"I Would Like to be a Truck Stop Waitress"
Get to know … Regina Hughes, senior lecturer of finance and director of the Business Foundations Program.
Hughes has been at UT since 1993 and has won numerous teaching awards. She has a mischievous sense of humor, loves Elvis and absolutely will not watch “Dancing with the Stars.”
What is the toughest part of your job?
Discussing your grade with you. When you tell me this is your best work and I overhear you tell others you wrote it last night, I know we may have a difference of opinion on your grade. Good work comes from practice.
If you had to choose another career, what would it be?
If I had not gone to college and couldn’t be hired for this job, I would like to be a truck stop waitress. I like the study of people, I like to think I can make the world a better place and I think I would enjoy the job.
What is your perfect Friday night?
Cards (or dominoes), friends and good strong libation. The worst Saturday morning can follow if not very careful!
What was the most fun you had in your career?
The fun times in my career come from the times I was totally lost, out of my league, or bored beyond belief. Years ago, by mistake, I booked a room and spent the night in a mafia-owned hotel in Boston. The sign said “under new management.”
Describe yourself in three words.
Vibrant, ambitious, reality-challenged.
What is your greatest weakness?
Self doubt, and it comes at the worst times.
What’s with all the memorabilia in your office?
Why not, would you rather see Greek and Roman antiquities? I keep those at home. My first office had no window and the novelty gave great distraction. Once I started collecting, students and colleagues added to my collection. Everyone who visits can find something they have a past connection with, and it makes them smile. Also, my husband asked that Elvis not hang on our living room wall.
Tell us about the last time a student pleasantly surprised you.
Students who make me smile are the ones I hear from after the class is over, after the semester or graduation. Contact me to tell me something from your day made you think of me and our class, that’s what gives me the juice for the next day.
You run the Business Foundations Program and the Halliburton Business Foundations Summer Institute. How does teaching non-business majors affect the way you teach business?
We all bring something different to the table. We provide checks and balances to each other’s discipline; the combination beats a straight anytime.
What is something most people love but that you hate?
I don’t watch cooking shows, dancing with has-beens, or reality shows.
What characteristic is essential to succeeding in business?
This is best described by the words in a Guy Clark song. The lyrics, “Close your eyes, spread your arms out wide and always trust your cape,” are great words to live by.