2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Marina Magnant, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

Marina Magnant

Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business

“I am a networking enthusiast, napping connoisseur, calendar guru, and (daily) to-do list wizard.”

Fun fact about yourself: I experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when I rang the New York Stock Exchange closing bell for TCU’s 150th Celebration with Chancellor Victor Boschini, faculty, alumni and corporate partners while also representing the John V. Roach Honors College. I also covered all games for the historical 2022 football season on the field.

Hometown: Porto, Portugal

High School: The Oporto International School (Porto, Portugal)

Double Major:

  • Marketing
  • Supply Value Chain Management

Double Minor:

  • Global Business
  • Leadership Emphasis

Favorite Business Course: “Foundations of Leadership” as part of the Neeley Leadership Program taught by Dr. Hettie Richardson.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Leadership Roles

  • President | John V. Roach Honors Cabinet
  • Program Director | Honors Mentoring Program
  • Director | Honors College Showcase Series
  • Lead Intern, Social Media Department | Office of Marketing and Communications
  • Vice-President of Professional Development | BNSF Neeley Leadership Program
  • Project Lead, Neeley Leadership Lending Library | BNSF Neeley Leadership Program
  • Resident Assistant | Colby Hall, Housing and Residence Life
  • Neeley Student Inclusive Excellent Advisory Board | Neeley School of Business
  • Webmaster | Chi Omega
  • Ambassador | John V. Roach Honors College
  • Desk Assistant | Housing and Residence Life
  • Housing Student Assistant | Housing and Residence Life
  • Frog Camp Facilitator | Student Affairs


  • Chi Omega
  • Connections Leadership Program
  • Global Scholar Program
  • Honors College Community Service
  • International Outreach Project
  • Leadership Scholar Program
  • Neeley Courageous Conversations Book Study
  • Order of Omega
  • Supply Chain Club
  • Supply Chain Mentoring Program

Honors, Awards, and Nominations

  • TCU Emerging Leader | John V. Roach Honors College, TCU (2022)
  • New York Stock Exchange, Bell Ringer | John V. Roach Honors College, TCU (2022)
  • Pillar of the University Leadership Award, Class of 2024 | Leadership & Student Involvement, TCU (2022)
  • Mosebrook/Pfizer Student Leader Award | Neeley School of Business, TCU (2022)
  • Clay York “Caterpillar Effect” Award, Nominee | Housing and Residence Life, TCU (2022)
  • Dean’s Honors List | Neeley School of Business, TCU (2021, 2022)
  • Neeley Heritage Award | Neeley School of Business, TCU (2021, 2022)
  • TCU Scholar | Neeley School of Business, TCU (2021)
  • Community Engagement and Service Award: Nominee | Leadership & Student Involvement, TCU (2021)
  • First Year Pillar of University Award: Nominee | Leadership & Student Involvement, TCU (2021)
  • All-Star Volunteer of the Month | American Marketing Association, New Jersey Chapter (2021)

Where have you interned during your college career?

Company: Goldman Sachs
Role: Asset Management Operations Intern
Location: Dallas, Texas
Date: Summer 2023

Company: Dell Technologies
Role: Global Operations Intern | Global Fulfillment, Logistics, and Trade
Location: Austin, Texas
Date: Summer 2022

Company: Office of Marketing and Communications, TCU
Role: Lead Intern, Social Media Department
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Date: August 2021 – Present

Company: European Technology Chamber
Role: Intern, Women in Technology Commission
Location: Virtual (Switzerland)
Date: Summer 2021

Company: AT&T
Role: Extern, Summer Learning Academy
Location: Virtual
Date: Summer 2021

Company: American Marketing Association, New Jersey Chapter
Role: Special Projects & Communications Team
Location: Virtual (New Jersey)
Date: 2020-2021

Where will you be working after graduation? I have not yet committed to a company after graduation, but I am an incoming Asset Management Operations Intern at Goldman Sachs during Summer 2023.

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. Henry Musoma was my favorite business professor. He taught the introductory “Business in Society” class. I took Dr. Musoma’s class my first semester at TCU, and he completely changed my life. Because of COVID-19, I completed my freshman year online from Portugal, with a seven-hour time zone difference at times, so I only met Dr. Musoma on Zoom.

Not only did he keep the students in class engaged, but he also made sure to pay ample attention to everyone online. Although this is expected behavior, this was at the peak of COVID-19, when professors were still adjusting to a new teaching reality. Dr. Musoma paid such attention to detail and made it his mission to truly meet and know all his students and was incredibly empathetic.

