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Bring a Colleague to School Day
While David DellâOsso â13 was a first-year student in the Rice MBA program he heard about Bring a Colleague to School Day.
âWhen I thought about the mission of the Jones School â to develop principled innovative thought leaders â a coworker came to mind due to his tremendous talent and potential. He had expressed an interest in getting an MBA, and I felt he would be a great addition to Rice. Bring a Colleague to School Day was an opportunity to expose him to what I found special about the Jones School â world class faculty, facilities and reputation combined with a diverse group of bright students and an almost family-like culture.â
That coworker was Geoff Vernon â14. Vernon signed up and sat in on Professor Sebastian Michenaudâs finance class. âIt was great. I was in the thick of some business development deals, and I immediately saw that going back to school could be really helpful. Knowing the experience David was having, I wanted the same thing.â
When Vernon saw the same invitation to Bring a Colleague to School Day, it inspired him. âI had a friend who Iâd worked with at BP. I knew that he had an interest in earning an MBA, and I thought he would be a great fit at Rice. I called him up and said, âWhy donât you come to this with me.ââ
That friend was Ryan Fitzpatrick â15. âIt was almost a selfish thing,â Vernon says today. âThe better the next class is, the more valuable our degree becomes.â
Ryan Fitzpatrick â15
Stonegate Production Company, LLC
(right) David DelâOsso â13
General Manager, Sand Wash Basin
Southwestern Energy Company
(left) Geoff Vernon â14
Planning and Development Manager,
West Virginia Division
Southwestern Energy Company
Michael CordĂșa and Fred Espinoza
In 1990 Fred Espinoza began working as a busboy at Churrascos, one of Michael CordĂșaâs restaurants. Within four years, he was elected by his peers to be general manager. CordĂșa recognized the leadership potential and offered, after Espinoza had earned a bachelorâs degree at St. Thomas University, to pay for an MBA at Rice. Today, Espinoza â06 is chief operating officer at CordĂșa Restaurants.
âWeâre only as good as the people who work with us,â CordĂșa said. âI will always believe in growing our talent.â Years before he supported Espinoza, CordĂșa had made a personal commitment to further his education. âBut entrepreneurship distracted my studies.â Watching his colleague flourish at Rice inspired him to go back. âI wanted to grow the company and approach the business with a greater understanding.â He graduated two years later.
Chief Operating Officer