Business alum says UHCL gave him the experience and guidance that started his career
“Getting an MBA was always my plan,” said Shaun Mayo. “I never thought I’d leave Houston for any reason, and I always wanted to get an MBA because I believed it would set my career on a good trajectory. I chose University of Houston-Clear Lake because it was local, and I was impressed with the rigor of the program and its high placement rate. Everything UH-Clear Lake had was very attractive to me.”
He started his graduate journey in UHCL’s joint MHA/MBA program, then decided to switch the healthcare administration piece with a concentration in human resources.
Mayo, now the Chief People Office for the Arizona Cardinals, said that his intention to move steadily forward in his career in human resources has become a reality. “My entire career prior to sports and entertainment was in retail in Houston,” he said. “I started in human resources at Kohl’s in League City, then moved to Macy’s, JC Penney, and Walmart. Seven years ago, I came to Phoenix and began working with the Cardinals. It all started with my degree program at UHCL.”
When he reflects upon his career, Mayo said that the experiences he gained through his coursework were a key element of his preparation. “I didn’t have many role models or people to guide me when I was growing up,” he said. “I learned something in one of my classes that I use to this day, about how to interact and talk and meet people. There was a book called ‘When the Little Things Count…and They Always Count,’ by Barbara Pachter. It was required reading.”
The book has continued to resonate with him. In his role as the team’s liaison for community and civic initiatives that often involve young students, he said he refers to the book frequently. “I purchase copies of this book and give it to students, even today,” he said. “I often think of the professor who assigned it to us, because it’s one of the most important things I ever read. It’s helped me understand how to operate and work in a professional environment.”
Although his area of concentration is human resources, he said that his MBA courses, particularly the projects he worked on, helped him succeed. “I’m not in the traditional business operations lane; I am in more of a support role,” he said. “But what I bring from my graduate courses is an understanding of the business that I’m supporting. The work I did at UHCL prepared me to understand that part of the job. This is why I’m able to do what I do now.”
Mayo said he had returned to UHCL for speaking engagement a few times over the past years. “I am happy to stay connected and give back to the university that has given me so much,” he said. “A core element of who I am is to be a part of the path for others’ success.”
For more information about UHCL's MBA with Human Resource Management Concentration, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/business-administration-mba-human-resource-management-concentration.