Ben Wyatt

“This is real experience — and it lays the groundwork for wherever you end up.”

Former baseball player Ben Wyatt takes a swing at equity research

Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas.
Former career: Six years at Smith Barney/Citigroup.
Current Career: Associate, equity research, Stephens, Inc.
Cool fact: He has twin daughters, born just months before he started the program.

A new focus: After building a deep knowledge of finance with Smith Barney, Ben knew how he wanted to refocus his career. “My work was more on the sales side, but I wanted to make a transition into a more analytical role. I really needed to improve my understanding of the income statement and balance sheet, which my MBA experience helped me with.”

Why TCU?: Location, location, location. When Ben set out to find the region’s best MBA program, he looked at everything within six hours of Little Rock, and TCU’s stand-and-deliver experiences stood out. “The draw of DFW is great. Every company in the world is here.”

Beating the Street: Ben headed up TCU’s Educational Investment Fund, valued at $1.5 million, and the team managed to outperform its Wall Street benchmarks. “The EIF is a ‘real’ experience. Even though each firm will have its twists on how it approaches investing in stocks/bonds, the EIF really lays the groundwork for whoever you end up working for. The course was focused on the quantitative side of investing (which I learned a ton about), but I learned more about the qualitative factors — like health care reform or the state of Europe’s economy — that really make a stock move.”

Lead or get out of the way: TCU’s stand-and-delivery mentality brings out every student’s leadership potential. “It was an honor to be selected by my classmates to be the head of the investment fund. And TCU’s smaller class size made me confident to put myself out there. If I had been in a class of 400 or 500 students, then I might have been a little shy.”

Life in balance: TCU’s family-friendly environment makes a balanced life possible. Ben’s secret is sticking to a schedule: family in the morning, classes during the day, kids in the evening and studying at night. “School can be flexible if you have children. In the first semester, it felt like ‘get on the treadmill and go as fast as you can.’ Now I make sure I get the twins ready for school and fix them breakfast each morning. That’s the way for me to spend extra time with them.”

In the markets: He visited New York City and Houston on informational trips with the Capital Markets Club. Meetings with industry leaders made the excursions much more focused than typical field trips. “I treated the trips like an interview: I tried to prepare and ask good questions in hopes that I would grab someone's attention or at least make a good contact.”

Competitive spirit: Ben played minor league baseball for an Atlanta Braves farm team, so is it any surprise that he’s a tough competitor? In the Texas Shoot-Out Real Estate Competition — it’s like a World Series for Texas MBAs — Ben’s team battled the state’s top MBAs to design a commercial property, and won. “When you’re going one-on-one, I’d put the students at TCU against anyone at any school.”

Ben

“The draw of DFW is great. Every company in the world is here.”

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