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UTEP MBA Blog

Interview with UTEP EMBA Maria Elena Giner

by Administrator 6. November 2014 14:14

We asked Maria Elena Giner, P.E., EMBA ‘14, to share a bit about herself and her experience in UTEP's MBA Program. Maria is currently the General Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional work experience before joining the program.

Before joining the program, I had almost 23 years of work experience in the public and private sectors developing and implementing environmental infrastructure projects for public utilities. During this time, I held various technical and managerial positions with the opportunity to work with the public, NGO’s, academia, federal, state, and local agencies and legislators in both the US and Mexico.  My education had consisted of a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in environmental from Loyola Marymount University and I am a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.  During the program, I balanced program demands with my employment as the General Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, an international organization created by NAFTA to assist communities in the development and implementation of environmental infrastructure on both sides of the U.S-Mexico border.  I currently reside in El Paso Texas, with my husband Antonio and three children - Cassandra, Isabella, and Sofia.

What drove you to seek out a Master’s in Business Administration?

The reason I pursued the Executive MBA program was to help fill a gap and compliment the technical training I had with my engineering degree.  As the General Manager of an international organization that provides technical services to the public sector I felt that I was providing leadership rather intuitively and not based on formal training.  Although the 10+ years of senior management experience were certainly helpful I thought recalibrating my skills through the EMBA program would increase my leadership qualities.

How has the program helped you in your profession?

The skills that we learned here at The University of Texas at El Paso EMBA program have provided me with the tools to be a credible leader and a good steward of the institution I have been entrusted to manage.  The curriculum and professors were excellent providing practical experience where I was able to integrate class lessons into activities related to my position from the very first class.  In addition to these practical skills, from a philosophical perspective, I was better able to understand the intersect of the roles of the public and private sectors and gain an appreciation for how the private sector can be important in environmental issues such as climate change, air and water quality, and land use.  Protecting our planet continues to be a passion of mine.  

Do you anticipate a promotion or career change now that you have completed your MBA?

No, I did not envision completing this program for the sake of a promotion or career change, but to refine my skills as a leader.  However I did expand my network of contacts through the program, professors, and fellow cohort members.  This has provided me the confidence that should I seek employment elsewhere; opportunities will be found through these new contacts in addition to my newly acquired training associated with the program. 


What would you tell people considering the EMBA program?

I particularly enjoyed the executive cohort experience.  We graduated as a cohort of 19, which consisted of all executives with staff sizes that ranged from the small, self-employed entity to an organization of over 400.  Our diverse backgrounds included industries from defense, health care, energy, environment, finance, government, manufacturing, and logistics.    Together, we had the privilege of sharing our insights and learning from each other and as a result transformed this experience into a life changing one that positively impacted our lives.  In spite of us all starting as strangers, we have ended up as life-long friends.  The program is phenomenal and a true gem for our region. I would encourage any executive to enroll.

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International Research Course Visits Hong Kong

by Administrator 12. March 2013 15:09

For this week's post, Neyda Reed, a student in the UTEP Full-Time MBA Program, reports on her experience in the 2013 International Research Course.

This January we traveled to Hong Kong as part of an MBA International Research Course focusing on corporate governance.  While in class in El Paso, we covered the corporate governance structure in the United States.  The seminars and corporate visits we attended in Hong Kong focused primarily on the way business is conducted in China and, more specifically, in Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is a financial hub in Asia which is differentiated by its long-standing history of common law and business-friendly policies.  Being a British colony for 156 years gave Hong Kong a uniquely westernized culture, and the city is known as the gateway between the east and the west. 

