Student Spotlight: Humza Tariq

Humza Tariq, BHP

BHP Junior, Humza Tariq, is the founder and president of the Texas Sports Analytics Group and co-chair for both the Texas Undergraduate Investment Team and the BHP Ethics Board. While balancing three internships, he has received University Honors for the past two years and is a Distinguished College Scholar.

You created your own student organization, Texas Sports Analytics. Can you tell us your motivation behind this?
Growing up, I really loved math, statistics, and sports. In high school, I read countless sports statistics blogs and saw different ways of looking at sports. When I came to UT, I spent the first two years thinking it would be great if there was a group on campus that was dedicated to doing research on sports through a statistical lens.

No similar organization existed to my knowledge, so I finally got the courage to start one with a couple of my friends. We then started to notice a large amount of job postings on social media sites for NBA teams for jobs that combined sports and data analytics. The ultimate goal for this group is to serve as a recruiting pipeline for students interested in working for large teams in the NFL and NBA, and hopefully in the future expand to golf and tennis leagues.

What have you learned from your various internships?
I have interned with a real estate company, a local private equity firm, and an investment bank. Through my experience, I have gained new skills and sharpened others. All of the internships have taught me about being an adult in the workforce and having to go to work every morning. They teach you to manage your time wisely when you are put on several projects that have deadlines around the same time. And, they give you an insight to certain sectors that you may or may not be passionate about. Overall, I recommend that every student at McCombs intern as much as possible, because it is really valuable.

How do you manage your schedule and excel academically and professionally?
Managing my collegiate schedule was tough at first—trying to balance class, studying, and extracurricular activities. It is necessary that everyone find their way to stay organized and keep up with assignments. I personally spend one day a week to get as much done as possible. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday, I will wake up a couple of hours early, study hard, and then I am set for the rest of the weekend and able to study normally during the week.

Budgeting time is also important. Be honest and realistic with yourself about how much time something will take. I plan out all important dates and assignments in a planner, but a personal trick I have found useful is texting myself things I need to do and leaving them as unread messages until they are completed.

Beyond academic and professional development, what else do you find important as a college student?
In the next few years I want to give back as much as I can. I want to having a prospective on the bigger things. It’s easy in the business school to get wrapped up in careers and jobs. It is nice to be driven and motivated, but you should never let it get in the way of friendships or having a prospective of what is going on in the world.  Sometimes you are so wrapped up that you forget what is around you and those less-fortunate.  I encourage my peers to see what one can do to help out the Austin community. I am working towards achieving this and I think we should all keep this in mind as students. It’s important to stay grounded and humble in all you do, no matter your level of success.

What do you want to do when you graduate? What are your future aspirations?
I always enjoy keeping my options open and having an open mind when it comes to career decisions. Outside of work, I am interested in non-profits, specifically in social finance—investing in businesses that do social good. I want to do some good in the world. If there is a way to incorporate finance, I think that would be really interesting.

Student Spotlight: Catherine King – HBA President

Catherine King - BHP student

BHP Senior, Catherine King, is the current president of the Honors Business Association. Catherine is majoring in BHP and MIS. This past summer, she interned for Shell Oil Company and is excited to announce she has three full-time offers from prominent oil and gas firms in the field of Management Information Systems.

Why did you choose UT and specifically the BHP program?
I was applying to colleges all over the nation hoping to leave Texas to try something new. I found out about BHP, applied, and was accepted. After touring the BHP program office and sitting in a couple of classes, I felt that it was more of a community than any of the other campuses I had visited. I could just tell that students were in a very collaborative and positive environment rather than an environment where students pit themselves against each other.

I am from Austin and I thought it would be too much of the same. I was happy to see that the campus is a completely different environment than Austin itself. All of my childhood friends went to different universities so it was not like a repeat of high school. It was a completely new experience, and I found a great community in BHP, which is also why I joined HBA.

What advice would you give to any students interested in MIS?
I think people fear MIS because they think it is all programming, but it is not. We connect the end user and the programmer to ensure that functionality and end user goals are met. It is all about communication and knowing how the technical people do what they do. If you can communicate well and are interested in technology, MIS is for you.

What enticed you to become a member of the Honors Business Association?
I joined Delta Gamma sorority right before freshman year began. I realized that organizations make the campus smaller and with Delta Gamma I had the social side, but I wanted an academic organization as well.

Honors Business Association was able to fulfill my need to be part of an extended academic community. I attended the first meeting for the free food and heard the president and executive members give an overview of HBA. They all were so funny and light-hearted. I didn’t expect that from an organization in the UT business school. It had the perfect balance of professionalism and fun.

