Lizette Melendez grew up in El Paso, one of the poorest cities in Texas, and was the first in her family to go to university. Now the American, who is Latina, is studying for an MBA at a top US business school.
She is not doing so in the conventional way. Ms Melendez is part of the first cohort in the [email protected], launched by Houston’s Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in 2018 on the 2U online learning platform.
Most of the course is delivered digitally. Flexibility was important for Ms Melendez, who could not afford to quit her job as policy adviser to a member of the Austin, Texas, city council because of undergraduate loan debt.
Experiencing financial hardship has inspired Ms Melendez to explore launching a social enterprise, possibly to raise financial literacy in public schools. She is therefore keen to hone her business skills.