The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

School of Business welcomes H-E-B collaboration

Sonia Flores, unit director in San Antonio, speaks to students Nov. 8 about the benefits of working at H-E-B at Brooks City-Base Campus. Photos by Shawna Mount

By Kayla Dunlevy

H-E-B presenters and recruiting team members were on hand to share their knowledge, experience and discuss professional opportunities with Texas A&M-San Antonio business students at H-E-B Day Nov. 8 at Brooks City-Base Campus.

Company recruiter Shelly Hajovsky said H-E-B and the university’s School of Business came together to discuss professional opportunities and to build a stronger relationship.

“This was the first step to a long-term relationship between the School of Business and H-E-B,” said Tracy Hurley, head of School of Business.

Asked to elaborate, Hurley said there are many academic connections currently in discussion but none have been formalized.

H-E-B, the Texas-based grocery store, opened its first store in 1905. Today H-E-B serves more than 155 communities in Texas and Mexico with more than 300 store locations  and 76,000 employees, according to its website.

The grocery store has a proven commitment to educational partnerships and recognizing local students. The company hosted the first Excellence in Education Awards in 2002 and today  awards more than $600,000 in cash prizes to outstanding educators annually, according to its website.

Patrick Walther, director of loyalty advertising and software development centers, speaks to students Nov. 8 about the H-E-B business initiative at Brooks City-Base Campus.

H-E-B Day offers inside look at company strategies

Company representatives and presenters Patrick Walther and Sonia Flores spoke to a full room of students about technology, modern marketing tactics and H-E-B’s passion for people.

Walther, H-E-B’s director of loyalty advertising and software development centers, explained H-E-B’s modern marketing approach. The company uses Teradata, a data warehouse used for tailoring stores  to meet customer and community needs. The program evaluates sales, coupons, advertising, warehouse inventory, store inventory, social media data and

“If a customer spends $80 dollars on gas, they’re not going to then buy a ribeye steak. They’re going to buy ground beef,” Walther said. “Thats what we do at H-E-B. We break down customer analytics to enhance sales to better serve our customers.”

Neither representative made a direct recruiting pitch but spoke highly of the company’s track record for offering career growth and developmental programs such as Partner Development Series, Career Development Series, Leadership Development series, School of Retail Management, School of Retail Leadership and Management Internship program.

The School of Business said it was premature to announce the exact kind of relationship it was establishing with H-E-B.  The company promotes many existing opportunities for collaboration for students across the state.

The School of Retail Leadership is designed for college graduates and/or individuals with a minimum of one year management experience. SORL gives students practical experience “through a total store overview approach that is supplemented by leadership development courses for your individual needs,” according to the website.

Marlene Menchaca, Master of Business Administration student said she was interested in finding out more about the company.

“The programs they offer, once internal, are awesome,” she said.

Will business students have a leg up on these jobs as H-E-B develops its relationship with A&M-San Antonio?

“We don’t just hire anyone. H-E-B hires cream of the crop, best of the best employees. We empower our employees to run their business units, as business owners,” Flores said.

Recruiter Shelly Hagovsky said H-E-B has partnered with a number of other colleges in the community, but said “the neat thing about TAMU-SA is, it’s right in our backyard.”

University of the Incarnate Word’s H-E-B School of Business and Administration offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration with an opportunity to choose from several concentrations. The H-E-B School of Business and Administration also offers four Master’s degrees.

The H-E-B Clinical Skills Center provides state-of-the-art simulation methodology to support the development of competent and compassionate medical professionals at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Nicole Wehunt, Master of Business Administration student, said, “H-E-B is a big player in Texas. They have huge loyalty and they really do take care of their employees and that’s impressive.”

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