Jeff MacDonald

Rice MBA for Professionals Class of 2012 – Weekend Schedule

"With my Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Alberta, I am currently a Reservoir Engineer with Marathon Oil Company. My main focus is doing technical evaluations of oil and gas reservoirs being considered for acquisition or divestiture. My focus is on those “difficult to produce reservoirs” that require unconventional drilling and production techniques.

As I started to research the various MBA programs in Houston, I only applied to the MBA for Professionals program at Rice University. The value proposition that Rice MBA for Professionals program offered was a unique alumni network and cohort based program. No other school in the region offers such an outstanding social network as Rice. The classmates and alumni I meet will be with me for the rest of my life, and that is worth so much to me.

For those of you considering the program, get ready for Immersion which is the 6-day long jump-start into the MBA program. The best word to describe Immersion is “intense”. Between the long hours, new faces, challenging concepts and utter shock of being back in school, Immersion fully prepared me for learning what business is all about. Tight friendships are formed very quickly while completing strategy assignments at 2 AM. Those friendships will last a lifetime. And I was surprised to learn how much I could accomplish in such a short amount of time. A common complaint I used to hear is that there aren’t enough hours in the day. The Rice MBA Immersion taught me that there are enough hours; we just choose not to use them. My favorite part about Immersion was the strategy course taught by Professor Prashant Kale. As an engineer, I am always looking for the answer. But through this strategy course, I learned HOW to learn more effectively. This course changed how I approach problems and taught me that the question is more important than the answer. And this lesson has been invaluable to me at work in helping me approach my work assignments from a different perspective.

Immersion prepared me for the rapid pace and demanding workload via trial by fire. Although it was a sink-or-swim situation, having four other team members in the same situation fostered camaraderie and assured us we were all working in the right direction. Quickly assimilating us to long hours and challenging material has made the rest of the semester seem much more manageable. And as I look at my team, I can honestly say it is very diverse. A mixture of men and women, three nationalities, different working backgrounds, and completely different personalities insures that our meetings are always interesting and productive. It’s hard to believe that the first year will be wrapping up in a few months."

Jeff MacDonald
Reservoir Engineer
Marathon Oil Company