2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Sean Payne, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

Sean Payne

Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business

“I am notably bad at talking about myself, but am honored by this nomination.”

Hometown: Keller, Texas

High School: Keller High School

Major: Finance and Accounting

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Advanced Financial Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • President – National Association of Black Accountants, TCU Chapter
  • President – Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Epsilon Undergraduate Chapter
  • Residential Assistant
  • Dean’s Honor List
  • Chancellor’s Leadership Program
  • Class of 23 Pillar of University Leadership Award
  • Neeley School of Business Awards – Henry Key Accounting Award

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • TCU Investment Management – Investment Analyst – Fort Worth, Texas
  • Goldman Sachs – AMD Fund Accounting Analyst – Dallas, Texas
  • PMG Digital Agency – Accounting Intern – Fort Worth, Texas
  • Gridiron Football, Inc. – Staff Accountant Intern – Southlake, Texas
  • Deep Labs, Inc. – Financial Analyst Intern – Washington, D.C.
  • TCU Finance and Administration – Accounting Intern – Fort Worth, Texas

Where will you be working after graduation? TCU Investment Management – Investment Analyst

Who is your favorite business professor? Professor Janice Cobb is my favorite business professor because she challenges her students to think outside of the content and apply material information to real world events. She structures her class in a way that memorization will not suffice, forcing you to truly develop the necessary skills to become a proper scholar in business.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is everything that you put into it. It can be the easiest major in the world that generates no value or the hardest lesson that creates superstars. Understanding yourself and why you want to practice in business will keep you on a moral track that leads to your version of success. It is a healthy competition that has created the many luxuries we enjoy today.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The range of opportunities available to me and my peers has surprised me the most about majoring in business. I started my collegiate career in one field and now find myself working in another. I have friends who took all the same classes but will end up doing very different things. A business major’s versatility is unbound. It allows you to truly follow your passion and pivot if need be.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I wished I would have gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable early. I hindered my ability to engage in great programs that would have elevated me into the field I’m in now because I chose opportunities that were given. I didn’t push the envelope on what I could achieve after finding success in one area.

What business leader do you admire most? I wouldn’t say I admire one specific business leader, but the concept of creating something that generates value that could support your family for at least the next three generations is exciting. There are many individuals who have accomplished this feat and I look up to all of them.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Becoming a Neeley Fellow is definitely my highest academic achievement so far. This achievement has taught me how to fight through adversity, grow as an individual, and remain humble in success.

Which classmate do you most admire? Early in college, I most admired TCU classmate Cade Peveto because he is well mannered, focused, driven, but reasonable. I’ve met a lot of people who fail to balance high achievement academically with a decent social life. Cade has earned my respect over the years.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I thank my parents for my success. They have stuck with me through the ups and downs and created the foundation from which I perform. The expectations they set for me early on have transitioned into high expectations I have for myself.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I would like to manage a large number of people in a company and lead corporate-wide decisions.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy fitness, food, video games and pastime sports like basketball and golf.

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

“Sean Payne is definitely among our top Accounting and Finance double majors academically, a member of our premier Neeley Fellows Program and the Honors College.

While that alone would have been impressive given the rigor of those majors individually, Sean has also made a generational difference on the TCU campus related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. He was a key student leader in the grassroots effort to systematically embed inclusive excellence into the fabric of the TCU Neeley School of Business. He is an inaugural member and ultimately served as President of the award-winning TCU Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA Inc.). He also served as president of the Kappa Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. while working as a Residential Assistant.  Sean’s tenacious leadership in both academics and university service make him a clear standout for the Best and Brightest Undergraduate Business Majors.”

Professor Ann Tasby
Director of the TCU Neeley Office of Inclusive Excellence, Accounting Faculty Member and Campus Advisor for the NABA Inc. Student Chapter


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