How a Neeley MBA transcends borders in a global economy

Today’s increasingly global business environment requires professionals to develop a truly global perspective. Differences in language, culture, currency and market structure aren't obstacles to advancement—they're opportunities to take your career in new and groundbreaking directions.

Tigran Abovyan's (MBA, '13) unique story shows just how far a wide range of experience can take you. Since earning his MBA in finance, Tigran has enjoyed incredible success. He's the CEO of Export Finance, a non-bank credit organization that delivers tailored financial solutions for non-resident legal entities doing business within the Republic of Armenia. These clients include members of both the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Under Tigran’s leadership, Export Finance has become the most profitable venture of its kind in Armenia. In fact, Export Finance accounted for 40 percent of the entire industry’s profits in 2016.

Before that, however, Tigran worked in his home country of Armenia at the nation’s Central Bank. He chose to get his MBA at Neeley in order to position himself for a new role in Armenia’s private sector.

According to Tigran, the TCU MBA Program played a crucial role his achieving this goal. While at Neeley, he participated in Neeley & Associates Consulting, became a portfolio manager at an Educational Investment Fund, enrolled in the CFA program and landed internships in prominent investment organizations.

In discussing how his time at Neeley prepared him to excel, Tigran notes that the student population included an impressive mix of international students. "Being exposed to this diversity as an MBA candidate helped me develop my ability to connect with international businesspeople," he says.

But those weren’t the only important connections Tigran made during his time at Neeley. Tigran utilized his experience as a first-year Neeley & Associates Consultant and second-year principal to rub shoulders with clients at multinational corporations such as PepsiCo.

"Consulting for a prominent global brand like PepsiCo gave me unparalleled experience both in managing projects and interacting with c-level clients," Tigran says. Each of the executives he worked with gave the same advice: “Choose the best people, take good care of them and they’ll bring you success.”

These “soft skills” of effective and ethical management have proved just as crucial as the hard skills Tigran picked up participating in Neeley’s experiential learning programs like the Educational Investment Fund.

“As an EIF portfolio manager, I analyzed stocks and offered investment recommendations to produce benefits for the Baylor Hospital System,” he says. “My EIF duties impressed upon me the responsibility involved in investing real money.” In addition to these experiences, Tigran was able to take advantage of TCU’s CFA prep course and pass two levels of the CFA exam, all while pursuing his MBA.

Even though he now works and helps raise his family in Armenia, Tigran will always consider Fort Worth and TCU his second home. "In 2013, I was the only Armenian graduating from TCU, and on the day of the official ceremony, the university made sure to have a huge Armenian flag on display.”

Just as when he was a student, Tigran maintains an active presence in the TCU community. “I definitely stay in touch with my peers in the United States. We not only have friendly conversations, but also share professional experiences, swap advice and take on consulting projects. Some of my TCU friends are even planning to visit me here in Armenia.”

Learn more about how the international network of accomplished professionals and industry thought leaders associated with TCU’s MBA program contribute to student success stories like Tigran’s by visiting the Neeley School of Business website

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