2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Alexis Greco, University of Texas (McCombs)

Alexis Greco

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“Product manager, team-builder, and recovering politico determined to create gigaton-scale impact in climate tech.”

Hometown: Franklin Square, Long Island, NY

Fun fact about yourself: I started my career as a campaign staffer on US Senate races in Hawaii, California, Colorado, and Missouri. Right out of college, I staffed federal officeholders and worked on events with people like Madeleine Albright, the Obamas, the Bidens, and many more. I didn’t expect to have so much professional responsibility right out of college, and I’m grateful for the opportunity and my time in the political space. I also discovered that there’s no bond like the one you develop with a campaign staffer you share a card table “desk” with in a small-town campaign office. Sometimes, working on campaigns feels like the West Wing, but usually it’s more like Veep!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of arts in Politics with a minor in Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College in Los Angeles

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Product Manager & Director of Customer Success at BallotReady, a Chicago-based civic tech startup

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? I interned as a Sr. Product Manager at Amazon in Los Angeles, where I led the development of an eCommerce feature for Amazon Devices.

Where will you be working after graduation? I’m in final negotiations with a large tech company where I can further develop my product management skills and have an impact at scale.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • 2023 Co-Chair of ClimateCAP: The Global MBA Summit on Climate, Capital, and Business
  • Co-VP of Careers, CleanTech Group
  • CleanTech Fellow (Fellowship working on Product Insights at TerraCycle)
  • MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (Turner MIINT) team member; sourced and conducted due diligence on Series A startups for investment from the Bridges Impact Foundation
  • Career Fellow
  • McCombs+ Product Management Consulting Project with Dell

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of bringing the ClimateCAP Summit to McCombs and hosting the largest summit yet. I worked with Samantha Hea and Patrick McPadden, my co-chairs, classmates, and friends, to write the application that brought ClimateCAP to McCombs for 2023. We spent almost a year planning the event with the support of an amazing team of 22 MBA students, the MBA Program Office, the Global Sustainability Leadership Institute, and the Duke EDGE Center. It all paid off when 400 MBA students and speakers came to Austin for two days of programming and community (not to mention hundreds tuning in over livestream). We heard from so many founders and executives defining climate strategy at public and private companies, including NextEra, BlackRock, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, KPMG, AES, Walmart, Rheaply, Energy Impact Partners, Bain, United Airlines, and more.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m most proud of my time as the Deputy Coordinated Campaign Director for US Senator Claire McCaskill in 2018. In this role, I served as Chief of Staff to our Campaign Director and owned our $7.1M budget. I also led internal communications to 150+ employees, developed our HR policies, and worked with our team to build our Get Out the Vote tech infrastructure from the ground up. I still hear from former coworkers that our campaign stands out for its positive culture, level of impact, and efficiency. That means the world to me.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose McCombs for its authentic and collaborative community. I’m still in awe of how my classmates came together to make this year’s ClimateCAP summit happen. I’ll never forget seeing so many of my classmates on campus the night before the event, working on flower arrangements, packing swag bags for attendees, and zeroing in on every detail. And the McCombs CleanTech Group has been an incredible resource – not just for career advice, but also for genuine connection and friendship – that has defined my McCombs experience.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. Jeffrey Hales makes ESG fun and fascinating. He’s an incredible wealth of knowledge on ESG reporting standards and frameworks and actually helped write many of them as a board member of ISSB and SASB. He’s always willing to interpret the alphabet soup of sustainability reporting standards, and his deep expertise is inspiring.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Energy, Technology, and Policy (ETP) with Dr. Michael Webber made me love renewable energy. Dr. Webber literally wrote the book on energy – his Energy 101 course is taught at a number of schools around the world – and his passion for every aspect of energy’s history and future is inescapable.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why?
I would have taken more time to work out and be social in my first year. Class, recruiting, and internships can be all-consuming, and it’s easy to ignore self-care when you have so many exciting opportunities in front of you.

What is the biggest myth about your school? A lot of people assume that McCombs is a regional school, with students that stay in Texas post-MBA. Of course, you’ll have amazing opportunities if you want to stay in Texas, but we have alumni doing incredible work everywhere!

