Neeley Net Impact: A Success Story

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Annie Agarwal, Former President of Neeley Net Impact
Neeley Net Impact was recently recognized by the national organization for the group’s efforts and innovative work creating opportunities for students to get involved in the community. Last fall, Neeley Net Impact joined the 2014 Komen Dallas Race for the Cure. Several students from the program also participated in the Victory Over Violence Walk/Run in Fort Worth, as well as the Big Dig event organized by FedEx. At the Big Dig event, Neeley Net Impact students joined 200 other volunteers to help build a garden for an elementary school.

At the beginning of the 2014–2015 school year, as a relatively new student organization, Neeley Net Impact wasn’t enjoying this level of success and participation. These achievements are largely testament to the commitment and vision of Annie Agarwal, the group’s president. Initially, Agarwal was struggling to generate interest from students, facilitate corporate partnerships and raise funds for community projects and events.

“We were competing with well-established clubs in school like Marketing Association, Supply Chain, Finance, etc., all of which had a lot of relationships in the corporate world and could offer more value to their members,” says Agarwal.

She organized a new leadership team with the help of two fellow students who shared her vision for raising the profile of TCU’s Net Impact chapter. With guidance from faculty sponsor and Professor Randy Lewis, they developed a new strategy for the group and have since seen a 16 percent increase in paid membership, a 20 percent increase in chapter budget, secured corporate partnerships and increased the chapter’s activity on the TCU campus.

“We felt that MBAs could learn more from corporations that were taking on CSR [corporate social responsibility] initiatives with a more strategic focus, and we started to do research as well as case studies,” Agarwal says. “We picked up the phone and started to connect with corporations based in Dallas/Fort Worth such as ExxonMobil, JC Penney and Oncor Electric and encouraged them to come and talk to our MBAs about their CSR initiatives and strategies. Once we had the buy-in from corporations, we highlighted that in the member recruiting events, and it worked.”

In October, Todd Onderdonk from ExxonMobile was on campus to discuss Exxon’s sustainability initiatives and alternative energy investments. In November, students participated in a Lunch and Learn with executives from JCPenney and Oncor.

Now under the direction of a new set of student leaders as Agarwal nears graduation, Neeley Net Impact inspires and equips MBAs to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

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