Abbey Marks

MBA for Professionals Class of 2017 - Evening

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Colorado at Boulder, B.S. in Advertising, B.A. in Spanish

Employer and Job Titles: Ttweak, Creative Director

What led you to pursue an MBA? I work for a small advertising and communications firm. I've always worked on the creative side of the business, but am interested in taking on a bigger role at the firm, particularly in regard to strategy development and consulting. My clients belong to a variety of fields including health care, banking, energy and non-profits. This constant immersion in different businesses and industries is what I love most about my profession and what fuels my desire to learn about business operations and management. A good communication strategy always kicks back to the business plan.

Why did you choose Rice for your professional MBA? I was drawn to Rice because of the diverse course offerings and programs for entrepreneurship. Additionally, I love the community. At Rice, it's so much more than just what happens in the classroom. The campus itself is such a beautiful, welcoming place. And beyond that, the programming, support systems, clubs and events (and let’s not forget the happy hours) create such a complete and rich experience. It's hard to imagine being anywhere else.

What has been a highlight of the program? Getting to know my classmates. Before I started the program, I heard repeatedly how great the people are and what strong bonds I'd form with my classmates. It's been awesome discovering how true it is.

What has surprised you about the journey so far? I was surprised by how quickly we hit the ground running right from day one. Now, the first semester is almost over and I can't believe how fast it flew by!

What advice do you have for prospective students? Try to participate in some of the various offerings outside of class - clubs, information sessions, excursions, etc. At first it seems impossible to take on anything else outside of work and school, but after a few weeks you find your rhythm. And these "extra curriculars" are an important part of the experience.

What's something your classmates don't know about you? I have a rescue dog named Lola who goes to work with me every day.