First-Year Students Share Key Takeaways from Semester One

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Southwest Airlines Award Winners, IP Simulation
It’s been a busy semester for TCU’s first-year MBA students. With classes, special events, career fairs, interviews, case competitions and experiential learning opportunities, their schedules are always jam-packed.

Their year began with the START Workshop and Oncor Case competition, which had them presenting to corporate recruiters even before formal classes were underway. Within weeks, they were headed to national career fairs in Chicago, Orlando and others.

During C-Level Confidentials, small groups of students had the chance for face time with senior-level executives such as Dave Reiff, senior vice president of supply chain at Walmart. Over dinner, the executives spoke candidly about industry trends and the challenges they face, as well as shared insight about their decision-making processes.

The PepsiCo MBA Invitational Case Competition in September brought together the best and brightest MBA students from the country’s top b-schools. The mixed teams, composed of first-year students from the different programs represented, were asked to collaborate and present findings in limited time. 

Our first-year students concluded their semester with the weeklong Integrated Project (IP) business simulation, during which they were tasked with making decisions related to all aspects of a business.

Needless to say, our first-year MBAs have been busy! But it’s just all part of the Neeley School experience. Here’s what a few of our students had to say about their first semester.

“This semester, I learned to test my limits and to also test boundaries. At the Neeley School, you can push yourself because you have a community (peers, professors, faculty) to help you; you're ‘safe’ to make mistakes. It was a growing experience to take courses in which I have no prior knowledge to make myself more well-rounded.” —Michael McCarter

“This semester, I learned how to work as a team, and I learned a lot about team dynamics, leadership and team effectiveness as it applies to every class and subject.” —Chelsea Franklin

“I feel like I'm on another level of thinking and strategizing than when I began the semester. Taking different types of classes and integrating them pushes us to think outside the box. It has been an experience in a new way of thinking. In just four months, I already feel smarter. I am better prepared to take things on, and I have a better grasp of what I can do, how high I can aim." —Hutson Prioleau

"This semester, I learned the importance of a work/life balance and how much I can handle. With two kids at home, it is important to have a partner who is supportive." —Cariel Apodaca

“I learned the most from the experiential learning opportunities and the hands-on applications at case competitions and the Integrated Project.” —Morgan Ferguson

“I have enjoyed seeing how people from different backgrounds come together and have to learn to understand their work styles and adapt. I have found them to be all hard-working, smart and accountable.” —Van Thieu

“This semester has challenged me to work with people I didn’t know in an environment where I need/want to excel.” —Peter Blair

“During the first semester, you see how far you can stretch yourself. Sometimes ‘stretching thin’ is not a bad thing. You realize that you can do more than you think you can.” —Mitch Howe

“I’ve expanded my breadth of business acumen this semester.” —Andrew Knust

“The best part has been being part of something bigger than myself. I didn’t realize the magnitude of the cohort—plus staff, faculty, admin—and how they all work together.” —Robert Prudencio

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

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