Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Kalyn Speck, Rice University (Jones)

Kalyn Speck

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

“I am a collaborative team-player who always finds a reason to never sit still.”

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I helped break the Guinness World Record for the longest ice-cream sundae. We used 500 gallons of ice cream, 2,000 cans of whipped cream, and 25 pounds of sprinkles to make the 4,549 ft sundae.

Undergraduate School and Major: Texas A&M University, BBA in Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Assistant Director of Recruiting for the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University (Yes, I recruited myself)

What has been your favorite part of Houston so far? Why? I was born and raised in Houston, so my favorite part of my hometown is that my family and friends are so close by. I love that there is always something fun for us to do together such as trying new restaurants, exercising at a park, visiting a festival, or attending a concert or performing arts event. Houston is the fourth largest city, so there are a ton of activities and opportunities.

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? I appreciate how the curriculum offers a vast variety of electives taught by incredible professors, but what really stood out to me were the leadership education and development opportunities at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders. I already attended a class about feedback and one about team dynamics, and I hope to sign up for next semester’s one-on-one sessions with a professional leadership coach. It was important to me to join an MBA program that would help me hone my leadership and soft skills.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Rice Business? I am thrilled and honored that my section elected me to be their first-year representative for the Rice Business Student Association. I have enjoyed working with the second-year leadership team and my fellow first-year representatives to ensure that our MBA classmates have an excellent experience. The past four years that I spent as a staff member at Rice Business has given me a unique perspective to bring to our meetings. I love serving my classmates and making Rice Business the best it can be!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was receiving the 2021 Rice Business Staff Innovation award. I was nominated for this award for the communication tactics and new events that I created for the admissions team and the Rice Business Staff Council.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? You are probably expecting an academic or career accomplishment, but my biggest accomplishment took place on the football field. Every year, the Professional MBA students host a charity flag football tournament. I am proud to say that my team brought home the trophy from Owl Bowl VII! We were all sore and bruised for a week, but donating to the SPCA and playing flag football together all day was worth it. Shout out to team Rice Cakes!

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? There are already a bunch of memories to choose from, but the first one that came to mind was when my MBA team went to karaoke. We had so much fun singing “Mr. Brightside” together and watching some crazy singers perform. My team has also spent numerous hours together working on cases and attending Thursday “Partios” (Party on the Patio). I am so thankful for amazing team members who have become my friends. We work hard and play hard.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Rice Business MBA program? Focus your time and energy on the application pieces that you can change and address any concerning application components that you cannot change. I suggest embedding metrics in your resume, connecting with an admissions recruiter, and writing genuine and memorable essays. This is the time to brag and show what you would bring to the MBA class!


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