Andrew Sweeny

Leaving an impression

The chance to showcase his talent has positioned Andrew Sweeny for big things

Hometown: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Former life: Risk-management consultant for companies ranging from Boeing to Wendy’s.
Future life: Corporate finance.
Cool fact: He graduated from the Citadel.

Why TCU?: When it was time to shift his career into a higher gear, Andrew turned to the strong economy of Texas — and to the buzz around TCU. “The writing was on the wall for me. I didn’t see any career advancement without going back for more school. TCU sparked my interest because I kept hearing these glowing recommendations — from both MBA grads and undergrads I knew. A lot of these people owned companies and were highly successful.”

Among the best: To land his corporate finance internship with PepsiCo, Andrew competed against MBAs from Stanford, Wharton, Yale, Kellogg, Wake Forest and other top schools. Even before that, he had to leave an impression on the recruiters attending TCU’s week-long integrative project, a business simulation that tests everything learned in the first semester. “I got the initial interview because the company reps saw me in action during the integrative project. I give the MBA program credit for putting me in a situation to show my skills. That’s what TCU does so well: showcasing talent. The school has a lot of corporate connections, and it puts us in contact with companies at every turn.”

The TCU difference: Two TCU students made the final cut for the PepsiCo internships, which are often a stepping stone to full-time positions. “The night before the interview, I said to a PepsiCo recruiter, ‘There’s a lot of impressive talent here.’ And he said, without missing a beat, ‘Yeah, and you’re here at the table.’ That was a boost of confidence. In the end, everyone who interviewed was on equal footing academically. But I think the recruiters could look at the TCU students and say, ‘There's somebody who can be a great follower — and a great leader — in our company.’”

Extra credentials: In an effort to help students stand apart in the job market, TCU includes prep classes for the Level-1 and 2 Chartered Financial Analyst exam as part of the MBA. This coveted certification is equivalent to a CPA for accounting or the bar exam for lawyers. “A lot of recruiters are impressed that TCU offers and gives credit for CFA prep classes. It’s built into the curriculum. It’s not a separate thing you do on the side, and then if you pass the school says, ‘Hey, congratulations!’”

Living the life: After being surrounded by MBAs all week, you might expect Andrew to declare his weekends as student-free zones. Instead he hangs out with MBA pals. They might meet for dinner, catch the Texas Rangers in action or tailgate before a TCU football game. “We exploit that whole ‘students get in free’ thing at sporting events. There are not many places where you can see a Top 25 school play for free!”


Ready to stand and deliver

“We gave the perception to PepsiCo execs that we were ready for these internships. We were prepared for this kind of work.”
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