Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Nigel Tarr, Rice University (Jones)

Nigel Tarr

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

“Sports-loving Aussie with a passion for beer and spreadsheets (not at the same time).”

Hometown: Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)

Fun Fact About Yourself: Walked 100km for Oxfam Charity in 24hours.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of the South Pacific (Fiji) – Bachelor’s in Economics, University of Queensland (Australia) – Master’s in Commerce (Applied Finance)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: AEC Group Ltd, Senior Consultant – Strategic Finance

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Number one, it happens to be in the same city as my American partner, but also Rice’s location in the Energy Capital of the world.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? It is a toss-up between the Consulting Group and the Beer group. One as it is my passion in life, and the other because it sounds like a great way to make connections. You decide which is which.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Rice? What makes you most nervous about starting business school? It is the prestige of the school and the extensive network of alumni. Most nervous about starting business school when I read how impressive all my classmates are.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was moving to London while working for the Queensland Investment Corporation as part of a project to insource the investment company’s performance data (previously with Northern Trust).

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to enhance my analytical skillset and progress into senior management roles.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None, it was Rice or bust.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? If a train is travelling at 15 miles per hour due west, and a plane leaves the same station travelling north by north west at 167 miles per hour, how long before they are exactly 300 miles apart.

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? It’s been a pretty wild ride, with a mountain of administrative loopholes to jump through (specifically in relation to securing a visa during COVID) and loose ends to close out in Australia before moving. To be perfectly honest, I’ve probably not done enough preparation to date. However, I will catch up using the MBA Toolkit modules provided by the school in the coming weeks.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? COVID had a large part of my decision to undertake the MBA. My U.S. partner was trapped in the U.S. (She previously traveled back and forth between Australia and U.S. for her work). Further, my employer had experienced a reduction in work. While my job was safe, a number of my colleagues were moved to reduced capacity. Therefore, it seems like a great time to up skill myself, and return to the workforce when it is (hopefully) on a post-COVID upswing.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer? Why? It is the opportunity for development and a chance to consolidate the skillset I develop throughout the MBA program. Without being able to put the learnings into practice immediately, I think the risk is that they are lost over time. Also, a good paycheck …

Pretend you have just graduated from business school. What will you need to have done to make your experience successful? I hope to have embraced the experience fully and immersed myself in the program. I want to get outside of my comfort zone and collaborate with as many people as I possibly can, and feel a strong life-long tie to the Rice community.


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