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Rice Jones MBA Sample Essays

 

Essay 1: “The Rice Business experience is designed to inspire our students to become future business leaders. How did your path, from both a professional and a personal perspective, guide you to where you are today, and how will Rice Business fit into where you would like to go next?”jayme

Please choose the format for your essay submission:

Submit a written essay (500 word limit)

Submit a video essay (3 minute time limit)

Essay 2: “Few in history have experienced a global event that has reached all corners of the world. During the impact of recent global activities, we have all been affected in different ways and have had to operate with ambiguity. What was the biggest lesson you learned during this moment in history and how will you carry this lesson forward as a future leader when having to make decisions with incomplete information? (500 word limit)”

Essay 3: Please choose one of the prompts below. You can submit a written essay (500 word limit) or a video (3 minute limit). 
Prompt #1: What movie, song, or book has most influenced your life and the way you view the world? Why?
Prompt #2: A picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a picture from your life that you value and tell us the story of that picture – but only in 500 words or less. Feel free to share the photo! 
Prompt #3: Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and food is a large part of these cultures. If you had to design a 3-course menu to prepare for your future MBA core team, what would be on the menu that showcases more about who you are?

Essay 4: If you have any additional information for the admissions committee or if you wish to clarify any aspect of your application (including breaks in employment, your choice of recommendation providers, your past academic performance, etc.), you may submit an additional, optional essay (750 word limit).

Rice Jones Sample Essay 1

 

Essay 1: “The Rice Business experience is designed to inspire our students to become future business leaders. How did your path, from both a professional and a personal perspective, guide you to where you are today, and how will Rice Business fit into where you would like to go next?”jayme

Please choose the format for your essay submission:

Submit a written essay (500 word limit)

Submit a video essay (3 minute time limit)

I have 9 years of multinational experience in the energy sector (Oil & Gas) with Baker Hughes as a technical sales lead. Now I aspire to upskill myself and grow into a corporate strategy and business development leader in the energy sector. 

I lost my mother to cancer at an early tender age and being the eldest of the siblings I had to take on motherly responsibilities early in my life. The hardships made me grow into a mature individual who understood the responsibilities and significance of excelling while managing my academics, career and family. This drive to excel pushed me to be a gold medallist at my university and land one of the best jobs with Baker Hughes.

The same hard values of owning my responsibilities and thrive for excellence also helped me establish a successful international career spanning India, UAE and Oman. I manage key sales accounts of our biggest clients like ADNOC, OXY and TOTAL and generated business worth $8M+ in the last 2 years. Working with unconventional demanding projects made me challenge my capabilities and deliver in pressure situations. My hard work and client recognitions helped me gain fast-track promotions into leadership roles and today I am leading the technical sales team in UAE as well as the [email protected] initiative to mentor and coach other aspiring female engineers. 

However to grow further from this stage into a country head/VP role, I am realizing a glass ceiling due to lack of my business knowledge and leadership skills. Also the dynamics in the energy sector are quickly shifting away from oil and gas to renewables or other sustainable forms of energy. That is why I would like to step out now and retool myself to continue my professional career growth. 

At Rice, I foremost desired to enhance my leadership skills (Doerr Institute) and develop my business acumen to break into the upper echelons of the corporate ladder. A Rice MBA has exclusive courses such as “Managing Energy Transitions” in the energy industry which focuses on carbon zero goal which is the hot topic in energy world and the priorities of energy security and restoring a strong, sustainable economy would be my interest. I look forward to contributing my on field knowledge on carbon restore and storage at energy club. Strategy courses like ‘’Strategies of Growth’’ will enhance my knowledge on achieving sustainable and profitable growth for companies with real life cases. Also the location of Rice in the energy hub Houston surrounded by fortune 500 energy companies present me with tons of opportunities. 

When I visited Houston in 2015 and 2016 what excited me is the diversity and multicultural environment it offers. I am confident that the diversity, quality education, huge energy network and collaborative learning at Rice would definitely enable me to be a woman leader in the energy industry and achieve my goals post my MBA.

Essay 2: “Few in history have experienced a global event that has reached all corners of the world. During the impact of recent global activities, we have all been affected in different ways and have had to operate with ambiguity. What was the biggest lesson you learned during this moment in history and how will you carry this lesson forward as a future leader when having to make decisions with incomplete information? (500 word limit)”

During this past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down and changed not just the way we live and work but also how we think and behave. The pandemic has been a time of extraordinary change and we had to rapidly change and adapt to the upcoming situation. The biggest lesson I learnt during this time is “the importance of keeping a cash reserve’’ Small savings can save you a long way.

I considered myself a prudent financial investor, I am good at investing in the markets and had always invested all my savings in the markets. But at the peak of the COVID hit lockdown and industry impact, my husband was put on a mandatory unpaid leave for 3 months and I had to take a 10% salary reduction as Oil and Gas prices were severely impacted. To live in foreign expensive country like the UAE was very difficult with a single salary. 

On top of that in India, a family-member had to go through COVID and I had to help them financially. The markets were down and I had to pull out all my investment at significant losses to handle the short term needs of my family as there were no emergency funds available. This gave us a temporary setback in our life. At this very moment I understood the importance of cash reserves. Throughout this period I changed my way of looking at things. I gave importance to essential things for life and I reduced our expenditures. It was a difficult period and we didn’t knew if we could survive the downturn in the UAE on single salary 

Through this period, I learned the hard lessons of diversifying my financial portfolio away from the markets and creating a balance. I reorganized my life priorities and understood the importance of having more skills at hand to earn that extra dollar. 

