BHP Finance Major Creates A Mobile Application To Increase Productivity

If you’ve ever wished for an easier way to organize and manage everything you need to get done then you are in luck because there’s an app for that; Cluster. CEO of Mobylsoft LLC and BHP student, Ram Anantharaman, created this iOS application. “Cluster is a productivity tool and visual planner,” said Ram. “It provides information that a simple to-do list cannot. It tells you what you should be working on right now, which is a question I was always asking myself as a student.”

Ram came up with the idea for Cluster as he attempted to juggle the chaotic schedule of a college student. “I came up with the concept out of pure need,” said Ram. “I turned to the App Store for help and as I went through the productivity options, I realized that most of them took a lot of time to enter tasks and then didn’t offer a good picture of how to complete those tasks.”

Since high school Ram has taken an interest in writing code and taught himself to do so, “I used online resources, like the Stanford lecture series and would spend eight hours at a time reading books and doing as much as I could to get my feet wet,” said Ram. “Writing code for apps is tangible. It’s a way that I can hold my creation in my own hand. I wanted to dive into the tech world and create something I myself could use. It’s a simple and beautiful way to have a startup and not spend a lot of time and money on it.”

Ram holds a high amount of confidence in his product and offers his consumers a personal money back guarantee, “I absolutely will give the customer their money back,” said Ram. “If the consumer feels that I’ve done an inadequate job making them more productive then I think that’s a problem and I’ll do anything to fix it whether it’s adding a new feature or giving their money back.” Cluster has been in the App Store for about six weeks and has over 150 downloads. Although only available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) currently, Windows phone, Windows 8 and Mac are in the future plans.

In the future, Ram would like to shift from selling straight to the consumer to working with businesses, “I would like to create a project management app for businesses with some of the interface from Cluster,” said Ram. “I think it’s a much more sustainable way to sell and make money. Also, I’m currently taking Operations Management right now and learning about supply chain management and I think I’m well equipped to create a project management application.”

Ram is projected to graduate next year and hopes to go into consulting, “I want to work for a consulting firm to build a better client network and leverage those skills to become a better entrepreneur,” said Ram.

BHP senior, Helen Tau, joins Texas Women’s Basketball as a walk-on

It is a rare occurrence to experience a dream come true, which is exactly how BHP senior Helen Tau describes becoming part of the Texas Women’s Basketball roster as a walk-on this year. Helen played basketball in high school and hoped to continue the sport into her college career. She tried out for the team as a freshman, but did not make the cut. Determined to keep basketball in her life, she applied to be a basketball manager for the women’s team every year until she filled the position last year as a junior. Helen was also the only female on the men’s practice squad, a team of players that did not make the team, but still come together to enjoy the sport and scrimmage against the university teams for practice.

It was during a scrimmage that Helen’s abilities were noticed. “The first thing that we noticed right off the bat was Helen’s commitment to our program,” said Karen Aston, head coach of the women’s basketball team “When she said she was going to do something, she followed through with it. Last year she served on a volunteer basis. Her commitment level was phenomenal based on the fact that she wasn’t receiving any benefits from the volunteer work.” (as quoted on

Helen could not be more thrilled to have the opportunity, “It’s completely a dream come true, and I never would have expected this to happen.” To some it may seem that making a drastic change during senior year may throw a student off kilter, but Helen is happy to adjust, “I plan my day around eating and sleeping at the right time so that I’m ready for practice. This is a once in a lifetime chance for me so I want to make the most of it. The physical exhaustion after practice makes doing homework challenging, it’s been a complete lifestyle change, but I’m learning how to find that balance.”

As a senior BHP and Finance major, Helen is grateful for the timing of this opportunity, “I think it’s a good thing it didn’t happen earlier because it would have conflicted with recruiting. It probably would have taken over my college career and I’m happy that I had time to do other things like my internships.”

Helen will suit up for the Texas Women’s Basketball team’s first game against UTSA this Sunday, November 10 at 2pm.


Internship Spotlight: Daniel Novotny – BHP Senior

Daniel Novotny, BHP senior, spent his summer at Ford Motor Company as a Marketing, Sales and Service Intern where he worked on the construction of a computer update to replace current paper forms and analyzed the Hispanic Market in California. During his internship, Daniel learned a lot about the automotive industry as well as entering the workforce in general.

What steps did you take to secure your internship?

I used OCR where I found an internship opportunity posted by Ford Motor Company. Since I was abroad, I was unable to apply through OCR and emailed my resume directly to the recruiter asking what I would need to do in the current situation. Within a week, he set up a Skype interview that included behavioral and industry questions lasting approximately 45 minutes. I was then offered the internship within a month of the interview.

What were the responsibilities for this role?

I was the Marketing, Sales and Service intern for the West Market Area housed in Irvine, CA and was tasked two main projects. The first project was the construction of a computer-based update that will eventually replace the current paper forms being used. With this information being located on an Excel spreadsheet we were able to analyze key aspects of a dealership facility in comparison to a forecasted guide to figure out if any correlations with customer satisfaction can be obtained.

