Annie Hsiao

Rice MBA Full Time Class of 2017

Hometown: Houston, TX

Undergraduate School and Major: Rice University: BA Anthropology, Visual and Dramatic Arts

Employer and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Medical student at Baylor College of Medicine

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? For the GMAT, I used review books to practice problems and run through practice tests. I found that practicing timed tests was important because personally I had issues with pacing, especially on math sections. One thing I underestimated about the actual test was how difficult it would be not being able to go back to questions. I found myself wasting valuable time with indecision, when I should have just committed to an answer choice and moved on.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? My selection process was fairly simple because I was familiar with the Jones Graduate School of Business from my time in undergrad at Rice University, and because there is a dual degree MD/MBA program with my current medical school, Baylor College of Medicine. Ultimately, I knew that I wanted to stay close to my medical school community so that I could stay engaged in the medical center and with my friends and family.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? I always found it helpful to have as many people as possible read over my essays. Similarly, to prepare for interviews, I try to talk to people who were in the program to get an idea of the culture of the school and what they look for in applicants. And I believe that having an opportunity to visit the campus can tell you a lot about whether or not the school would be a good fit for you.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Being a member of the world’s largest medical center gives Rice a strong and dynamic connection with the medical community. Specifically for its health care administrative programs, there are exceptional opportunities to learn from educators who have extensive experience and are often pioneers in their field, along with having unparalleled access to witness first hand how the theories and techniques we learn in the classroom can be directly applied in a medical setting.

Furthermore, during my undergraduate studies at Rice University, I was fortunate to have some interactions with the business school and everything I learned about it was impressive, from the faculty, students and staff to its history and campus. One of the reasons I am specifically pursuing a Rice MBA is because I have immense pride in the university and its people.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? Pursuing an MBA between my second and third years of medical school is optimal for me because I have had six months of clinical exposure already, which means I have some time to learn and practice clinical skills before taking a year away from it. This timing allows me to get a glimpse of the medical world from the position of most other medical professionals who have little or no business training.  And hopefully once I complete my MBA, I will be able to relate to and understand how to most effectively help and educate other colleagues if needed. Additionally, implementing my business training into the remainder of my medical school education will allow me to apply my new knowledge to its maximum potential since I will be rotating through different clinical environments where management practices might vary. I believe the dual MD /MBA program will not only provide me the opportunity to sample types of medical practices but also the opportunities to observe and learn diverse medical administrative practices.