The Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University ranked at number 38 this year. Falling seven spots from last year’s 31st place, Neeley had an acceptance rate of 51.06% this year and an average SAT of 1236. While Neeley ranked lower this year, its business program is still one that embraces leadership development with plenty of opportunities to gain the necessary skills of business.
Neeley is technically a two-year business program since students apply directly to the B-school during their second year. Once accepted into Neeley, business students can choose from the following majors: Accounting, Business Information Systems, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, Finance with a Real Estate Concentration, Management, Marketing, and Supply and Value Chain Management.
A key characteristic of the Neeley program is its focus on both the soft and technical skills of business. Surveyed 2018 alumni gave the B-school a strong 9.0 average rating in terms of preparing them for the world of work and a 9.4 average rating in terms of the opportunities given to them to nurture and improve their soft skills in business.
“The program rounded out the business school offerings by focusing on the, sometimes overlooked, soft-skills development that are critical to the business environment, regardless of industry,” one 2018 alumni told us.
Another 2018 alumni told us about her experience as a student coach at Neeley’s Professional Development Center, where she says she gained a strong foundation in business skills.
“I coached peers on professional skills ranging from resume building to professional presentation skills,” the 2018 alumni told us. “I also presented in front of classrooms on many topics. Being held to a high standard and needing to have an in-depth understanding and skill set to provide guidance to others allowed me to firmly develop many relevant skills. These experiences stick with me today.”
Another standout quality of the Neeley program is its strong emphasis on real-world applications. Whether through consulting simulations or class projects, Neeley students are encouraged to apply their business knowledge to make real world impact.
“In our senior year consulting class we had the opportunity to develop and pitch an entertainment technology solution to a high profile Dallas real estate firm,” one 2018 alumni said. “[We] presented in front of their C-Suite and were graded by them, not faculty. We had the opportunity to receive feedback from the executives and they ended up partially adopting our solution.”
“One professor had us do a group project, where he and three other departmental professors acted as executives at a fictitious company for whom we did a case study. Instead of presenting in front of the class and our peers, we presented in front of the professors in a conference room to simulate a ‘real-world’ presentation scenario,” another 2018 alumni explained. “After our 15 minute presentation , the professors drilled us with questions in a drill-sergeant manner for the next hour, with intent to poke holes in our recommendations and question our preparedness. Afterward, we had a discussion of how we think we did and he offered suggestions of how we could have improved our presentation. I had never been challenged in such a way prior to that experience.”
The Neeley education is heavily focused on developing business students into leaders. One of the cornerstone leadership programs is Neeley Fellows, the undergraduate business honors program. Each year, 30 first-year students are selected for the rigorous, three-year experience that features enhanced business courses, professional development, networking opportunities, and study abroad trips. Neeley Fellows have gone on to work for big name companies such as Amazon, IBM, Google, Deloitte, and more.
A number of 2018 alumni we surveyed spoke highly about their experience in the Neeley Fellows leadership program.
“I was a part of the Neeley Leadership Program which has been incredibly life changing,” one 2018 alumni told us. “It has allowed me not only to be a stronger business woman but be able to lead in a business context and work with others in an effective way.”
“As a member of Neeley Fellows, we did study abroad trips that really opened our horizons to the local and International business world,” another 2018 alumni said. “We also did weekly labs that helped with our professional skills. This unique cohort really shaped my experience and has created a network of professionals after graduation.”
Many B-schools have an honors program that features intensive coursework and networking opportunities. And while Neeley’s honors program does include an advanced curriculum, the program itself is heavily focused on leadership development. Alumni we surveyed in Neeley Fellows overwhelmingly spoke to the valuable leadership skills they gained through the experience.
Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Neeley students still have strong employment outcomes with 97.50% of the Class of 2020 securing full-time employment at graduation — only 0.12% lower than last year’s class. Much of that success can likely be attributed to Neeley’s quality education. One that gives students the proper skill sets to embark into the real world as business leaders.
“I participated in the 3-year Neeley Leadership Program where we visited corporations in London and a leadership institute in Scotland. This experience was a very unique opportunity to gain a global perspective with a group of 32 high achieving students.”
“Had the opportunity to work on a consulting project for a real estate firm in Dallas. Real project experience with a company, while being in school.”
“We had several projects throughout various departments in Neeley where we had real life data. In a Design Thinking class, we were given a topic, had to go do our own research, and find ways to improve the process of the topic and present our findings and why we believed it was the best option. Great experience for projects I’m involved in for my current role.”
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
Deloitte – 19
JPMorgan – 9
Lockheed Martin – 8
IBM – 7
Accenture – 6
Microsoft – 5
Ernst & Young – 5
American Airlines – 4
Epsilon – 4
Amazon – 3