Neeley & Associates Consulting Part II: The Benefits

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As part of the Neeley & Associates Consulting program, TCU MBA students work with major national companies to help find solutions to actual business problems. The goal is for team projects to be implemented or adapted for practical use. Team findings have meaning and repercussions for their target company. 

This unique partnership offers students experience that resonates far beyond the classroom. While many business schools offer students the opportunity to take part in consulting projects, the Neeley & Associates Consulting program takes that experience further in three distinct ways: 

True Consultant-Client Relationship. Unlike other MBA consulting projects, Neeley & Associates Consulting clients pay for the consulting services provided, allowing students to enter into a true consultant-client relationship. 

“When the companies have skin in the game, they are more demanding, expect impactful results and are more sensitive to giving the student access to the information and decision-makers they need,” says Peggy Conway, director of MBA admissions at TCU’s Neeley School of Business. 

Classroom Support and Dynamic Feedback. Ed Riefenstahl, director of experiential learning, and Dr. Larry Peters, director of Neeley & Associates, teach classes in tandem with the Neeley & Associates Consulting project. Both Riefenstahl and Dr. Peters have extensive professional consulting experience, which they leverage in their teaching. 

The classroom setting acts as a support to the consulting framework, and Riefenstahl and Dr. Peters provide feedback to the teams throughout the duration of the project. Plus, each team has the opportunity to meet with alumni and consultants from firms such as Deloitte and Accenture for additional guidance. 

Multi-Level Leadership Experience. In their first year, students work in teams to complete a specific consulting project for the client. Each team member has the opportunity to take on various roles within the group, depending on his or her own unique skill set. In their second year, MBAs serve as principals on projects. In this role, second-year students identify potential projects, work with client managers to scope the projects and then serve as team leaders. 

Benefits to the Students of Neeley & Associates Consulting

Second-year students Jason Danforth and Jenna Pieschel are both participants in Neeley & Associates Consulting and are now serving as principals in the program. They offer the student’s perspective into Neeley & Associates Consulting. 

Both Danforth and Pieschel consider Neeley & Associates Consulting to be a priceless complement to their MBA education. Other benefits to the students of the Neeley & Associates Consulting program include: 

Relevant experience and resume builder. As a member of the program, students learn project management skills in a corporate environment. Not many students finish graduate school with professional consulting experience for leading national companies such as Bell Helicopter, Oncor, Sabre Holdings, Frito-Lay, Alcon, Lockheed Martin, Nike or Pepsico on their resumes. 

Teamwork and management skills. Neeley & Associates Consulting students learn to work as a member of a team to accomplish a common goal and gain practice managing others. As principals, students work closely with the client to define project scope and serve as team lead for first-year students. 

Client communication. Clear communication with the client is critical in any consulting relationship. Neeley & Associates Consulting clients are paying clients, which means they are often demanding. Students must learn to nurture and manage these client relationships in a meaningful and productive way. 

The Neeley & Associates Consulting program is just one more way in which TCU offers superior preparation to its MBA students. It takes the guesswork out of consulting in the professional sector and provides resume-building skills not typically found in the classroom. 

Look forward to Neeley & Associates Consulting Part III: Future Opportunities, coming soon!
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