Our first day in Hong Kong we were taken on a guided tour of the city. We first visited the Taoist temple, Wong Tai Sin.  During the tour we learned that Buddhism and Taoism are the two most practiced religions in Hong Kong.  While Taoism originated in China, Buddhism was adopted from India.  In the temple, we found beautiful sculptures and other decorations.  People prayed in an open space and brought food offerings with them and burned incense.  Next, we rode the tram up to the Hong Kong Peak which is the highest point in Hong Kong.  There, we were able to appreciate the cityscape comprised of impressive skyscrapers which were contrasted by the still highly vegetated landscape. It is truly a sight to see.  Afterwards we took a short boat ride eat a Chinese-style lunch at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, located in the Aberdeen Harbor. We ended the day with a trip to Stanley Market where we were able to shop for a variety of Chinese curios. 

The following days were busy with academic seminars and corporate visits.  We met students and staff from Hong Kong Baptist University who were extremely gracious hosts and were willing to answer our cascade of questions about how business is conducted in Hong Kong.  One of the most interesting points in the seminars was how Hong Kong maintains its competitive advantage by differentiating itself from mainland China with its own currency and common laws.  Even though Hong Kong is now a part of China, the city still maintains a separate identity.  The lecturers we visited were from different backgrounds. Some were strictly academic, others had previous or current corporate experience, while others were government officials.  We even met with the CEO of a major financial institution in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Financial Limited. 

Visiting Hong Kong as a representative of UTEP was a great experience.  I highly recommend to any student who is contemplating an international research course to make the investment. The amount of knowledge we received from experts in their field was extremely valuable in its own right. But the experience of branching out to a completely different part of the world and getting to see firsthand what another country has to offer, how its businesses operate, and experiencing the culture is an opportunity that I am sure will not present itself often and must be grabbed whenever it is available.


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UTEP Corporate Engagement Teams Present to Enterprise Partner Executives

by Administrator 2. July 2012 16:45

Stanley Black and Decker

In continuation of the College of Business' successful partnership with Stanley Black and Decker and its DeWALT division, on May 24, 2012, four students from UTEP's Full Time MBA program were in Towson, Maryland to present the results of their Corporate Engagement Project findings to SB&D management at its corporate headquarters. The students were Stephanie Herrera, Marie-Therese Joyce, Alfredo Arce, and Diego Capeletti. They were accompanied by Bill Conwell, Director of the Corporate Engagement Project. The CEP team's project focused upon research and analysis of marketing efforts and expenditures related to a new product launch for DeWALT along with recommendations for improvements in messaging effectiveness.


 
The DeWALT executives attending the presentation included the Director of Marketing, the Director of Product Management, as well as various brand, product, and channel managers. The product of the CEP team's work was well received ("they over-delivered in their expected deliverables") and raised interest from other areas of the company in regards to possible future corporate engagements. Several positive comments from the SB&D organization focused upon the professionalism, enthusiasm, and confidence displayed by the UTEP team.

The UTEP team was also provided an overview of Stanley Black and Decker's corporate history, diverse product lines, and overall structure.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola Refreshments in Dallas, Texas hosted a UTEP Corporate Engagement Project team on May 31, 2012 consisting of Alejandra Leon, Neyda Reed, and Will Osolinsky. The team had been working with Coca Cola resources to develop a response to a Request for Proposal to Coca Cola from a potential quick serve restaurant national account.
 

During the course of the project, the UTEP team interfaced with Coca Cola resources from the Food Services, Marketing and Sales functions. The presentation offered the student team the opportunity to share the results of their work with Coca Cola executives including the General Manager of Coca Cola Refreshments South Division and the VP of Sales for Food Service On-Premise for the South Division. Other attendees from Coca Cola included executives for sales accounts, account development, marketing, and channel planning and development.

Feedback from the Coca Cola audience centered upon how impressed they were with the work performed by the UTEP students as well as the professionalism exhibited in their presentation to the Dallas headquarters personnel.

Following the presentation, the UTEP team was Coca Cola's guest at Top Golf in Allen, Texas (see photo) where there was a chance to network on a more casual basis.
This engagement was a result of the marketing competition sponsored by Coca Cola in the fall 2011 semester. The feedback from Coca Cola is that there is an interest to continue to work together with UTEP's Corporate Engagement Project in the future as well.

