David Boelens

“I used to be confident in myself as a person, but not in my ability to participate in business conversation. Now I am.”

David Boelens, former U.S. Army Captain, forges ahead with a supply chain career

Hometown: Austin, Texas.
Former career: U.S. Army Captain.
Future life: Hand-picked for the leadership development program at Raytheon, a company that makes equipment for the armed services.
Cool fact: He won an essay contest to fly to the National Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Expo in San Diego, where he saw autonomous robots that work in warehouses to streamline receiving, picking and shipping. 

Insider track: Thanks to the personal connections forged with his career coach, David lined up his post-graduation job at Raytheon, where he began the two-year Supply Chain Development Program. “In the Army, I helped train soldiers and implemented technology on the field. I saw good things and things that could be improved. Now I want a job where I can implement some good changes. My coach knew I was interested in the defense industry and put me in contact with Nick Troutz, a TCU alum who was hired into Raytheon’s Business Development Leadership Program. I couldn’t have done it without my TCU ties.”

When in Rome: No stranger to a good challenge, David broke through language barriers during an internship at Lockheed Martin. As a procurement intern, he frequently communicated with Serio Panel, a company based in Italy, to purchase panels for the cockpits of the F-35 fighter jets. “We used a translator, since I don’t speak Italian. And there are cultural differences between American and international suppliers, too. Parts were delayed, and Serio Panel didn’t want to disappoint us as customers. I learned how to clearly communicate what we needed for a smooth production.”

Family matters: After four years in the Army, David needed a change. He made up his mind to earn his MBA, settle down in the DFW area and spend more time with his wife and family. And just in time: a new baby arrived one day after graduation! “There were a lot of good reasons to come here. TCU’s personal atmosphere reinforces that importance placed on relationships. The school is military-friendly and offered me a generous scholarship. And once I started getting interviews and job offers, I knew I’d made the right decision. Now I’ve got a job that I know I’ll enjoy and that will also allow me time with my wife and to raise a family. That was the end-goal.”

Lead the way: David channels the leader mentality he sharpened in the Army into his TCU life. As vice president of his class, he determined the budgets of MBA clubs, fielded questions about the facilities and organized a trip to meet with investment guru Warren Buffett. He was also a principal for the Neeley & Associates Consulting project for Hillwood, where his team of first-year students was tasked with making recommendations for the Ross Perot Jr. real estate development. One of his duties included making the initial site visit to “sell” TCU to Hillwood. “My pitch was, ‘Your company can develop a win-win relationship with a local school, and get a quality product for a price that can’t be beat.’ I used to be confident in myself as a person, but not in my ability to participate in business conversation. Now I am.”

Bootcamp: As part of the Neeley & Associates Consulting program, TCU’s consulting bootcamp teaches students smart techniques for managing projects or figuring out who’s accountable. “We practiced using tools I’d never seen before, like the RACI matrix and project charters, which are useful in clarifying project objectives, roles and task responsibilities. When I’m managing projects in the future, I’ll know how to get everyone on the same page right from the start.”

Fun in Fort Worth: Just because David was in business school didn’t mean he was all business, all the time. When he wasn’t studying supply chain strategies and perfecting his presentations, he played fetch with his black Lab, listened to bands in Sundance Square and enjoyed the local fare at Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant. So what’s his advice for a fun, balanced life? “Make sure to set aside time for family. No exceptions. If you manage your time well, you can have a personal life and get your work done efficiently.”

David B

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