Nikki Morris

MBA for Professionals Class of 2014 – Weekend

Senior Geologist, FireWheel Energy, LLC

As I start my second year of the Rice MBA for Professionals program, the most surprising part so far has been how quickly the time has gone. I am a Weekend Warrior, meaning not only am I in the MBA for Professionals Weekend program, but I also commute every other weekend from Dallas. I selected Rice and the Jones School because of the reputation of the school, both academically and professionally. I looked at a few schools in both Dallas and Houston and Rice stood out because of two main things:

1) Rice offers a whole host of elective classes to take in my second year, which was important to me as I wanted to be flexible with my MBA education to really tailor my learning to classes not only in my area of expertise, but also classes outside of my comfort zone and knowledge base. I have a technical background in the oil and gas industry and I am taking a Marketing Communication class to learn something new. I’m also looking forward to classes like Mergers and Acquisitions, Geopolitics of Energy, Corporate Strategy, and Corporate Investment Policy.

2) The faculty, staff and other students really stand out from other schools that I considered, and those relationships are so important when making this MBA investment. At first, I thought it would be a huge strain trying to commute, but things have worked out really well. I’m actually able to study on the plane and get to school early on Class Fridays so I can finish up assignments or meet with my team.

My advice to a prospective student? Spend some time researching the best program for you, not only for the present but also for your professional career five years down the road. The best MBA program for you may be a commute away, but it’s worth it when you have made the right choice. Keep the lines of communication open with your supervisor and remind them of your schedule and plans ahead of time. Flights can get delayed/cancelled so make sure your classmates and professors know of your situation. Make sure your company, friends, and family truly understand the time commitment you are making for the two years. It’s hard to believe that my second year is already starting!