What did you love most about your business school’s town? Austin punches way above its weight class. For a city with only a million residents, it’s filled to the brim with cultural options that would fit perfectly in a bigger city like San Francisco or New York City. The shopping, food, and events like SXSW and Austin City Limits are truly amazing.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised by how well my experience outside of the business world prepared me for the MBA. Political campaigns are really similar to startups: you’re building an organization almost overnight, raising funds, and hiring rapidly. The difference is in the end goal: winning an election vs. exiting via IPO or acquisition. My time on campaigns and at a civic tech startup taught me how to be gritty and proactive to get things done, and that skillset translates in any business environment.

With that said, during the first semester of my MBA, I felt intimidated and behind hearing people talk about concepts I’d never heard of (hello, NPV), and I didn’t have many opportunities to demonstrate my own areas of expertise. Core wasn’t easy for me! Ultimately, though, I realized that having a beginner’s mind about these topics paid off. I found it valuable to be open to new and difficult ideas while also knowing when to cut through the noise (like with baseless financial metrics and vague strategies).

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? The McCombs application asked for an essay from the perspective of your future self at graduation. I put a massive amount of thought into this question, and it gave me a North Star to follow throughout my MBA. Giving deep, serious thought to my goals and priorities really helped me create a cohesive picture of who I am and what I would accomplish at McCombs. That clarity came through in my essay and, even more importantly, made it much easier to decide which activities to prioritize when I got to campus. I recently re-read my application essay and realized that all of it still rang true in one way or another.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Samantha Hea. Over the past two years, Samantha has served as CleanTech Group president, growing club membership dramatically, and co-chaired ClimateCAP, where she led programming and developed an amazing roster of speakers. I truly admire her willingness to speak up about the issues she cares about and her enthusiasm for McCombs.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I hope to work on climate tech with gigaton-scale impact (and maybe hold a patent or two). Later in my career, I hope to combine my business and government experience to lead a public-private partnership focused on sustainability.

What made Alexis such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023?

“Alexis has made a great impact during her time at McCombs.  Alexis participated in the MIINT competition, was one of a handful of students to propose and ultimately host the 4th annual ClimateCAP conference at McCombs, bringing together 400 MBAs, faculty, and staff from 23 peer institutions, as well as a broad set of industry speakers defining climate strategy for the future. With her leadership of the fundraising team, ClimateCAP raised almost double what had been raised in previous years with diverse set of sponsors, including PWC, KPMG, BeyondMeat, Chevron, HEB, Philips 66 and Marathon Capital.

Professor Jeffery Hale summarizes Alexis’ impact:  In basketball, a triple double refers to when a player demonstrates excellence during a game along three distinct dimensions of performance. That’s how I think about Alexis. Her triple double is that she is a dreamer-provocateur-doer. Like many students these days, she has a vision for a world in which companies operate more sustainably and she can see a clear path for her role in that. But her vision is clearer than for most other students because she is also willing to ask hard questions. In my class on Corporate Sustainability, I’ve seen her ask tough questions that force a deeper conversation on a topic, e.g., carbon footprints, which then helps draw out a more nuanced – and so more realistic – view of the world. But what makes Alexis a particularly special student, what really rounds out her performance, is that she isn’t just talking. She’s out there doing exactly what she believes in, whether through her involvement in Tuner MIINT or in co-organizing and fundraising for a major event like ClimateCAP. She’s making things happen and bringing others along with her. That’s why she deserves a triple double.

Abby Pollard, Director of Career Education and Coaching, shared this: “Alexis embodies the Human Centered, Future Focused ethos we all strive for at McCombs. Of course, she’s smart, but equally important, she’s a collaborative leader who seeks to lead inclusively. Getting to know Alexis over the course of these past two years has been a delight and truly a highlight of my professional career advising students. She’s a great example of the types of students who make McCombs a really special place. Her thoughtfulness, hard work, and compassion for others is inspiring and I’m grateful for her contributions to McCombs and the climate tech community at large.”

My optimism for the future comes from seeing our students and all they do to have a positive impact in big and small ways.  I can’t imagine placing our future in better hands than future leaders like Alexis Greco.”

Tina Mabley
Assistant Dean



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