Joey Barnhill

MBA for Professionals Class of 2013 – Evening

It’s hard to believe that I’m getting ready to graduate from the Rice MBA for Professionals program in a few weeks. It seems like just yesterday that I was going through the admissions process and visiting the campus and coming to information sessions. I remember being so excited to start the program so that I could learn and grow and explore new opportunities. I can honestly say that this experience really was a dream that has come true.

As I reflect on my time here, the one thing that has surprised me the most about this experience was the intensity of the program. I had heard stories of how busy and time-consuming this adventure would be but I don’t think anything could actually prepare me for how truly intense it was until I was actually experiencing it. This intensity came in many forms: academic rigor of the program; taking classes that I had not been exposed to before; learning a whole host of new skills that I didn’t even know existed; meeting so many classmates and colleagues who are now my good friends and part of my growing professional network.

On top of all of that, I have developed a greater ability to think creatively on how to solve complex business problems. The fact that I took on this program while working full time at a demanding job and also trying to have some sort of a personal life is probably one of the proudest moments for me. I proved something to myself. I learned that I am able to handle a much greater workload than I had ever thought possible and this perseverance will definitely translate to other areas of life as this program is finished.

If you are a prospective student who is considering this Rice MBA for Professionals program, I leave you with a few words of advice: The Rice MBA is a very accomplished program with a world class faculty, curriculum, and facilities. I am highly pleased with my decision to come to Rice to pursue my MBA, and I would recommend the same to any students considering graduate school.

As I spend these last few weeks saying goodbye to classmates, professors and staff, I sent a message to the Admissions Office saying how grateful I have been for this opportunity to be a part of this program. I am thankful for having the chance to grow this much both professionally and personally. That little letter of admittance to the program has significantly improved my life and will continue to do so as I continue my journey.