Austin Lee

MBA for Professionals Class of 2014 – Evening

Gas Trading Analyst, Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc.

My first year in the MBA for Professionals program went by so quickly. As I look back on my experience, the thing that surprised me the most was the ability to immediately apply my classroom learning to my professional job. I remember hearing the admissions staff, current students and alumni who kept saying that exact same thing — how the classroom learning is directly applicable to what you’re doing at work the very next day — and it’s true. While working full time and attending this program may seem daunting, I was so surprised by the immediate return on investment and value of the Rice MBA.

Another thing that surprised me about my first year was that this school really does have the world-class faculty that I kept hearing about. The professors here not only have the ability to teach but have real work experience in the subject they are teaching. The examples these professors share in the classroom are not simply a textbook answer but an actual example from their professional career in that particular subject. This application of concept to real-world example just solidifies the learning process for me.

If I had to offer the prospective students out there one piece of advice, here it is: Start the admissions process early. Sign up for a Rice MBA class visit and one of the many information sessions or lunches around town. You need to let the admissions staff get to know you. I started the process early and spent months just getting to know the campus, the program, and the admissions team. By starting the process early, I was able to really get a good sense of why this was the best MBA program for me.