The second and most interesting project was the analysis of the Hispanic market within California. With this task, I had free rein to analyze sales data collected in the last ten years within the automotive industry in order to figure out trends in the market and understand what opportunities can be found to help increase Ford’s market share within the population.

Describe the culture within the organization.

There was an amazing sense of teamwork. Everyone that was in my office is the expert in a certain area of the industry and I was always able to find someone willing to help. In turn, I was able to understand each piece of the automotive industry including how sales, service, Ford Credit, and marketing combine to create a successful organization. My coworkers respected each other’s expertise and create a fun and enjoyable atmosphere, while producing top-notch results. The “work-hard, play-hard” attitude was apparent and I was glad to go to work knowing I would have good laughs throughout the day.

What was the most surprising or unexpected during your experience?

Going into the automotive industry and Ford specifically, I did not know the complexities that come with selling a car. The studies that go on within this industry surprise me and I was excited by the amount of data collected to study the market for decision-making. From financing, to the color of a car, it was amazing to see how many little things becomes part of the package. When someone purchases a vehicle, a warranty is given, with a specific financing package, and service plan. Each of these aspects has intense studies so the right combination is produced to provide the best overall car package. The policies and industry norms at each of these steps creates even more complexities that I never understood until I began my internship.

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

Ask questions! Although you will be assigned a supervisor and working in a certain department, it is important to understand how your piece is a part of the overall puzzle. I believe the most important things I learned this summer did not come from the task I was assigned, but from the 30-minute one-on-one sessions I had with individuals in my office. I was able to pick their brain and they, in turn, asked me questions that reinforced what I wanted to gain from the internship. By establishing relationships early on, I was able to create a welcoming environment and gained a lot of wisdom from those who have been in the business their whole career.

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

The Business Honors classes I have taken were definitely applicable during my internship. I am glad that I paid attention during my statistics classes and Dr. Konana’s Intro to Information Technology class because the amount of Excel I used during this internship was amazing. I feel like 50 percent of my time was spent in Excel creating reports with Pivot Tables and VLookups for my bosses. I’m glad I enjoyed working with spreadsheets and data as much as I do. The Business Honors Program has done an amazing job overall in preparing me to overcome challenges independently and think creatively when given tasks. I felt well prepared when I began my internship and believe I impressed my colleagues during my experience.

How Ford Motor Company ensure you got the most out of your internship experience?

The Ford Motor Company did a good job of asking me what I wanted to gain from my experience working with them. They understood that I was interviewing them just as much as they were interviewing me over the course of the 10-weeks and allowed me to share my short-term and long-term goals. They then found someone in the office that might be able to share their experiences and give me tips on how to help achieve these goals. For example, I am interested in working abroad and was given the opportunity to speak with the West Market Area General Manager who has worked in Brazil and Thailand over the course of his time at Ford.

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

This internship taught me to have fun with what I do, whom I interact with and the environment I create for myself. I have realized the importance of asking questions and understand you can accomplish more when you get involved in a team that has clearly defined tasks. The collaboration I saw throughout my organization opened my eyes to the potential a group of people hold when tackling a task.



Student Profile: Elise Loney – HBA President

BHP junior, Elise Loney, found her niche in the Honors Business Association (HBA) during her first year at UT. She has taken on numerous leadership roles within the organization, all leading up to her current title as President.

Why did you choose to come to UT?

Growing up in Lawrence, Kansas, I had always imagined I’d leave home for college. I applied to UT because of McCombs and its reputation as one of the best undergraduate business programs in the nation, and I was accepted into the BHP. I actually never thought I’d end up in Texas, but when my mom and I came down for Discover BHP, it only took five minutes of walking around campus before I turned to her and said, “This is where I belong.” I knew I had to be a Longhorn. I joke that it broke my dad’s heart I wasn’t going to be a KU Jayhawk, but in all actuality, my entire family has been incredibly supportive of my leaving the Sunflower State for the Lone Star State.

What is HBA?

The Honors Business Association is a student organization to which all BHP students belong. It provides opportunities for students to get together in a more social atmosphere and builds a real community base for the BHP. In addition to social events, students are given the chance to interact with professors in a setting that isn’t the classroom, and meet with a variety of company sponsors. McCombs students are told to join one professional group, one social group and one academic group during their time at UT; HBA is really all three in one.

How did you become involved in HBA?

I fell for HBA hard and fast. I heard a lot about it at Leadership Kickoff my freshman year, and all it took was one General Meeting for me to become hooked. I applied and was accepted onto the Communications Committee early in the semester, and completely threw myself into the responsibilities. It wasn’t long before I was known as the girl who stuck a camera in your face at every HBA event, and I couldn’t have been happier with the experiences I was having as an active member of the organization.

How have you continued to stay active in HBA?

My sophomore year, I became Vice President of the Communications Committee. I wanted to make Communications a more prominent part of HBA and to provide ways for members to learn the less obvious facts about each other. The results were fun activities, such as polls in the newsletter asking questions like “What is your most irrational fear?” and a game we call “HBAby,” where we collected baby photos from members and challenged others to guess the BHPerson.