I quickly realized that HBA makes you a very well rounded student. We are not just academic, but we are also philanthropic. We have academic events with professors. You can visit their homes, dine at restaurants, or play golf with them to get to know them on a more personal level. We also have networking events, socials, and formals to enhance your academic pursuits. HBA gives you an overall experience in Austin and BHP.

As President, what do you plan to do differently with HBA?
What we have been doing the last couple of years works well, but my executive members have had some new initiatives that we are committed to starting. We created a buddy program that pairs a new freshman with a sophomore buddy. We started recycling at meetings. And that is only the beginning. Small, yet strategic, enhancements to our current activities and initiatives will make a big difference and will make our organization more effective.

What keeps a member actively involved in HBA?
People who get involved in the beginning find those 30 members you become really good friends with. They go to all the meetings and events. If you want that close set of friends, you can find them in HBA and continue with them throughout your career at UT. If you are looking for that sense of community and haven’t found it outside of the business school, HBA is always a home to the BHP students and I think everyone that is active or inactive feels that,they are always welcome.

BHP Freshman Pioneers Innovative High School Tutoring Program

AnishaS

BHP freshman, Anisha Srivastava, started a unique mentoring program this year called Project Activate. The program is designed to bring college students and high school students together for tutoring. A group of UT freshmen including students from BHP and Plan II honors will be selected each year to pair with a group of high school freshmen at local Austin high schools. Each high school student in the program will receive one-on-one tutoring from a UT student in five subjects including: algebra, biology, English, geography and geometry.

The program officially launched on March 19 with a group of high school students that were recommended for the program by their teachers. “It’s started smaller than we hoped with nine high school students total, but I’m so happy to get started even if it is a smaller start than we hoped for,” said Anisha. “Despite the small group, it went really well. The students reacted so positively and I think we’re really going to have some great results!”

Anisha hopes her program will go beyond just tutoring, “I want to make this program different from other tutoring programs by adding a mentoring aspect,” she said. “The tutor and high school student will progress through their four years together, all the way through to graduation.” She is hopeful that the narrow age gap between tutors and students will prove effective. “We just went through this process of learning the material and we remember having to make the same connections they’re having to make right now to make the material make sense,” said Anisha. “In addition to teaching the material, the tutors are teaching them how to learn something.”

The idea behind Project Activate is to activate the potential in students. The big focus for Anisha is on activating intellectual interest, goals, career aspirations and creative thought. “The idea that you can succeed,” she said.

The idea for Project Activate stemmed from a non-profit organization Anisha co-founded with her twin brother, Arjun Srivastava who is also a Plan II Honors student studying business and pre-med. The duo started goMAD (Make A Difference) during high school in Allen, TX. This organization raised $10K in its first year for a home in India that cares for 40 HIV positive children. “Fundraising for an international cause started to feel impersonal,” said Anisha. “So, Project Activate is my way of expanding the idea of goMAD by practicing philanthropy at the local level.”

Success of the program has already spread to other school in the Ausitn Independent School District; Anisha recently met with another local high school interested in implementing the program at their school.

Looking ahead to the future of Project Activate, Anisha hopes to continue to recruit BHP and Plan II freshmen to grow the program and connect with more high school students, “MY BHP peers are some of the brightest and most passionate people I have ever met,” said Anisha. “I know that each BHP student involved in Project Activate will go above and beyond to help the high school students achieve their absolute best.”

BHP and Plan II students interested in getting involved with Project Activate should email Anisha directly to discuss the program.

 

 

 

Junior Bradley Roofner Pursues Passion for Entrepreneurship

HatTee_logoWithin two weeks of starting at UT, BHP junior, Bradley Roofner, partnered with his roommate and Computer Science junior, Logan Brown, and co-founded HatTee, a company that sells golf caps that hold tees. Three years later the duo has taken full advantage of the entrepreneurial opportunities Austin and UT have to offer, increasing sales tenfold in under a year.

Roofner and Logan started their sales on campus, “We designed and ordered our own hats online and added the tee holsters ourselves,” said Roofner. “We began selling the hats to fraternities and sororities. We sold a lot of hats pretty quickly.”

The real turning point for their company came just five short months later when they showed their product in the PGA Merchandise Show in Miami, FL, one of the top shows for equipment manufacturers and people in the golf industry to launch their products for the year. “As college students we were able to approach it very humbly,” said Roofner. “We wore suits instead of the normal khaki pants and polo. People took interest in wanting to hear about our product.” It was at the merchandise show that Roofner and Brown met a majority of their current connections, including a contact based out of Thailand who coordinates the supply chain management of the product overseas.

