Tag Archives: Neeley School of Business

Neeley MBA students love to give back

The video that Michele posted at the end of her October 8 blog post (https://tcuneeleymba.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/) brings up a great point about the Neeley School of Business: Honor is a big deal around here. During orientation (we call it START Workshop), every student in every class signs a poster pledging to follow the Honor Code. Every START Workshop (for our full-time students, anyway) includes a community service portion, in which all students are encouraged to participate in a school-selected service project, as you saw in the video Michele posted about the Class of 2012’s trip to the Tarrant Area Food Bank. The MBA Association and several of the student organizations go so far as to elect community service officers, who find volunteer opportunities for the classmates throughout the year. Like I said, honor is a big deal.

And it’s not just a big deal in name, either. It’s a big deal in practice. In the video, one of the classmates, Annie, said that “We are here to help as much as we can, for this time, and hopefully in the future as well.” Since volunteering at the food bank, several members of the class of 2012 have signed up to volunteer for Junior Achievement, a program that sends community members into public schools to teach kids about personal finance and business, as well as to encourage them to stay in school so they can succeed in life. Our volunteers will dedicate one hour a week for five to seven weeks presenting the Junior Achievement curriculum to a class.

Karthik, far left, and Olivia, far right, had fun teaching seventh graders.

Several of the members of the class of 2011 volunteered in this capacity last year. My friend Karthik and I worked with a seventh grade class, teaching them about budgeting and the importance of a college education for a good career. In addition to that, we learned about one student’s “crazy dancing skills” and another student’s pet hamster. By the end, we had made some great memories from visiting with those kids every week.

More volunteer opportunities are going to be popping up throughout the rest of the year, and I’m excited to watch my classmates rise to the occasion, showing just how much the Neeley School of Business prizes and exercises its honor!

— Olivia Engkvist

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Leadership training… in the classroom and on the field

It’s 9:45 p.m. on Sunday night. Somewhere in the Metroplex my buddies are gathered around a big-screen watching the Dolphins and Jets, and I’m not with them. Instead of watching football I’m analyzing a case on teamwork and management, writing about what happens when a team can’t communicate. I can’t help but remember coaching club football as an undergrad. Sometimes the talent just can’t overcome the egos; sometimes all the speed and athleticism just can’t make it right.

As a coach I made plenty of mistakes, the biggest of which was failing to effectively communicate with my players. It’s hard enough to coach a bunch of 10-year-olds – coaching your peers, guys your age who have played football for longer and at higher levels, can sometimes seem impossible. I learned a lot of lessons in management and leadership at UT-Arlington, lessons that have stuck with me and served me well in my professional life.

Now I’m coaching my peers again, this time the first-year MBA flag football team. Yet again I’ve been blessed with talented players with lots of football experience, and yet again I’m trying to lead a group of guys who know more than me, have been through more than me, and flat out know the game better than I do. The only difference is, this time I know what I’m in for. This time I know how and what to communicate. At Neeley I’m learning how to be a leader, in more ways than one.

It doesn’t take much to imagine that leading your peers on the gridiron can be a lot like leading a team at work. It doesn’t matter that I’m younger (or older), or even that I know the most about the subject. In fact, sometimes being the subject matter expert can make leading harder. It’s really easy to want to do everything yourself when you know how to do everything. Leadership is about understanding skill sets and being able to get the best from people. It’s about progress, not perfection, and always communicating.

I think the first step is to get everyone on the same page, to point everybody to a common goal that we all agree on. At work its growth, promotions, pay – but on the gridiron, it’s a lot simpler. It’s pure. In the words of Al Davis, “Just win, baby.”

Who knows how the football team will do. For that matter, who knows if I’ll get my focus back in time to finish this case analysis. What I do know is this – the Neeley School is getting me prepared for life as a leader. I’m not just learning what it takes to lead. I’m getting real opportunities in business and in life.

— J.R. Honeycutt

For the good of the team

If I had to assign a theme to the past few weeks at TCU’s Neeley School of Business it would be “team building” and all the fun stuff that can go along with it.

The Neeley MBA program, with all its alums and supporters, is one big team. The Class of 2012 is a 59-member team of highly intelligent and motivated people. Each student in first-year class is assigned to a five-, six- or seven-member team, in which we collaborate on homework assignments, presentations and morale building (including hugs). This week, our Management class homework assignment featured a case analysis about teamwork. For the past several weeks, some brave men and women from the first-year MBA class have gathered to practice for the annual Purple and White flag football game vs. the second-year students.

Since I’ve never worked in a structured team environment, I find the team dynamic fascinating (and sometimes frustrating). I’ve already learned a great deal about my management and leadership skills and what I need to work on to get better. I’m also happy to apply my writing and creative skills to enhance the work my team does at all levels.

And it doesn’t hurt that TCU has a really good football team. Go Frogs!

— Michele Machado