Texas A&M University, Mays Business School
“Family-focused, passionate servant leader driven by people development and transformation of organizations through implementation of innovative efficient solutions.”
Hometown: Houston, TX
Family Members: Jeanae (wife); Kaytlin, Brooke, and Ashton (children)
Fun fact about yourself: I have an identical twin brother who is also married with two girls and a boy
Undergraduate School and Degree: Texas A&M University: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Where are you currently working? Wood PLC, Senior Project Manager
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:
Career: Professional Engineering License (Texas); Project Management Professional (PMI); Recipient of David Higgins Quality Excellence Award (Wood); Professional Mentor; Sponsor of Young Professionals Network; Special Innovation Initiative Director; Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) Champion
Community: Ordained Deacon; Youth Ministry Volunteer for 15+ years; Community Volunteer
Academic: Member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Texas A&M Corps of Cadets – Commanding Officer, B-Battery; Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band – Bugle Rank; Ross Volunteer Company – Squad Leader
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My capstone project was an intrapreneurial initiative to transform my company’s project execution work process. Through executive sponsorship, I have implemented organizational change within my organization which has driven a step-change in project profitability and predictability.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I had the privilege of leading a special corporate create and embed an innovative culture within my organization. Our goal was to reduce project costs through the exploration of ground-breaking technology, creating an innovative corporate culture, and implementing lean methodologies. This initiative identified hundreds of use-cases from conducting dozens of idea-generation and incubation sessions and partnering with technology providers culminating in a ~30 percent reduction in project costs.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is such a difficult question because each faculty member brought such a breadth and depth of knowledge and passion to their area of expertise. That said, Dr. Mary Léa McAnally stood out personally because of her passion for teaching. I have never met a more committed educator and mentor. Her passion shines through her dedication, creating teaching environment, and genuine desire to see every student grasp accounting and its applications in business success.
Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? I applied, interviewed, and was accepted to several top EMBA programs. However, through the interview process and school visit, Mays Business School rose above the rest. The experience level and quality of the students stood shoulders above other executive programs I visited. The culture of integrity, servant leadership, community focus, and innovation in business aligned with my personal priorities. The intimate size of the program, along with the passion for the students by the faculty and directors, could not be ignored. It was obvious that each student was more than a number or statistic for the school. I have never doubted that God brought me to Mays Business school for not only the education but also for the world-class cohort that I will call friends for the rest of my life.
What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The two most valuable aspects of my program were the diversity of thought and experience of my cohort and the faculty. The dialogue, debate, and interaction were life-changing because of the knowledge freely flowing during every class. I learned as much, if not more, from my classmates as I did from the world-class faculty.
What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? My communication skills have transformed since starting my MBA program. I always thought of myself as a competent communicator until I had the opportunity to learn from the best. I now approach all types of communication with great intention and focus on my audience. The techniques, frameworks, and confidence I have learned through the program are paying dividends with every presentation I give and each email I write.
Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? My MBA program was a two-year commitment. Life is unpredictable and unanticipated events occurred throughout each semester. Just over half-way through my MBA journey, my twin brother was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in just a few years. In moments such as these, it is critical to reflect on the most important things in your life and identify your priorities. I knew I was going to support my brother fully but also felt that I was meant to continue with the MBA program. I planned well into the future knowing that supporting my brother would require much flexibility on any given day. On the day of his major surgery, I had an MBA assignment due and I was presenting at an industry-wide event related to my job. I prayed and trusted that all the details would take care of themselves. Using the hospital as my base, I prayed for and saw my brother into the surgery room, used the waiting room to finalize my assignment, and ducked out for a couple of hours to present at the convention. I was back in time to submit my assignment and support my brother as he was rolled out of the operating room. One of the most important lessons l learned through this entire MBA journey is to always BE PRESENT in each moment. Do not let the dozens of other priorities, assignments, anxiety, or upcoming events rob you from the joy of making memories with your loved ones or focusing during an important business meeting. Compartmentalization allowed me to find balance through the chaos and make each moment count.
What is the biggest myth about going back to school? Every program emphasized the amount of time required outside of the classroom. Before I started, I assumed that I could be more efficient than others because of my background in math and my business experience. This was simply not true. Everyone who is accepted into the program is an over-achiever and an uber-successful executive. I spent an abundant amount of time outside of class immersing myself in the material. It was worth the sacrifice, but I should not have listened to my myth.
What was your biggest regret in business school? I honestly have no regrets about my business school experience. I tried to absorb as much as I could from the coursework, the faculty, the other students, the relationships, and the experiences.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire every one of my classmates. It was humbling to be a part of such an extraordinary group. If I had to choose one, I truly admire Nikki Payne. He has overcome and persevered through so much in his life. His strength and determination to continually pursue his dreams amid overwhelming circumstances are inspiring. Though he now has a wonderful family and an extremely successful career, he continues to challenge himself and approach life every day with great humility and a desire to learn.
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I graduated with my undergraduate degree over 16 years ago. At the time, I just could not face one more class, so I decided to first get some real-world experience. As the days turned into years, my career continued to accelerate, and I had the opportunity to travel all over the world. I never seemed to be in one place long enough to make starting business school practical. Eventually, based on my career transition into management and my family still being relatively young, I knew now was the last reasonable opportunity I would have to pursue my graduate business degree.”
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? One day, I would like to be a part of leading my organization at the highest level. It would be a great honor to influence a world-class organization made up of tens of thousands of exceptional leaders in our industry.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like to be remembered as an honest, loving, hard-working, faith-filled, family man who is a servant leader and a devoted friend.
What are the top two items on your bucket list? I would like the opportunity to live overseas again and take my entire family on a mission trip to serve a community less fortunate than us.
What made Jeremy such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?
“Jeremy Hall was a bright light among his peers and a prof’s dream. Incredibly smart and impeccably prepared each time we met, his were the questions that moved the class discussion to a higher level. Give me three wishes and I’d use one of them to get a classroom full of students as dedicated and hardworking Jeremy Hall.”
Dr. Mary Léa McAnally | PwC Professor of Accounting
Mays Business School | Texas A&M University
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