Category Archives: Travel opportunities

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

Ringing in the New Year: Chilean Style

So the study abroad opportunities available at TCU are expansive, as one can see from Lacey’s other post via India. We really do cover the globe and I myself am enjoying the celebration of the new year in Chile. My first time in South America and I’m experiencing many a firsts here.

Starting with the actual new year up in the rotating sky bar in Santiago, we had a delectable full course meal and night view. We are currently enjoying the sights of Pucon, where we experienced some proper horseback riding (my first time) on a private ranch, also with delectable meats. Following that, there appears to have been the shockwaves of a small earthquake here. If by small, you mean 7.1. Thankfully, there was little damage and the epicenter was 2 hours away from us, so our physical experience of it was minor and as tourists, exciting. Today with some free time, I enjoyed my first proper zipline course and others participated in various activities of white-water body sledding, kayaking, exploring volcanic caves, and so on.

Still, it’s not all fun and games, we do have actually business here and I look forward to the actual look at local and national businesses in the area. Tourism has had a major push in the area of thermal baths and we’ll be looking at the industry and experience Parque Thermal Menetue and how it has developed in just a few hours. Being from Japan, I’ll probably have my biases, but we shall see. Hope everyone is enjoying the new year and perhaps making reasonably doable resolutions. Or quickly breaking them. Stay awesome.

-hugs-
annie nguyen

Classmates Become Family

Namaste!

As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel room in New Delhi, India while one of my classmates sleeps soundly. It is 11:30 p.m. and in the rooms on either side of me and down the hall are more classmates. Somewhere in Chile there is a group of TCU MBA students planning what they will do this evening or where they will have dinner. Another group of Neeley MBAs are likely just wrapping up lunch in the Dominican Republic. One of my classmates is on his honeymoon, another classmate is enjoying his first Christmas with a new baby, another is celebrating a recent engagement, and many are spending time with family they unintentionally neglected this semester. For three weeks we are spread out all over the world, but we remain close. We are already family. 

In August, as I arrived for the first day of pre-semester workshops, I never expected the next five months to go as they did. I was swapping a job for class, but other than that, nothing would change. I lived in DFW already. I had friends here. My family isn’t too far away — just a quick drive to Austin. 

The day before START workshop, my mother called me from the hospital. She was ill, but thought it was nothing. A few weeks later and still in the hospital, there were no answers. I continued to attend classes and had my mother moved to a hospital in Dallas where I could travel daily to stay with her. And so it was for months. Class, drive, hospital, drive, class, drive, hospital, drive… I found time to shower between classes and my classmates helped me stay on top of homework and reading.  

While my family was hurting and my friends were working, my Neeley MBA classmates and faculty supported me. One by one, I came to rely on them for help with the square root rule when I was zoned out during supply chain; for a recap of which fashion case study went with which class when I couldn’t keep them straight; for someone to laugh with for a few minutes before I got in the car to drive back to Dallas.  

I studied finance and signed off on blood cultures. I read cases while my mom was having brain surgery. I explained the 9x rule to the doctor who was telling me about the new MRI they were considering. I chatted with my mom about Taryn Swan while we watched Nickelodeon. I pored through statistical analysis on my mother’s symptoms. While I was doing my best to devote more time than I had to school and my mother, my mom just kept fighting… and she just kept getting worse. 

My mother passed away on October 28th.  The Neeley family — people I had only known a short time — kept me looking forward. Peggy, the Director of Graduate Admissions for the Neeley School, rushed to meet me at the hospital. Classmates surrounded me with love at my house. I had become so close to these people in such a short time.  

TCU’s Neeley MBA marketing materials tell us, “It’s more than business. It’s personal.” We’ve all heard it from schools and employers before. But, at TCU, they mean it.  I could not have asked to be surrounded by better people. I could never say enough to thank them for loving me. 

Now it is 11:57 p.m. in New Delhi. Tomorrow morning at 6:15 a.m. we depart for the Taj Mahal, a monument built out of love and mourning. I think of my TCU family with love and I thank them for helping me mourn. Visiting the Taj Mahal with just a few of my TCU family seems the perfect end to an imperfect year and a perfect tribute to a more than perfect mom. 

“Should the guilty seek asylum here, 

Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.

Should a sinner make his way to this mansion, 

All his past sins are to be washed away.

The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs; 

And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.

In this world this edifice has been made; 

To display thereby the creator’s glory.”

     -Emperor Shah Jahan

— Lacey Hammons

Delhi taxi ride … an adventure at every turn

It’s best to close your eyes if it’s your first time in a taxi… in India.  

I arrived in Delhi around 11:45 this morning. Many flights today had been canceled due to poor weather conditions, but it is difficult to divert a flight from London that has already been in the air for 8 hours. As I made my way from the terminal to customs I began to wonder what India would actually be like beyond the confines of an international airport. India really starts to hit you the moment you walk through customs. Hundreds of families and friends are waiting on their loved ones. Wading through them to make my way to the prepaid taxis was intense for a girl used to the wide open expanses of Texas.  

I paid 350 Rupees and hopped in a black taxi.  It looked very similar to the one I took yesterday from Paddington Station to London Heathrow, so logically, it should be safe. No?

The lines intended to separate the road into four lanes heading toward Delhi city center were more of a suggestion. As taxis, motorbikes, bicycles, handcarts, horses, tuk-tuks, and people on foot created an ever-changing landscape of anywhere between five and seven lanes, I realized I was in for the ride of my life.  

