Canfield BHP Freshmen Value Community in a Virtual Environment

As students approach what for many will be the third or fourth month of online schooling, it is understandably difficult to have a positive outlook on the rest of the semester. Every undergraduate is missing out on traditionally-experienced sports games, concerts, and even lunch dates. 

The situation is arguably even more difficult for college freshmen, who already were forced to miss out on milestones like high school prom and graduation. While college presented an opportunity to make things right after a botched senior year of high school, many hopes were dashed when the majority of UT classes went online. Even so, freshmen students in the Canfield Business Honors continue to thrive, whether it be through applying and getting into (virtually-run) student organizations, taking advantage of peer mentor groups, or connecting with professors and administration. 

Sidd Shende, a Canfield BHP freshmen currently working from his home in Seattle, Washington, explains that, although he’s working from an entirely different time zone, the resources and community UT and Canfield BHP provide make online schooling the best it can be. 

“I like online schooling, especially given that I’m in Seattle. Honestly, I really like the way Canvas is set up with the whole to-do list and the way the assignments are (formatted),” he said. “I’m also really experiencing the whole community and I feel like a lot of (Canfield BHP) people I’m talking to are academically driven, but at the same time like-minded and ambitious, so I really connect with them.”

Other students feel similarly, especially after experiencing the Canfield BHP tradition of Leadership Kickoff. Jenna Chen, a freshman currently attending classes from her home in Plano, Texas, said she appreciated the effort administration and upperclassmen put into the event, referencing a virtual escape room that was one aspect of Leadership Kickoff.

“Even though we’re all physically separated, the amount of work they put into making virtual connections, like the escape room we did during Kickoff, is incredible. It was a really neat way to communicate and get to know our peers and how we all work in a team setting,” Jenna said. 

Jenna also said the efforts of her Canfield BHP peer mentor have improved her college experience. 

“I love my peer mentor. I think she’s amazing and she’s just so helpful in creating a very inclusive environment,” Jenna said. “One of my favorite things that we do in (Canfield) BHP is the thirty-minute conversations I have with my peer mentor and group after our BA101 class. Just being able to talk to my mentor and the people in it is about our thoughts gives it a real community vibe, even though I’m at home.”

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Alumni Spotlight: Omar Ochoa, Former UT Student Body President & Canfield BHP Alum

After coming to UT as a Canfield Business Honors student and becoming the first Mexican-American student to serve as student body president, Omar Ochoa continues to make waves as an alumnus by running his own law firm in his hometown of Edinburg, Texas. 

Omar graduated from UT Austin in 2007 with a Canfield Business Honors undergraduate degree and a Master’s in Professional Accounting (MPA). He later earned his JD from the UT School of Law, where he became the first Latino to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Texas Law Review. Looking back on his experiences at UT, Omar considers his time priceless.

“I always say that some of my fondest memories are from UT,” he said. “The campus life is second to none, the city of Austin is such a great place to be, and the university an enclave within Austin that’s very culturally diverse. Having such a big research university with a great athletic program, great student involvement, and lots of organizations to be a part of is just a very dynamic place where you can really learn who you are and find yourself.” Continue reading

Professor Spotlight: Dr. Shefali Patil (MAN 336H)

For both online and in-person classes, Dr. Shefali Patil takes the Canfield Business Honors management curriculum to the next level. Dr. Patil teaches Organizational Behavior (MAN 336H) where she employs her research on decision making and operating in high-risk environments. Her passion for research stemmed from her own honors program at NYU Stern, where she pursued research in her senior year.

After graduating from Stern, Dr. Patil earned her PhD at Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Patil said she wanted to continue her work at a research-driven university. 

“I wanted to start off my junior faculty years at a very strong research-based institution,” she said. “UT was definitely on my list and, luckily for me, they offered me a job.”

Throughout her six years at UT, Dr. Patil has examined various behavioral questions by working with over 15 U.S. law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Army, and emergency medical rescue/healthcare organizations. For the past three years, she has been a professor for Canfield BHP. While introductory management courses are often critiqued for being overly theory-driven, Dr. Patil goes above and beyond in her curriculum development. Continue reading

Five Ways to Prioritize Mental Health During Finals Season

Hero Image for Mental Health Post

Most students would agree that the end of a semester is a particularly hard time. Between last-minute assignments, final exams, and group project deadlines, it’s hard to stay sane, especially when coupled with quarantine. However, summer is just around the corner, and many Canfield BHP students have found ways to prioritize their mental health and stay motivated during finals season. Try out a few (or all!) of these tips and tricks to make the last couple weeks of school just a bit easier to manage.

1. Set a Schedule for Yourself
Many students have found that, because of quarantine, their routines and schedules have flown out the window. Now, more than ever, it’s difficult to focus on schoolwork and maintain the study habits that might be present while on campus. Canfield BHP junior Will Acheampong has found that structuring his days to be more like campus-life

“I know for myself it’s been tough to stay focused and on top of my work just because I’m at home with my parents and there are so many opportunities to not stay focused and really put in my best effort,” Will said. “I’ve been trying to structure my days in that I have certain hours I block off for classes and schoolwork and then other hours I have to do whatever I need to do for myself personally. By (doing this) I’ve been able to structure my life as I would if I had been at school.”

2. Prioritize Your Health and Wellness
This goes hand-in-hand with setting a schedule for yourself. Good nutrition and exercise habits are crucial for health, especially in times when the immune system might need to fight something. Canfield BHP junior Katelyn Anderson said a regular eating and exercise schedule has helped her manage life in quarantine.

“When this whole thing first started (during extended Spring Break), I kind of treated it as a big vacation.. there was no normalcy, no schedule,” she said. “I try to exercise and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the times where those should be eaten to make each day seem similar to the schedule that I had back when I was on campus.” Continue reading

Canfield BHP Alumni Kevin Curry Discusses His Entrepreneurial Journey

From management consulting to social media marketing to entrepreneurship, Canfield Business Honors Alumni Kevin Curry has a host of experiences under his belt. After graduating from UT Austin in 2004 with degrees in Canfield BHP, Management Information Systems, and Hispanic Studies, Kevin led a career that resulted in the creation of a fitness and nutrition blog unlike any other: Fit Men Cook

While Curry works solely for Fit Men Cook now, it was not always his main gig. The blog began as a side hustle– a way for Curry to document his eating habits and crowdsource ideas on how to live a healthy lifestyle. 

“I was at a point in my life where I really wanted to lose weight and I was tired of spending all this money on personal trainers. I realized that I was tripping up a lot more in the kitchen, so I went to Half Priced Books and bought every single book they had about nutrition and fitness and I just started to just consume the content,” he said. “The stuff that I learned from BHP kicked in– the hustle– and I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to pay for personal training, so maybe I can find a way to crowdsource my diet.’ The idea was to start up a blog and post every single meal I eat and to talk about my whole life transformation. It seemed like the perfect way to get the internet to tell me what to eat for free, but then the reverse happened.”  Continue reading