BHP MIS Professors Bond with Students at Annual Dinner Event

This week, BHP freshmen went to Clay Pit Indian Contemporary Cuisine for the annual, and much anticipated, MIS Dinner with a Professor, with professors Ashish Agarwal and Prabhudev Konana. The dinner started with Mango Lassis and Samosa for all, while Dr. Konana and Dr. Agarwal underwent the enormous task of ordering food for everyone at the table, family style. Students feasted on Naan, Biriyani and even some lesser known Indian cuisine like Dhingri Mattar Paneer and Channa Saag.

Student were delighted to listen to interesting conversation about the professors’ personal life, advice and insights.

BHP freshman, Josh De Anda, says, “Dr. Konana talked about the value of a math or economics background in business, cultural differences he’s seen, and the state of American higher education.”

Specifically, Dr. Konana explain how so many top traders and bankers have backgrounds in economics and math since these fields are the building blocks for the kind of financial modeling that they do. He discussed how he incorporates those concepts into his course for that reason, to give BHP students a leg up.

Dr. Agarwal spoke about his favorite music, hobbies, adolescence and schooling, as well as his philosophy on teaching. Students compared their favorite Guns and Roses and Led Zeppelin songs with Dr. Agarwal, as well as opinions on cold vs. warm calling.

It was a great night full of learning and laughs and at the end the students surprised the professors with a  card thanking them and expressing how wonderful they thought the event was! Dinners with a Professor are organized by the Honors Business Association, and supported by BHP fundraising efforts.

BHP Students Honored for Leadership and Service to McCombs

Congratulations to all of the students recognized at the McCombs Honors Convocation this past Friday. Here is a list of the BHP students who received awards at the event. In addition to these individuals, we were proud to honor many of you for your outstanding scholastic achievements, and want to congratulate all business students and organizations who were honored with an award this year.

McCombs BBA/MPA Alumni Advisory Board Award
Rising Star Leadership Award – Sai Yeluru

This award is presented to a graduating McCombs undergraduate or MPA student who has proven an established commitment to service within the McCombs School through outstanding scholarship and achievements, as well as exemplary leadership and community involvement. The recipient demonstrates significant growth potential as a future leader in the McCombs community.

BHP Award
Conrad Doenges Award – Sai Yeluru

This award is given to a Business Honors senior, who in the judgment of their peers and the BHP faculty and staff, have distinguished themselves in academics and leadership.

Undergraduate Business Council Awards

George Mitchell Business Leadership Award – This award recognizes students who have exhibited strong leadership within the McCombs School. There are two winners per class.

Freshmen – Nivva Emmi

Sophomores – Siji Deleawe, Daniel Madden

Juniors – Daniel Miyares, Megan Tran-Olmsted

Barbara Jordan Business Leadership Award – This award recognizes seniors who have been committed to leaving a legacy of mentorship, leadership and passion at the McCombs School. There are two students selected each year for this award.

Seniors – Mackenzie Moore, Eric Saldanha

Texas BBA Program Awards

BBA Outstanding Service and Leadership Awards – Erika Rodrigues, Jon Burstain, Rakshana Govindarajan, Mackenzie Moore, Aasim Maknojia, Kenny Young, Kobi Nasesk, and Callie Blumenfeld


McCombs Teams Dominate at National and International Case Competitions

Ashley Akin, Swetha Davuluru, Anushka Madhuvarshi, and Rebecca Ortiz

This past weekend, McCombs sent a team comprised of four BHP sophomores, Ashley Akin, Anushka Madhuvarshi, Swetha Davuluru and Rebecca Ortiz to the University of Washington Global Business Case Competition in Seattle. The competition featured a short and long case. The UT Austin McCombs Team won their bracket for the short case and took second place for the long case.

Twelve teams from around the world competed at the event. The competitors included American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Peking University (China), Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (Ecuador), Thammasat University (Thailand), Universidad Panamericana (Mexico), University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), University of Sydney (Australia), Western University (Canada), University of Arizona and University of Washington. The long case focused on global expansion for Amazon Web Services. The winning team was Thammasat University, but Texas was a close second.

“We were so much more invested in the product of our work because we had a whole week of bonding with the other participants,” said Rebecca Ortiz. “It was humbling to hear the experiences that led each international team to Seattle, and to present to a full auditorium about a case that particularly challenged us. When selecting the countries for our solution, we had to consider so many factors, yet create a cohesive strategy and story. The fact that there were no overlapping countries presented by the four finalists really shows the diversity of thought we saw during the week.”

Also this month, the USC Value Investing Group hosted its third annual USC Stock Pitch Competition and two UT teams took home first and second place. Twenty teams from across the country competed. Eric Sun (BHP sophomore), Nick Marchenko (BHP freshman), Dhruv Dhuper (BBA freshman), Joseph Buschmann (BBA senior), and Bryan Goh (BBA junior) took first place. They are all members of the University Securities Investment Team, a group which also financed their travel to the competition. Daniel Chen (BHP Senior), Michael Everett (BHP junior), Jackie Ye (BHP junior), and Reese Davis (BHP junior) took second place at the event.