Beginning with the Fall 2012 Semester the Corporate Engagement Project will be offered as a for credit elective for Full Time MBA's. Anyone interested in more information regarding the CEP can contact David Nemir at 915-747-7719 or at dnemir@utep.edu.

 

 

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UTEP MBA Students Develop Mandarin Skills, Prepare for Global Market

by Administrator 2. November 2011 16:13

As part of their Graduate Business Education, full-time students in UTEP’s Masters of Business Administration program recently started classes in Mandarin Chinese. The courses, which started in the fall of 2011, are offered through a partnership with the Confucius Institute. The mission of the Confucius Institute is to increase awareness and understanding of Chinese language and culture throughout the world through education, performance, seminars and outreach.

Laura Uribarri, Associate Dean for MBA programs, explains the decision to start offering the courses:

“Language skills are absolutely essential in a global business market. With so many of our students already fluent in Spanish, we wanted to give them an additional edge. China is the second largest trading partner with the US, and the second largest economy in the world, so Mandarin Chinese was an obvious choice. “

Professor Laoshi (Jing) Yang leads the students through a Mandarin Chinese workshop designed to build their conversational Chinese skills to help them get an edge in the international market. Professor Yang has been a university professor for 16 years in China and is a native of Luoyang, an ancient capital of the Henan Province in northern China. MBA Students in the class will spend 8 hours a week for 5 weeks.

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UTEP’s MBA Program Ranks 1st in Hispanic Business Magazine Top 10 List Once Again

by Administrator 22. September 2011 15:21

The MBA program at UTEP’s College of Business Administration has been ranked 1st among the Top 10 business graduate programs for Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine for the second year in a row.  In its fourth appearance on the list, UTEP MBA climbed from the 6th place on 2008 to 1st place again this year.

Hispanic Business magazine features UTEP’s College of Business Administration’s 1st place ranking in its September edition, which includes the 2011 Diversity Report listing Top 10 Graduate Schools for Hispanics in four fields. The report determines a school's rank using several factors, including percentage of Hispanic students and faculty, recruiting programs, mentorship programs, Hispanic student organizations, and retention and graduation rates of Hispanic students.  Other schools with graduate business programs ranked in the top 10 included Yale University, Stanford University and the University of Virginia. The University of Texas at Austin was ranked No. 2.

“We at the College of Business Administration are happy and excited to have had this distinction for the second year in a row,” said Robert Nachtmann, D.B.A., dean of CoBA. “This nationally recognized accomplishment is a testament to our College’s and University’s standard of excellence in higher education.”

 

The UTEP MBA program has been transformed significantly since 2006.  Today, the program offers the MBA degree in three different formats that serve full-time students, working professionals, and executives in a range of accessible and affordable schedules.  MBA students attend classes and work with multi-national corporate partners in the state-of-the-art Graduate Business Center in Downtown El Paso   Full-time students engage in in language workshops in Mandarin and Spanish.  MBA students also have the opportunity to conduct coursework abroad in 7-12 day courses offered several times a year.

 

“The UTEP MBA program now offers a full portfolio of nationally competitive degree options.  Our students have access to corporate engagements projects, coursework conducted around the globe, broad professional networks and an excellent core curriculum taught by a diverse and experienced faculty.  This top ranking provides yet another acknowledgment of our growth and progress,” said Laura M. Uribarri, Assistant Dean for MBA Programs.

 

The UTEP College of Engineering was also recognized by Hispanic Business magazine with the #2 ranking for graduate engineering programs.

 

 

Learn more about the UTEP MBA Program at mba.utep.edu

See the Hispanic Business Article at www.hispanicbusiness.com

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Interview with recent UTEP EMBA Graduate Manny Rodriguez

by Administrator 20. September 2011 14:05

We asked CW4 Manuel Rodriguez. a recent graduate of our first EMBA cohort,  to share a bit about himself and his experience in UTEP's MBA Program.

