Alumni Q&A Gives First-Years a Head START

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With the fall semester already in full gear, incoming students are looking for every opportunity to make the most of their MBA experience. After all, stepping out of the job market into a full-­time MBA program is a serious commitment, so students are eager to take the reins of their professional development. 

To help these students strategize for the semester ahead, a panel of recent alumni were assembled by the Graduate Career Services Center for a Q&A session during the recent START workshop.

First-year students had the opportunity to ask questions of Neeley School grads Trudy Guerrero (’14), senior consultant at Cisco; Dan Geer (’15), associate client manager at Nielsen; Dustin Schelle (’14), regional operations director at NorthStar Anesthesia, P.A.; Brandon Lewis (’14), AVP at Bank of America; and Maya Pouncy (’14), senior associate brand manager at DEPEND, Kimberly-Clark.

Alumni shared their thoughts, tips and advice on a variety of topics ranging from preparing for an internship to developing relationships with classmates and working as a team. Here are a few highlights from the discussion.

What advice can you give students as they prepare for their internship search?

Attending career fairs and networking at every opportunity are essential to the process.

“It’s really important to get out, network, go to career fairs. Networking is key,” Schelle told the students.

What tips do you have for preparing for internship interviews?

Research the company, know your interviewer, understand the role for which you’re applying and know how your skills fit the company and the specific role.

"Know your resume. Be able to clearly talk through every point. It sounds simple, but be prepared for the standard ‘about me’ questions and be comfortable and confident with your answers,” Lewis advised.

Describe some of the challenges you faced as an MBA student.

“The job search is stressful for everyone,” said Geer. “It's not personal. Competition’s tough. It's rare that you'll be competing head to head for a job with other candidates in the program, so work together and pick each other up.”

Learning to work with a team can also be a challenge. “You learn a lot about yourself working within a team throughout the year,” said Pouncy. “Learn how to work together. It’s hard to have eye-openers about yourself but worth it to learn those things before going to work.”

What kind of relationships did you develop with your classmates?

The friendships you make during your time at the Neeley School will grow to be an extension of your network as you launch your career, explained Lewis. “It's OK to lean on each other, step away for a few hours, have a drink, have fun, enjoy each other.”

As any Horned Frog will tell incoming students, the TCU blood runs deep. “This is a Frog family. Faces are always familiar here. You’re going to make lifelong friends,” said Geer.

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

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