A 2015 Neeley & Associates Consulting Roundup: Part I

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In Part I of this three-part series, Zhenya Egupova provides insight into her experience in TCU's Neeley & Associates Consulting program, where she recently led a project for YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. 

One of the most important differentiators of TCU’s MBA program is the emphasis the Neeley School of Business places on experiential learning. Neeley & Associates Consulting is a prime example of how MBA students turn what they learn in the classroom into real-world results that can impact a company’s bottom line. In return, students gain valuable experience consulting with leading national companies, including PepsiCo, Bell Helicopter, Nike, Oncor, Sabre Holdings, Frito-Lay, Alcon, Lockheed Martin and more.

Even though most TCU MBA students have worked an average of five years before returning to school, many are in the midst of a career change and can benefit from MBA-level experience in their desired field. The consulting projects give students the opportunity to test new skills and challenge themselves in unfamiliar situations and industries.  

Each year, paying corporate clients hire these student teams—composed of first-year students and helmed by second-year student "principals"—to resolve some of their toughest business challenges. The benefits of Neeley & Associates Consulting are unmatched in terms of professional experience, relationship building and exposure to project management.

Some of this year’s Neeley & Associates Consulting projects are with Michaels, YMCA and Frito-Lay. Principals on each of the projects took some time to explain the scope of their work and answer questions about the Neeley & Associates experience. Here's what Zhenya had to say.

YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth 
Zhenya Egupova, Principal

What is the goal of the project?

“Our goal is to improve the process of site selection, which would help the Y to be more effective in its expansion. It’s important for the organization to contribute to the community development. At the same time, each location has to be financially sustainable.”

How is working with a nonprofit different?

“Before starting this project, I myself was wondering if working with a nonprofit organization would be much different from serving businesses. It turns out that for this project, the difference is not very significant. No matter what its mission is, an organization has to be relevant for its clients and financially sustainable,” says Egupova. “The methods of determining return on investment can be used in various industries, and nonprofit organizations are not an exception.”

What has your Neeley & Associates experience been like so far?

“My experience has been very rewarding. With N&A, I am learning every day. As a consultant, I gained or improved my skills in consulting, project management, public speaking and client communication on all levels of an organization. Now as a principal, I keep improving as a consultant, but I am also learning how to manage a team. Through this program, I’ve had a chance to meet so many interesting and talented people, learn about different organizations and sample several industries,” says Egupova.

“Additionally, as an international student, the N&A program was an excellent opportunity to work in American corporate culture even before I started my summer internship, which definitely helped me to prepare for a job.”

Why would you encourage prospective/current students to join Neeley & Associates?

“The Neeley & Associates is one of the features that makes the TCU MBA program a unique and valuable experience. I would recommend most students to join it … Students who are switching careers or industries can get a taste of different work areas. Students who do not have substantial work experience can get it from working with real businesses.”

Programs like Neeley & Associates Consulting give TCU MBA students the opportunity to transform their resumes and set themselves apart from their competition. The ability to participate in a real consulting project with real consequences while still pursuing a degree better prepares students for the realities they will face upon graduation, a true benefit to any prospective employer. 

Look forward to Neeley & Associates Consulting Roundup Part II, coming soon!

Interested in getting a TCU MBA? Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate program or apply now.
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