UHV to host conversation on using MBA for workplace promotion

John Beddow Chris Reinsvold Cheryl Bryan Ashley Northrup Saurabh Patel

SUGAR LAND – The University of Houston-Victoria is putting on a new event to give Master of Business Administration students a better idea of how to get the most out of their degree after graduation.  

Four panelists from Houston with different business experiences will discuss how making the most of an MBA can improve job performance and help workers advance within a company.

“Capitalizing on Your MBA” will be hosted by the UHV School of Business Administration on Tuesday at UH Sugar Land, 14000 University Blvd. A reception at 6 p.m. in the Brazos Hall Multi-Purpose Room will start the festivities. The panel discussion will begin at 6:45 p.m. in the same room. The event is free and open to the public.  

Steve Ferguson, executive in residence for the UHV School of Business Administration, said a goal of the MBA program is to assist in creating professionals who add value to companies. Students learn a new way to think when they get an MBA, he said.  

“Students obtain a tool kit to help solve problems in their jobs,” he said. “Senior managers need to deal with ambiguity and come up with a solution to a problem. An MBA helps students understand a process for thinking. The key is taking the tools from an MBA and other experiences to help deal with business issues that are filled with uncertainty.”  

Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration, said while students obtain analytical skills in the classroom, events like this give them greater insight into the personal skills and mind-set that will make them more successful.  

“While earning an MBA is an accomplishment on its own, what graduates do with the degree is the real difference,” he said. “Hearing the advice and stories from the panelists that Dr. Ferguson has invited will give our students a better idea about how to use their degree.”  

The moderator for the panel discussion is John Beddow, publisher of the Houston Business Journal. The publication is the leading provider of local business news for the greater Houston area.  

Beddow has more than three decades of experience in media management, and he is well-known across Houston industries. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and on the advisory board of the Houston Technology Center. He is a co-host of “The BusinessMakers Radio Show,” which features interviews with a wide range of entrepreneurs and inventors.  

“Mr. Beddow has great insight into many companies and economic opportunities in the Houston market,” Ferguson said. “He will kick off our program with an overview of Houston’s economy and the opportunities here.”  

One of the panelists is Chris Reinsvold, a search consultant for the executive search firm Preng & Associates in Houston. Reinsvold has more than 25 years of management experience in the energy industry, primarily in upstream oil and gas, and the oilfield equipment and services sectors. He previously served as CEO of Decision Strategies, a strategy consulting firm.  

“Mr. Reinsvold had a successful career in the energy industry and now in a consulting capacity,” Ferguson said. “He will talk about how an MBA helped him advance in his career. Since he’s in the executive search business, he also will address how maximizing an MBA can differentiate applicants in consideration for senior management positions.”  

Another panelist is Cheryl Bryan, president of Coaching for Career Success in Houston. Bryan has more than 25 of years experience in assessing and advising executives, high potential employees and teams, and coaching leaders for career success. She focuses on leveraging strengths and addressing development areas in order to deliver measurable results.  

“She will be able to discuss how an MBA can help people become better leaders and managers,” Ferguson said.  

The other two panelists are UHV alumni. Ashley Northrup is chief operating officer of QED Energy Associates in Houston. QED provides engineering and geoscience technician training and consulting services in the upstream petroleum industry.  

Saurabh Patel recently was promoted by BP to lead the Bangalore, India, supplier delivery center. Patel has extensive experience in financial and supplier sourcing in the oil and gas industry. He has served in a variety of roles related to technical accounting delivery and financial systems.  

Although both have an MBA, Ferguson said Northrup has taken on an entrepreneurial endeavor, while Patel works for a large company.  

“It will be an interesting contrast to see how their degrees have helped them in different types of companies,” he said.  

“Capitalizing on Your MBA” is sponsored by the Willis Group. Through its agreement with the UHV School of Business Administration, the Willis Group creates opportunities by providing business students with professional development and career placement assistance, supports faculty research and classroom instruction, and actively participates in events to promote the success of the business school and its students.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro