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Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

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rice jones mba classDiana Bueso-Mendoza, Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

Age: 25
Hometown:  Friendswood, Texas
Undergraduate Institution and Major:  Texas A&M University, B.S. Biomedical Sciences
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Medical Student at Baylor College of Medicine (4 years)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I chose to attend business school to help bridge the gap between physicians and business personnel within the hospital system. Throughout my time in various hospitals, I have noticed quality and communication improvements that could be made. However, there are a shortage of pediatric physicians that were also trained in business. I hope to be that liaison between the two areas and help find ways to find new treatments for pediatric patients. Getting my MBA prior to attending residency will allow me to use my business skills immediately in my career and help make these opportunities for improvement a reality.

Why did you choose Rice Jones? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Rice Business has several healthcare-oriented classes for its students who want to become knowledgeable in aspects such as value-based care. Additionally, it is situated next to the Texas Medical Center in the city of Houston. This is one of the largest medical centers in one of the most diverse cities in the United States. As such Rice Business has numerous programs for helping advance medical technologies in their biomedical engineering programs. These students are part of the Healthcare Innovation class where both the business and technology side come together to strategize the launch of a new product. This class really caught my attention when applying to the school. Lastly, attending Rice Business has enabled me to continue my medical education and learn about the business opportunities in this thriving community.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I have spent my whole life translating difficult topics to ones that are more easily understood by the general public. I have a brother, Fernando, who has Down’s Syndrome and as such I was always finding unique and creative ways to teach him new skills. This has come in handy with translating medical jargon and I hope it becomes useful for business jargon as well.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I enjoy making various things in my free time, which has ranged from sewing masks to wear or reupholstering furniture. My project for this year is to make reusable cloth gift bags for the Holiday season to be more sustainable.

Post-MBA career interests:
My goal after my MBA is to attend pediatric residency and continue to look for business opportunities to help innovate the pediatric field.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
– What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I weaved in why I thought Rice Business was a good fit for me and them as part of my application to reaffirm that my values align with theirs. I would absolutely do this again but make this more prominent, since I only wrote it in one of my essays and when they directly asked why Rice.

– What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I applied in one of the later rounds of the application cycle, instead of the first two. While this worked out for me, I missed out on some of the offerings that Rice Business had prior to these rounds, such as Consortium. If I were able to go back in time, I would have applied earlier to the program and applied for Consortium as I feel that its mission is important.

– What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Writing is not one of my strong skills and I put off writing the essays until the end of my application. To get through it, I sought advice from my friends and writing resources such as Grammarly to refine my grammar.

What is your initial impression of the Rice Jones’ students/culture/community?
The students here are from a diverse range of backgrounds. I have met individuals from all over the world and various ethnic background. When discussing business concepts, it is always enlightening to hear how an aspect of their culture may change business interactions. This diverse background has also led to an open mindset. As such, the overall culture of Rice Business is one of curiosity and collaboration.

What is one thing you have learned about Rice Jones that has surprised you?
Prior to attending Rice Business, I was not aware of the Global Field Experience. However, this is the class that I am the most excited about in the future. In the class we travel to a different country and learn about how businesses operate there by collaborating on short-term projects within the community.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the various organizations that I had been involved with over the years. Due to the growing and necessary community restrictions, I could no longer volunteer in person or provide community support at health fairs that we would have every year. Otherwise, it was much easier to sit down and write the application due to the closures giving me more free time.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am the most anxious about switching my mindset into one that is more business oriented rather than healthcare oriented. This additionally required learning new terminology and applying quantitative analysis in new ways.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited about meeting individuals from various industries and hear their perspectives about the cases that we learn in class. I am interested in taking this knowledge from other industries, how they are innovating their respective fields, and applying it to healthcare.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.