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.

Next, Phil Canfield was able to join as the event’s keynote speaker in his first address since the program was named in his honor this past year. While Mr. Canfield covered a lot of different topics, one of the most interesting things he discussed was how his BHP education contributed to his professional career, and how that motivated him and his wife to ultimately give back to the program. He advised the prospective students to think about what kind of skills and community they wanted to get out of their college education. Leadership, he emphasized, was a crucial skill he developed in the program, and something he believed he wouldn’t have found elsewhere. He also stressed the uniqueness of the BHP community and the spirit of the program that creates a lasting network and camaraderie among the students.

We chatted with two students within Canfield BHP who graciously served as the co-chairs of the Discover Canfield BHP event, Annie Wang and Tatum Lee. Here, we had a Q&A session and got to hear their perspectives on the event:

Q: You had two student panels: one for student life and one for careers & internships – what do you think was the most helpful piece of advice from each of these events?

During the careers & internships panel, the panelists discussed the importance of the Canfield BHP network, which includes not only experienced alumni but also upperclassmen in the program. Oftentimes, current students will only think about doing informational interviews and networking formally with alumni, but it’s often easier to talk to upperclassmen, since they are more relatable and can provide more immediate insight on internship programs, career decisions, and more.

The most important takeaway from the student life panel was the diversity of experience between the panelists. Each panelist had delved into widely varying college paths, whether that be Greek life, startups, fashion magazines, or study abroad experiences. The panel emphasized that the most impactful college experience comes from following your own passions and learning more about what you are interested in. UT is a huge school with a wide variety of opportunities, and you can learn a lot from seeing what your BHPeers are involved in and joining orgs that speak to you!

Q: What was your favorite part of the day?

Annie: For me, I really loved getting to mingle with students during the morning. As much as I enjoyed learning about event-planning and organizing the event, in the end it’s all for the prospective students to have a great time. Even just in the 15 minutes I had to mingle before running to the next thing, I got to chat with a student who was interested in double-majoring in international relations (context: I’m an international relations double major!) and mingle with a group of attendees who all attended Austin high schools.

Tatum: My favorite part of the day was lunch, where I got to sit and chat with prospective students. Like Annie, I think the best part of the event is talking with the prospective students and getting to share our experiences with Canfield BHP. I loved talking to my table at lunch and hearing about their passions in high school–a few of them were fellow band kids, like I was! It really meant a lot to me to get to meet them and share why I care so much about CBHP, which is why I love volunteering at Discover.

Q: Can you recount how your experience was with Discover Canfield BHP 3 years ago?

Annie: Discover Canfield BHP provided insight into the program that convinced me to come to UT and join this cohort. I told the prospective students this, and it was 100% true. I experienced the supportive community in BHP through the one-day event, which showed me that business didn’t have to be cutthroat and competition could be collaborative, even with people who are as brilliant and accomplished as the peers around me. This made me even more excited but also nervous about being a co-chair, because I felt pressured to make Discover as good as or even better than the day I attended.

Q: How does it feel to be on the other side now that you are a student organizing this event?

Honestly it felt kind of surreal to be the ones speaking during the introduction, running around making sure everything was in place, and ending the day realizing that we’d helped make a difference for the 300+ people that attended. During the process of planning, it was very cool to see all the different aspects of the event, and just how much work the office puts into Discover every year so that it can be successful.

On behalf of the entire Canfield Business Honors Program, we are so excited to welcome the Class of 2023! After our successful Discover Canfield BHP event, we can’t wait for this new cohort to make their way to the 40 Acres in August.

BHP Alums Find Success as Plastic Surgeons

Each year, a few BHP grads go on to medical school, but it certainly isn’t the usual path for most BHP grads. Even fewer choose to go into plastic surgery like Sergio Alvarez, BHP ’03, and Sean Paul, BHP ’05. Alvarez owns a practice in Miami and is recognized as the top plastic surgeon in the area. Paul recently moved back to Austin to open a practice, which has  multiple offices across the city.

BHP: What led you to choose medicine and plastic surgery as your specialty?

Sergio Alvarez operates his own practice, Alvarez Plastic Surgery, in Miami.

