Tillar says that rodeo is “the equivalent of a full-time job,” and that it is a challenge to manage her rodeo life with life as a full-time McCombs student.
“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned in rodeo is self-discipline. Having a goal both inside and outside of school helps me stay on top of things,” she says. “It’s taught me that there are days where you have to sit down and study like crazy, and days where you’re exhausted. Through all of it though, I’ve learned that there’s so many blessings that come from hard work and I’ve learned to really love working hard and pushing myself.”
Murray recently competed in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, where she won Round 7, and moved up from 12th in the world rankings to number six.
“The National Finals Rodeo is the Superbowl of rodeos. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about making as long as I can remember,” says Murray. “It’s so rewarding to see something that I worked so hard for all these years come true and I never really thought it would happen in college.”
Murray is currently majoring in BHP and Plan II Honors, and is considering adding a major in finance and a minor in accounting. She loves that BHP is smaller and focused on its students, classroom discussions, and interactions between peers and teachers. “I feel like it’s a place where I can really grow within McCombs, and have my own community in with a really specific network. I like how we focus on case studies and real-life business examples. We get to meet with a lot of BHP alumni and I think all of that’s really helpful to help us get into the business world and have more experience.”
Murray says one of the things she loves most about BHP is that as a group, BHP students really push each other to do their best in and out of school. “I love that everybody takes business to a whole new level by really engaging in it and helping each other out. We’re trying to excel in school not for the grade, but because we love learning. We enjoy what we’re doing in school and when everybody comes together and pushes each other to do better – it’s really hard to beat that.”
Tillar’s final words of advice are equally encouraging and pragmatic. This is clearly not her first rodeo. “You would be surprised what all you can accomplish if you work hard enough. I think people often underestimate their abilities because they don’t think that they are smart enough, or can be at the same level as another group of students. I find that that’s really not true. If you apply yourself and focus on your strong suits, while seeking advice for your weaknesses, you’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish, learn, and excel in. It doesn’t come easy, but I think students should know that they’re capable of a lot more than they think they can do.”