Tyler Lewis

“You have to bring your ‘A’ game every day.”

Tyler Lewis won’t spend his MBA years on the sidelines

Hometown: Houston, Texas.
Former career: Financial manager for a construction company in Central Mexico.
Current career: Financial analyst, Cash America.
Cool fact: Balances family life — with three kids — by sticking to an 8-to-5 class regimen (plus some late-night studying).

From day one: TCU’s focus on each student’s success starts even before classes begin. The START workshop, held the week before school, presents the essentials of everything from career coaching to parking. “It covers everything you need to know before classes begin. It’s not like at a giant school, where you just show up with 50,000 people and have to learn about getting a parking permit by either getting a ticket or getting your car towed.” 

Small by design: With its small classes and personalized teaching style, TCU’s MBA program isn’t for slackers who want to coast through. “The small classes increase your performance. You can’t just blend in. You have to bring your 'A' game every day.”

Customized classes: When your professors know you, they can tailor their classes to your interests. He’d hang around after Operations Management class to talk with Dr. Browning. “If something piqued my interest but was outside the scope of the class, we’d do some additional readings. I was really interested in ‘value at risk,’ a finance concept now being applied in project management planning, so he helped me learn more about it. He’d always take the time to go into the topic deeper.”

Small program, big opportunities: TCU pumps major resources — from scholarships to career consulting — into its MBA program. How does it pay off for students? “If you take those resources and divide them by the smaller number of students, everybody here gets a bigger piece of the pie. That’s just math. But when you think about programs like Neeley and Associates consulting project or the Educational Investment Fund, the chances to be involved are broadly available. You don’t have to survive some cutthroat round of competition before you can be part of these deep experiences.”

On the job: Evaluating subcontractors at Bell Helicopter, an internship that grew from his performance in TCU’s integrative project simulation, tests his ability to analyze companies based on a purely financial perspective. “When you look at their financial statements only, it's different from going out to see their operations or learning if they have up-to-date technologies. We’re looking to see if, financially speaking, the companies can keep doing what they’re doing. If a company doesn’t look strong, we don’t want to rely too heavily on it for supplying our customers. That company may not be in business a year from now.”

Team dynamics: You’ll sharpen your existing skills and acquire new ones on TCU’s project teams. He’s learned a systematic approach to networking from a teammate who works it like a pro. “She’s now known all over DFW, and it’s paying off for her. I’ve gotten a lot better at networking, but my plan now is to stay friends with her and hope her talent rubs off on me!”

Understanding the big picture: Regardless of your career direction, the MBA degree is most useful in helping you pull it all together. This was demonstrated in a C-Level Confidential lunch with Keith Harrison, one of Procter and Gamble’s five highest-ranking people. “He was talking about modular machines that fit inside shipping containers so that whole factories could be shipped around the world. And then he spoke about a plant in Venezuela, where your company needs to make money, but not so much that it gets nationalized. His job still deals with money, but it’s multifaceted. It involves knowing a company from so many interesting angles.”


How to find a great internship

Make as many contacts as you can. Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet.

Identify two or three companies to focus on.

Be ready. The next person you meet could be the one with the right opportunity for you.

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