The final application deadline for the Professional and Executive MBA programs has been extended to June 27. GMAT waivers available.

Alumni Stories

Meet LaMecia Butler, MBA '12

What was your pre-MBA career?

Prior to pursuing my MBA I was a publicist and entrepreneur. I started my early career in sports and entertainment and then worked independently helping local nonprofits shortly before business school. 

What is your post-MBA career?

I think my post-MBA work can be classified as community and economic development. In the past ten years, I've worked in the nonprofit, sports and tech industries. My roles have allowed me to work to improve outcomes for social enterprises for people with barriers to employment, oversee community relations and supplier diversity for two Super Bowls, distribute over $112M for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and manage supplier diversity efforts for one of the largest tech companies. 

Why did you want to pursue your MBA?

Initially I pursued my MBA because I wanted to gain the knowledge to help me consider and solve problems strategically. I wanted to work on complex issues that I could understand at a macro and micro level. I knew then and my career has demonstrated that these skills have allowed me to work and create impact across industries. 

Why did you choose Rice Business?

No other school came close to Rice when I thought about the people — from my first encounter at a recruiting fair, to the multiple times I visited campus, I was surrounded by incredible people who enriched my experience. I've made life-long friendships with people I've met while attending and as an alum. 

How has Rice helped your career to date?

Over the years I've not only used what I've learned in the classroom, but also called upon my classmates to help me with projects or life pursuits. But it's important that I can also help others with their careers which is why I've contracted Rice MBA graduates who became entrepreneurs for my professional projects. 

What does it mean to you to be a woman in business?

Because of intersectionality, my experience has been centered around being a "Black Woman" in business. It's a life that comes with layered responses and biases from others that I can't always control — how people perceive my intelligence and capabilities based on my name, hairstyle, tone, etc. Because I started my career in male-dominated spaces, my framework for success has been to focus on doing my best work which then made my talent indisputable and can help me open the doors for others (who look like me). 

What advice would you give to prospective and current MBA students?

Resist the urge to follow the crowd as it relates to your career - even if it requires more effort on your part to secure the position you desire. Take the courses that most interest you — even if it is a course outside of business school. You can't get the time you will invest in the process back, so make it worth your time. 

Do you have any other comments or anecdotes you would like to share?

Take advantage of every opportunity that will allow you to grow. Whether it's a case competition, global trek or serving in some leadership position — these opportunities will shape you and give you perspective for your next professional pursuit. 

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