I noticed there wasn’t much BHP apparel available to students. The only thing most students had was the BHP t-shirt that everyone gets after entering the program. I wanted to offer students another way to display their pride in BHP, so I designed a BHP sweatshirt to be sold to anyone in the program. They were a huge success, and all proceeds went right back into HBA.

Now, as a junior, I’m President of HBA. I eat, breathe, and live HBA all of the time, and I love it. As President, I attend a lot of meetings and take on responsibilities required to maintain HBA’s status of a McCombs affiliated organization. I also work with HBA’s Exec VPs, helping where they need it and doing what I can to delegate and make sure things run smoothly. HBA has given me so much during my time here at UT, and all I want is to give back in the best way I can.

What types of events does HBA put on?

For Academics, we have DWAPs (Dinner With a Professor) and PHITs (Professors Have Interests, Too), allowing students and faculty to get to know each other more personally. Financial and Corporate Relations work tirelessly to organize our annual Company Field Trip to an exciting location every year, giving students the opportunity to network with companies and alumni in the area. Philanthropy provides HBA members with ways to give back to the community through things such as Junior Achievement and Urban Roots, and Alumni works to host events that feature BHP alumni who can offer guidance and share real-life experiences with our members. Communications works endlessly to support the sense of community amongst HBAers, and Social is always finding ways for us to simply have fun, whether it be through playing broomball or hosting a formal at the end of each semester.

With no dues involved, everything is free to our member. Students are able to be involved to whatever extent they choose. HBA handles all the logistics, and the only things they have to do is sign up for the event, show up, and have fun.

What have you gained by being part of HBA?

There’s never a dull moment when you’re completely invested in something like HBA. Everything is always exciting and every week there are a variety of opportunities to get involved and have a great time. I definitely can’t imagine what my time would have been like at UT if I weren’t part of HBA.

During the Company Field Trip to Atlanta last year, we visited Coca-Cola and I had the chance to submit my application directly to their University Talent Program. Thanks to that, I got an interview, which lead to an internship, which resulted in a return offer that I accepted for this next summer.

HBA has given me so much. Through this organization, I’ve met some of my closest friends, I get a free meal every other Tuesday night, and I even found a job. I truly don’t know what more I could ask for.

What advice would you offer BHP students?

As HBA President, I can’t help but urge everyone to be as involved as they possibly can with the organization. On a more general note, though, I can only say this: if you try your hardest, it’s all going to work out. Trust me. You may be stressing about a million things, but if you care and your passion is there, just be patient and keep moving forward. In time you’re going to realize that it’s all turned out just fine.

Internship Spotlight: Courtney Brindle – BHP Senior

Courtney Brindle spent her summer interning with PepsiCo in the Frito-Lay Supply Chain division. She ended up having an opportunity to learn more about the tie between corporate strategy and social responsibility through her involvement with Food for Good. Find out more about Courtney’s experience at PepsiCo and what she learned during her internship.

Company: PepsiCo

Title: Supply Chain Intern



What steps did you take to secure your internship?

I spoke with people I knew who worked there to get a feel for the company and the process. I then met recruiters at the Career Expo and talked with them for a while. I left my resume with them after the conversation, they called me in for an interview, and the rest is history.

What were the responsibilities for this role?

Although Frito-Lay Supply Chain hired me, I worked mostly with a social business group that is part of PepsiCo called Food for Good. As part of this team, I had many responsibilities including routing trucks, keeping track of data, building models, designing processes and researching, and recommending directions for the group. I did work a few weeks in FLNA Supply Chain, and there I did mostly data analysis to find streamlining opportunities to increase efficiency.

Describe the culture within the organization.

The people at PepsiCo are truly one of its best assets. Everyone is not only very competent, but also friendly and helpful. Family is very important at PepsiCo, as is work-life balance. But at the end of the day, everyone knows that if something needs to be done at work, your team will stay until it is finished. That’s how they stay at the top!

What was most surprising or unexpected during your experience?

I was surprised at the ease with which I could interact with senior leadership. They were open to one-on-ones and I heard from many of them throughout the summer.

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

If you ever feel “bored,” find something you can do of value. Ask your manager or your team for a project – the more you take on, the more you learn. Also take the time to talk to the other interns and people in the company.

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

The BHP has been useful because the students and professors in each class have challenged me. The students in BHP make you think both quickly and outside the box, and the discussion in classes has made public speaking become second nature. I didn’t know just how much BHP pushed me until this summer. I was able to handle important work, take on a large amount of responsibility, gain trust, and give presentations to executives with confidence.

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

I was lucky in that I was able to see different aspects of a business. I was able to see a small, start-up kind of business with Food for Good, and everything that went along with that. I was also able to sit in on meetings, work with real data and drive real results for the larger organization of Frito-Lay.

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

I have learned that two of the main keys to happiness in a career are the value you feel you add to the organization and the people with which you work.