When MBAs Go Golfing

Left to right: Mary Anand, Ngyhia Randle, Tracy Ning Song, Marianna Kisin, Yan Wu, Bart Shirley, Olivia Engkvist, Anh Truong

Golfing is one of those things that any MBA student/graduate should be able to do. I don’t know how it is in real life, but in the movies, it seems like a lot of important business decisions are made out on golf courses. It would be such a shame for one to be left out of those sorts of things just because one can’t golf.

Last weekend, several of us MBAs and one Masters of Accounting student decided to do something about improving/establishing our golfing abilities. Eight of us trekked out to the Benbrook Par 3 Golf Course for three hours of hitting balls. Most of those balls went straight down the fairway (several people discovered hidden golfing talent that day), but there was certainly a number of balls that veered off into the tall weeds, or plunked right into the middle of the water trap.

It was a great time. We got nice tans, shared some laughs, and zipped around on golf carts. Seven out of us eight golfers are going to be graduating in a couple weeks, but I really hope we’ll all keep in touch and keep golfing together.

– Olivia Engkvist

INFO ABOUT THE BENBROOK PAR 3 GOLF COURSE:
1590 Beach Road, Benbrook, TX
(817) 249-3727
Nine holes, all par 3
$9 per person
$6 per golf cart
No tee-time required

Internship search strategy and lessons

Preparing for, searching for, strategizing for and finally landing a summer internship is a daunting task. I’m learning just how daunting it can be as the calendar switches to April.

Since I started my MBA journey, I haven’t had a firm time table on when I should hit the panic button for my internship search. I know there is a great opportunity out there for me. My idea of the ideal internship has shifted almost weekly, but I have held true to my goal to get into marketing. I lost track of how many online applications I have filled out. Needless to say, I should have followed up on more of the opportunities.

The Neeley School of Business Graduate Career Center and LinkedIn have been my best resources during my internship search. Reaching out to and connecting with TCU MBA alums has been invaluable and it’s remarkable what alums will do to help current students. I’m hoping to hear back soon about marketing internship opportunities at Brinker International in Dallas (where alum Sergey Shubin works) and SailPoint in Austin (where alum Paul Trulove is hiring for his marketing team). I’m also pursuing unpublished positions at local companies RAPP and CB Richard Ellis and Demand Media in Austin. My latest online application was for a Social Media Strategist opening at Waste Management in Houston. I’m willing to work just about anywhere in Texas.

This week I reached out to my classmates to share their internship stories. Here are two success stories from first-year MBAs Erika Jackson and A.J. Radcliffe:

Erika has accepted a Product Marketing Internship at Sabre Holdings, a global company based in Southlake, Texas.

Her story: Finding an internship was a long process. I was so worried about not being able to find a job, so I started looking immediately following the start of the first semester. I suffered through lots of interviews and faced lots of rejection. But in the end, all of that rejection led to a great opportunity with a company that had everything I was looking for. And through it all, I had the unwavering support of my classmates, and the faculty and staff of the Neeley School. I’m looking forward to a great summer!

A.J. has accepted a Marketing Research internship at California-based Intel.

His story: The first 1-2 months I got absolutely nothing. While the Graduate Career Center helped some with job postings on MBAjobs (Neeley School internship/job website), most of the companies that they brought to campus weren’t on my radar or in the industry I was hoping for. I mostly just applied online. After the 1-2 months of hearing nothing, I got a lot more interviews in the span of 1-2 weeks. The last week before I got my offer from Intel was extremely fast-paced. On Thursday, I had an interview with Galderma (pharmaceutical company). I got an offer from Galderma the next morning, and had my phone interview with Intel. Intel gave me an offer on Wednesday the next week.

– Michele Machado

Prayers to my Past

Perhaps this is not the venue for this note, but I felt it needed to be said. Japan, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I lived and worked in Japan for the past 3 years before coming to TCU and it is a place within my heart that I hold dear. I am only glad that technology has provided a way for almost instantaneous assurance (or at least knowledge) of the status of family and friends. Such an earthquake still in stages of aftershock is a scary situation. I continued to keep everyone in my thoughts and shall try to provide support however I can.

That said, I feel even within that so much has come to light in the conversation with those involved.

1. Despite everything else, Facebook and Twitter are apparently some of the most reliable methods of letting people know you are okay. I watched my newsfeed closely for as many signs of assurance as I could find.

2. Despite everything else, Japan remains orderly within the disorder. I am glad that while there is danger, my friends have assured me the markets and food stores are not in a panic. The people remain graceful and polite in orderly lines and calm food stocking.

3. Building Codes Matter. A throwback to my architectural background, but I am glad that even with scandals several years back with fabricated data scandal, Japan has remained strict in following through to make sure building codes are met. Although there have been many lives lost, it could have been so much more.

The full implications of this incident may not unfold until much later, but I wish for the best and pray for my loved ones and the loved ones of others that are in Japan and those other coastal areas. Stay safe. You are in my thoughts.

-hugs-

annie nguyen

The Gateway Degree

The MBA degree is an interesting beast. Even more so when joined with other disciplines such as law or in my case education. It creates this miniature career gateway into a variety of disciplines and paths. This allows me to see the amount of work that MBAs are involved in, but more importantly it provides a course structure that works to synthesize multiple disciplines.

I recently finished (last week) a long day of group interviews with Education Pioneers, a non-profit organization that seeks MBA talent specifically to reinvigorate aspects of the education industry. The long process involved with job seeking is both painful and informative. In fact, the group interview, a situation I have not had before, was probably one of the most fascinating and telling experiences about the organization. It really gets you more involved in what you would actually be a part of with the company and lets both parties see more of what each side has to offer. Despite the icy trek to get there, it was completely worth it.

