Nassim Kefi

MBA for Professionals Class of 2017 - Weekend

Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic

Undergraduate School and Major: Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic - B.A. in International Relations

Employer and Job Titles: ExxonMobil, Procurement Controls Supervisor

What led you to pursue an MBA? I view an MBA as a long-term investment. When I enrolled in the Rice MBA program, my goal was not a quick promotion or a new job. Instead, I hope this advanced degree will prepare me for future leadership roles within ExxonMobil. The knowledge and skills afforded me by Rice’s rigorous two-year professional MBA program, coupled with the high-quality workforce training programs offered by my employer, are exactly the type of professional development that will propel my career to the next level.

Why did you choose Rice for your professional MBA? While Rice University is not the only graduate program I considered, its Jones Graduate School of Business is consistently ranked among the top business schools in the country. In my research and throughout my application and interview process, I was continuously impressed by Rice’s top-notch faculty, staff, students and alumni network, along with the professionalism I was shown. As a full-time professional working and living in Houston, Rice was the clear-cut No. 1 choice.

What has been a highlight of the program? I have truly enjoyed immediately applying the concepts and tools we learn about in class. Concepts like new communication skills, knowledge in financial accounting and economic strategies may seem abstract to the casual student, but the reward is in bringing those learnings back to the office each week and seeing them make a difference in my work.

What has surprised you about the journey so far? Time flies by much faster than I thought it would. Juggling family life, a demanding full-time job and the MBA program has made my first semester pass by quickly. Moving forward, I will have to remember to make the most of the remaining year and a half and actually enjoy being back in school one last time!

What advice do you have for prospective students? If you have been out of school for a while, be prepared for a change of pace. Devoting yourself to the MBA program while working a full-time job can be demanding at times, but it is well worth the extra effort.

What's something your classmates don't know about you? Growing up, I always thought I would pursue a career in diplomacy. In 2008, I joined ExxonMobil in a business role and never looked back.