Mays MasterCast
Not Just an Individual Contributor with Ryan Staples

Not Just an Individual Contributor with Ryan Staples

May 16, 2022

From a B.S. in Biology to an MBA in Business Administration, Ryan Staples shares with Ben the evolution in his academic career and his motivation to influence others in the business realm. Enhancing his grit and determination, Ryan works as a buyer for Ford Motor Company and runs his own non-profit organization, Her Mighty Hands. 

Ryan and Ben sit down to speak about the importance of working with a team. Ryan emphasizes communication, a vital skill in his life today, and its hand in benefiting a team, both in his case competition and professional career.

Doing the right thing is not always an easy thing to do, and Ryan discusses his personal hardships in becoming an empathetic person. His grit and resilience have pushed him to be successful in communicating with others who have struggled with similar experiences, and they continue to motivate him to drive his nonprofit organization far beyond its limits.

Be a Buffalo with Will Hayes

Be a Buffalo with Will Hayes

May 2, 2022

William R. Hayes, an adopted Aggie, certified financial planner, and founder of 1 Million Cups, sits down with Ben to talk about his journey to Texas A&M and his life since first stepping foot in Aggieland. From falling in love, to the wonders of the TAMU Mays career fair, Will’s faith in opportunity led him to become a part of the Aggie family. 

Will’s access to the Aggie culture included the Aggie’s understanding of the importance of relationships and their willingness to go out of their way, and it is what led him to his ventures with Northwestern Mutual. Will discusses his opportunity to help others, both in the financial realm and connection, to become a “buffalo” in the world of business. 

Already four years running strong, just like the coffee, 1 Million Cups serves to connect individuals over one million cups of coffee. Ben, an avid 1MC-goer, shares his biggest takeaways from the program, what it’s like and what you gain from the business world’s front porch.

Level-Up with Travis Richards

Level-Up with Travis Richards

April 18, 2022

From Mays Business School to civil engineering, to the U.S. Air Force, and to Catco, Travis redefines opportunity and growth. He has leveled-up from beginning to now, and with a not-so-ordinary jumpstart in the family business, Travis sits down with Ben to share his journey to Catco. 

With his appetite to grow, Travis found the importance in taking risks and finding new resources to stay “Getting Better at Business.” Travis exceedingly saw the need for more creativity and a better way to do things, leading him to now be the CEO and owner of Catco. 

By finding the significance between CEO and entrepreneur, Travis notes his best resources: peer-groups, mentors, and dividing time to learn, help, and teach. Travis and Ben emphasize the importance of bouncing off other’s knowledge and wisdom to ultimately grow your business and team you would want to go through the trenches with.

Life Happens For You with Mukund Josyula and Joaquin Lugo

Life Happens For You with Mukund Josyula and Joaquin Lugo

April 4, 2022

MJ and Joaquin sit down with Ben to discuss their individual challenges and motivations, and how they have impacted who they are today. Above all else, their family background, environment and their friendship has proven to shape each of their mindsets. 

As both freshman undergraduate students, MJ and Joaquin elaborate on their personal and professional hopes and desires, and how the natural environment of Aggieland has encouraged their growth in both business and academia. 

MJ and Joaquin are no strangers to sacrifice and transition, yet their faith in Mays continues to grow as they define success for themselves yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Life is full of Hires & Fires with Tony Brown

Life is full of Hires & Fires with Tony Brown

March 14, 2022

How do you find Jobs to be Done? 

From working in construction, to project management, and now to facility manager, Tony Brown has applied the Jobs to be Done Theory to get to where he is now. 

Jobs to be Done opens paths and doors to opportunities for service. Within the three-part theory, Tony and Ben discuss the “hires” and “fires” that lie within evolution to revolution, and measuring ideas for optimal data.

Tony touches on using Jobs to be Done in everyday life: making impacts in communities and constantly finding the ‘why’.

A Win for Brazos Valley with Matt Prochaska

A Win for Brazos Valley with Matt Prochaska

February 28, 2022

How do we grow as a community and keep College Station golden? 

