Alison Turner

MBA for Professionals Class of 2017 - Weekend

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Undergraduate School and Major: Trinity University, B.A. English

Employer and Job Titles: Vysk Communications, Product Marketing Manager

What led you to pursue an MBA? After I graduated with a degree in English I pursued a career path in marketing communications which included content marketing and running a publication. As I began to plan for the future of my career, I discovered that I was most passionate about product marketing and product development. In order to move from a tactical role into a more strategic position within my organization, I saw a necessity to obtain an MBA to continue my career growth.

Why did you choose Rice for your professional MBA? I had several criteria for evaluating programs. I wanted to go to a top-tier program, at least a plane ride away from my home, and it had to have support for entrepreneurial activities. I had been exploring my options at SMU (Cox), UT (McCombs), University of Chicago (Booth) and Northwestern (Kellogg). Rice was far and away the winner for me. Rice was academically rigorous and gave me the opportunity to tailor my coursework to my passions in my second year. Additionally, I was attracted to Rice’s entrepreneurial resources. From the richest and largest business plan competition in the world to OwlSpark and world-class research programs, Rice gives its students all the tools necessary to create a lasting venture. I work for a Vysk Communications, a cybersecurity startup headquartered in San Antonio. The Weekend Residency Program is a convenient, cost-effective, and low-stress way to attend class in Houston without significant career interruption.

What has been a highlight of the program? By far my favorite part of the program thus far was Prashant Kale’s Competitive Strategy course. The class was intellectually rigorous and fast-paced. It was the first course we took during Immersion week and exceeded my expectations for business school.

What has surprised you about the journey so far? I was immediately able to apply what I was learning in class to my work. Some of us make jokes about working B-school vocabulary into daily work conversations. I’ve already been able to make a transition into a product marketing role within Vysk and start working on new product development.

What advice do you have for prospective students? School rankings are important. More important than that however is cultural fit. You will spend an inordinate amount of time in and outside of class with your classmates. Bonds made in school will last for years. Make sure you spend enough time with current students and alumni to know if you get along well with your classmates.

What's something your classmates don't know about you? I was once featured in an issue of Southern Living.