Naveen Jindal School of Management Alumni Spotlight

From real estate to healthcare management, to information technology and finance, we are proud to shine a spotlight on some of our alumni whose career paths are representative of the many employment options to which a degree from the Naveen Jindal School of Management can lead. With more than 29,000 alumni, the Jindal School is impacting the culture of business in the U.S. and beyond.

The following JSOM graduates agreed to have their information posted. If you are an alumnus and willing to share your information, please contact Caroline Mandel, Assistant Director, Development Communications and Donor Relations.

Jonathan Seyoum, MBA’03 Partner and Chief Operating Officer
The Original Pancake House
Jonathan Seyoum never imagined a part-time job would one day lead to part ownership of one of DFW’s most well-known breakfast eateries. With more than 20 years of experience at The Original Pancake House, Seyoum now serves as partner and chief operating officer — and occasionally can be found in the kitchen. Throughout his time in the restaurant and hospitality industry, Seyoum has been involved in almost every aspect of the business. He credits his Jindal School education for challenging him to think beyond traditional boundaries, a lesson he learns anew on an almost-daily basis at the pancake house.
Jonathan with his three daughters, Myh, Amen and Bella.
Tell us a few highlights of your professional career.
I have experienced many small victories throughout my career, but as it stands, my proudest achievement is my work at The Original Pancake House. Since the franchise purchased several new DFW locations, revenue has continued to grow, and sales have doubled. In my current role as chief operating officer and partner, I have experienced all aspects of the industry from helping in the kitchen to designing new facilities, managing and operating multiple locations and financing new projects. Working in the restaurant and hospitality industry has been a very rewarding journey, and I have learned a lot about people and the business of managing a successful restaurant franchise.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
Living in Plano and working in the DFW area made UT Dallas a natural choice for me when I decided to pursue an MBA. Of course, the fact that the university is experiencing positive growth both in reputation and size was an added plus. To top it all, I had friends and family who attended and even taught at UT Dallas.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
Some of my favorite memories relate to the friends I made at UT Dallas. But frankly, the memories that remain strong are those from the classroom. In the classroom I was challenged and learned to look outside the box I live in.
Who was your favorite professor, and/or what was your favorite class, and why?
That’s really tough to say. Dr. Habte Woldu, director of the Jindal School’s BS in Global Business and MS in International Management Studies programs, stands out because he had the most interactive and open classroom. I enjoyed Dr. Stan Liebowitz’s personal commentary in his business economics course, Dr. Tevfik Dalgic, professor of organizations, strategy and international management (OSIM), for his direct but humorous teaching, and the late Dr. Adolf Enthoven’s ease in presenting basic accounting principles stands out. I could go on…
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My time outside of work is spent with my family. I enjoy seeing my kids learn and explore all sorts of subject areas. 
What advice do you have for current students hoping to succeed in the business world?
Have fun! Joy is indeed an ingredient to success, not its outcome. Also be a good citizen and know your impact on the larger community.  

Try hard to understand people and how to use their strengths. Learn to cultivate good values and a productive culture. All these will determine how much your organizations will grow and ultimately, succeed.
What makes an effective leader?
I have found the most effective leaders place the well-being of others and their organization above any short-term goal or personal gain. A leader who demonstrates such passion for his or her followers eliminates distrust and acts of self-preservation and inspires others to use their discretionary time and energy.

This past spring, Jonathan appeared on local TV morning show, The Broadcast, in celebration of International Waffle Day