He demonstrated, through specificities experienced during the pandemic, that business’s foundation is, and must be, human relations. He taught us about the importance of understanding different perspective and its importance for our professional and personal lives.

Once, during office hours, he introduced me to a girl who was in-person and insisted that we exchanged our contact information to keep in touch. Dr. Musoma has been one of the most genuine professors I have met because he truly cared.

He taught beyond the curriculum. Although I learned a lot of technical business skills from him, the most valuable knowledge I learned came from his stories and lived experiences. Dr. Musoma set us all for success in the business world because he taught us the importance of being kind and digging deeper when knowing people.

Through assignments and given the way he presented feedback, Dr. Musoma encouraged us to develop critical thinking and to manage complex problems via different approaches.

I would go into Dr. Musoma’s office hours with a question on an assignment and we he would dedicate time in teaching me life lessons. Right before I made on campus, Dr. Musoma accepted a position as the Director of Leadership and Character Formation at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico, but we still keep in touch.

I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity of learning from him.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? During my first ever business class in the Neeley School of Business, the first quote that our professor shared was “Your network is your net worth.” The more I learn and live, the more I see how accurate that is. Throughout my journey in Neeley, I have experienced firsthand how interconnected people and the business world is.

I started at TCU because Dr. Garry Bruton and I met during my gap year in Portugal. At the time, I was working as a speaker liaison for a conference where he was the keynote speaker, and we briefly spoke. Dr. Bruton connected me to the International Services Office. After applying and being accepted, I decided to take a leap of faith and moving to Fort Worth, even though I had never stepped foot in Texas. Starting at TCU was a consequence of being in the right place at right time with the right person. It always amazes me how a single person changed my life forever.

Academically, as a supply chain major, it is easy to see how the world is exponentially becoming interconnected through the study of logistics and systems. Organizations and individuals are interconnected and interdependent, and rely on relationships to survive. As such, through studying business and internships and co-curricular and extracurricular activities, I have learned the importance of developing genuine connections with people. Dean Pitcock of the John V. Roach Honors College once told me to never leverage people to your advantage, but instead get to know them. I initially went up to Dr. Bruton to share how much I enjoyed his speech, and a simple compliment, turned into something that completely changed my life.

If we are talking in terms of net worth, today, I consider myself incredibly wealthy because of all the amazing individuals that I’ve met who have enriched my academic, professional, and personal journey at TCU. All the lessons I have learned through conversations and shared moments have brought an unfathomable amount of knowledge. Although a large network is valuable, quality in relationships will always win over quantity. Treating individuals with kindness, regardless of their position needs to be ground zero.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Try everything. When I started at TCU, I overcommitted myself and joined at least 20 different clubs. Although not maintainable in the long-term, this experience allowed me not only to meet people across the university in different areas, but also to explore my main areas of interest.

Growing up, my mum always said that an easy way to find the things you love is by crossing out things you hate or, put more eloquently, the things that don’t align with your interests. Today I can only clearly state what I am passionate about and enjoy doing, because I have tried things that did not bring me joy.

There is great value is trying different things. If we go to the beach and only dip our toes in, we likely always say that the water is cold. Our bodies only feel the actual temperature when we fully dive in. So, only by fully immersing ourselves are we able to truly know what we actually enjoy doing. Finding out, in theory, what you might be good at with personality tests can be a part of the process. However, trying it out is fundamental. If during my first year I had not signed up for a case competition after randomly stumbling upon it, I would not be majoring in Supply Chain Management.

Thus, to a business student looking to major in business, I would say try everything. Don’t be afraid of not being perfect or expect to be the best at everything you do. You don’t need to lead every single organization you’re a part of – sometimes it’s as valuable being a member and learning from other leaders. When you find what makes you tick, fully dive in, but don’t forget to keep yourself open to other opportunities that you might not have been expecting.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I am surprised by the value of knowledge in different areas. Every class I have taken during my time in Neeley has benefited me tremendously. During my internships and experiences at TCU, I have seen that learning about subjects that are not in your area of expertise and expanding horizons that do not necessarily pertain to my position adds an immense amount of value.

My majors reflect this belief. As a marketing and supply chain double major, I am always asked in interviews why I chose this combination. For me, they have aligned perfectly. I see both as representative of the right and left side of my brain, and together they make a whole. Supply chain and marketing allow me to develop soft and hard skills and the duo has enabled me to tap into a huge variety of topics.

