One of my very favorite parts of TCU is the opportunities it gives you to have so many little small groups of friends. Obviously I have my group of sorority sisters, my friends from my freshman dorm, and so on, but this year I was lucky enough to add a new group to the mix.
Last Spring, I spent some solid time attending info sessions, perfecting my resume and praying I’d get an interview for the BNSF Neeley Leadership Program. It’s quite a mouthful- I know. But to break it down, BNSF is a freight company based in Fort Worth that is basically the sponsor to the program, our business school here at TCU is the Neeley School of Business, and finally, it’s obviously a leadership program.
|The BNSF Neeley Leadership Program Class of 2018|
This is one of two exclusive programs in the Neeley school. The other, Neeley Fellows, is the honors program. Because I already knew my first semester GPA would not even be considered for Fellows, I knew NLP was the better option for me, simply because it’s leadership-based rather than GPA-based. NLP has a leadership-focused class each semester that eventually grants you an emphasis in Leadership on your resume.
Like I mentioned above, the first step to the program was actually applying. This included an extensive application and resume, only open to second semester Freshmen. Then, the program narrowed down this group by offering about half of the applicants an interview. When I got notice I got through to interviews, I was stoked. I had been in a pretty negative state of mind at this time of the year because it had seemed that everything I’d applied for I’d gotten rejected from.
The interview consisted of three interviewers (professors, executives, etc.), but even worse than this, they recorded the interview so that they could go back and watch it later with others. Yikes. After a little mental coaching by friends and family, I pushed through and aced the interview. Then the hard part came: waiting. They told us they would send acceptance letters until June.
|Happy Hour at Blue Mesa|
Come June, I received a letter from the Neeley School and anxiously opened it with my mother standing by. When I read the good news, I’m not kidding, my mom was jumping up and down. I was smiling ear to ear. Almost immediately, I received texts from a couple other friends that had gotten in as well. I was already pumped.
I’m not going to bore you with the details, but our cohort (the Class of 2018 NLP) bonded quickly. I don’t know if it was due to the difficulty of the class or the amount of time we saw each other, but we became family. It’s truly one of the best things I’ve been a part of so far at TCU and I’m so excited for the next 2.5 years with the 30 of them. Next Fall Break we head to Chicago to meet with corporate executives and the Summer before Senior year we head to the UK. Excited is an understatement.
We don’t just study together, we hang out outside of class, which in my opinion, is the best way to get to know someone. A couple of weeks ago we headed to Happy Hour at Blue Mesa (hello quesadilla bar) and this past week we had a Secret Santa gift exchange. It’s so cool to see all different types of people get together. We have students from Vietnam, El Salvador, Texas, California… just to name a few. Getting to know other cultures and such is also such a cool part of this program.
|Secret Santa Exchange|
The point of this post was mainly to boast about how amazing this new group of friends is, but if you happen to be a TCU freshman or are planning on coming here, and you’re a business student, I highly suggest applying for NLP. It sounds like work, but I’ve already gotten more out of it than I’ve put in, which is something I didn’t think I’d be able to say this early along. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to email me!