1.    Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional work experience before joining the program.
My name is Manuel Rodriguez Jr., born and raised in El Paso, a graduate of Socorro High School, class of 1986 and a 24-year veteran of the United States Army. I am married to my beautiful wife, Victoria and have two great kids, Gabi and Emilio.  We have been stationed throughout the world and I have been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the global war on terrorism. I am a Mobility Officer with extensive experience in the US Army Logistics and Supply Chain Management business areas and have been recognized as the preeminent source for relevant, value–added logistics expertise. Since 9/11, I have helped to plan, organize, and supervise the movement, deployment, and redeployment of Army personnel and equipment in support of full spectrum operations throughout the world.

2.    What drove you to seek out a Master’s in Business Administration?
I absolutely love to learn! I think it is important to raise the bar and surprise yourself every chance you get with achievements you would not normally try. In the Army, I have had great mentors that pushed me to pursue my civilian education and obtaining an MBA from UTEP (ranked #1 in the nation by HispanicBusiness) has been the highlight of my professional career. I loved the experience and I am very proud of my commitment to the process. For me, the MBA program was not a complacent or safe ride. It required hard work and dedication to successfully complete the process. Was it worth it? I would sincerely answer, yes. The MBA program has sufficiently equipped me with sound knowledge of management principles and practices to apply to my current and future business career.

 


3. How has the program helped you in your profession? Do you anticipate a promotion or career change upon completion of the EMBA?
The knowledge gained through learning business strategies and concepts, in theory and in reality has provided me with a broad range of people skills in addition to helping me develop a better thought process. The development of my managerial skills has provided me with the essentials for dealing with real-time situations pertaining to management and resolution of problems. The program further has assisted me in understanding the intricacies of planning, goal setting, and interpersonal skills (being a team player). Lastly, the MBA has helped me secure a promotion to Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) and has certainly prepared me to transition into the civilian sector after military retirement.

4. What would you tell people considering the EMBA program?
Without a doubt, this program is worth your time and money! If you are looking for an opportunity to increase your business knowledge, an opportunity to network, and add to your expertise then the EMBA program is for you. The program is superbly set up; the professors have real world experience and are very knowledgeable in their respective areas. The program is held at the Graduate Business Center (GBC), which is housed in the Chase Tower at the center of the El Paso’s business district. The GBC features three state-of-the-art classrooms, student collaboration rooms and several applied business research offices. The MBA staff is very helpful and makes the EMBA students life stress free by providing them with all the required texts, class materials, and solving countless administrative issues. Over the course, I have undoubtedly developed significant relationships that will serve me well throughout my business career. I have had a memorable experience during the 18-months and this program will serve to enhance our (UTEP-MBA) network of alumni with a wide range of companies, which will be useful for mentoring, job searches, and professional development. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk to me concerning the EMBA program.


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A simple way to financially interpret changes in the Dow Jones Industrial Average

by Administrator 18. August 2011 13:12

For this week's post, Dr. Oscar Varela, a  professor at the UTEP College of Business’ Economics and Finance department, explains some of the history and workings of the Dow Jones industrial average.

With the stock market showing high volatility, here is a brief discussion of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the way to financially interpret current changes in it.

First, a little history on the DJIA.

This average was created by Charles Dow and Edward Jones. These are the same duo that began the Wall Street Journal, which commenced publication on July 8, 1889. The DJIA commenced 7 years later, on May 26, 1896, and it began its existence as a stock price average for 12 industrial companies. It took until October 1, 1928 for the DJIA to expand to an average of 30 industrial companies, the same number as it has today, except that not all firms listed in it now are industrial firms – such as Bank of America, American Express, McDonald’s, Wal Mart, Verizon..

For a little historical perspective, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) dates to May 1792, was founded as the Buttonwood Agreement by 24 Brokers, was organized in 1817 as the New York Stock and Exchange Board, and finally changes its name in 1863 to the New York Stock Exchange.  The NYSE is not the oldest exchange in the U.S. – that honor belongs to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange which began its existence a few months before NYSE.