Their success has not come without challenges, “Everybody has more grey hair than you,” said Roofner. “Being able to communicate on the same level and have credibility has been the most difficult part with each step of the company.”  Roofner found McCombs staff to be helpful during this process. John Butler, Director of The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, reached out to Roofner and helped create the HatTee business plan. BHP marketing professor, Leigh McAlister also offered guidance, “She gave me some great advice to go after the higher clientele and not to lower our prices so we could offer a premium product,” said Roofner.

Bradley

Bradley Roofner (right) with co-founder and partner, Logan Brown. Photo credit: The Daily Texan

HatTee now works mainly with large companies, supplying promotional items for their client’s shareholders and investors. The company also sponsors various golf tournaments and charity events offering their product as giveaway gifts.

As for the future, Roofner and Logan are currently talking with potential buyers of the patent. While they have enjoyed growing their company and learned many valuable lessons along the way, Roofner would like to see the HatTee brand taken further, “We see the future of the product as one that can be most successful when it reaches the average golfer. We aren’t the best company to make that happen, we lack the brand presence and marketing force to bring the idea to the masses,” said Roofner.

They hope the right buyer could take their product the rest of the way there. Regardless of what happens to the product, it was a great learning experience for Roofner and affirmed his passion for entrepreneurship.

 

 

Internship Spotlight: Michael Valdez – BHP Junior

BHP junior, Michael Valdez, knew beginning his freshman year that he wanted to do an internship with Google. Starting the search for an internship early paid off when Michael was offered an intern position at the Google headquarters in Mount View, California. Michaels tells how his initial plans were to continue on to law school, but after a summer in Silicon Valley, life as a Googler may prove more persuasive.

Location: Mt. View, CA

Title: BOLD (Building Opportunities in Leadership Development) Intern

What steps did you take to secure your internship?

I started the summer after my freshman year. I participated in BOLD Immersion, where Google invites college freshmen to their headquarters to meet and greets to feel you out and get to know you. I applied for the BOLD Internship that following November. This specific internship has an expedited application process; there are no essays, but a lot of interviews. I knew exactly what team I wanted to be a part of so I made sure I did a lot of research and prepared for every interview.

What were the responsibilities for this role?

I worked with the Google Grants Team, which donates AdWords to non-profit organizations. My role was to use statistics to help the team out and look at the program as a whole. I used a lot of statistics, data analysis and Excel.

Describe the culture within the organization.

Unique. The biggest part was the transparency, being open and honest with both Google users and employees. We made a dedicated effort to allow employees to be open and give feedback. There wasn’t any sort of Ivory Tower feeling. My boss worked on the ground floor. I had access to my manager and my manager’s manager. I was able to meet and have lunch with the VP and SVP of my department. There are no closed-door offices; the people were welcoming and easy to talk to.

What was most surprising or unexpected thing you experienced?

It was better than college. I honestly didn’t think any job would be better than college. Google had a college vibe with free food and transportation. Employees even call the workplace “campus.”

What advice would you offer your peers in the Honors Program about getting the most out of an internship?

It’s most important to be assertive in meeting people when you get there. I would constantly try to set up lunch and coffee appointments with people within Google. Not just recruiters, but people in other departments too. Go out and just really enjoy your experience. Don’t just get to know the people in your area and pigeon-hole yourself. Silicon Valley is especially open to that type of culture.

How did you find classes in the Business Honors Program to be applicable during your internship?

A lot of things I was doing I realized — wow, I just took a final on this six weeks ago. I used a lot of things I learned in Statistics 371H such as regression analysis, data analysis. Really just math in general was useful. Professor Kumar was awesome. He did a good job of getting that material drilled into our heads and really making sure we were ready to take on these roles.

How did this organization ensure you got the most out of your internship experience?

Google pulled out all of the stops. You’re assigned to a mentor that has nothing to do with your job, just to help integrate you into the Google community and show you around. Then you have a manager that sets your objectives and helps you with what you need to do your job. I met with my manager day-to-day and discussed my OKR objectives and key results. Interns are also grouped into a BOLD Team, which sets up classes for you to go to weekly and listen to executive speakers. There were tons of events put on for BOLD interns.

How did this internship affect or influence your future career?

Right now my major is Management Information Systems (MIS) and my original plan was to continue on to law school. However, after my experience in the tech world I now realizeI’m not going to law school. I feel really good about my tech skills, like coding. Google is really good about getting you comfortable around technology and keeping you confident in knowing what you’re doing. I really like the tech world and I really like Silicon Valley. I hope to go back next summer.

What are the most valuable lessons you gained from this internship?

Communication is probably the best means of advancing yourself in your internship no matter what you’re doing. Communicating with your team about what you’re doing and being collaborative is the key to success. Being able to create well-written emails is so important to an internship or really any job. It’s not about your area of expertise, but how well you’re able to communicate those findings.