Leila Zomorrodian

MBA for Professionals Class of 2016 – Weekend

Hometown (City and State): Houston, TX

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, B.B.A. Finance 

Employer and Job Titles:
Natixis US Corporate & Investment Banking, Vice President, Global Energy & Commodities

What led you to pursue an MBA? I have always valued education and knew that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. To stay competitive in the current job market it is important to have broad and transferable skills and I knew an MBA would help me develop the skills I needed. I also value the importance of establishing a good network that I can carry with me throughout my career. Lastly, I wanted to make sure that I did not limit myself later in my career by not having an MBA degree.     

Why did you choose Rice for your professional MBA? I chose Rice because of its stellar reputation and strong alumni network. I also valued having a campus experience and realize the benefit of attending a school in Houston even more now than I did while I was in my search phase. 

What has been a highlight of the program? The highlight of my program has been the relationships I’ve built and the friends I’ve made. An MBA program is very different from an undergraduate degree as you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who want to better themselves and want to be there. Our common interests have helped us built everlasting relationships and we will carry throughout our lives and our careers.  

What has surprised you about the journey so far? I have been very surprised and pleased with the level of attention and care given by the Office of Student Services, the Dean’s Office, and the faculty to the advancement of the program and satisfaction of the student body. All Rice staff and faculty do take student feedback seriously and are constantly striving to make the MBA program a better program than it was the year before.      

What advice do you have for prospective students? Talk to current students, sit in a class, but also attend some of the events put on by the various clubs and student organizations at the Jones School. Getting a well-rounded campus visit will help you better understand all the benefits of a Rice MBA. 

Once you are in the program, get involved and get to know your classmates. The classroom learning is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is so much more that you can get out of the program if you put forth the effort. The two years of classroom learning will be tremendously rewarding but will fly by. It is the relationships you build and the mark you leave on the school that will continue with you throughout your career.