Resources Current MBA Students Recommend


Are you looking forward to earning your MBA, either this semester or in the near future? If so, you already have some idea of how much time, energy and hard work you’ll have to invest in your degree.

At TCU Neeley, we do everything we can to help our students to get off to a strong start and get the most out of their education. Mitchell Smith and Sean Melton are both current students in our MBA program. Both returned to school after spending some time in the workforce, and arrived on campus a little unsure if they were ready to pick up where they left off in their studies. But they soon discovered that, with a little initiative and the help of some valuable TCU resources, making the switch from “incoming student” to “future alumni” has been more than a manageable process — it’s been enlightening experience.

Easing Back into the Academic Lifestyle

Before beginning his studies in Finance and Supply Chain at TCU, Mitchell worked as a financial and marketing analyst at a small tech startup in Portland, Oregon.

He says his transition back to the classroom has gone “about as smoothly as could be imagined, considering I’ve been away from school for a few years.” He specifically credits our unique curriculum and our top-ranked faculty with helping him get reoriented. According to Mitchell, “TCU did a good job in refreshing me on a lot of topics I learned while I was an undergrad while still challenging me to go above and beyond what I previously knew.”

Sean Melton, also concentrating in Finance, worked in financial services — primarily asset management and financial planning — before deciding to pursue his MBA here at TCU. Like Mitchell, he feels the transition back to the classroom “wasn’t really a problem.” Why? “Because TCU provides study resources prior to program commencement that helped me get back into an academic mindset,” he says.

 Top Recommended Resources

In addition to attending their professors’ lectures and working with their colleagues on group experiential learning projects, both Mitchell and Sean have found it helpful to educate themselves along the way to earning their degrees. That means reading outside of class and staying on top of current events and the latest industry trends.

Mitchell names Freakonomics, Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog and Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk as books he both enjoyed reading and found to be particularly relevant to his studies. He thinks that, taken as a whole, these resources have helped him to be “cognizant of basic things going on, both in business and the world.” For news, he prefers Bloomberg’s apps, since “they’re free and give you access to tons of articles covering everything (markets, politics, business) — you’re in good shape even if you just read the headlines.”

When it comes to writing and productivity tools, Mitchell is a proud traditionalist. He says he partners with a classmate to “proofread each other’s work before we submit our assignments.” For professional development purposes, however, he recommends going online to examine Glassdoor company profiles and comb through SEC filings. According to Mitchell, this is an excellent way to prepare for both the internship and job search process. “Knowing a company’s current financial situation helped me set myself apart from other candidates at many of the places where I interviewed,” he explains.

Sean started hitting the books (so to speak) before the first day of classes at Neeley. The summer leading up to his first semester at TCU, he read Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions by Josh Rosenbaum and Josh Pearl. “Even if you don’t want to work in investment banking, this book provides a step-by-step illustration of fundamental valuation methodologies,” Sean says.

Once enrolled in the Neeley program, Sean found that “bridging the gap between academia and actual application” was very important to his learning process. For that reason, he does his best to pay attention to what’s truly newsworthy. He reads The Wall Street Journal daily, describing this as “a great way to stay current with markets and see examples of the things I study taking place in reality.” As for keeping organized, Sean likes to keep it simple. He uses his Outlook calendar religiously and, he says, sets “a ton of reminders on my phone.”

Equip Yourself

Regardless of your schedule and what your unique life circumstances demand of you, rest assured that successfully getting through our MBA program (and enjoying it in the process) is absolutely doable — provided you’re equipped with the right resources and support network. Start by following the examples set by Mitchell, Sean and the more seasoned students in your MBA program. Doing so will help you on your way to achieving your personal and professional goals.

Learn more about our MBA program and how to apply by visiting the TCU Neeley School of Business website.

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