Rachel Huynh: 2016 Best and Brightest

Rachel Huynh Texas

Rachel Huynh

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

Hometown: Laredo, Texas

High School: John B. Alexander High School, Medical Magnet

Major: Business Honors, Plan II Honors, Supply Chain Management

Minor: Bridging Disciplines Program Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofits

Favorite Business Courses: Introductory Management Information Systems (MIS 301H) and Operations Management (OM 335H). MIS helped me so much when working with large databases and business coding (SQL) during my consulting internship, and taking operations while tracking Target’s supply chain from Texas to China during study abroad really shaped my understanding of business and made me choose Supply Chain as a major!

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College (Include school awards and honors):


  • Business Honors and Plan II Honors (Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Program), with Deans Scholar and Undergraduate Honors every semester,
  • Case Competitions
  • 1st/33 teams at University of Arizona International Eller Ethics Case Competition
  • 3rd/25 teams at McCombs 2014 Spring Case Competition

2nd/15 teams at Roden Scholars Engineering Case Study

2nd /12 teams at Deloitte Undergraduate Consulting Case Competition

3rd /15 at Student Consulting Initiative Pro-Bono Case Competition

  • Scholarships
  • $60,000 Presidential Achievement Scholarship
  • $4,000 University Interscholastic League Scholarship for 4 years of state-level journalism championships
  • International Hutchison Study Abroad Scholar and $4,000 Scholarship Recipient

Business Honors Program, Peer Mentor, Fall 2015 – Present

  • Build camaraderie and offer one-on-one and group support to nine Business Honors freshmen during their first college semester.
  • Lead Seminar presentations and many breakout groups on UT resources, interviewing techniques, study abroad, etc.

Steering Committee Representative, Fall 2013 – Spring 2014

  • Represent the academic, professional, and social interests of the BHP Class of 2016 and worked on a yearbook for seniors.

Spring Case Co-Chair, Fall 2014 – Present

  • Work with BHP office, peers, professors, and other UT departments to create the program’s first technical case competition for spring 2016.

Management Consulting Association, Board Mentor, Fall 2015 – Present

  • Work with students in MCA class for 4+ hours of behavioral and case interviews every week to prepare for consulting recruitment.
  • Mentor two students more closely and prepare them with step-by-step technical training and case techniques.
  • Lead hour-long workshops every Sunday with recruiting presentations and workshops for all 20 students.

Student Consulting Initiative, Promotions Director, Spring 2014 – Spring 2015

  • Spearheaded recruitment, designed publicity, updated website and doubled number of team applications from previous year.

Consulting Team Member for Freestyle Language Center, Fall 2013 – Winter 2013

  • Worked with local business to secure $13.3K in crowd-funding, increase student retention and standardize curriculum plans.
  • Led weekly client meetings and focus groups with teachers to develop tiered compensation policy and promotion path.

Undergraduate Business Council, At-Large Representative, Fall 2012 – Present

  • Represent McCombs in Senate and Student Government by voting on student life and academic proposals for 2+ hours weekly.

Audit Committee Chair and Constitutional Review Chair

  • Chaired committees of 4-5 students in leading council in audits of organizational programming and long-term development.
  • Overhauled entire constitution by evaluating longstanding internal processes and moderating debate with 100+ members.

Barbara Jordan and George Mitchell Leadership Awards Committee

  • Contributed to promotions, outreach, rubric design, and evaluation of hundreds of applicants’ essays and interviews.
  • Awarded 8 individuals and two MASOs in McCombs for their outstanding leadership and significant contribution to this school.

Company Field Trip Committee

  • Involved in over 50 professional and academic events, including planning 20 visits to major firms for over 120 McCombs students.

The University of Texas Orange Jackets, Honorary University Hostess, Week of Women Committee, Recruitment Committee, Texas Tea Committee, Fall 2013 – Present

  • Serve as an honorary host for esteemed events at the University and volunteer in variety of historically established service projects.
  • Meet with displaced teenage girls at a local nonprofit called The Settlement Home for Children for two hours every month.
  • Secured $1K worth of donations, moderated a panel on feminism and revamped recruitment outreach strategy.