In non-major classes, whether through articles, videos, or just the professor’s stories, I have learned quite a bit. Although sometimes it’s hard to get out of our comfort zone and learn about subject areas in which we don’t easily excel, especially as over-achievers, there is beauty in having to grow from discomfort.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Everyone who knows me knows that I live off my Google Calendar. I religiously schedule my days, which is how I am able to be as efficient and productive as I can be in different areas of the university. Organizing my weekly planner has become a ritual on Thursday and the fact that I know I will be able to do everything brings me peace. Not only that, but it also allows me to be intentional about my time and fully be present in moments.

However, one thing that I would do differently while a student in Neeley, is to live in the present moment more often. Especially when I started sophomore year, I would structure my time by the minute. I’ve seen that the greatest lessons and conversations come at the most unexpected times.

There is only so much that we can control. The world is unpredictable, and emergencies arise, both personally and in the business world. So, knowing how to adapt to changes is a vital skill. Being closed off because of a schedule can negatively hinder relationships and opportunities.

Even though I have learned, and been forced at times, to balance both extremes, I constantly remind myself that unorganized and unplanned moments can teach as much as their counterpart.

What business leader do you admire most?

John V. Roach. He was, technically speaking, a visionary because of the way that he predicted how business and society would pivot and grow. He had the ability to see the power of the microprocessor, what it would do for consumers, and he made accurate predictions that the computer would become more personal and interrelated long before anyone had ever heard of the Internet. I had the honor of meeting John Roach on Zoom during my first year at TCU and he shared with me valuable business lessons. The Roaches have greatly contributed to TCU in numerous ways throughout the past decades, and I am grateful to be a part of the John V. Roach Honors College.

Melanie Perkins, the Chief Executive Office of Canva, who was rejected by 100 VCs and now runs a profoundly successful business. Melanie had a vision and the dedication to not give up, even though she did not have Silicon Valley connections. As a woman in business, I also admire her since Canva is now the world’s most valuable startup founded and led by a woman. Her persistence, hard work and commitment created opportunities for people to build professional designs seamlessly that is used to create social media graphics and presentations.

Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy. I admire him tremendously because of their mission of “providing free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere”. The company is helping students worldwide and transforming their lives by given them the opportunity to learn difficult topics in an easy way. In my personal case, I used Khan Academy when studying for the SAT in Portugal and at a time where I didn’t have the ability to buy top-of-the-line study resources and Khan Academy helped me significantly. Providing knowledge to students worldwide is helping build a new generation of educated individuals.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The extracurricular achievement that I am most proud of revolves around my involvement in the John V. Roach Honors Cabinet.

I joined the Honors Cabinet as a first-year student with many ideas. In my application and interview, I mentioned how important it would be to host collaborative event and programs that would allow first year and upper division students to connect.

When I was accepted into Cabinet, we discussed the idea of launching a fully-fledged mentoring program within the Honors College during our initial meetings. However, after talking to the Honors administrative staff, we learned that this plan had been previously attempted but, because of various factors, was never successfully implemented. After several brainstorming sessions Dr. Pitcock, the Dean of the John V. Roach Honors College, suggested creating a stepping-stone project that would lead to the mentoring program. This soon became the Honors College Showcase.

The idea involved hosting a different college every week in Milton Daniel Hall, from August to October 2021, with the goal of having students share experiences, create meaningful bonds and a powerful network, and foster a sense of belonging. The event included a Q&A session with featured speaker(s) (most often the Deans) and student panelist(s), followed by the opportunity for first-year students to meet and greet upper-classmen, honors advisors/administrative members, and the highlighted speakers/panelists.

The inaugural event featured Chancellor Boschini and Provost Dahlberg, who shared their undergraduate and professional career-related experiences, as well as their journeys at TCU. For the following 6 showcase events, we hosted 1 Fulbright Scholar, 5 Honors Advisors, 7 Deans, 43 student panelists/meet and greeters, and over 150 first-year student attendees.

During the Q&A portion, Dr. Pitcock and I asked the panelists and speakers about a past positive mentoring experience, with the objective of using this information as the first step into implementing the mentoring program. Furthermore, the Cabinet prepared and shared the Honors College Toolbox, which included a compilation of tips/resources for first-year students. Overall, even with obstacles including setting up a pilot events series, canceled speakers, last-minute logistical changes, and COVID-19, the Showcase was incredibly well-received and a tremendous success.