On the other hand, the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) was founded in 1910 as the New York Curb Market Association (before this it was called the Outdoor Curb Market trading unlisted shares on Wall and Hanover Streets in New York).  In 1953 it changed its name to the American Stock Exchange. The NASDAQ market started in 1976.

Back to the DJIA.  The idea behind the calculation of it is as follows:

Imagine we have only three stocks (stocks A, B and C) in the DJIA. Let’s say stock A has a $20 price, stock B a $25 price and stock C $30. When the DJIA was first started, the DJIA average for the hypothetical example above would have been equal to the arithmetic average of the prices, that is:

            DJIA = 25 = ($20 price for A + $25 price for B + $30 price for C) / 3.

Now, a problem occurs when one of these stocks splits – let’s say stock C splits 3 to 1, so that now the price per share will equal $10. What happens if we calculate the DJIA now?  Let’s try to redo the calculations, such that
           
            DJIA = 18.33 = ($20 price for A + $25 price for B + $10 price for C) / 3.

Having substituted $10 for $30 for stock C, the DJIA would fall from 25 to 18.33 – about a 28% market fall. The problem is that this decline in the market is not a real decline, because nothing happened except that stock C split 3 to 1. Thus, the DJIA should remain unchanged from its initial value of 25, and now the only way to accomplish this is to change the denominator so that the ratio stays at 25.
 
So this is what we have to do – solve for the denominator’s value x below, such that
           
            DJIA = 25 = ($20 price for A + $25 price for B + $10 price for C) / x.

If x equals 2.2, then the DJIA remains unchanged at 25, as it should. It follows that the DJIA divisor will change when we have stock splits in any of the 30 companies (subject to some exceptions).

Now, the value of this divisor as shown in the Wall Street Journal on August 10, 2011 (page C4, Dow Jones Industrial Average table) was 0.132129493.

To obtain a financial interpretation, use the divisor in combination with the value of the DJIA index. For example, the DJIA index closed at 11239.77 on August 9, 2011 and 10719.94 on August 10, 2011, down 519.83 points. So, based on how the index is calculated using a 30 stock portfolio, we have on August 10, 2011:

            DJIA = 10719.94  = (price for 1+price for stock 2+price for stock 3+ …+price for stock 30) / (0.132129493)

We can then solve for the combined prices of all its 30 stocks, since

            (10719.94) (0.132129493) = $1,416.42 =
            = (price for 1+price for stock 2+price for stock 3+ …+price for stock 30)

Thus, the value of a portfolio consisting of one share for each of the 30 Dow stocks on August 10, 2011 was $1,416.42 (with a little error because not all stock splits cause the divisor to be adjusted).

As a result, the price per share on the average for each of the 30 Dow stocks on August 10, 2011 was:

            $47.21 = $1,416.42 / 30

And the average per share dollar value of a point in the DJIA is

            $ 0.0044 = $47.21  / 10719.94

so that each point change in the DJIA is worth about 4/10 of U.S. penny in terms of the average price per share.

Thus, when the DJIA declined by 519.83 points on August 10, 2011, the average decrease in the price per share for each of its 30 stocks was $2.28.

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Top 5 things you can do to improve your job search

by Administrator 9. August 2011 14:20


Dr. Laura Guerrero, an Associate Professor and researcher at the UTEP College of Business, shared these insights on job searching that she has found through her research.

When you are looking for a job, everyone has advice for you.  “You should search for eight hours every day.” “You should apply to everything.  You never know.”  “It’s who you know, not what you know.”  But how do you know whose advice you can trust?

The good news is that a substantial amount of research has been conducted in this field.  These are the most stable findings in job search studies.

1.  It pays off to be active.

Research shows that job seekers who are more active (engage in higher levels of job search intensity) are more likely to get job interviews and those with more interviews get more job offers to choose from.

