It was likely a sales call or someone doing a survey. He never dreamed the caller was phoning to let him know that filling out a simple survey had landed him a nice little getaway.
What started out as helping the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s alumni relations office capture updates to the school’s alumni contact information database ended up sending Montgomery, BS’11, and his wife to New York City, for free.
As part of the Jindal School’s 40th anniversary celebration, the school’s development and alumni relations office sent out communications encouraging alumni to register online with updated contact and professional information. By filling out the form, alumni were automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win a trip to the Big Apple.
“It seemed like a simple enough task, one which my UTD education had more than prepared me for,” said Montgomery, a management information systems (the undergraduate program has since been renamed to information technology and systems) major, in jest. “So I filled out the form.”
Shortly thereafter, Montgomery’s phone was ringing, and he got a message to return the call as soon as possible.
Once out of his meeting, Montgomery checked his voice mail. “The caller, Erica Yaeger, assistant dean of development and alumni relations, indicated that I had won a trip, that it was not a joke and I should call her at my earliest convenience. I’ve never won anything like this, so I was still skeptical at this point. I decided to go to lunch, in no big hurry, then call Erica when I returned.”
To his shock and surprise, his win truly was no joke, and Yaeger informed Montgomery that he had won a three-night, four-day trip for two to New York City that includes dinner, a Broadway show and Wall Street tour.
“I tried to play it cool when I called my wife, telling her I had a surprise for her. I kept her on the hook all afternoon, then gave her the good news when I got home,” said Montgomery, a strategic planning manager at Mission Foods.
The NYC campaign, which ran from March 1 through April 31, 2016, involved contacting JSOM alums through email as well as social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and WeChat). Around 16,000 alums were emailed, resulting in updates to nearly 1,300 alumni profiles. Alumni were asked to update their names, graduation years, email addresses, mailing addresses and employer names. Each alum who updated their contact information received a JSOM business card holder.
The Montgomery family has made UT Dallas a family affair. Michael Montgomery’s father, David Montgomery. BS ‘95, started the UT Dallas tradition with a degree in accounting. His sisters, Rachel (Montgomery) Daniel, BS ’07, and Christina (Montgomery) Ross, BS ’09. followed suit, also majoring in accounting. Lauren Montgomery, BS ’11, MS ’12, was next with an undergraduate and graduate degree in computer science.
“Once my dad went to UTD, the rest of us followed. We realized the quality of the education, the convenience of the location and the opportunity that it provided,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery and his wife, Danni, plan to head to New York in September.
“The plan is to hit that sweet spot in the seasons where it is not too hot and not cold yet either,” Montgomery said.