Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Isha Vaishampayan, Rice University (Jones)

Isha Vaishampayan

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

“Lover of Chicago, EDM, salsa dancing, and dogs, and consumer of too much deep-dish pizza.”

Hometown: Lake in the Hills, IL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was in an a cappella group when I lived in San Francisco and enjoy salsa dancing with friends.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate School: Northern Illinois University
Undergraduate Major: Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Graduate School: Marquette University
Graduate Major: Speech Language Pathology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: My employer is Health-Pro Heritage (I still work PRN on occasional weekends) and my job title is Speech Language Pathologist.

What has been your favorite part of Houston so far? Why? I love how kind everyone has been since I first stepped foot into this city. Houston’s people are unmatched for kindness and compassion, whether it was new friends offering to help in whatever I needed, strangers opening doors and providing a sweet smile, or my native Houstonian cohort giving recommendations and helping us make their home our home too. The people here have made me fall in love with the city.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the Rice Business MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Rice Business MBA hosted Diversity Preview Weekend and Women Preview Weekend, two events that I was very lucky to be a part of. There, I got to see first-hand how much Rice Business cares for its students, faculty, alumni and overall community. Seeing how much Rice Business championed women and BIPOC in the business space energized me to be a part of an institution that was so dedicated towards uplifting underrepresented communities. Rice Business also graciously funded my education with a Forte Fellowship.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Rice Business? My favorite course has been Organizational Behavior, taught by Dr. Marlon Mooijman. This course has taught me how to be effective in researching when finding answers and motivating others in a personal and professional setting. Overall, it taught me how to be a successful leader throughout and after my MBA. My favorite club is Rice Board Fellows; I love being able to make a meaningful impact in the Houston nonprofit space while using the skills I have learned in business school.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My proudest accomplishment was being a clinical mentor to speech language pathology graduate students and new clinicians. I thoroughly enjoyed modelling how to be an effective listener and creative problem solver; build relationships with our patients, their families, and interdisciplinary teams; and provide helpful resources to build their skills and confidence. My favorite part was watching all of them pass with high honors, grow to be excellent clinical providers, and lead successful careers as speech language pathologists afterwards.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I have yet to fulfil my biggest accomplishment in the MBA program so far, but I can say that I am very proud that I was selected to be a Rice Board Fellows member, as well as a first-year representative for the Rice Out and Allied student organization. I look forward to building a more inclusive learning environment for other students, as well as making a strong impact in the Houston community.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? It is hard to pick just one! The best has been watching my team 15 (best team!) grow to be my family in such a short amount of time. Whether it is working a case for finance, exploring the Houston restaurant scene during team lunches, or late night adventures involving karaoke or beer gardens, I have made life long best friends and that started here at Rice Business.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Rice Business MBA program? My one piece of advice is to remember that Rice Business is incredibly collaborative, and we all work together to uplift each other. Having a growth and collaborative mindset, being authentic, and sharing how you want to use your Rice MBA to champion and elevate others will not only help you be successful to gain admission into Rice’s program, but also be a successful MBA student here as well.


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