Ed Guidry

“Shouldn’t I be doing something I really love?”

TCU’s strong ROI delivers for career-changer Ed Guidry

Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Former career: 12 years in financial services.
Current life: Sales consultant with IBM.
Cool fact: He’s the “blurry guy” on the cover of the TCU MBA brochure.

A wise investment: When choosing MBA schools, Ed zeroed in on the bottom line. And it paid off: he didn’t graduate with lots of debt and his first post-MBA job doubled his previous salary. “I was looking at a lot of other big-name schools, but I was also looking at some major debt. TCU has unusual access to scholarships that keep your debt to a minimum. And beyond that, it’s a phenomenal school and it definitely paid off for me.”

Why an MBA?: He had a good job, but he knew he needed to refocus his career. “If I spend most of my waking hours at work, shouldn’t I be doing something I really love? As an undergrad I really liked my marketing classes. I wanted to get inside the heads of customers, to figure out what they want and to shape the product to meet those needs. That relationship between psychology and the finished product is what makes marketing so intriguing.”

Learning the ropes: He sharpened his analytical skills on a Neeley and Associates consulting project for Lockheed Martin. The assignment — a complex communication plan for a new process rollout — required team members to pinpoint the best way to communicate with all the major groups at every phase. “Lockheed Martin really has its own language. It handles government contracts, so it has an atypical organization and lots of federal regulations. We had to get through those murky, difficult, abstract details to figure out what the project really entailed.”

Big possibilities: Ed says TCU mixes the personal touches of a small school with the mindset of a big school. “There’s a whole team working on all these projects to you give you big-impact, real-world experiences. And TCU doesn’t just facilitate these great experiences; they let you drive them. That’s hard to do, but TCU absolutely lives up to its promise.”

Golden opportunities: Neeley’s career services team works closely with student clubs to connect students with their targeted companies, and often provides financial support for the trips.  On one career trip to Chicago with the MBA Marketing Association, he learned about the marketing power behind McDonald’s golden arches. “It was a great opportunity to see a marketing giant that really knows what it’s doing. We got to peek behind the curtain of what the public never sees and to understand why McDonald’s is one of the world’s strongest brands.”

New challenges: Ed’s post-MBA position mixes marketing with strategic thinking. As an IBM sales consultant in Omaha, he works with client businesses to ratchet up performance and matches them with IBM solutions. “I’m with an external company, but I’m really focused on business strategy for the client business. I had no interest in a normal sales position, but the chance to do consulting and make strategic decisions is what makes the job a great match for me.” 

Stand and deliver: With so many options to interact with execs and give presentations in front of industry leaders, TCU students improve their presentation skills and build their confidence. “By the time you graduate, you’ve presented to managers or executives a dozen times — everyone in the whole class has — and it makes you that much more confident in selling yourself and your abilities. You’ve had some big wins, you’ve gotten some praise and it’s enough to say, ‘Gosh, I can do this.’”

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"By the time you graduate, you’ve presented to managers or executives a dozen times — everyone in the whole class has — and it makes you that much more confident in selling yourself and your abilities."

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