Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Ryan Flick, Rice University (Jones)

Ryan Flick          

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

“Husband, dog dad, neuroscience enthusiast, recreational golfer, gym rat.”

Hometown: Freeport, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I road tripped across the United States in an RV for five years working across 24x medical care facilities in 6 states.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Gannon University:

Undergraduate (Bachelors in Sports and Exercise Science)

Graduate School (Doctorate in Physical Therapy)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital; Staff Physical Therapist

What has been your favorite part of Houston so far? Why? Starting elementary school in Houston before a move to Pennsylvania, I never envisioned myself living here long term: I wanted to explore the country and see what was out there. After five years of traveling across dozens of states, I returned to Houston because it’s the best place to be! You can get over 15 varieties of cuisine within a one-block walk to Rice Village. There’s an entire underground (literally) retail ecosystem downtown that spans 95 blocks and connects businesses, restaurants and hotels if you want to stay out of the heat – and the city offers plenty of green space and fresh air. As great as these attractions are though, it’s the truly diverse population in Houston that makes the city great! Houston is a welcoming city that combines southern hospitality with uncommon cultural diversity for a truly unique experience on-campus and downtown. There is something here for everyone.

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 entrepreneurial focus! After starting my own physical therapy clinic, I quickly realized I was underprepared to run the business side of my practice. Rice Business is highly-ranked in entrepreneurial studies for a reason – every class is designed with unique insights into how information is best harnessed to draw conclusions and make successful operating and strategic decisions. And Rice Business doesn’t wait to get started either – there is a strategy class embedded in the Launch Program curriculum that frames your progress through the start of the semester and gives you direct insight into implementing a proper business strategy.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Rice Business? The core classes are simply amazing and the small class sizes ensure that you get to know all your professors and classmates, personally. Rice creates a welcoming, immersive classroom atmosphere with faculty that support robust and multi-faceted inquiry, while challenging students to think critically on oft-overlooked components of decision making. As a former healthcare professional without business experience, the faculty, staff, and second-year students function as a dedicated support system committed to your success, not only in your studies, but in your ability to practically apply your learnings.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career is completing my post-doc fellowship in Functional Neurology. I always enjoyed studying the nervous system but didn’t realize how far my passion and interest would carry me in this direction. It took years to complete the requisite classwork and clinical practice to sit for the exam, but I learned that large goals are comprised of smaller milestones and can be achieved with consistent, small actions. I frame my rapid learning from business school in the same way, from tackling unfamiliar group projects in class to applying insights learned in the classroom to my clinical practice.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? My biggest accomplishment as an MBA so far cannot be measured in what I’ve done at school but rather in the service value I’ve been able to bring to my clients. As I work to professionalize my business, I’m improving my care delivery process, which allows me to provide higher-quality service to my clients and the community. Before my MBA journey began, I lacked strategic focus for my incremental business improvements as the many possible investments and improvement I could make to my business swirled, overwhelmingly, in my head. Unsure of how to prioritize and consider their respective return profile, I settled for predictable inaction, paralyzed by my lack of knowledge. After less than one full semester at Rice, I feel that I have the tools I need, or access to resources that can steer me toward a solution, which is time and value I am able to pass on to my clients.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? I’ve had so many great experiences so far, from weekly Partio’s (Party on the Patio) to impromptu Hacky Sack gatherings in the courtyard. However, my greatest memory so far is from the very beginning of Launch when the Senior Associate Dean, Barbara Ostdiek, said, “We believe in you so much, we’ve already ordered your graduation gowns” – and Rice has not failed to live up to that promise of support and dedication to our development. From accessibility of professors outside of class times to a culture of support from second-year students, Rice Business gives you access to all the resources you need to learn how to be successful in your goals.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Rice Business MBA program? Be yourself and consider Rice’s unique and powerful value proposition.  Rice Business’s motto, “You belong here,” is true – you DO belong here. And Rice Business wants to incorporate your authentic, unique qualities and experiences into its classroom for the benefit of a stronger, and more diverse, student experience. Whether you’re seeking management opportunities in your career field or orchestrating a pivot into something else, Rice Business will take those aspirations, combined with your unique and authentic self, to help you curate a distinctive offering that will differentiate you among your peers.


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