2021 Best & Brightest MBAs: Casey Sherrod, Rice University (Jones)

Casey Sherrod

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

“I’m a mom, wife, and humble female Army officer who is ambitious, hardworking, and passionate.”

Hometown: Crosby, TX

Fun fact about yourself:

In 2020, my wife and I fostered/rescued a total of 138 animals at risk for euthanasia from the Houston area. As a result of sharing our animal rescue journey on social media, we became “Tiktok Famous” and now have over 1.5 million global followers and continue to use our platform to spread awareness and encourage others to foster and adopt animals in need.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Houston, BS in Human Development and Family Studies

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? United States Army

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Waste Management, as a Corporate Development and Innovation intern

Where will you be working after graduation? I will return to active duty in the United States Army as a field grade officer.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President of Jones Student Association
  • Rice Business Task Force on Racial Equity and Social Justice
  • Rice Business Admissions Ambassador
  • Rice Business Veterans Organization
  • Rice Business Veterans Biz Battle
  • Rice Business Women’s Organization
  • Rice Business Global student coordinator
  • Women in Leadership Conference
  • Out and Allied
  • Brand Strategy Teaching Assistant
  • Communications Fellow
  • Rice Gives Back
  • CoachRICE

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Interning as a project manager in Waste Management’s Corporate Development and Innovation Team was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work in corporate America for the first time in my life. I learned so many things about sustainability, artificial intelligence, and corporate development.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I found out a couple days ago I got selected for promotion to Major in the Army. When I first commissioned almost 10 years ago, I never thought I would make it this far. My grandfather was enlisted in the Army for over 20 years, and served in both WWII and the Korean War. I am so proud to follow in his footsteps and continue our family’s legacy of service to country.

Why did you choose this business school? Growing up in Houston, Rice was always my dream school. My goal is to retire in Houston and one day become a business owner in the same community where I grew up. Rice’s entrepreneurship program is one of the best in the nation and has so many resources through partnerships and alumni to set us up for success. What really makes our program stand out are our small class sizes and the close bonds formed while at the school.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Kathleen Clark, hands down. She is the executive director of marketing and communication at Rice Business and has an unbelievable way of relating current events and branding to our lives as future business leaders. Not to mention, Professor Clark’s background is incredibly impressive, yet she is one of the most humble and approachable professors I have had while at Rice Business. Fun fact, prior to coming to Rice Business, she worked for the Houston Astros and led the team who brought back their throwback orange and blue “H” uniforms the team still wears today.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have stressed less over grades and more on the overall full-time MBA experience.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth is that most Rice Business graduates go into the oil and gas sector upon graduation. While Houston is widely known for oil and gas, the largest sectors Rice Business graduates are employed by are consulting and banking. Our partnerships with tech companies are also steadily increasing.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised how fast our professors learned our first names. Walking into classrooms first semester felt like I had been there for years.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? At the time of my application, I was on active duty in the Army as a company commander in recruiting. Having almost a decade of leadership, HR, operations, and marketing experience in the military gave me the confidence I needed during the interview process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? It is Jenna Wenyon because she is a rock star. Not only will she be representing Rice Business as a Goldman Sachs investment banker after graduation, but she is also incredibly humble and a great team player. As the JSA’s social co-chair, Jenna went above and beyond last semester to ensure our student experiences during the pandemic did not flail and even masterminded a virtual chili cook-off competition between our classmates. I’d choose her as a teammate any day.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? Rice Business did a great job of adapting very quickly. We were able to shift from in-person to Zoom classes with less than a week’s notice, and it went smoothly. Although I am bummed my original business school expectations did not go as planned, I am grateful to have continued, uninterrupted access to education in the safest way possible.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My wife encouraged me to take the leap and go to business school. We have always talked about starting a family business and she knows I have a passion for learning. Her support has made a world of a difference throughout my program.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Battalion commander
  2. Small Business Owner

What made Casey such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Casey Sherrod’s outstanding executive presence, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking prowess were exactly what the Rice Business full-time MBA Class of 2021 needed in their student association president. To successfully navigate an MBA experience that included a global pandemic, a social and racial justice crisis, and an altogether upended graduate business education experience, required humble-but-heroic leadership. As Jones Student Association (JSA) president, Casey has left a legacy of strengthening the student-led nature of our community, burnishing the stature of the Jones Student Association, and demonstrating that Rice Business students can apply what they learn in the classroom, and in life in general, to their community leadership roles.

As Jones Student Association president, Casey led and nurtured the 17-officer JSA – which fulfills both advocacy and programming missions within Rice Business – through a tumultuous year. With an accountability-oriented mindset (and a bias for action), Casey took seriously her responsibility for ensuring JSA met its objectives and mission to “maximize student access and opportunities, optimize learning, and increase the value of the Rice MBA.” Casey partnered with school leadership in surveying students in Spring 2020 and implementing initiatives designed to promote student accommodations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She continued, as president, to transparently and quickly address student concerns that came to her attention, including through the electronic OwlVoice platform that captures Rice Business student feedback, challenges, and issues.

In addition to advocating for all students – and advocating for the success and programming of Rice’s more than 30 MBA student clubs and organizations – Casey represented students as moderator in the Dean’s State of Rice Business address, as a strong student voice providing input and guidance on capital projects and renovations designed to bring even more student-friendly spaces and amenities to McNair Hall, and in representing full-time students on the Rice Business Racial Equity and Social Justice Task Force. Casey takes seriously her responsibility to represent all students, and painstakingly considers input from multiple stakeholders (even those who are quieter or marginalized) before taking action.

Casey’s involvement in the school also includes membership in our Rice Business Veterans in Business Association and the Rice Business Women’s Organization. Casey came to Rice Business during an educational leave from her service as a U.S. Army Officer in Texas, California, and Afghanistan, bringing effective leadership and outstanding decision-making abilities to our school. It’s a source of great comfort and inspiration that, when she graduates, Casey will bring knowledge from her Rice Business MBA back to her service in the U.S. Armed Forces, to proudly and confidently protect and secure our nation, with all the skills a rigorous business education provides.”

Adam J. Herman, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Student Program Office
Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University


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