Throughout the 2021 Showcase Series, Cabinet released and incentivized the Honors community to fill out a survey on the effectiveness of the events and asking whether a mentoring program would be valuable. Out of 239 respondents, 151 said yes and 56 said that they would be open to the possibility.

We got the approval from Dean Pitcock to launch the mentoring program. We did this through this data and two years of research that included conducting in-person and online interviews with stakeholders across TCU, secondary research on successful and unsuccessful mentoring programs at TCU and in nation, and learning about our target audience.

Additionally, since the first edition was a tremendous success, we invited all the Deans to speak to first year students for a consecutive time in the Fall of 2022. For the second edition, all Deans were invited along with advisors and College leaders. We hit an attendance of 300 first-year honors students combined, which was truly existing. While we conducted Mentor interviews in Spring 2022, Cabinet utilized the momentum of the Showcase events to spread the word about the mentoring program to first-year students. And, even though we got a record-breaking number of mentor and mentee applicants, our team decided to keep our promise to maintain the pilot program small, so that we wouldn’t jeopardize its success and guarantee fulfilling the needs of students. Today, Cabinet is leading a thriving Honors mentoring program that is comprised of 68 mentors and mentees.

Throughout this past year while the program has been running, we have been creating a master document with all necessary information to make it a long-term success as well as adjusting wherever needed with the experience that we are gaining.

Now, I am incredibly proud to share that the Showcase Series will be present for its 3rd edition in Fall 2023, and the mentoring program will welcome a new class of participants within the next few months. Undoubtedly, this experience truly impacted my personal and professional development.

Personally, it allowed me to feel like I was making a real difference in the TCU community. As, after Showcase events, I talked to several students who said the events were extremely helpful to them because they were able to connect with older students, have their questions answered, and meet Deans one-on-one. With the mentoring program, mentors and mentees have shared how it has allowed them to truly connect and bond with other Honors students and given them valuable resources.

Professionally, organizing and leading the Showcase and the Mentoring Program enabled me to develop a new set of skills and pushed my limits – especially as I engaged in project management and created synergies between several committees, departments, and all the colleges at TCU. Perhaps most importantly, it taught me to embrace stepping stones. Although the Showcase was not the initial project, it ended up being a necessary and successful series. It also taught me not to give up on a project, even though it took two years to put together; I learned first-hand how the journey is as important as the destination.

Which classmate do you most admire? Throughout my time at TCU, I have been involved in several different areas of campus –including the Office of Marketing and Communications, Housing and Residence Life, and First Year Experience. During my journey, I have encountered countless individuals who inspire me and have pushed me to grow.

One of the classmates that I most admire is Emily Rine. Emily is a Finance Major with an Accounting Minor and a Leadership Emphasis. She serves the Neeley Leadership Program Vice-President of Recruitment and was last year’s Sophomore Experience Chair. She currently is an Equity Research and Trading Intern at Luther King Capital Management and a member of the Transaction and Investment Professionals Board.

Emily inspires me daily. She is outstanding academically while fiercely advocating for others and is incredibly reliable. I am always so impressed by how deeply and intentionally she connects with everyone around her and the time she takes to engage with her peers. Inside and outside the classroom, she is a compassionate leader. Not only does Emily speak incredibly eloquently, but she always listens intently to what everyone has to say and is wise beyond her years. When she does speak in class, everyone pays attention to what she has to share.

I’m a firm believer that traveling with people allows us to meet their real selves. I had the opportunity to room with Emily during our trip to Florence, Italy with NLP and this experience showcased her stellar personality, humor, and kindness.

Emily is always open to grow, and I have seen her develop herself in many areas throughout our past semesters in NLP. I have learned greatly about myself in many conversations with Emily and I am grateful to call her a classmate and close friend. Emily Rine is truly an amazing student, and to know her, is to love her.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? When I was a child, my mother used to tell me the story of the boy who caught starfishes (which I then learned was adapted from the book The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley). Once upon a time, there was a little boy on the beach full of starfish lying in the sand. Off in the distance, an old man saw the boy and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”. The young boy paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back in the water.” The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t be able to make much of a difference.” The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one.”

My mum used to tell me this story often to remind me that every small effort we make can change someone’s life. Even if we think it’s insignificant, it’s making a difference. As Gandhi said: ‘We have to be the change we wish to see in the world.’ My mum taught me everything I know and without a doubt, she is the reason for all my success.

