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Help us build the next class of students by recommending a friend, colleague or anyone who would make a great candidate for the Master of Accounting, Professional MBA, Executive MBA or Full-Time MBA program.

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Alumni Stories

Bring a Colleague to School Day

While David Dell’Osso ’13 was a first-year student in the Rice MBA program he heard about Bring a Colleague to School Day.

“When I thought about the mission of the Jones School — to develop principled innovative thought leaders — a coworker came to mind due to his tremendous talent and potential. He had expressed an interest in getting an MBA, and I felt he would be a great addition to Rice. Bring a Colleague to School Day was an opportunity to expose him to what I found special about the Jones School — world class faculty, facilities and reputation combined with a diverse group of bright students and an almost family-like culture.”

That coworker was Geoff Vernon ’14. Vernon signed up and sat in on Professor Sebastian Michenaud’s finance class. “It was great. I was in the thick of some business development deals, and I immediately saw that going back to school could be really helpful. Knowing the experience David was having, I wanted the same thing.”

When Vernon saw the same invitation to Bring a Colleague to School Day, it inspired him. “I had a friend who I’d worked with at BP. I knew that he had an interest in earning an MBA, and I thought he would be a great fit at Rice. I called him up and said, ‘Why don’t you come to this with me.’”

That friend was Ryan Fitzpatrick ’15. “It was almost a selfish thing,” Vernon says today. “The better the next class is, the more valuable our degree becomes.”

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Ryan Fitzpatrick ’15
Land Manager
Stonegate Production Company, LLC
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(right) David Del’Osso ’13
General Manager, Sand Wash Basin
Southwestern Energy Company
(left) Geoff Vernon ’14
Planning and Development Manager,
West Virginia Division
Southwestern Energy Company


Michael Cordúa and Fred Espinoza

In 1990 Fred Espinoza began working as a busboy at Churrascos, one of Michael Cordúa’s restaurants. Within four years, he was elected by his peers to be general manager. Cordúa recognized the leadership potential and offered, after Espinoza had earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Thomas University, to pay for an MBA at Rice. Today, Espinoza ’06 is chief operating officer at Cordúa Restaurants.

“We’re only as good as the people who work with us,” Cordúa said. “I will always believe in growing our talent.” Years before he supported Espinoza, Cordúa had made a personal commitment to further his education. “But entrepreneurship distracted my studies.” Watching his colleague flourish at Rice inspired him to go back. “I wanted to grow the company and approach the business with a greater understanding.” He graduated two years later.

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Fred Espinoza '06
Chief Operating Officer
Cordúa Restaurants
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Michael Cordúa '08
Cordúa Restaurants