Lori Bivens

MBA for Professionals Class of 2017 - Evening

Hometown: Portland, Texas

Undergraduate School and Major: Texas State University, B.B.A. Finance

Employer and Job Titles: EP Energy, Principal Financial Analyst - Wolfcamp Division

What led you to pursue an MBA? Pursuing an MBA has always been a personal goal of mine. I wanted to challenge myself, network with other extremely motivated individuals, and position myself to advance my career. As I evaluated my role models from within and outside my current organization, the fact that they are all MBAs speaks volumes.

Why did you choose Rice for your professional MBA? I have had the opportunity to attend multiple NAWMBA Women in Leadership Conferences at the Jones School which exposed me to current students, faculty and the beautiful campus. I knew from the minute I walked into the business school that Rice University was where I wanted to be. The commute from downtown is easy and it also doesn’t hurt that Bloomberg Business ranked Rice #3 for part-time MBA programs!

What has been a highlight of the program? Immersion week has definitely been a highlight of the program. I was warned by previous students, and I read several student profiles that mentioned this “glorious” week, but it’s something that you truly must experience to appreciate. You bond with your teammates over late night (or early morning) dinner parties and paper writing, and you really get a sense for the expectations of the program.

What has surprised you about the journey so far? The thing that has surprised me the most about the journey thus far is the camaraderie and the vast differing of backgrounds among my classmates. From group work with five classmates to group texts with 50 classmates, I have never felt like I am alone in this program. Being able to bounce ideas off of engineers, physicians, education administrators and other business professionals is one of the greatest attributes of graduate school.

What advice do you have for prospective students? My advice for prospective students is that if there is any question in your mind about whether or not to apply, just do it! I have been out of the classroom and in the business world for six years and the longer you wait, the harder it is to convince yourself to go back. The idea of working and going to school full time may seem daunting at first, but it is an adjustment that you learn to make. As I look back to when school started in August, I am positive that the Rice MBA for Professionals program was one of the smartest investments I have ever made – partly because of what it will mean for my career; partly because of the incredible new network of business colleagues I have made; and, mostly because there is so much richness and fulfillment that comes from being a life-long learner.