2023 MBA To Watch: Alexis Allen, University of Texas (McCombs)

Alexis Allen

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“An influential, visionary leader who inspires positive change through empathy and coalition building.”

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Fun fact about yourself: In 2014 I traveled to rural Vietnam for three weeks to coach basketball (they didn’t have field hockey!) and teach English to young Vietnamese kids.

Undergraduate School and Degree: The Ohio State University and Strategic Communications, Minor in General Business

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? EPIC Collaborative Advisors as an HR Project Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Chevron in Houston, TX

Where will you be working after graduation? Chevron and will be working within their HR Development Program

Community work and leadership roles:

  • President of the Black Graduate Business Association
  • VP Women in Business Leadership Symposium (GWIB Exec Board)
  • McCombs Ambassador Committee
  • Board Fellows
  • Consortium Member

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of leading the initiative to start the first Black McCombs Alumni Association — this is a dedicated space for Black McCombs alumni to build community and network with other Black McCombs graduates. Here, they have the opportunity to stay connected to current Black McCombs students through mentorship, mock interviews and career prep. They also have the platform to support McCombs through its recruitment and retention efforts as it relates to its diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I consider my internship with Chevron part of my professional career. While I have had accomplishments prior to b-school that I’m proud of, my experience thus far with Chevron has been the most fulfilling. It was about three months after my internship. I had heard that the projects I worked on during the summer with Chevron were being implemented into several business units in the training and development space. It felt and still feels rewarding to know that the tasks I was assigned were positively impactful to the workforce and not assigned as meaningless busy work.

Why did you choose this business school? I felt most comfortable speaking with various McCombs students compared to the other schools to which I applied. I loved my undergrad experience at The Ohio State University, and I think UT and the ubiquitous school spirit remind me a lot of those days which were some of my favorite moments! I also enjoy spending time in Texas and its major cities, specifically Houston, Austin, Dallas (in that order), and I could see myself in Texas long-term and raising a family, despite Texas’ challenges and shortcomings.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?  Professor Doggett — I’ve only taken his Global Management course. Although my group has already presented, I’m learning a lot about how to present information effectively through Professor Doggett’s feedback and questions that challenge his students to think deeper about the information they’re presenting. I know I will take a lot of his teachings with me to my workplace post-MBA.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? I’ve been enjoying Law for Entrepreneurs! Often times, I tend to lean on emotions rather than data and facts when it comes to making my point on certain topics. This class has helped me think more objectively and understand the innerworkings of the law better.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I loved this year’s Elevate Conference that was put on by my peers Oshane, Fernando, Azzy, and Lauren. During the happy hour, I sat at a table with the keynote speaker, Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, her sister, a couple classmates and faculty members. We had a raw conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion at McCombs and ended the night with us dancing to Wobble. Easily one of my favorite moments of business school! A close second would be Dis-O for the second years —I live for the organized chaos!

What I’d do differently and why: I would’ve figured out a way to make more money while in business school because there’s so much traveling I want to do during this time that I have – but just not enough financial resources to live the life I want to live in b-school!

What was the biggest myth about business school? Grades don’t matter. In a sense they don’t, but trust and believe not all classes are equal! Some classes absolutely do not have a curve.

What do you love the most about the business school’s town? The outdoor activities that Austin has to offer are unique compared to where I’m from (Midwest) and even more accessible than its neighboring cities like Houston and Dallas.

What surprised you the most about business school? You have 100% control over your business school experience — what you put into it you do get out of it. Prior to attending McCombs, I didn’t think I’d have as much autonomy over my experience as I have here.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I took stats and accounting college courses during the summer before I applied because I didn’t have a strong quant background.

Which classmate do you admire: Addie Rasche! We met through Forte in March ‘20 before we applied to McCombs, and I remember being so impressed with how quickly Addie would get her lil’ whiteboard out and send me a video of how to solve a GRE quant problem. Even back then when we had a WhatsApp messaging only friendship; she was so supportive, encouraging, and willing to share her tips and tricks with me. To this day, she has continued to challenge me and helped me grow in areas I felt less confident in through our experiences working together in WBLS and Board Fellows. Addie has been an active ally and huge support system in helping me and the other BGBA exec members with our alumni initiative through her creative genius and ability to present information in an impactful way. I could go on and on about my girl Addie — she is the best and I am so thankful for her and her friendship!

Top two items on my professional bucket list:
1) take advantage of international travel opportunities presented to me.

2) get promoted from the HR development program early!

What made Alexis such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023?

“Alexis Allen connects and leads with ease. Although Alexis certainly has an impressive resume and notable success in her career within Human Resource Development, what sets Alexis apart is how she approaches her work. She is thoughtful, strategic, and a true developer who brings people together with purpose. Alexis’ leadership skills were highlighted this past year as she led the Women in Business Leadership Symposium as part of the Graduate Women in Business organization with a fellow second year. According to one of her peers, the 2022 Women in Leadership Symposium “brought on one of the best lineups the event has ever seen & made the conference very impactful for women AND allies.”  Alexis fundraised, secured institutional support, and generated significant engagement from the student community, as well as brought in impressive women leaders from across the country. Alexis is able to create buy-in with her authentic and positive leadership style.

As co-president of UT McCombs’ Black Graduate Business Association, Alexis has worked with McCombs faculty, staff, and alumni to create the first Black McCombs Alumni Association, an organization that will look to empower prospective, current, and alumni MBAs from Texas McCombs with a network to lean on throughout their MBA journey for mentorship, career connection and recruiting new students. One of her classmates shared, “This work requires relentless drive, ambition, and strength. Throughout it all, Alexis has shown immense resilience and passion to make a difference in her community and beyond. She truly is one of our best and brightest, hands down.”

It is a pleasure and honor to recommend Alexis to be recognized among Poets and Quants’ Best and Brightest. She is viewed as a leader and strong contributor to our overall community within the Full-Time MBA program. I have learned a great deal from her in our collaborative time together in the program and know her positive impact is far-reaching. Our McCombs community is better because she is a part of it, and I know that she will be an outstanding contributor at any organization she joins in the future and that it will be better because of her energy, dedication, and relentless pursuit of being better than we are today.”

Ashley Jones,
Director of Student Experience


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