“Competing at USC was an amazing experience,” said Eric Sun. “We got to meet a lot of students from around the country and watched some amazing stock pitches. Given the caliber of everyone there, we were shocked and ecstatic when we made it into the finals and even more so when we won! I definitely learned a lot from this experience and know more about the economics of the international tobacco market than I ever thought I would.”

Congratulations to all of these students on these impressive wins!

Eric Sun, Nick Marchenko, Dhruv Dhuper, Joseph Buschmann, and Bryan Goh

BHP Teams Take Home Top Honors at Case Competitions

Phoebe Lin, Ananya Rajesh, Catherine Cheng, and Megan Tran-Olmsted

A team of four BHP students took second place at the William & Mary National Stock Pitch and Leadership Summit this past weekend. Phoebe Lin (junior), Megan Tran-Olmsted (junior), Ananya Rajesh (sophomore), and Catherine Cheng (sophomore) competed against 16 teams from across the world. All teams were required to pitch a long thesis on a publicly traded stock. The McCombs team pitched on EnPro Industries (NYSE: NPO), and took second place, behind the University of Sydney.

This was UT Austin’s first time attending the competition, which is one of the only competitions of its kind. The team was thrilled to win second place. “The most rewarding part of attending national stock competitions is having the chance to interact with students interested in investing across the nation. This time around, we had the opportunity to speak to teams from across the globe – that aspect was really cool,” said Tran-Olmsted.

Another team comprised of four BHP juniors participated in the Berkeley Investment Conference this month, a stock pitch competition. The team took first place, competing against 10 other teams, from schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Washington University in St. Louis, Virginia and Cal-Berkeley. Reese Davis, Michael Everett, Karna Venkatraj, and Jackie Ye learned a great deal from the experience. “It was really exciting to network with students from around the country, as well as getting to pitch to notable industry professionals and esteemed academics who offered insightful feedback on our investment idea,” said Venkatraj.

Congratulations to both teams, and thank you to BHP alumni who help support student travel to case competitions such as these by giving to the BHP Excellence Fund.

Karna Venkatraj, Jackie Ye, Michael Everett, and Reese Davis

Meet the Board – Part 3: Rachel Silverstein, Chris Crump, Joe Shields

This is the third of a series of posts we will be doing dedicated to introducing you to our BHP Advisory Board. The BHP Advisory Board is comprised of around 20 alumni representing a mix of class years, occupations and locations. The mission of the board is to drive continued excellence of the BHP and development of leaders through advocacy, connection, and engagement. The board will be ambassadors for the program in their communities, support fundraising objectives, and assist with recruiting the top students in the nation to the program. Board terms are two years. We greatly appreciate the service of these alumni to BHP!

Rachel (Robinson) Silverstein, BHP 2010, started her career in corporate finance at large public companies such as Dell and American Express. The large company experience gave her a great foundation and the opportunity to live in new places like New York City and Singapore. Luckily, she found her way back to Austin a few years ago where she has been leading financial planning at Snap Kitchen, a healthy food start-up. At Snap Kitchen, she has learned that she thrives in a high-growth environment where she can have a direct impact on the company’s future success. She also enjoys being back in Austin as it has allowed her to get more involved with the university and with BHP.

Chris Crump spent 22 years at Accenture, 12 of those as a partner in their Strategy practice. After preaching change management to clients, he decided it was time for a change himself, so he took a sabbatical with no plan. This time away has given Chris the opportunity to experience opportunities that might not have happened without pushing back from the corporate world.  For example, Chris’ current adventure is a one year program at Harvard University called “The Advanced Leadership Initiative.”  This program is designed to prepare experienced leaders to take on new challenges in the social sector with the goal of making a greater societal impact than they perhaps did in their working careers.  With greater appreciation for pressing topics such as climate change, health care, inequality, and education, Chris will leave the program ready to apply his learnings for positive change starting in 2019.

Joe Shields works for McCombs Enterprises in San Antonio, where he’s primarily involved in the operations of Red McCombs Automotive, comprised of six car dealerships and ancillary businesses.  Joe focuses on the group’s marketing efforts and business strategy.  In addition, he helps in the management of oil and gas operations through McCombs Energy, real estate development through McCombs Properties, and private equity investments through McCombs Partners.  Between graduating from UT and moving back to San Antonio, Joe worked in Austin for the Circuit of The Americas, a McCombs Partners investment, as the Track Rental Coordinator.

Applications for the BHP Advisory Board are accepted once a year in the Spring. If you have feedback for our current board, please reach out to our board chair, Michael Daehne.