Management and information systems senior Christopher Stamp successfully balanced work, school and social commitments throughout his undergraduate career. He has been selected as the Outstanding Undergraduate for Fall 2008 and was honored at the UH Bauer College Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008.
A strong academic performance, full-time employment and student leadership qualify Stamp for the recognition, associate professor Michael Parks said. “He has a huge amount of experience. His skills are highly varied. He’s not only a skilled technician, but he’s an artist. His best skill is that he is an incredible leader. He’s the guy, the guy that nods his head in all the right places.”
Stamp received a two-year degree from the Art Institute of Houston while working full-time as a graphic designer and programmer for Chemconnect before enrolling in the University of Houston. He continued his full-time employment while taking classes at UH Bauer and noted that his education at the college complemented his work experience.
Stamp also served as the Vice President of the Management and Information Systems Student Organization (MISSO) during his final semester. He was inducted into the UH chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in spring 2008. This summer, he also co-authored the online commodity trading platform for the Houston Mercantile Exchange (HMX) while taking classes.
After graduation, Stamp will take time to spend with his family before preparing for the GMAT, which will help him with the MBA application process.
The UH Bauer College Office of Communications spoke to Stamp about the recognition, his time at UH Bauer, and his future plans.
What made you choose Bauer for your undergraduate degree?
I chose Bauer for my undergraduate degree because I wanted to apply my previous work experience and technical knowledge to create business opportunities. Although there are technical degrees offered through other universities, and even colleges at UH, I felt that the curriculum at Bauer would give me the right combination of business and technical know-how to create business value while doing something I enjoy.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan on taking some time off to spend with family and friends. I am also going to begin preparations to take the GMAT to get a head start on the MBA admission process in a couple of years.
Was there a particular professor or person at Bauer who impacted you during your undergraduate studies?
Dr. Michael Parks made the biggest impact on me for a variety of reasons. Dr. Parks teaches a few different programming classes and is the faculty advisor for the MIS Student Organization (MISSO) of which I was the Vice President. His enthusiasm for helping his students find employment and seeing his students succeed after graduation made a huge impression. He takes great pride in the fact that students spanning his entire career are well represented at every level of almost every major IT organization in the Houston area and beyond.
What was the most challenging or difficult aspect of your time at Bauer? How did you overcome this?
For me, the most challenging aspect of attending Bauer was working a full-time position, taking a nearly full course load, and participating in MISSO. Needless to say, I have not had much free time in the past few years. I overcame this with the help and encouragement of my employer, friends, and family who wanted to see me succeed. My wife, Katherine, stood by me while I spent the majority of my evenings and weekends studying and helping out with MISSO. I am eternally grateful for her patience, love, and support these past four years.
How does it feel to be ending this chapter of your life?
I am very excited to see what the next chapter of my life will bring. Hopefully I can build upon my success here at Bauer and truly make an impact in my future endeavors.
What advice would you give to incoming freshman or transfer students at Bauer?
Students coming into Bauer should take full advantage of the networking opportunities and the student support services Bauer offers. MISSO has provided me with unparalleled access to employers and has allowed me to start building a network of peers on which to draw from in the future. Additionally, the Bauer Career Fair and the Rockwell Career Center provide excellent support in obtaining those dream jobs coming out of Bauer.
What do you think sets the Bauer student apart from other business students?
When compared to other business students, Bauer students are industrious, family oriented, and culturally diverse. Many of the students at Bauer work either part or full-time and typically commute from home. Bauer students aren’t afraid to work hard both in and out of school to reach their goals, but at the same time don’t lose focus of why they’re in school to begin with. Finally, with students coming from every walk-of-life, Bauer students are the most well prepared for dealing with the increasing cultural diversity present in the modern workplace.
By Hannah Eastham
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Bauer College of Business
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.