Named last year by Poets and Quants as one of the Best and Brightest MBAs for 2018, Jana Soares truly exemplified that title in the Texas A&M University Mays Business School MBA program. Upon completion of her degree, Jana joined Google in Mountain View, CA where she works as an Associate Product Marketing Manager. During the program, she worked as a summer intern with Johnson and Johnson in West Chester, PA. Before entering graduate school, she was a US Fulbright Scholar in Australia where she conducted microbiology research at the University of Technology Sydney. She earned her undergraduate degree from St. Edward’s University in biology with a chemistry minor.
According to Dr. Shannon Deer, assistant dean of graduate programs for the Mays Business School, “Jana had a significantly positive impact on our MBA program as I am sure she will on business in the future. Jana served as a leader on the Student Advisory Board (SAB) for the MBA program. More importantly, she led the efforts to completely overhaul the SAB structure. Along with one of her classmates, Jana converted SAB from an advisory board led by program staff to a student government run and led by students. Jana clearly defined positions and responsibilities for the 8-person executive board. The impact of her efforts and leadership on the program will be long-lasting. Additionally, Jana represented Mays by placing in several competitions across the state. She partnered with engineering students for Aggies Invent, creating a solution to strengthen 3D printing materials. Their team went on to compete in the Raymond Ideas Challenge at A&M and the South by Southwest competition in Austin placing 2nd in both.”
“Our faculty voted Jana as the “Jerry Strawser Outstanding MBA Student,” with outstanding praise for Jana. For example, one faculty member said, “Jana brings it, every hour, every day, every assignment, every project. Her intellect, energy, collaborative spirit, and passion for excellence consistently inspire those around her to reach higher and work harder. Much of her success stems from the fact that she frequently challenges herself by pushing beyond her comfort zone. Without a doubt, Jana is one to watch in the years and decades to come.”
When interviewed by Poets and Quants, Jana was asked what academic or extracurricular achievement she was most proud of during her time in business school. She shared about her experience in the university-wide “Aggies Invent for an Intelligent Future” competition and named it as her most favorite extracurricular experience.
“Hosted by the College of Engineering, but open to students across disciplines, selected participants met that morning, formed a team, came up with a product idea, and created a pitch deck to present at the end of the day. Our team included three engineering students and me, and we were selected as one of the top teams to continue forward. This meant we had two weeks to polish our idea and create a prototype to present at the 2017 South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. This was the first year that Texas A&M University had a presence at SXSW. We were honored to win 2nd place the day of the competition, and meet Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M, who had seen our presentation and congratulated us on our concept.”
“I felt proud to have been part of SXSW and to have had the opportunity to work with three incredibly talented engineering students and learn about a new industry and technology. We pitched a 3-D printed sensor-embedded product for the oil and gas industry to improve safety and monitoring in pipelines. This experience was a highlight because I had the chance to apply newfound business skills that I gained from my courses, collaborate across disciplines, and witness the incredible work students are doing across the wider Texas A&M campus.”
When asked why she selected the Mays Business School, Jana indicated she chose it based on three reasons: 1) the smaller class size; 2) members are united by Texas A&M’s core values of Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect; and Selfless Service and 3) it has a strong alumni network. It was easy to get to know my classmates, faculty, and staff, and the experience was more personalized, where you develop a close-knit community driven by shared core values, classmates were always willing to help one another. “The Aggie Network is made up of committed, dedicated, and service-oriented individuals always ready to share advice or lend a helping hand, and I am glad to be part of it.”