TCU Toyota Case Competition

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When in your MBA experience will you be ready to make an impact on an organization? At what point will corporate executives be asking you for your insights?

For MBA students at TCU Neeley, the answer is “immediately.” Our students tackle their first live corporate case before classes even begin.

Case competitions are a great example of how TCU prepares its MBAs both for today's ever-evolving global economy and the careers of tomorrow. Case competitions accomplish this by giving our students ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills in high-pressure situations, to network with thought leaders and to add substantive experience to their resumes.

Corporate Sponsored Cases at START

Each year, first-year TCU MBAs participate in START, a three-week on-boarding experience that culminates in a formal case competition. As a part of that experience, our students work with major corporate clients to solve a live case created by that company. Our graduate careers services team works with employers to identify clients. This year’s client was Toyota, and past clients have included IBM, AT&T and other Fortune 500 companies. 

By both collaborating with and going head-to-head with their new colleagues to help these companies achieve their larger strategic goals, our students undergo a transformational experience. Before classes even begin, they're pushed to test their limits, apply their know-how and explore both the breadth and depth of their individual skill-sets. At the same, students engage directly with C-level executives at some of the most successful companies in the world, getting an up-close-and-personal look at the challenges and opportunities they face on a daily basis. 

About the Toyota Case Competition

The outcome Toyota targeted for this year’s case competition was quite ambitious — to identify the best go-to-market strategy for launching a new vehicle in a rapidly growing segment. Our first-year students proved themselves to be more than up for the task.

As a matter of fact, our MBAs had a blast. A few of their key takeaways from this experience included:

  • The solution to every problem, small or large, starts with the application of critical thinking skills. 
  • To develop and tailor a successful marketing strategy, businesses have to see things from a customer's point of view. Unless they are able to do so, businesses cannot hope to understand what customers want. 
  • Deadlines can be very motivating, even inspiring. Time constraints can also help build stronger team bonds, as they make it necessary to get to know your colleagues, their working styles and their strengths as soon as possible. 
  • There is no substitute for hands-on experience. The winning team test-drove Toyota’s car to learn more about it — and build their marketing plan.

Experiential Learning Doesn’t Stop There

The START case competition sets the stage for the type of experiences our students will benefit from throughout their two years in our full-time MBA program.

At TCU Neeley, our faculty members are widely recognized as some of the leading thinkers in their disciplines. They're also experts at creating unique experiential learning opportunities for our students, empowering them to take what they've learned in the classroom and apply it to actual business scenarios. Additional experience may come from our robust Neeley & Associates student consulting program, internships or ad hoc projects.

In each of these instances, students are challenged to solve problems, find efficiencies and take the lead on the most pressing issues affecting a wide array of industries. In other words, these experiential learning opportunities are more than warm-ups for the jobs our students will be taking following graduation. They are key to our students understanding their full capabilities so that they can showcase their skills to future employers.

Interested in seeing what the unique experiential learning culture here at Neeley is all about? Visit the Neeley School of Business website and learn how you can maximize your potential with a business degree from TCU.

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