Matt has been on both sides of the spectrum of an economic development corporation. Ultimately, economic development corporations help communities grow through job creation, and with the Aggie Spirit, Brazos Valley has been the place for growth. 

Ben and Matt touch on the opportunities and challenges of launching, growing, and locating businesses to Brazos Valley. What is coming to town and how is it going to affect us? Amongst all, the quality of life of the community is at the forefront of expansion. 

Matt touches on Texas being the best in economic development by driving success from the bottom-up, starting at the local level. With a team-first attitude, Matt speaks about Texas A&M and its community, investors, and the state government, all working together to bring a win for Brazos Valley. 

Relationships (data and people) with Alex Abraham

Relationships (data and people) with Alex Abraham

February 14, 2022

How does a set of factors relate to outcomes you’re interested in?

Alex shares with Ben how data analytics is seeking to understand the relationship between inputs and outputs, economics allows you to apply math in open-ended questions, and that statistics is common sense and math… but a lot of common sense – you have to get your first principles correct.

Finally, Alex shares about being comfortable with not knowing with the current situation.

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Navy - MBA - Commercial Real Estate with Aaron Buchanan

Navy - MBA - Commercial Real Estate with Aaron Buchanan

January 31, 2022

What guides the path of your life to create an impact?

Aaron and Ben discuss Aaron’s reason for choosing the Navy (the 70-80-90 rule: Water covers about 70 percent of the Earth's surface. About 80 percent of the world's population lives near the ocean. About 90 percent of all international trade travels by sea.) and managing the logistics of a carrier strike group heading to the Arctic for the first time in 30 years.

With Aaron just graduating from the Mays MBA program, he is now pursuing commercial real estate development and tackling affordable housing. Throughout the pandemic, he saw – and is reflecting in his professional career – the support and culture that the Mays MBA program staff and faculty provided to students. Now, as a member of the Aggie Network, Aaron is embarking on a journey to shore up the safety and security for others – including going above and beyond for future potential tenants in areas like financial education, after-school care, and senior activities services.

Thanks and Gig 'em! 📺&👂 (https://u.tamu.edu/zwkHRDp1)

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Education Entrepreneurship with Rick Fernandez

Education Entrepreneurship with Rick Fernandez

January 17, 2022

How do you react to a mistake?

Ben and Rick talk on innovating and advocating for student success, including pulling industry into the decision-making process of curriculum and pedagogy. They also discussed how pursuing uncharted territory revealed a passion for Rick that he’s carrying on as a school administrator.

On recruiting: Ultimately, employers want great workers who are going to be creative and innovative. We need more people who are solving actual market problems, asking, “How can I add value to the market directly?” Leaders constantly need to be looking for those who will have a founder mentality; those who recruit new skills as needed, deliver results despite any politics, and will take accountability for success at the macro level.

On entrepreneurship: It’s a difficult concept to explain and emulate. Also difficult to quantify and capture – mistakes are where the learning happens. Seeing the mistake and learning at the moment is vital to success. We need more details on the setbacks and the decisions are the crux of how to make it… or not.

Advice for navigating change in an educational organization: Any change is hard and it’s easy to say no to something. Finding unique solutions allows students what they desperately need: Access.

Medicine & Business with Jeswin Vennatt

Medicine & Business with Jeswin Vennatt

January 3, 2022

Why an MD and MBA? 
Jeswin is at the intersection of public health, medicine, and business from his education and in his role as the Chief Marketing Officer for OleraCare. OleraCare is striving to provide clarity and consistency with eldercare services. Jeswin talks about how public speaking practice allows him to be a better advocate in healthcare and for OleraCare. Jeswin and Ben talk about the need to overcome the inertia or resistance of adoption and that hearing the need over and over again reaffirms the mission.
Jeswin talks about being the odd man out in Saudi Arabia and India and the pinnacle of patriotism: reciting the star-spangled banner. He shares a quote from Arthur C. Clarke, “Sophistically advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and shares how an episode of Mays MasterCast gave him a clearer picture of the value of an MBA from Texas A&M.

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