Summing It Up
MBA Candidate Bobby Stokes Offers 3 Reasons UHD Is the Place To Be for an MBA
By Laura Wagner
Bobby Stokes has a passion for numbers. From the time he was very young, his father recognized his natural talent for all things math. Together, they mapped out his career when he was still a child in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood.
After graduating from Texas Southern University in 2016 with majors in Civil Engineering and Mathematics, Stokes took a job as a civil engineer. But after five years of managing water and wastewater industry projects, he was ready for a change.
He landed a role as a tax consultant for an international tax consulting firm, and a lightbulb went on. “We helped small to medium businesses find tax deductions, and I loved it. But I wanted to go beyond taxes and learn more about how companies make and manage money,” he said.
He knew the next step was to broaden his knowledge of business through education. First, he had to find the right MBA program.
Stokes credits a combination of opportunity, proximity, and flexibility for bringing him to UHD.
“UHD extended its registration deadlines, so the opportunity to return to school presented itself at just the right time,” he shared. “Proximity played a role in that I had friends in the program and friends who were graduates of it. All spoke very highly of the Marilyn Davies College of Business (MDCOB) and the MBA program.” As to flexibility, he said the option of online and in-person classes sealed the deal. He also applauded MDCOB’s smooth application and enrollment process.
As a fan of chess and puzzles (Sudoku and Rubik’s Cube, among others), Stokes chose Finance as his concentration because of its focus on using mathematical concepts and analytical tools to make business decisions. It also offered him “the ultimate puzzle.”
“I’ve always liked planning for the future, and finance is all about predicting what the future will look like. You have to account for what the dollar value is today, what it will look like 10 years from now, and then figure out, what can I do with it?” he said. “None of us can truly predict the future, but trying to get as close as we can using numbers—that’s fascinating to me.”
Now in his second semester as an MBA student, Stokes has a great appreciation for the energy and attention his professors bring to graduate classes. “These are three-hour courses,” he said. “Faculty members like Professor Kurt Stanberry (Ethics in Finance) keep you engaged. He has a lively personality, and his approach to teaching really helps bring the material to life.” As an MBA student coming to the program from a different discipline, Stokes also appreciates the ground-level approach Dr. Daniel Perez offers Finance students. “He makes sure we understand the fundamentals,” Stokes noted.
From Worker to Student
As a working professional, Stokes has an experienced perspective on being a student the second time around: “You have to take advantage of all the opportunities the campus offers. Just going to some of the campus events could give you the exposure needed to propel you into your next employment opportunity—or even the world’s next big business idea!” A member of the Financial Management Association, Stokes was recently voted into the Student Government Association as the MDCOB Graduate Senator.
Taking an active approach to education and career is a philosophy Stokes shares with students who seek help in the MDCOB Career Center, where he works as a graduate assistant. His own journey informs his approach to helping students with networking, résumé building, and finding internships: “One lesson I’ve learned is not to be passive about your future,” he advises. “Nothing is going to fall in your lap or be handed to you. You’re going to get out what you put in.”
The Case for MDCOB
After graduation, Stokes plans to land a role in investment banking or corporate business strategy. He’s confident of getting a good job because of the opportunities he sees via the Career Center. “UHD graduates are now in firms in every industry you can imagine,” he said. “Large, prestigious companies come here every week to recruit more students like the ones they’ve hired previously—that creates a pipeline from UHD to industry.”
When asked why others should choose MDCOB’s MBA program, Stokes admits he’s an advocate for UHD and its welcoming environment. But he “sums up” his advocacy for the MBA program in three compelling reasons:
- If you’re a student who learns better with small class sizes and needs a little more attention to be successful, this is the school for you.
- If you’re concerned with not having the time to complete your education, this is the school for you. With the available class options, you can find a class time that works for your schedule.
- If you want to learn industry skills today that you can directly apply to your career tomorrow, this is the school for you.
March 27-31 is MBA Admissions Week, with opportunities to attend virtual sessions and learn more about the variety of MBA concentrations MDCOB offers. For more information on the MBA program, visit uhd.edu/mbarsvp or email email@example.com.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.