Meet The Rice Jones MBA Class Of 2019

Krystine Taylor 

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  Entrepreneur, humanitarian, travel junkie, compassionate educator, change agent, lifelong learner, devoted mother, foodie, reliable friend

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I lived in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for four years and traveled to 20 countries on five different continents during that time.

Undergraduate School and Major: Rice University, Sociology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Aegis Scholastic: Executive Director/Owner

Abu Dhabi Education Council: Math Teacher and Grade level chair

Marietta High School: Math Interventionist

KIPP Spirit College Prep: Math Teacher

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  So far my greatest accomplishment has been starting an academic consulting company that successfully obtained clients and hired tutors to cater to their individual educational needs. I put the company’s website content together, collaborated with a designer on branding, interviewed tutors, produced a unique SAT workbook, oversaw scheduling and marketing to target clientele and facilitated the relationships between tutors and clients. After less than a year, I moved to Abu Dhabi with my family so I chose to hire someone to take over managing clients in the US rather than expand while I was gone. Now that I am back in the US, I am hoping to pick up where I left off and expand that company as well as start another one that caters to different clientele.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Start early, do your research and be prepared. Set some specific goals, so you know what you are aiming for and talk to your recommenders early so they have sufficient time to write your letters. Make sure that before you decide to apply anywhere you have given adequate time to deciding your purpose for going to business school, the type of program and size that works for you, what curriculum will meet your needs, and what expectations you have for the school you end up choosing.

For the top three schools that interest you, talk to alumni and current students about their experiences. This will give you the best idea of what it is really like at the school and will give you a better idea of whether or not it may be the right fit for you. Speak to the admissions teams, go to information sessions, and visit classes if possible so you are more familiar with the school – and they are familiar with you – before you apply. Go through the schools’ websites thoroughly to find answers to your questions, then create a list of questions that are not answered online. Be sure to follow up with any faculty or students you speak to and show your appreciation for the time they gave you.

When preparing for the GMAT, I suggest starting with an official practice test from the website. This will give you a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses so you know where to focus more attention. The earlier you start preparing, the easier the whole process will be. If you cannot take a GMAT course, download all the free apps, the software, and look into the free websites and GMAT blogs because there is a lot of great advice and there are many worthwhile study tips provided at no cost.

Above all else, be yourself. Each school wants to know what you will add to the community and how you will fit into their program. Make sure that your personality and the value you add shine through in your applications, interviews, in-person meetings and information sessions. Be authentic and it will get you much further than any contrived words or actions, because both are equally recognizable.

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?  I went to Rice University as an undergraduate student, and I cannot say enough about the memorable experiences I had, the life-long friends I made and the familial nature of the community as a whole. I truly cherished my experience as a Rice student, and I love that I will be returning to the place that helped me cultivate my passions, hone in on my purpose, and sharpen my talents. The size of the MBA program definitely reassured me that even at the graduate level, Rice maintains the close-kit environment I am accustomed to it having. Everyone I have spoken to throughout the recruiting process has given me a warm welcome and offered to help in any way they could and it is this personal touch that sets Rice above the rest. Coming back to Rice feels like returning homeI look forward to building a close, supportive network amongst my peers and being a part of the collaborative environment for which Rice is known.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success after my first year would be seeing my new tutoring company turning a profit and expanding to cater to a wider clientele base. I would also like to have established the mission statement and plan for the nonprofit organization I plan to start. This organization will focus on providing exposure to STEM education, activities and potential career trajectories for middle and high school students who may not otherwise have those opportunities. I hope to have built a strong network that includes peers, mentors, and local schools that can help my vision become a reality and ultimately have a positive effect on local communities. There is a lot to learn about how to successfully start and run a nonprofit organization, so I hope to set the necessary foundation by the end of year one.

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