As the process continues for many of us in solidifying our summer internships (I of course have my fingers crossed for everyone) I can only hope that others have been able to get this sort of experience in his or her journey. Some of the reasons I came to TCU was because the career services center was able to demonstrate to me a breadth of opportunities that were tailored to my interests and talents. The reality of the MBA is that it is only partially about business; it is a unique key to understanding a range of industries that you care about. 

-hugs-

 annie nguyen

Hooray for new-found confidence

Mount Villarrica was just one of the beautiful things I saw in Chile.

To call it an “ah-ha” moment would be too cliché. It was more like an intuitive moment of confidence that I remember all too well from when I was finishing up my undergraduate studies. That feeling that I have made the correct decisions.

Actually, I’ve had a series of intuitive moments since the spring semester started at TCU. I wasn’t searching for confidence or any kind of sign of an academic breakthrough. It just kind of happened one day in Operations Management class or during a team meeting for my Frito Lay consulting project. Finally, I KNOW I can do this MBA thing.

See, last semester I wasn’t sure. I was trying really hard to keep up, both figuratively and literally. I was trying to learn team dynamics and a new schedule. I was trying to wrap my brain around new concepts and acronyms, and rekindle old math skills. My mind was still halfway in burned-out journalist mode and halfway in grad school mode. I couldn’t quite shake my past career experiences. I used them as a crutch often times.

Not anymore. After a “cleansing” winter break chock full of traveling – to California for Christmas and then Chile for a wonderful TCU study abroad trip – I entered the new semester with a new-found ease and clarity. It doesn’t matter if I’m 10 years older than most of my classmates; it doesn’t matter that I came from a non-business background. The first-semester lineup of core classes at TCU was tough, but each class gave me, and I assume most of my classmates, a wonderful foundation to build from.

Now, as the spring semester cruises along I’m retaining more information and connecting the “dots” of business topics and theories. My classes seem easier, or maybe I’m just better prepared. Most important, I’m confident my first-year courses and consulting project work will help me compete in the wide world of summer internship madness and later when I’m looking for a full-time job.

Speaking of consulting, I was lucky to land a spot on the Frito Lay team for the TCU Neeley & Associates program. Each spring for the past five years, first-year students have had the chance to work in teams of four on projects that have the potential to make a real difference for companies in the Fort Worth and Dallas areas. My team is tasked with developing a plan to help Frito Lay’s Munchies filled cracker brand grow in the next two or three years. This marketing/sales project is definitely helping me sharpened my Excel skills and is giving me valuable exposure to a major consumer goods company.

I’m aiming my internship search squarely at consumer goods companies – with a few exceptions. I have applied for marketing internships at Land O’Lakes, ConAgra, Hanes, and Fisher-Price. I’m more likely to get interviews for local companies Sabre, American Airlines, 7-Eleven and Warren Douglas. At least I hope so. I have also applied for media- or PR-based internships at CNN and Coca-Cola, in hopes that my journalism background might land me at least an interview. Only time will tell.

– Michele Machado

Song of Snow and Ice

Snow days mean building snow men and surviving cabin fever

So in the days following the near complete cloud cover the US, we have been having snow and ice here at TCU. This of course is filled with both good and bad news.

Good News: School is closed and has been closed for the entirety of the week from Tuesday until now. Which means a mini vacation, hot cocoa, warm beds, and the lava game.

Bad News: School is closed and has been closed for the entirety of the week from Tuesday until now. Which means class schedules are wonky, and while it seems like a good idea for a day or two, it starts to wear on productivity.

Good News: Snow and Ice. That means sliding around, building snow men, the general merriment of powder and packing fights. General awesome.

Bad News: Snow and Ice. Dangerous road conditions mean no road trips (which for me was a trip down to Austin for randomness like Ushicon) and for others means dealing with crazy people and calling AAA sometimes. Unless you’re doing this on purpose. You people trying ice donuts outside know who I’m talking about.

Good News: Projects can be done. Time to do all those random projects, papers, and freelance work you decided was a good idea to pick but have been lying in wait for your attention. This could include catching up on the textbook readings or storyboarding those videos.

Bad News: Cabin Fever. At a certain point you can only be so productive before the voices start telling you all work and no play, and for some reason you have a recently stained smooth wood handle ax in the corner of your room….

I could continue with such contemplations, but the laziness (both good and bad) is starting to kick in and I’m afraid I must return to naps and reprieves. Hope everyone is staying safe and warm and enjoying the snowy weather. It doesn’t seem like Texas should shut down as much as it does with so little snow, but I for one always love the fact that we can celebrate this pristine beauty whenever it happens upon us.

-hugs-

annie nguyen

Reminiscing

Life in the new term is a slow trek back into the swing of things. This is a function of the flexibility in coursework that begins in the second term, but the introduction of elective paths makes one miss some of the constant camaraderie of the cohort. That said, I haven’t quite gotten over the jetlag that comes with returning to school again after the winter holiday break, but I have filled a bit of my time creating spoofs about my time past.

I don’t want to overload this entry with video plugs, but I have immensely enjoyed my first term at TCU and so follow a few amateur videos that highlight some of the silliness that is able to grow between colleagues here. Don’t take these too seriously, but then again, every lie has a little bit of truth.

IP (Integrated Project)

Mock Interview Experience

Chile (Video Postcard)

-hugs-

annie nguyen