“Journeying on an endless ascension to greatness—taking as many with me as I can.”
Hometown: Houston, TX
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a big fan of video games, particularly PC gaming. It surprises a lot of people when they find out!
Undergraduate School and Major:
Morehouse College ‘15; Major: Biology
Baylor College of Medicine ‘21: M.D. Candidate
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Baylor College of Medicine, Medical Student
Actually, I have never held formal employment. I have been a student my entire life. While we perform a significant amount of work throughout medical school, particularly in the clinical years, we do not get paid for it—quite the opposite, in fact. Sometimes our attendings will buy us food. I hear that’s kind of what it’s like to get a paycheck.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am very fortunate and privileged to have had so many unique highlights in my still-young medical career that it’s hard to pick just one. I have delivered babies during my OB/GYN rotation; performed intubations during an anesthesia rotation; taught junior medical students how to perform in a clinical setting during my general surgery sub-internship; first-assisted and sutured gaping wounds on a plastic surgery rotation; built rapport with, counseled, and calmed patients on psychiatry rotations; and been a part of a ‘code’ team—resuscitating patients and grieving with loved ones in the ICU. Ultimately, my biggest accomplishments have been the ones where I have deeply connected with my patients and have leveraged and synthesized my knowledge of medicine to best benefit them.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Teamwork. So far, it seems as if we have already realized that we will only succeed if we ALL succeed. We have been willing to speak up in class when we don’t understand a topic and clarify ideas to others when we do. Just like any team, we get into debates—but always respectfully and with the intent to explore the concepts more deeply.
What makes Houston a great place to live and earn your MBA? I’m biased since I’m a native, but Houston is very underrated for being the 4th-largest city in the nation. Houston isn’t just a city for the energy industry, but also for healthcare and everything that comes along with that—we have the largest medical center in the world across the street from campus! Houston is incredibly diverse and becoming more so each day—which means a food culture unlike any in the country! For the intellectually curious, Houston has a robust museum district, including several notable art museums.
Aside from your classmates and location, 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 initially first considered Rice because it already had an established dual-degree program with Baylor College of Medicine. As I started attending various pre-MBA events and first stepped foot in the Jones School, it just ‘clicked’. I got along with and found myself fascinated with all the current and prospective students I met. Everyone was from such a unique cultural, academic, and career background—and they were all incredibly motivated to work hard and excel. It was the student culture that confirmed my choice at Rice.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to joining the Rice Black Business Students Association as well as the Out and Allied group. I would love to leverage my knowledge of medicine and business through these clubs to benefit the local POC and LGBTQ+ population.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My father is an OB/GYN physician. As I grew up, I witnessed the landscape of the healthcare industry change through his practice. Once I entered medical school and began interacting with and talking to patients, I truly realized that the current model is broken. So many of our constraints in treating patients are economic, not medical. I realized that if I were to succeed in the realm of medicine to benefit as many patients as possible, I would need to succeed in the realm of business as well.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? None. Rice was my top (and only) pick!
How did you determine your fit at various schools? In-person information sessions. There’s no way to truly tell the culture of a school without being there.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? During a year spent studying abroad in Shanghai, (a feat in its own right,) I came out to my family as transgender at the age of 22. It was a long process for me to even accept my own identity, beginning from my adolescence at an all-boys high school where I repressed myself with schoolwork and extracurriculars to avoid my own feelings. Not long after I came out to my family, my maternal grandmother passed away while I was still abroad.
I returned to Morehouse (an all-male college,) and began my transition in secret during my senior year while living in the student dorm. In the summer after I graduated, I changed my legal documents and came out publicly. My maternal grandfather passed away mere weeks before beginning medical school. It was an incredibly difficult period of time, not just for me but for my family; they had to grieve not just the loss of my grandparents, but the loss of their “son” and “oldest brother.” I discovered then just how truly resilient my family and I were and I would not have made it through my transition or through medical school without them. I have a unique position as a black transwoman in medicine and business, and I want to leverage it as well as I can to benefit those who didn’t have the advantages that I have had.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself owning and managing my own plastic surgery private practice, focusing on providing empathic and knowledgeable care for LGBTQ+ patients.