UHV business students present analysis at BBA Conference

Members of the first-place team at the UHV Bachelor of Business Administration Conference pose for a picture Saturday with their class professor, Shengsheng Huang, center, at UH Sugar Land. Winning team members were Corrie Bass, left, Nita Flores, Annie Tran and Lynn Nguyen.


SUGAR LAND – The winning team at the University of Houston-Victoria Bachelor of Business Administration Conference took the saying “practice makes perfect” to heart.

Corrie Bass of San Antonio; Nita Flores and Lynn Nguyen, both of Houston; and Annie Tran of Pearland won first place Saturday by repeatedly practicing their presentation. Bass drove from San Antonio to Houston once a week so the team could hold three trial runs in the conference room of the gym where Flores works.

“The two reasons that stood out for our victory are teamwork and lots of practice,” Nguyen said. “The judges could tell that we worked together despite the difficulties in getting together as a team.”

The UHV School of Business Administration holds the conference at UH Sugar Land, where UHV offers many of the degree programs. Every semester since 2007, students enrolled in “Strategic Management,” the capstone course of the BBA program, have attended the conference and competed as teams in the presentation of a company case analysis.

At Saturday’s conference, 87 students on 23 teams competed by presenting case analyses about Calpine. The Houston-based corporation is the largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources.

Each member of the winning team received an individual plaque, and the names of the team members will appear on a plaque in the UHV School of Business Administration office. They also will be invited to serve as panelists at future case competitions.

Members of the other winning teams and their hometowns are:

  • Second Place – Aaron Portis and Jeremiah Prichard, both of Inez; and Oscar Torres and John Sweet, both of Victoria.
  • Third Place – Jason Duran of Sugar Land, Jerome Faskas of Victoria, Kevin Maldonado of Stafford and Melissa White of Goliad.
Jeff Blodgett

“The students did a tremendous job presenting their analysis,” said Jeff Blodgett, associate dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “When I asked panelists for feedback about the presentations, I was told they were outstanding, professional and some of the best yet. That is great testimony to the hard work and commitment of our students and the dedication of our faculty members.”

Nguyen, who will earn a BBA with a concentration in accounting, said none of the team members initially knew anything about the electricity industry. But as they dug into researching Calpine, she found the company interesting. Flores said they communicated by text, email, Skype and phone conferences to sort through the research material and build a case.

“The most difficult part was finding the right research and seeing how the pieces fit together,” she said. “I thought we did a terrific job planning the presentation and helping each other get prepared.”

Flores, who also will graduate May 16, earning a BBA with a concentration in health care administration, said there was a tense moment during final preparations.

“Two days before, we were freaking out a bit over how it would come together,” she said. “What calmed us down is we told each other to not over think it. Overall, this competition really helped us think outside the box. Going through a case analysis and presentation will help me when I take on projects in the health care industry.”

Dan Spinks

The case competitors joined the panelists and business faculty for a luncheon featuring a keynote speech by Dan Spinks, vice president and general manager for the Houston Fluor office, a major energy and chemicals operations center and hub for mega-projects. Spinks is responsible for approximately 6,000 professional and contract personnel in the Houston area.

“Mr. Spinks’ speech made me think about the type of culture a company could offer and how it makes an impact on its employees,” Flores said.

The BBA luncheon was sponsored by GEICO and Regency Post-Acute Healthcare System. UHV alumna Laquitta DeMerchant of Fuzion Apps attended and offered students her resume rescue services.

UHV’s Master of Business Administration Conference will be Saturday at UH Sugar Land. Peter Tropoli, chief operating officer at Luby’s and president of Fuddruckers, will give the keynote address.

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