Betsen Philip

Senior Group Manager, Owned Brand Strategy, Target, Minneapolis, MN
(Rice MBA '08)

Betsen originally pursued an MBA because he wanted to advance into management. “During the program, I worked at NASA as a software project manager. I discovered in school, however, that my passion was for marketing and strategy, which led me to pursue a career change. As a result, I went through the MBA recruiting process, attended the National Society of Hispanic MBAs conference, and was recruited by several companies — Target, Ford Motor Company, Discover Card.” 

One of the major benefits for Betsen during the program was its relevance to his job. “Every day I was able to take back what I learned in class and see how I could apply it in a real-world environment while also discussing how my classmates were applying the same knowledge at their own companies. I received a deeper understanding of the principles we were learning while gaining the various ways to apply that knowledge to a job situation.” 

The work-life balance was the hardest part of the MBAP program for Betsen. “Before I started, I talked to my wife and we set up a schedule that was very effective. During the week, when I wasn’t in class, we kept having dinner with each other as a priority. Then, each weekend, one day was dedicated to my school work, which was when I was either going to the library, working at home, or meeting with my team from the program, and the other day was solely dedicated to my wife, family, and friends. We made it work.” 

Betsen’s advice to prospective Professionals students? “First of all, this is not a part-time MBA program. It’s a full-time MBA program while you are working, and the value you will get out of it is based on what you put into it. You will have to find your own personal way to manage the work-life balance, but I encourage you to fully invest yourself in the program in terms of how hard you work at it and spending time with your classmates and building that network.” 

"The Rice MBA has played the most defining role in my career to date. While at Target, I have been able to move from it to market research to brand marketing. Without the Rice MBA, I would not hae had the business acumen to successfully transition to these vastly different roles. I have leveraged the skills and knowledge I gained from the Rice MBA to impact some of Target's biggest marketing campaigns."


  • Hometown: Pelham, NY
  • University of Richmond, B.S. Computer Science ’02
  • Rice University, MBA for Professionals–Evening ’08
  • Job during school: Software Project Manager, NASA
  • Current job: Senior Group Manager, Owned Brand Strategy, Target, Minneapolis, MN
  • Former football, shot put and discus athlete