2023 MBA To Watch: Alex Hannie, University of Texas at Dallas (Jindal)

Alex Hannie

University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management

“I consider myself a kind servant leader who lives to provide positive energy and uplift those around me.”

Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana

Fun fact about yourself: I played four years of Division 1 college baseball as an outfielder for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Louisiana at Lafayette – Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Acadian Capital Ventures – Venture Capital Analyst

Where will you intern during the summer of 2023? This summer, I will be interning with RealFoundations, a real estate consulting company, as a management consulting intern.

Where will you be working after graduation? Upon graduating with my MBA later this year, I plan to work in the commercial real estate industry doing real estate investments.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I was an active participant in our class’s service day at Bonton Farms, which is an urban farm that serves the underprivileged in South Dallas. I am also helping coordinate our classes next community service effort.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? This is more on the personal side, but I am proud of the effort I have made to put myself out there. In the past few months, I have joined multiple organizations in the DFW area related to professional development.  While I’ve devoted a lot of time to my studies and school functions, I have made a great extracurricular effort to meet and learn from various industry professionals. I believe building relationships with the people you want to be like is one of the key successes to getting the most out of your time in business school. It also might lead to a post-graduation opportunity. Academics are extremely important, but someone once told me, “It’s not about the grades you make, but the hands you shake”.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My proudest achievement occurred when I served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I was the baseball team’s representative and served as SAAC’s community service coordinator. Through the Adopt-A-Family program, I organized a fundraiser and service effort where we were able to provide Christmas for an underprivileged family. I am most proud of this achievement because it allowed me to connect with and serve a family in need.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose the UT Dallas MBA program because of the small cohort size (and the fantastic return on investment). With a smaller than most cohort size, we are all given personalized attention and resources to make the most out of our time in the program. Our MBA team truly cares about helping each of us navigate the difficulties of business school and the careers we’re about to embark on. They are some of the most supportive people I’ve been around. I couldn’t ask for more!

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor has been Dr. Randall Guttery. Dr. Guttery is a very experienced real estate professional and has a passion for teaching the subject. He is very engaging in his lectures and provides many real-life examples to help his students better understand the material.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite course has been “Financial Modeling For Valuation”, which I am currently taking. In this class, we are learning the various approaches to valuing companies, projects, and investments. Our professor is teaching us how to build out these financial valuations into Excel models, which is a very useful skill for the career I am pursuing. It is a tough, time-consuming course, but the learning outcomes have been phenomenal.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite event is the OWLIE awards (Outstanding Worthy Leaders Involved Exceptionally). This event recognizes students, faculty, staff, mentors, and alumni for their exceptional service to the Naveen Jindal School of Management. These awards are a great reflection of what my business school embodies, and that is getting involved, serving others, and positively impacting those around you.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back, one thing I would’ve done differently is have a better idea of what I wanted to get out of my MBA and where I wanted it to take me from the beginning. Business school is all about exploring your strengths, weaknesses, and interests, but having a clearer career idea from the outset would’ve allowed me to focus more early on in my MBA journey. I’d recommend reaching out to various industry professionals and former MBA students before starting business school. Almost all of them are happy to provide insight into their MBAs and share their career experiences with you.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about my school was that we don’t have the same reputation or “brand awareness” that other prestigious schools have. It is actually quite the opposite. Every successful professional I speak with knows that UT Dallas produces some of the most brilliant business minds. There is a humble confidence that comes with obtaining your MBA from UTD.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? The diverse group of people in Dallas have given me new perspectives and expanded my horizons. Also, there is an enormous amount of opportunity here for any career path.

What surprised you the most about business school? What surprised me most about business school is that there is such a diverse group of people who come together from across the world to better themselves personally and professionally. Every cohort member is willing and eager to help one another, and it has made my MBA experience one of the best decisions of my life.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I connected and stayed in touch with the MBA program office throughout the entire application process to express my interest for wanting to attend. I made it clear to the admissions staff that UTD was the only MBA program I was applying to because it was the only school I wanted to attend.  I also reached out to multiple current UTD MBA students to learn more about the program and to hopefully get noticed.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? All of my MBA cohort members are fantastic individuals, but one classmate I admire is Scott Ishihara. I admire Scott because he is incredibly intelligent and has an unmatched work ethic, but more importantly, he’s always willing to help a fellow classmate whether that be with academic work or personal issues. Scott is a great listener and an empathetic leader. I know he’ll be an impactful HR executive soon enough!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. To start a foundation for the underprivileged youth that focuses on academic and athletic development.
  2. To speak at a leadership conference about what servant leadership is and how it positively affects business culture which drives organizational successful.

What made Alex such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Alex is a part of our Full‐Time MBA program, which is an exclusive and very competitive program to be part of.  During the program, students are expected to handle a heavy course load of 15‐18 credit hours in addition to spending 10‐15 hours per week on their career goals/career activities.

Alex has been very involved in student organizations, including a leadership role in the Real Estate Club. He serves as an MBA Student Ambassador and is a huge help to our recruitment team in providing his insights to candidates. He serves as a class rep and is a motivator in and out of the classroom.

Alex has excellent communication and presentation skills and has certainly impressed us with his class leadership.   I am confident he will be a trail blazer in the Business World and cannot wait to see all that he will accomplish.”

Andrea Burdman
Program Manager, MBA Program


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