Sergio Alvarez operates his own practice, Alvarez Plastic Surgery, in Miami.

Alvarez: After seeing my first open heart surgery at the age of 10, I knew then that there was nothing else I wanted to do than to be a surgeon.  Plastic surgery got my attention during medical school due to the fact that it was not only the most competitive specialty to get into and the surgeons training me were revered as “the best”, but it was the ability to work on every part of the body and really focus on the “art form” that captured me. It was the finesse that it required that captivated me.

Paul: My father was my inspiration. He was a family medicine physician in south Texas and had an amazing relationship with his patients. My love for surgery developed during my gross anatomy classes in medical school, but mostly from caring for wounded soldiers returning to Brooke Army Medical Center, for whom I assisted in caring for severe facial and ocular burns. Thus began my love for ophthalmology and facial plastic surgery, and a career in oculofacial plastic surgery began.

BHP: How has your background in business been helpful to you in your practice?

Alvarez: There is no question that the business education I received through the Business Honors Program has been invaluable. I think the biggest challenges physicians face today are the intricacies of opening up a practice. That was something that didn’t scare me at all. I came to Miami which is THE most competitive market for aesthetic plastic surgery with all the business tools I needed to succeed.  I plan to set up an office in Austin soon!

Sean Paul operates his own practice, Austin Oculofacial Plastics.

Sean Paul operates his own practice, Austin Oculofacial Plastics.

Paul: As a BHP alum, I completed internships and worked in operations in my family business prior to attending medical school. After ten years of medical school, a post-graduate residency, and a fellowship, I was faced with a life decision when choosing my career path after training. My background in business and my entrepreneurial spirit gave me a unique insight into the changing landscape of medicine and helped me choose to start my own practice. More specifically, my insight into the patient and business aspects of reconstructive and elective plastic surgery has helped me build a practice to help fill a need in the growing Central Texas and Austin communities. I now own and operate my own practice, Austin Oculofacial Plastics, based in Austin. I have offices in south Austin, north Austin, Westlake, Lakeway, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg.

BHP: What is most challenging and most rewarding about your career as a plastic surgeon?

Alvarez: I think the most rewarding aspect of my career are the people I get to meet and treat from all over the world. Being in such an international city gives me the opportunity to learn about different cultures and different definitions of beauty. I think one of the biggest challenges we face are the misconceptions people see on TV and marketing gimmicks that are all over social media and the internet. A large portion of what we do as a collective group is educate our patients about how to go beyond the marketing and choose tried and true methods as well as choose qualified practitioners that are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Paul: The most challenging part of my career is continually striving to focus on excellent patient care. With the commercialization of plastic surgery, I strive to maintain a down-to-earth relationship with patients and make a point to call them at night after surgery. As I have gotten busier, I remain committed to that tenet of care for my patients.  I genuinely find it rewarding when patients simply say ‘thank you’.  As medicine and plastic surgery continues to change, you frequently hear stories of patients feeling like they are just a number on a spreadsheet. I personally have found complete comfort in feeling fully invested in my practice. My patients’ kind words and feedback are the best possible reward. I truly love what I do and it is my pleasure to care for each and every one of my patients.

BHP: What advice do you have for current BHP students who may be interested in pursuing an MD?

Alvarez: The best advice I can give BHP students interested in medicine is to stay dedicated to the long path it takes to become a physician because the rewards are well worth the wait. As they see their colleagues start entering the corporate world and get high salary positions, they should realize there is little to substitute the feeling one gets from changing peoples’ lives on a daily basis.

Paul: Explore the medical and surgical field early on and be certain that it is the career path you want more than anything else in the world. You will be faced with personal and professional decisions and be pulled in multiple directions in your career as a physician. No matter what else is going on in your day or in the world, when you are in the operating room with that patient, you owe them your 100% undivided attention.  Talk with physicians in your community about shadowing opportunities and be proactive in your career research. Study hard, enjoy your life as a BHP student, soak up the amazing city of Austin (so happy I am back), and understand that if you choose the field of medicine – you will be one of the few professionals given the privilege of caring for others for a living. I could not imagine doing anything else.

