Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Jahnavi Gudi, Rice University (Jones)

Jahnavi Gudi

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

“I am a self-proclaimed comedian, determined to break barriers for first-generation women in finance.”

Hometown: Troy, Michigan 

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love exploring new places by finding an authentic local coffee shop to experience the city.

Undergraduate School and Major: Oakland University, Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ernst & Young, Business Consultant

What has been your favorite part of Houston so far? Why? My favorite part of Houston so far has been getting to connect with the diversity in Houston, through the people, the food, the sports, and the arts. I grew up in the Midwest so getting to experience the rich southern culture has been wonderful so far!

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? The curriculum at Rice is challenging and the professors really push you to learn through the assignments, case write-ups, and projects. It was important to me to build a strong foundation in finance prior to starting my career as an investment banker. I also appreciate that the electives at Rice Business focus on the diversity of concepts and applications.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Rice Business? My time on the Board Fellows has been my stand out experience. Rice Business Board Fellows is a year-long experiential learning program that matches first-year MBA students to be a Board fellow at a local Houston nonprofit board. It has given me the opportunity to learn more about serving on a nonprofit board and simultaneously allowed me to apply my learnings from the MBA program towards making a direct impact in the local Houston community. It has been such a fulfilling experience as I have been able to learn from senior professionals and leaders in the non-profit space while solving complex problems.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Starting off my career in two of the Big 4 consulting firms despite my first-generation background and coming from a non-target undergraduate school is something I am immensely proud of. During my time as a consultant at KPMG and EY, I became a top performer through my work and became known for my ability to connect with clients. Additionally, I was able to lead various initiatives to get more underrepresented groups into consulting. All of these experiences gave me the confidence to speak up and become a leader. I think it’s important to address the systemic and academic barriers for women with my background to break into these competitive fields.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? My biggest accomplishment as an MBA student has been being able to land a summer internship in investment banking in New York. Coming to business school I knew I wanted to make a career pivot from consulting to investment banking. With the help of the finance associate and the Career Development Office at Rice Business, I was able to find a mentor and guidance for the recruiting process.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? During the middle of the semester, I was able to host a group of women that I have gotten close to during the MBA program at my apartment for Charcuterie Board night. It allowed me to realize the power of having a strong community of women uplifting each other as we all go through the recruitment cycle, classes and life changes. It was a great experience to connect with everyone and learn more about each other, their various life experiences and unique stories

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Rice Business MBA program? Embrace your personality and be yourself! The application process is rigorous and may seem daunting at times but remember why you started the MBA application process. Take the time to reflect and really understand your goals and how the MBA program can help you get to the next step. One way to get to know the MBA program is through the current students. Reach out to the first years or the second years to learn about their experiences in order to determine how you can achieve your goals at Rice.


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