Even though we currently live with a sea separating us, she inspires me every day. Growing up, my mum was (and still is) my superhero and who I aspire to be. I am in awe by her strength, commitment, and dedication. As a businesswoman, an academic, and in the corporate world, she has accomplished amazing feats. She has taught me it’s never too late to change or to start new projects, and that we can always improve. By showing me first-hand what she preaches, she has taught me the value of staying true to my morals and being an ethical leader and responsible citizen.

My mum is not only my biggest fan and supporter, but she inspires me to do my best in everything I do. She has taught me to live life to the fullest every day, and to live every day like it’s my last. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for all that she’s done for me, her sacrifices, and for her unconditional love.

I also wanted to thank Dr. Garry Bruton and Luanne Bruton, for making my experience at TCU possible. Without their continuous support, kindness, and help I would not be at TCU. I am incredibly thankful.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

I would love to write a book! Through living in different countries, attending various educational systems, and a gap year, I always joke that I have lived many lives. I would love to someday write about all the experiences I’ve had and share my failures and successes with the world since I am incredibly grateful for all the experiences.

I want to continue being involved in international projects and organizations, as well as help lead foundations that spearhead global educational initiatives as I believe we can only change society by giving everyone the opportunity to study. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

What are your hobbies?

1. Reading: Growing up in a house packed with books sparked my love for reading. Every time my mum would travel to somewhere new, she would bring me a pile of books (in different languages). My love for books sparked when living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since our home was relatively far from the school I attended. As such, I spent countless hours in transportation during the week. Books became my best friends. Fictional characters kept me company then, and they still accompany me today. Books have been so important to me that during my gap year, I became the Official Book Fairy for The Book Fairies by pioneering and creating the project in Portugal. The Book Fairies is a worldwide organization present 100 countries. “Fairies” hide books around the world, every day, for people to find, read, and then leave for the next person. I personally had the honor of dropping and distributing over 550 books, which has brought me immense joy. I truly believe that both directly and indirectly, the Book Fairies incentivizes literacy, but also spreads magic, kindness, and hope internationally. Given my passion for literature, and inspired by my promise to be responsible citizen, I launched the inaugural Neeley Leadership Lending Library, located on the second floor of Neeley, where business, leadership, and management books are offered for free for anyone to take and read. The library honors Dr. Greg Stephens, the former Academic Director of the Neeley Leadership Program.

2. Walking. Given my daily packed schedule, I love clearing my head by going on walks. It’s the perfect time to listen to music, podcasts, or just be in silent reflecting about my day. The silence of walks helps me center myself and, above all, to be present in the moment. I love walking through TCU’s beautiful campus, especially at sunrise or sunset with the vibrant colors.

3. Taking photos and capturing happy moments. My passion for photography started when I was moving around and at the end of my gap year, I created a scrapbook to immortalize all the experiences I had lived. Now, one of the walls in my room is filled with photos because it reminds me that we are today the result of all our options in the past, and that tomorrow is the product of the decisions we take today. So, I like to remember all the memories, but also reflect on their impact in my life currently. Through my internship with Marketing and Communications, I have gotten to gather content at various historic sporting events (Big XII Conference Games & Championship) and iconic performances (Flo Rida, Ludacris, Kesha, Surfaces, Drew and Ellie Holcomb) for TCU’s 450k followers. Being able to photograph and video these moments brings me so joy. Even when around friends, taking photos of random tidbits are great to look back on makes my heart full and allows me to fully appreciate moments.

4. Organizing. Whether it’s my calendar, drawer, desk, inbox, documents, putting things were they belong and finding systems brings me an immense about of peace (especially when I’m stressed). I believe that if everything around us (physically or digitally on the computer) is in its respective place or organized order, it’s easier to establish prioritizes and to get things done. Organization is what keeps me going and allows me to be productive and effective.

What made Marina such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“I have known Ms. Marina Magnant for five years. I initially gave a talk in Portugal on business and addressing poverty. From that talk, Marina decided to attend TCU. While she was accepted at other American universities, she delayed her entry into the university a year so she could come to TCU. I feel strongly that in her business life she is strongly committed to helping the poor and disadvantaged in her life work in business.

I know of no student who has become more involved in the life of TCU and better represents TCU. The reason she is called on so frequently to address groups is her strong belief in the values of TCU. Overall, she has done so much at TCU while maintaining an exceptional grade average. She truly is one of the best students in all dimensions I have known for over 25 years as being a professor.”

Professor Garry Bruton
Management and Leadership Department
TCU Neeley School of Business


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