Annual BHP Community BBQ Kicks Off the School Year

BBQ

Last night, around 200 students attended the annual BHP Community BBQ, where they chatted over free BBQ at Scholz Garten and then competed in six rounds of trivia with representatives from BP, ConocoPhillips, Dell, Deloitte, Dropbox, PepsiCo and PwC.

Teams were asked to choose a team name. Some of the names that garnered the best reactions from the crowd were  “Sorcerer’s Prentice,” “Staff Infection” and “Dr. Konana’s Voiceover IP.”

Trivia rounds done by “Geeks who Drink” were witty and hilarious. Rounds included: “Bad YouTube Karaoke,” which required participants to identify songs that someone had completely botched and posted on Youtube; “Wallstreet Balderdash,” in which teams had to identify the true meaning of made-up words used by those working on Wall Street; and “Do Give Up Your Day Job,” a round which brought to light some interesting past occupations of famous celebrities.

The competition was fierce and in the end teams Deloitte and Lets Get Fiscal tied for first place, but a tie breaker question set team Deloitte apart as the first place winner. Deloitte team members included:

BBQ4

Top row (from left to right):
Arvind Sivakumar
Rabin Shetty
Sai Yeluru
James Abbott
Malorie Liljenwall (Deloitte rep.)

Bottom row (from left to right):
Mickey Li
Kevin Yu
Sophia Ding
Macy Huang
Lisa Feng
Nazifa Mim
Kevin Chiu (Deloitte rep.)

Special thanks to our sponsors: BP, ConocoPhillips, Dell, Deloitte, Dropbox, PepsiCo and PwC!

 

Talented Mr. Ripley Takes on Mr. McCombs Pageant

Written by Forrest Ripley

As President of HBA, I am used to representing our organization at various meetings and events. However, last week required using a myriad of new skills to rep my favorite organization as I was elected to represent HBA in the annual Mr. Mccombs male pageant, a night of fun to raise money for a good cause. In this friendly competition I would vie for the Mr. McCombs crown along with 8 other gentlemen from other McCombs student organizations. After spending a month practicing my dancing, figuring out what my talents were, and attempting to get my body in swimsuit season shape, the big night finally arrived. My fellow pageant members and I began the evening with an elaborate group dance choreographed to Macklemore’s finest beats. It’s hard to describe the camaraderie I built with my fellow men after jointly spending two weeks learning how to best moonwalk, flex our guns, and shake our booties.

After the dance, each contestant made three return trips to the stage to model their outfit of choice, show off their swimsuit fashion, and display their finest talents. For my outfit of choice, I donned my full-body taco costume I conveniently already owned to epitomize my lifelong love of Austin’s most famous Tex-Mex cuisine. In the highly anticipated swimsuit round, I proudly showcased my winter tan lines by wearing retro pastel swimtrucks complete with an inflatable crocodile innertube. At last came the talent portion of the evening. Because of my indecisiveness in picking a talent, I decided to try out several skills in lieu of a single talent. To begin, I played Adele’s Someone Like You on my keyboard while singing the song an octave or two lower than the song’s author. For the second half of the song, I abandoned my keyboard and relied on the actual music track while I tested the limits of my juggling abilities by tossing, catching, (and occasionally dropping) an assortment of balls and clubs.

In the end, I did not walk away with the coveted Mr. McCombs crown, but I had a blast pretending to be talented, beautiful, and graceful. The amount of support from my fellow BHPers made the experience even more fun. Even better, all of the event’s proceeds ended up raising more than 2000 cans for the Capital Area Food Bank in addition to more than $500 to the winner’s charity of choice. All in all, it was quite a successful night.

 

Fall BHP Book Club

DATE: Wednesday, September 5

TIME: 6-8pm 

LOCATION: UPO Conference Room (next to the BHP office) 

The BHP Book Club for the fall 2012 semester is being hosted by former BA 324H professor Luke Winslow. The chosen book is The Defining Decade by Meg Jay.  It’s about how to make the most of your upcoming years and use your time wisely to be successful in your work and relationships.  Read more about it here.  Dinner from Potbellys will be provided to participants.  Make the most of the last bit of free time you have this summer to read the book and take advantage of this unique BHP opportunity.  Sign-up is required (there are only 30 spots available).