The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023 » Page 6

Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

Image for Real Humans of the Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

rice jones mba classZachary Green, Rice Jones MBA Class of 2023

Age: 32
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Undergraduate Institution and Major:  Northwestern University, BM in Music Performance & BA in Economics.bI also hold a Master of Music from the Juilliard School.
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years spread across music, retail, and non-profit

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Even though I started off as a musician, I knew I eventually wanted to pursue a career in business. I began making the career pivot a few years ago, and I planned on applying once I accumulated enough experience to have a better idea of what exactly I wanted to do.

Why did you choose Rice Business? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
As someone without a traditional business background, I was looking for a school that balanced a smaller class size with ample opportunities for experiential learning. Rice Business offers so many ways for us to get hands-on experience, and the small class size means that we all have access to those resources.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I was a professional bassist and used to play over 100 concerts a year. That put me in a dynamic and dramatic environment full of crazy situations which most people don’t experience at work.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
As a bassist I had a small fan base! I occasionally got mentioned on blogs and Twitter, and I even received fan mail.

Post-MBA career interests:
I’d like to pursue something in finance, but we’ll see where the recruiting process takes me!

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
– What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I took quite a few practice GMATs, and that was time well spent. When I took the real exam, I was able to confidently work through it at a comfortable pace.

– What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would have spent more time reaching out to students, staff and alumni to learn more about my target schools. Hearing those people’s thoughts and experiences first-hand is probably the best form of research.

– What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I hate writing about myself, so the application essays made me absolutely miserable. However, putting my drafts away for extended periods let me re-approach them with a better mindset, so I recommend that to anyone with similar struggles.

What is your initial impression of the Rice Business students/culture/community?
The students are ambitious yet eager to help each other. Everybody wants to be in the top half of the class, but there is a strong sense that we are one big team working together.

What is one thing you have learned about Rice Business that has surprised you?
The faculty and staff make strong efforts to get to know the students. They chat with us outside of class, and I’m always surprised at how much they remember about each of us.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Definitely. One of my major projects during 2020 was achieving financial sustainability for a non-profit business during the pandemic, and that experience significantly improved my candidacy.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I’m anxious about securing an internship! The recruiting and interview process can be a huge time commitment. Depending on how wide you cast your net, it’s almost like having an extra class or two.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I love being part of the beer club! Almost everything business students do at school is directly linked to career development, but I think it’s important for us to bond in a more relaxed environment without any mention of classes or jobs.

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.