field of study and also allowed her to consider whether or not she saw herself in these roles after graduation.

Immediately following her graduation in 2003, Price continued her education at Harvard Law School. From the content to the teaching style, she described how law school provided a very different learning experience from her undergraduate education and how this helped her grow and develop. One thing her undergraduate and graduate education had in common was the community. She described how she found community with other Texans at Harvard Law, many of whom were Texas Exes, who would do everything from watch football games together to host professional events.

Upon graduating from law school, Price began her professional career as a corporate attorney at Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP. She described how her career in corporate law gave her the unique opportunity to combine her education in both finance and law. In her 10 years at the company, she worked on numerous mergers & acquisitions where she was able to bring her unique financial understanding to her work. Following her time at this firm, she also worked at Barnes & Thronburg LLP where she was a partner working primarily with private equity firms.

Although Price enjoyed her time practicing law, her experiences on various firm committees (e.g. Diversity Committee, Woman’s Task Force and Hiring Committee), highlighted the challenges organizations face when it comes to diversity and inclusion issues.  This led her to the creation of her company, Kanarys, Inc., a social enterprise focused on helping organizations build more inclusive cultures. The company is a direct response to the issues Price saw in the workplace, and the company has a goal of using data to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment worldwide.

After the class session, the sophomore class left feeling inspired by Mandy Price and her story. She used her unique career path to talk candidly to the students about the importance of exploring academic interests and acknowledged that everyone’s path both through and after their time in CBHP will look different. In addition, her story of seeing a problem in her day-to-day life and creating her own company to create a solution, showed students that they can make real change in the world around them.