One of Neeley's Greatest Assets: Experienced, Motivated Classmates

An MBA is a broad-based degree, and it draws students from a diverse set of academic and professional backgrounds — from financial services and science and engineering to nonprofit, digital marketing and teaching. Whatever your prior experience, you’ll find yourself among other smart, highly motivated individuals who will help you consider business issues from different perspectives, challenge your way of thinking and broaden your point of view. We asked a few of our MBA candidates to share what they’ve learned from their Neeley School peers. Here’s what they had to say:

Peter Blair, full-time MBA ’17

I feel very fortunate to have so many smart and talented friends at TCU. We have individuals from the nonprofit and private sectors. We have veterans, former government employees, individuals who worked for major corporations and others who come from a family business. Each of us has strengths we can all benefit from.

What I love about my classmates is that we’re all different. We each have unique backgrounds and experiences. We have a smaller class size, which means we get to know each other well. It also enables us to build off of each other’s past experiences in the classroom, group meetings and at employer events. By learning about their unique experiences, I become a well-rounded person and learn how to work with people from all backgrounds — a vital skill in today’s diverse business world.

One of the unique things about an MBA program is that everyone wants to learn and to do their best, and that’s especially true here at TCU. On every project (the majority of which are group projects) my groups made sure we did our best work. You always know that when a group meeting is set, you need to come prepared to share and be able to show others how you got to your answer. What better practice for business life? We’ll need to come prepared to our corporate meetings and demonstrate to those present exactly how we came to our conclusion.

I know if I ever need help with an assignment I have 100 classmates and friends I can ask. Each of us wants to do our best. We push each other to make sure we come prepared and do our best work. We don’t want to let each other down.

Prospective students: Do your research and find a program that’s a good fit for you. While I was going through the process of finding a school, TCU stood out to me instantly. At Neeley, we have some of the best professors in the world and a smaller class size, which enables you to know your classmates and develop strong relationships with them. If you are looking for a smart, well-rounded group of motivated individuals, TCU is right for you.

Kylie Reynolds, MS in supply chain management ’17 (evening program); demand fulfillment specialist at Alcon

My cohort has been instrumental in helping me succeed. Honestly, sometimes I credit them more than myself. From weekly study sessions to a near constant group text thread, they have never let me fall behind or quit (and we have all wanted to at times!).

Recently, we faced a final exam that was easily the biggest academic challenge any of us had faced. But, thankfully, one of my classmates is a former entrepreneur and has more inventive study habits than the rest of us. Because he shared his gained knowledge and experience, it allowed all of us to ramp up our preparation to meet the challenge. 

The members of our cohort have expertise in a variety of fields, including stints with the U.S. Army, Samsung, BNSF, consulting firms, Pier 1 Imports and a medical company. We’re each able to use examples from our past positions to support, illustrate and sometimes challenge the concepts we learn in class, which inspires fascinating and productive discussion. For example, I’m utilizing material from a recent class on analytics (Business Analytics and Process Analytics) to glean meaning from data and present it to my superiors using tools such as decision trees and programs such as Tableau.

Outside of my cohort, I've found my other classmates to be outgoing and always willing to work together. We range in age, background, experience and interests; however, every person I've met has found a unique way to not only make it through, but to make it fun. Meeting people and taking the time to get off topic and learn about their lives is an important part of fully embracing the Neeley experience. 

Prospective students: Working full-time, going to school at night, and trying to balance home/family/social life seems impossible a lot of the time, but you are never alone. Your classmates will be awesome and are dealing with the exact same type of feelings and issues you are. You can and should rely on them. And if you’re lucky, you'll land yourself a cohort like mine that becomes your family from day one.   

Emily Hughes, MBA ’13, director of business development at Buxton; adjunct, TCU Neeley MBA Program

My classmates definitely pushed me to succeed both while in school and even now. Neeley creates a competitive but family-orientated environment. During school, we worked on a number of class projects as a team. You wanted to do well not only to learn, but for your fellow teammates. While the grade might be important, it was equally important to put in good quality work because your teammates were. Today, my classmates still push me through encouragement to strive to excellence and instill confidence in confronting the challenges I might face.

Graduate school helps you become a leader and an exceptional thinker, and the real world experiences and insights from your classmates helps make this possible. I’m actually teaching a class in the MBA program this semester as an adjunct and part of what I'm trying to do is highlight real world experiences that I’ve had and encourage the class to do the same.

What’s great about Neeley is knowing that I have a great network around me. From a personal standpoint, many of my classmates are close friends still. We meet and talk about work, life, TCU football, etc. The connection that we developed while in graduate school has made a wonderful impact on my life.

The Neeley School of Business prides itself on providing a personal and connected education for its students. Neeley School students vary in age, background and experience, but each of them come to TCU with a common goal: to receive a degree in an environment that values relationships, networking and hands-on experience that will ultimately propel their career forward. Peer-to-peer relationships are just one more tool for achieving this future success. 

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

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