TCU business students who applied for the 2011-2012 Neeley Associates program found out this past week if they made the cut.
Senior Associate Dean and Professor of International Business Bill Moncrief said the role of 16 Neeley Associates chosen each spring is to serve as student representatives and ambassadors for the Neeley School of Business.
They work for the dean’s office, the Neeley Student Resource Center and are in charge of programming and recruiting students and faculty.
“When I need a student to represent the Neeley School, I call one of the associates,” he said. “They are the face of the business school.”
Junior marketing major Caitlin Locke was a Neeley Associate for the 2010-2011 school year. She said she applied to be an associate in order to set herself apart from other business students and gain the interaction and personal relationships with faculty.
Joe Askew, a junior finance major with an emphasis in real estate, was accepted as one of next year’s associates. He said he had heard from previous members that it was worth taking the time to apply, so he applied and was accepted.
“I’m looking forward to being a face for the business school and getting to work with the faculty a little bit more,” he said.
Locke said the major obligations of being an associate are participating in the Neeley basketball tournament and assisting during interview day for students applying to be a part of the business school.
Moncrief said the annual Neeley basketball tournament is run entirely by the associates. The associates prepare and cook all of the food for the event and organize the teams and games.
“The teams come from our clubs inside the business school,” he said. “We’ll have eight to 10 teams with one faculty team, and we just have an all-day tournament and cook out.”
On interview day, about 310 sophomores have interviews with 130 business professionals to determine whether or not they are accepted to the business school. Moncrief said associates are responsible for checking people in, getting people to the right rooms and working with students directly.
“Associates are the worker bees on that day, without them we couldn’t get it done,” Moncrief said.
Locke said interview day was her favorite part of being an associate because associates were able to help calm the nerves of the students applying.
“We gave them advice that we would have liked when we went through,” she said. “It’s just a great experience to help them realize what their lives are going to be like after they leave the business school and have to interview for a real job.”
Moncrief said most of the associates are seniors, but even the few juniors who make it are only allowed to serve one year.
“We don’t allow them to come back for another year because of the burnout factor,” he said. “We want everyone fresh.”
There are a lot of positives to becoming a Neeley Associate, including the interaction with experienced business professionals, Moncrief said.
“It certainly helps to have access to the dean, our board members, and me and my connections,” he said. “It’s just fun, and I think everyone in the past has really enjoyed it.”
Applications for Neeley Associates are due in April each year, Moncrief said. Once applications are received, new associates are chosen by Moncrief, three representatives in the Neeley Student Resource Center and input from the existing Neeley Associates, he said.
Askew said his advice for any students planning to apply for Neeley Associates next spring is to try to get recommendations from professors they have a good relationship with and spend some time on the essays.