The 2014 McCombs Alumni Business Conference

Joel and I with President Powers. Hook 'em!
Joel and I with President Powers. Hook ’em!

Earlier this semester, my fellow MPA Council officer, Joel Hemmert, and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the McCombs Alumni Business Conference (#utbizconf) at the AT&T Conference Center.

At the conference, we got to listen to a number of speakers. The first one (and one of my personal favorites) was Raji Srinivasan, a professor in the Department of Marketing, discussing marketing in a complex world. I was particularly excited about this speaker because I have taken a few MIS classes about complexity theory and organizational survival in a complex world.

After a few more speakers, it was time for lunch, and Joel and I found ourselves as the power table. Seated with us were Tom Gilligan (Dean of the McCombs School of Business), Steve Patterson (UT Athletic Director), Admiral Bob Inman (LBJ Centennial Chair in National Policy), Bill Powers (President of the University of Texas), and Richard Fisher (President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas). We only ended up at this table because Mr. Fisher’s daughter was a Texas MPA, and he wanted to meet some current students. Lucky us!

It was fascinating hearing Dean Gilligan and President Powers addressing the conference on the state of McCombs and the university, because they provide a perspective rarely seen as a student at McCombs.

Mr. Fisher definitely stole the show, though. He gave a very impressive, humorous, and moving speech about the current state of the economy in Texas and the nation. Excerpts from his speech can be found here for those who are interested! Get excited, it’s bursting with fun facts.

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