I didn’t want to miss any of the sites as we drove. The air smelled thick and the taxi seemed to be going in circles. Manu, the taxi driver, wanted me to feel at home, so the drive was accompanied by a soundtrack of the Vengaboys … strange.

The hotel was 8 miles from the airport. Two hours and a stop by a travel information shop, I finally arrived at the hotel. Did we nearly run over a cyclist?  Yes.  

Truthfully, keep your eyes open. I saw the President’s Estate, a military base, a variety of businesses, a few markets, some startling images, and a new kind of beauty.  

More to come — happy holidays from India!

Lacey Hammons

Rewards after a tough semester

A full week after our IP presentations and I’m finally caught up on sleep. It’s remarkable how restorative a few days off can be after a difficult semester.

The final three weeks of this fall semester were very challenging. I started studying for finals before classes even finished. All of the hard work and long nights studying with my new TCU family really paid off because I did well enough to earn a 3.3 average for the semester. Mission accomplished as far as my grades are concerned. So many of my classmates are such good “teachers” and study buddies and learning and reviewing content with them was a real joy.

After finals, my team dove straight into our Integrated Project, a week-long, computer-based business simulation that pits five teams against each other in creating and running global microcomputer companies. All of our skills and knowledge were tested and teamwork was of the utmost importance since we were confined to a room for 12-16 hours at a time. Trust and collaboration were my team’s strengths and we finished strong in second place in our World of five companies. We finished IP week with two presentations: one for fellow students and faculty and one for recruiters from several local companies, including Frito-Lay, Bell Helicopter, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Sabre Holdings.

Travel is my reward for surviving the final three weeks of school. I’m spending Christmas with my family for the first time in eight years. Shortly after I return to Fort Worth after Christmas, I’ll depart for Chile for a study abroad trip with about a dozen of my classmates. The trip to Chile is certainly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m very thankful that the Neeley School of Business offers this type of travel class. Many of my other TCU classmates are traveling to India or the Dominican Republic during the holiday break. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., will also be a popular destination for TCU students and alums next week.

On Christmas Eve I’m thankful for both my new TCU Neeley School of Business family and the opportunity to spend time with my mom, dad and my brother’s family.

Happy Holidays and GO FROGS!

Michele Machado

Trick or Treat or Travel

Halloween weekend began with a consolidated workshop on international business for the various study abroad trips offered by TCU. As an avid traveler, I like that TCU has a wide range of study abroad programs and offers fascinating subject matter as it relates to growing globalization in the business world.

The workshop offers a preliminary introduction to current issues of international business in terms of legal parameters, capacity constraints, and overall necessity of cultural understanding. By outlining how important these issues are becoming for business, it really emphasizes how enlightening international travel can be.

 I’ve always been a proponent of travel expanding perspective, and the opportunities TCU provides add a layer of interaction with local businesses that you might not get on your own. Basically, I can’t wait to check out Chile and truly explore those ideas.

Besides having a workshop for travel, we followed the Saturday night with a Halloween bash filled with good people, great costumes and a fantastic props and conversation. We had our professor look-alikes, California raisins, killers of serial killers, and inflatable Cheshire cats. Just saying, nice balance this weekend of work and play.

 -Hugs-

 annie nguyen

Real-world networking lessons

Midway through this challenging first semester and the lessons keep coming. So do the opportunities. Just in the past few weeks, I’ve met and heard speakers from such influential companies as New York-based Deutsche Bank and Compass Group North America, a food service company based out of Charlotte, N.C. While I’ve decided on a marketing concentration, it’s always nice to hear advice from professionals in all types of industries. Hearing these speakers’ real-world advice also reinforces all of the book learning we’re doing right now.

Last weekend I learned some hard, yet valuable real-world lessons about networking at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs career fair in Chicago. I was one of about 20 TCU full-time MBA students who traveled to the event and many of my classmates had wonderful success. At least half our group earned on-site interviews and at least one (at the time of this post) has been contacted to travel to Cincinnati for a next-round interview with Proctor and Gamble.

I’ll admit I didn’t prepare well enough to be competitive for internship opportunities at the NSHMBA event, but I did make one valuable contact at Land O’ Lakes. It is great how somewhat random encounters can turn into solid ideas. After talking to Paul, a marketing professional and recruiter from Land O’ Lakes, and getting some valuable information from him regarding dairy and agriculture marketing, I’ve decided to further research the industry. Since I grew up on a dairy ranch in California, I have added incentive (and knowledge) to pursue an internship in this industry.

The NSHMBA career fair left me with blisters on my feet and plenty of fatigue, but I think the trip was worth it. If I attend any more career fairs this year or next, I’ll be much better prepared and certainly more confident.

Speaking of confidence, I survived my first interview this week. Well, it was just a mock interview, but it felt like the real deal to me. I talked by phone with Sherlene from Healthpoint, a Fort Worth-based healthcare company that specializes in wound care products and research. The interview consisted of mainly behavior questions, but those are the types of questions I need to practice. Thanks to our helpful Graduate Career Services Center, I’m better prepared for my next interview, which I’m hoping will be real.

Real from me right now is keeping my grades at an acceptable level and building my confidence. After a somewhat disappointing grade on my Marketing midterm, I now know how I need to study to improve my grade by the end of the semester. I got Bs on all my eight-week class finals so I’m pleased with those results. October has really flown by; only about seven more weeks before we reach our big Integrated Project in December. This team project is a week-long business simulation that will draw on all our knowledge from this semester and past work experiences. Managing stress and fatigue will be part of the challenge, but the experience will be valuable moving forward in the program.

— Michele Machado