Essay 3: Please choose one of the prompts below. You can submit a written essay (500 word limit) or a video (3 minute limit). 
Prompt #1: What movie, song, or book has most influenced your life and the way you view the world? Why?
Prompt #2: A picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a picture from your life that you value and tell us the story of that picture – but only in 500 words or less. Feel free to share the photo!
Prompt #3: Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and food is a large part of these cultures. If you had to design a 3-course menu to prepare for your future MBA core team, what would be on the menu that showcases more about who you are?

The “Pursuit of Happyness” is one of my favorite movies ever and it’s because of the hidden deep message it gives throughout the movie. The story connects to a deeper part of me. This is the story for every father who has to be a mother, story for every mother who has to be father. This is a story for everyone who is ready to face the obstacles. 

In my case it’s the story of an elder sister who had to be a mother. Somehow I connected to the character as initially in my life when I was facing obstacles when my mother was ill with cancer. I had to step in, perform motherly duties, take care of younger siblings and then focus on my education under pressure. At the age of 22, during my last undergrad year my mother passed away (breast cancer). I struggled initially to take responsibility and make a way out of it but when I saw in the movie Chris has a situation worse than mine it gave me hope and courage to move forward.

The biggest challenge of my line came was when I almost cried while giving my valedictorian speech. My mother was the biggest supporter of my education and I had vowed to make her proud one-day. I finally made good on that vow when I topped my University and got invited to give the Valedictorian speech but my mother was no longer there to see my speech. It was the most challenging year and it all culminated in that 1 speech for me. It was just like the moment when Chris finally had a job offer in the movie but not his wife by his side. 

Upon graduation I had a great job offer and I was excited looking forward to starting a great career. This was supposed to be my second beginning as well but i soon realized my challenges as a professional woman were just beginning now. I was sent to remote locations in the oil field with limited access to the internet and lacking basic necessities like toilets for female engineers like me. I then realise that I need to work hard and harder towards the betterment of my life. 

Today, I am a visiting guest lecturer in the top 7 universities of UAE including American university of sharjah and Khalifa university. I usually give lectures to guide and inspire emirati women to take STEM careers. In UAE women give up their career due to family pressure and cultural taboo against education. I lead an initiative, “Own Your Power”, to coach and mentor these women at university level. I am also frequently called upon to judge inter university business case competitions and other forums to represent successful career driven women at podiums.

Chris’ life story in the movie and real life has motivated me to continue on my path and motivate other fellow professional women and I look forward to bringing these experiences and learning on Ric campus to share with my fellow peers. 

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Rice Jones MBA Sample Essay 2

 

Please choose to answer one of the following prompts (300-word limit):

  • “Rice is a community of curious thinkers, passionate dreamers, and energetic doers who believe that improving the world demands more than bold thought and brave action.  It takes unconventional wisdom.  What does unconventional wisdom mean to you?”

To me, unconventional wisdom means thinking out of the box to solve problems or seizing opportunities which conventional thinkers might refrain from grabbing. I think, at the heart of unconventional wisdom lies innovation and the ability to take risks.

I displayed unconventional wisdom during the diplomatic crisis in Qatar in 2017 when major Arab states applied sanctions on Qatar. The energy industry was shocked as skepticisms grew over Qatar’s energy market. Our management called in an urgent meeting to draw up plans on how to mitigate the situation and pull out investment as everyone deemed investing in Qatar as high risk. In my professional experience, I have learned that during panic situations people tend to look at short-term losses and forget the bigger picture. 

Based on my two years of experience in Qatar Market, I pushed back on my management’s outlook, and instead of ignoring Qatar, I made a strong case for expanding the market via our local channel partner. The crisis ensured that our competitors from Saudi Arabia and UAE were knocked off overnight and we could step in to fill critical needs. I successfully convinced my management not only to increase investment but also to boost the manpower of our local channel partner. 

After successfully convincing my management and armed with enhanced manpower, I charted out an expansion strategy of approaching customers in the previously untouched power sector and promoting our new products to existing customers. With the right execution of this strategy through our local channel partner, within four months,   our sales leads increased by  ~50%, and order conversion rate went from  10% to 27%.

 The crisis gave me a truly global operational experience and a hands-on experience of managing channel partners. I believe my unconventional wisdom during the crisis paid-off handsomely and substantially flourished our business.

2. “Everyone has a unique story and path that have led them to this point.  What is your story from both a professional and personal standpoint?  How does the Rice Business experience fit into your story?”

Please choose only one method of communication that you would like to use for your response:

  • Write an essay (300-word limit)
  • Share a video (one to three minute time limit)

My schooling from a boarding school run by the Indian Armed forces has instilled in me qualities and discipline that have helped me craft a successful career so far. I graduated in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering and started my career with a leading equipment fabricator for the energy sector.

I worked on the shop floor and led a team of 18 workmen supervising the fabrication activities of critical reactors, vessels & heat exchangers. After a year, having known the operational side, I was keen to know about the business aspect. Hence, I switched to sales & marketing department, where I have been catering to the Middle East & Africa market serving international energy clients such as Saudi Aramco, ADNOC, Qatargas, etc.

Post an MBA from Rice, I aspire to become a management consultant and consult companies in the energy sector. A Rice MBA will help me in making this transition to consulting and developing my business knowledge in the energy sector.

Until now I have predominantly engaged in “executional” aspect of things. I have a limited understanding of problem structuring and creating strategies for business growth. At Rice, I can bridge this gap through the robust academic curriculum and experiential learning courses such as the Capstone course and projects like the Action Learning Project. Rice’s numerous exclusive courses such as Geopolitics of energy & Business strategy in the energy industry and insights from Baker Institute for public policy can equip me with the necessary knowledge of energy sector. Finally, the location of Rice in the energy hub Houston can present me with the desired opportunities by helping me build a relevant network.

The strategic viewpoint of energy sector that I have gained through my current role coupled with a Rice MBA would definitely enable me to achieve my short-term goal.

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