2.  Be confident in your abilities to engage in a good job search.

Researchers consistently have found that job search self-efficacy (confidence in your ability to perform job-seeking activities well) predicts job search intensity and job search outcomes (job interviews and job offers).

3.  Know what job you want.

Researchers have also found that job search clarity (knowing what job you want, how you will get it and when you can expect to get it) predicts job search intensity and job outcomes.  Job search clarity is related to goal-setting in that you have to know specifically what you want and devise a plan on how to achieve it within a timeframe.

4.  Some connections are better than others.

Everyone has connections.  Some of our connections are strong such as those with close friends or family members.  Other connections are weak such as those with acquaintances and colleagues.  Intuitively, you may think that strong connections may be more beneficial in every way.  However, when it comes to job search, researchers have found that the opposite is true.  Weak connections are more likely to yield job referrals.  Researchers believe that the reason for this is that our strong connections are likely to have the same information that we have, whereas our weak connections know about jobs that we have not heard about.

5.  If English is your second language, improve your fluency.

My own research shows that even when immigrants are relatively fluent, small improvements lead to higher levels of job search clarity and job search self-efficacy.  These in turn lead to higher job search intensity and better job search outcomes (job interviews and job offers).

Dr. Laura Guerrero’s research interests include the job search of immigrants in the US and Canada.  This blog entry is based on her forthcoming publication titled ‘Antecedents of Underemployment: Job Search of Skilled Immigrants in Canada’, which is due to appear later this year in the journal Applied Psychology: An International Review.

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UTEP MBA Student Team Completes Corporate Engagement Project With DeWALT

by Administrator 27. July 2011 15:27

MBA TeamOn May 6, 2011 a team of five UTEP MBA students presented the results of their two month Corporate Engagement Project (CEP) assignment with DeWALT tools, a division of Stanley Black and Decker Corporation. The team members, Stephanie Herrera, David Maldonado, Liz Osborn-Mendoza, Daniel Martinez, and Celia Yang, traveled to DeWALT headquarter in Towson, Maryland to present their findings and recommendations to DeWALT engineering and marketing corporate leaders. Their assignment was focused on developing a market and price positioning analysis along with a marketing communication strategy recommendation for a DeWALT new product launch.

The UTEP MBA team members received strong feedback on their work product and presentation. “They delivered a well-researched marketing strategy and exemplified a high level of professionalism in their commitment to the project” was typical of the comments from DeWALT personnel.

This project was the third phase of a partnership between DeWALT and UTEP’s College of Business that began in early 2010.

The expectations of students participating in the CEP are high. The project approach utilized by the CEP exposes participants to a real world work environment with the challenge of supplying a desired deliverable to an executive audience within a given timeframe. While addressing the major project resolution students also have to focus on managing time, resources, and inter- and intra-organizational issues as they arise. The development and delivery of a professional caliber final report and presentation for enterprise partner executives is the culmination of the project activity. However, success in a Corporate Engagement Project provides students with:

  • valuable insight into their own capabilities;
  • knowledge of how to function effectively and get things accomplished in the business environment;
  • the chance to demonstrate to potential employers their knowledge, skills, and abilities;
  • the opportunity to begin building, or to expand, their professional network, and;
  • a valuable addition to their personal resume.

The CEP also presents an opportunity to share with the world beyond UTEP the caliber of UTEP MBA students.

Feedback from the DeWALT team members included comments such as the following. “It was a great experience working with this team. I learned interesting things from each team member and I really enjoyed getting to know every one of you. The outcome of this project met my expectations and even exceeded them.” “The learning experience was amazing and continues to resonate after the project has been completed.”

There are currently 4 additional CEP activities underway and new corporate partners are expressing interest in working with CEP teams on a continuing basis.

If you are interested in learning more about the UTEP MBA Program Corporate Engagement Projects, contact:

David Nemir, Ph.D. PE
Director, Corporate Engagement Projects
College of Business Administration
The University of Texas at El Paso
Office: (915) 747-7719
dnemir@utep.edu

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