2016 MBAs To Watch: Ana Gomez, Rice University (Jones)

Ana Gomez Rice (1)

Ana Gomez

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

Age: 32

Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia

Education: Industrial Engineer, Universidad del Norte (Colombia)  and Master in Industrial Engineer, Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Copa Airlines Colombia

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Apple Inc., Austin, TX.

Where will you be working after graduation? Apple Inc., Austin, TX.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School

Hispanic Business Student Association President

Marketing Club Officer and Customer Marketing Symposium Committee

Operations Club Officer

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was winning on 2nd place on a team in Wharton’s Latin America Weekend Private Equity Case competition. Private equity was a new academic area for me and it was the first time I participated in a case competition.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I managed the implementation of route and flight changes in Copa Colombia’s flight network through cross-functional requirements and process drafting with the operational, commercial, and legal departments.

Who is your favorite professor? Brian Akins, assistant professor of accounting

Favorite MBA Courses?The New Enterprise, Pricing and Leading Operational Change

Why did you choose this business school? My first knowledge was of my husband’s experience. He was studying here. I got to know his friends and classmates, many of whom were from my home country. I was so impressed by all the things we were able to accomplish being in a small program, from achieving active leadership roles to forming a closer network of friends. Being in Houston, the job opportunities are greater than in other cities.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Being able to participate and take active roles in school activities such as leading clubs, participating in case competitions, and networking with students, faculty, and Rice and Houston community.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? I have learned the importance of creating a big network of people who add value to your life and career. I also learned the power of communication skills.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? It was how much you learn about yourself during the two years of the MBA. It was a career changing experience to me, but also an overall life changing experience. I got much more out of it than what I was expecting.

What was the hardest part of business school? It was finding the time to do everything that you want. It is overwhelming to find time to leverage from all the great opportunities to learn and participate and network in academic and practical-professional activities.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? The best advice is to make the most of your time at school. Find something that you are very interested in and get involved in the clubs, professional organizations, and cross-school activities in the fields that you like. In general, do not stay only in the classroom.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I learned from my boss and other people similar to me of their MBA experiences.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in my home-country in a slow pace professional development path in the airline industry.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I admire Steve Jobs. He was a passionate and thriving business person who saw things outside the box. He motivated others to be more than good, to be greater than they could ever imagine.

What are your long-term professional goals? My career goal in the next five years is to hold an upper management position leading major corporate decision-making processes in South America and in the United States. As an industrial engineer and MBA, I want to develop businesses from a processes improvement and process re-design perspective in the service industry.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My husband did his MBA before me and encouraged me to pursue my long-awaited decision to leverage my skills through an MBA. He has helped me find my self-confidence and pursue my dreams.

Fun fact about yourself: I am president of Rice University Squash Club, but I am just learning to play squash.

Favorite book: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Favorite movie: Love Actually, Richard Curtis

Favorite musical performer: Carlos Vives (Colombian Artist)

Favorite television show: “Friends”

Favorite vacation spot: Santa Marta, Colombia

Hobbies? Squash, running and movies

What made Ana such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Ana Gomez’s “can do, will do” attitude distinguishes her as a student who steps up to enrich the Rice MBA experience for all of her classmates and the broader Jones School community, not just fellow international students. Ana serves as President of the Hispanic Business Student Organization, contributes to leadership of other student clubs and volunteers to plan and execute special events such as the Rice Customer Management Symposium.”

Marie Bergeron

Director, Career Development

Career Management Center

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business