2021 Best & Brightest MBAs: Nash Porter, Texas A&M (Mays)

Nash Porter

Texas A&M, Mays Business School

“A people person, occasional math nerd, and community-centered individual.”

Hometown: Bryan, Texas

Fun fact about yourself: One of my first jobs was essentially performing surgery on cockroaches.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Texas A&M University, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I was an Application Engineer at Enovation Controls in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Dell Technologies, Round Rock, TX

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Dell Technologies as a Senior Process Engineer within the Global Process Engineering group.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Held Roles:

  • Graduate Assistant, Supply Chain Management
  • Vice President, Texas A&M MBA Association (MBAA)
  • Social & Events Chair, Texas A&M MBA Association (MBAA)

Honors & Awards:

  • Jerry R. Strawser Outstanding MBA Student Award
  • 2020 Texas Business Hall of Fame Awardee
  • Texas A&M Full Time MBA Class of 2021 Commencement Student Speaker

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Being selected by my classmates to speak at our graduation event might be one of the most humbling honors I have received. During our program, I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know each of my classmates and foster many great relationships that will last a lifetime. Learning just how incredibly talented my peers were made it a tough task to speak to their accomplishments in a short speech – I could have gone on for days.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I look back at my time at the company where I worked prior to attending business school. During that time, I transitioned laterally from one job role to another. While changing job roles is fairly commonplace, my transition occurred early in my career and required me to speak up, make my goals clear, and work to achieve new demands. This transition gave me the essential taste of what is necessary to progress in any career from the standpoint that I need to pursue work that I enjoy. Luckily, the company had an exceptional culture that pushed its’ employees to pursue what made them happy. The experience of being pushed on was a major milestone which I now consider a vital achievement in my professional career thus far.

Why did you choose this business school? Having attended Texas A&M for my undergraduate degree, I have experienced the extraordinary network that is associated with being an Aggie. Coming from the “dark side” of campus – the engineering side – I could not fathom the networking and relationship opportunities that might stem from a business degree where such are part of the curriculum. Networking aside, Texas A&M’s 18-month MBA program mixed with smaller class sizes created an experience I would promote to anyone.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. Bala Shetty, hands down. Dr. Shetty is one of our first professors of the program, and he comes in strong with one of the more challenging classes. He knows that his class requires dusting off some of the lesser-used mathematical areas of our brains, and he is there every step of the way to help his students get up to speed. He combines stress-reducing levity with astounding knowledge that creates a crucial foundation for Texas A&M’s MBA program.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? We held many events over the course of our program, and I would say our version of MBA Follies was one of my favorites. While networking is often the stigma of business school, Follies was a night where only students and faculty were invited. We were able to attend an event where we could let loose and not have to worry about elevator pitches, strong handshakes, or regurgitating past work experiences to emphasize personality traits. This event embodied our business school as we came together to support each other while simultaneously having a great time, thus strengthening the intangible worth of our degree.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? If I could go back and start from scratch, the one thing I would do differently is place a heavier emphasis on data analytics. I gained an immense amount of knowledge by completing the finance track while at Texas A&M. However, after a summer internship and just learning how MBAs best fit in today’s world, I would strive to get a deeper understanding of data analytics concepts and tools on top of what was covered in our curriculum.

What is the biggest myth about your school? “Those Aggies are basically part of a cult.” Well, yes to some degree, but only in the most positive aspects. Being a double Aggie I’ve heard quite a few myths with this one being the outright leader. Aggies take extreme pride in who they are which is reflected in the school’s culture and many traditions. While there are some students who might take it to the extreme, the majority use the prideful network they’re associated with and put it to work for the betterment of themselves and their communities around the world.

What surprised you the most about business school? The vast multitude of backgrounds of classmates. As an undergrad and in my subsequent job, I was usually surrounded by people of the same major, background, or field. When I attended business school, all of that went right out of the window. I was amazed to find myself in the company of fighter pilots, schoolteachers, consultants, logistics managers, art dealers – name a field and my class probably had someone with some sort of experience in it. Hearing perspectives of those from completely different backgrounds than my own was quite the eye-opening experience.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? Being open and honest about who I was and what my goals were. Part of the growth that occurs in an MBA program is learning more about yourself. If you are entering a program with a façade, you will find yourself in some pretty murky water. You spend a lot of time together and your classmates, professors, and staff will quickly sniff out your true self. If the admissions personnel believe you are painting a false picture of a desirable candidate, it will hurt you more than it will help you.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I cannot think about my time as an MBA without thinking of my classmate Jacob Conn. Jacob held the position of student liaison for our class, meaning he had to absorb and recount my class’s constant feedback, whether it be positive or negative, to our faculty and staff. He is a brilliant guy who can make anyone laugh. During times of stress, Jacob was the guy who was there to talk out your issues, address the elephant in the room, or simply be in the moment and listen to you. Also, he can nail “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks on any karaoke stage.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? My class had an interesting disruption as our shift from in-person classes to online classes occurred in the middle of our spring semester. The initial shock was somewhat disruptive; however, I think the shock came mostly from figuring out how we each personally could work from home effectively. Looking back though, I think the disruption had a benefit. The initial online class experience forced us all to learn how to work remotely very quickly, and I think it ended up creating a more relaxed mindset as we entered virtual summer internships.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I had many influences, but if I had to nail it down to just one, I would say my father Steve. My dad has always been a bit of an entrepreneur and many of our talks have been about random ideas and business propositions. Observing his success in both the practical and social aspects business dealings made me realize I had a lot to learn. Where do you learn a little about a lot when it comes to starting, operating, or working for a successful business? Business school.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My first professional bucket list item would be starting my own company though I do believe I still have a lot to learn before opening up shop. Working for myself and being able to give back to my community by providing jobs and support is something I have always dreamed of doing.

My second item would be to hire and/or mentor someone to help them achieve their own bucket list item or reach a milestone goal. I believe the sharing of one’s knowledge and resources to better someone else professionally or personally is the epitome of being a genuine leader.

What made Porter such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“As a fellow Aggie, I cannot overemphasize how proud I am of Nash Porter and how he embodies “the Aggie Spirit.” As a formal leader in his class, Nash served as Vice President for the MBA Association (MBAA), where he not only coordinated events, but built class community and camaraderie by creating a culture of trust and involvement. He is a person who always took on additional responsibilities to help others, which directly represents the core value of selfless-service we advocate at Texas A&M. Nash not only made an impact on his own classmates, but he also impacted the faculty and incoming MBA students. Faculty and staff honored him with the “Outstanding MBA Student” award for excelling inside and outside the classroom. He also served as a teaching assistant for one of the first years’ MBA classes—statistics—which is no easy feat, and it was even more of a challenge during COVID with the hybrid-teaching model. Time after time, Nash exhibits the qualities and characteristics of the best and the brightest students we have; he is competent, compassionate, and a consummate professional. Perhaps what makes him most invaluable is that he sets such a strong example for his peers, whether in formal or informal leadership roles, inside or outside the classroom. Nash is undoubtedly “one to watch,” as I am confident he will continue to grow and impact others with his unparalleled skillset.”

Dr. Sarah Jaks ’11, ‘20
Assistant Director, Full-Time MBA Program
Mays Business School



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