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New TCU MBA Students Make an Impressive Start

The entering class of full-time TCU MBAs jumped right into their new academic environment during START Workshop, including making notable presentations to recruiters.

September 19,  2014

By Elaine Cole

It was the final day of START Workshop, the intense two-week orientation for TCU MBAs. The students stood in the atrium of the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center, nervous and excited, looking their best in business attire.

They were about to make their first TCU MBA presentation with their new classmates, in front of executives from AT&T, sponsor of the case competition, plus KPMG, PepsiCo, Yost Capital Management, Oncor, GM Financial, Essilor, Think Finance and Thrivent Financial. The professionals network with the students and each other, and enjoy a friendly competition for recruiting.

Vater Arnold, a recruiter for AT&T, has attended for several years. “I feel like every year TCU takes it to another level in quality and great ideas.” 

TCU‘s newest full-time MBAs worked on the case for AT&T to showcase their critical thinking and delivery styles. One week before making their final presentations, they traveled to the AT&T foundry in Plano to receive the case overview and visit with TCU MBA alumni at AT&T to gain insight into the industry.

Michael Leshan MBA ’06, director of financial analysis for AT&T, said that he and other TCU MBA alumni at AT&T sponsored the competition to help AT&T get new ideas from fresh perspectives outside the company. “We want to support our school, but there is a lot that AT&T gets out of it. We’re constantly trying to find new ways to keep subscribers and add subscribers, and these students had great ideas.”

At the end of the two-hour competition, the winning team was announced: Redy Solutions, which included Heather Jones, David Kole, Chunyang Yu and Zach Westbrook.

Garret Turner MBA ’14, strategic pricing manager for AT&T, was on the winning team two years ago. “I think I was a lot more nervous than these guys,” he said. “They seemed like pros. All four of the teams I judged were good. The winning team touched on all the areas we wanted and had predictions of market outcome and what they thought about competitors.”

“We are fortunate we have such great interest from employers to attend our START Workshop case competition,” Bethany Kilgore, associate director of recruitment operations for the Graduate Career Service Center, said. “It shows our incoming class the strong interest in TCU MBA recruitment.”

Next year’s case competition will be sponsored by Oncor Electric.

“As with AT&T, is especially beneficial to have a company like Oncor sponsor the competition, because there are TCU MBA alumni in senior management positions, as well as recent TCU MBA grads and interns, who can be resources to our student teams,” LaTanya Johns, director of the Graduate Career Service Center, said.  

Highlights of the incoming Full-time TCU MBA class*:

  • Average GMAT is 640
  • 47% scored 650 or above
  • 20% scored 700 or above
  • Average GPA is 3.25 
  • Average 4.2 years of professional experience. Employers include: IBM, Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Army, JP Morgan Chase, Capgemini India, Charles Schwab, Encana Oil and Gas, Baltimore Public Schools and United Technologies.
  • 30% of the U.S. students come from outside Texas
  • One-fourth are from Mexico, Bolivia, Australia, Taiwan, China and India. 
  • Academic backgrounds: 43% business majors. 32% humanities and social sciences. 25% science, technology, engineering or math majors.
  • Undergraduate universities include Purdue, New York University, Pune Institute of Computer Technology, Alabama, Monterrey Tech, U.S. Military Academy-West Point, University of Pittsburg, Santa Clara College, LSU, UT and Texas A&M.
*As of September 15, 2014