David Romulo Cisneros
Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Seafood, Tex-Mex, Family. Fascinated with buildings: how to make them smarter, greener, and better looking.
Hometown: Houston, TX
Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was in elementary school, I played in a talented youth Mariachi group. As a 4th grader, I travelled to Guadalajara, Mexico, where we competed at a huge international Mariachi festival. It was a multi-night extravaganza attended by thousands of spectators and Mariachi groups from all over Latin America. Not a bad field trip!
Undergraduate School and Major: Tulane University of New Orleans, International Relations
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Lutron Electronics, Senior Sales Representative
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After some initial successes with Lutron, I accepted a promotion to an outside role that also entailed a significant geographic relocation. My time thus far had been at the company’s global headquarters, a well-structured and supportive environment on the east coast. Arriving in our largest west coast market, I now found myself on a small team working out of a home office. I was tasked with structuring my own days, pursuing my own accounts, and uncovering my own project opportunities. Initially, I struggled as I sought to carve out and define a personal strategy that would grow our business. After some months of tackling the new role, my system started to click. In the subsequent years our team recorded annual double digit sales growth and we won our way onto some of the largest active projects in the nation. There are likely more quantifiable achievements within my career, but I consider that particular period of forced growth and subsequent evolution into a verified contributor to be an essential early accomplishment.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Above all else, it was important to me to have a well-defined career plan before entering into business school. To future applicants, I would say be honest with yourself about why you want to undertake this journey. Visualize how the experience will fit into your larger story and assess if it is necessary to get you where you want to be. If you find yourself pulling at straws and struggling to weave your experiences into a genuine narrative within your application, then perhaps you should take a step back and re-assess. My business school journey began with a slow-growing realization about where I wanted to pivot within my industry. As I began to learn about pathways to that role, it became apparent that an MBA would be a powerful aid in achieving my objective. When other components in my life, such as location preferences and personal relationships, started falling in place I knew it was time to apply.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? To start, Rice is without a doubt one of the best institutions of learning in the nation. I also knew that I wanted a career in Texas, and was looking for a school that would help me build a network there as most of my existing network was on the west coast. With its combination of regional prestige, intimate size and emphasis on diversity, Rice Business became the place where I most felt I could grow to achieve my objectives.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I would consider my first year to be a success if I feel I have made meaningful steps towards my long-term career goals. This would best be indicated by obtaining an internship in my desired field and starting to grow a network of industry connections.