The Daily Texan Newspaper, Editorial Columnist, Fall 2013 – Spring 2015

  • Hit top monthly website views of 1,000+ on first column within week of joining the paper as a columnist.
  • Pushed for representation of more contentious issues, wrote an article that created a DHFS committee on gender-neutral housing.
  • Published 3 stories about McCombs about women in the workforce, a defense of SG legislation for more resources, and a review of the biannual fall Career Expo.

Rio Magazine, Opinion Columnist, Laredo, Texas, Fall 2015 – Present

  • Contribute op-ed columns to a Latin magazine in my hometown about civic engagement, small business responsibility, and women in business.

Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business, Campus Ambassador for Intercollegiate Business Convention Fall 2013

  • Published in Harvard’s Make It Happen magazine after article was selected out of 100+ international ambassadors’ submissions.

Plan II/KIPP Partnership, Mentor, Fall 2013 – Present

  • Mentor and tutor a socioeconomically disadvantaged student 2+ hours every other week on academic and personal issues
  • Guide her at events such as ExploreUT and tours of the Capitol and work with her regularly on college readiness and aid

Where have you interned during your college career?

Boston Consulting Group, Incoming Associate, Dallas, TX, Fall 2016

Noonday Collection, Growth Strategy Intern, Austin, TX, Fall 2015

  • Analyze sales data for a jewelry company that sustainably sources and manufactures all products from vulnerable communities around the world to bring employment and microloans to artisans in socioeconomically disadvantaged conditions.
  • Analyze productivity of sales representatives in direct sales channel using sales, attrition, recruitment, and demographic census data.
  • Present analysis of highly productive sales representatives and the implications of this sales activity on future growth.

Oliver Wyman, Management Consulting Intern, Dallas, TX, Summer 2015

  • Utilized SQL to evaluate customer loyalty for a retail client and recommended brands to cut or reduce to optimize assortment.
  • Synthesized key metrics in a dynamic loyalty dashboard through scenario analysis with sales implications.
  • Proposed major adjustment to retail space allocation by analyzing shelving data and incremental sales productivity.

Texas Instruments, Human Resources Intern, Dallas, TX, Summer 2014

  • Standardized logistics for a worldwide reduction in workforce and was individually selected to present to the SVP of HR
  • Optimized employee benefits cost models by auditing four international ledger-based models for inconsistent account use
  • Researched international compensation policy and analyzed idiosyncrasies by interviewing HR managers across geographies

Vietnamese Friendship Association, Education Nonprofit Intern, Seattle, WA, Summer 2014

  • Rewrote strategic plan after consulting with the Board of Directors and analyzing future community development needs.
  • Saved grant funding for a program under scrutiny by analyzing impact, writing a proposal, and creating budget scenarios.
  • Developed curriculum for tutoring/ESL programs and led tutoring sessions twice a week with disadvantaged refugee students.

Sweet Spot Frozen Yogurt, Business Development Manager, Laredo, TX, Fall 2009 – May 2015

  • Designed successful brand leading to $400K annual revenue/location (5); grew by strategically expanding in south Texas over the past 6 years.
  • Strategized launch of spinoff Asian fusion restaurants by planning menu, pricing, marketing, HR policy, and product sourcing.

Describe your dream job: I would be a social entrepreneur, using an innovative business model with a values-driven team to create social change. Particularly, I want to work with immigrant women starting small businesses, just like my own mother.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I mostly enjoy working with teams to solve intricate, messy problems. I don’t see business as a discipline confined the boardroom. It’s extremely applicable in everyday life because it’s simply about making smart, strategic decisions that drive value. I especially love how my business education in McCombs has been extremely group-centric, so I get to constantly work with incredibly bright and diverse peers that push me to explore completely different ways of viewing problems and creating solutions. Case competitions, in particular, have allowed me to invite my peers in to really push my mental limits and create the most compelling, innovative solutions I’ve ever been a part of.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I recently signed as an Associate at The Boston Consulting Group in Dallas, Texas, so I’ll be there! I hope to run my own social business a few more years down the line and work at the intersection between design and international development. It’s been my dream job for years, so I’m spending a lot of my senior year prepping younger students through things like the Management Consulting Association and previously the Student Consulting Initiative for the technical interview process to chase their dreams in the industry as well.

What are your long-term professional goals? My long term professional goals are to become a keen business owner and social innovator. In order to do that, I am pursuing consulting to really push myself to develop my technical skill set in systematically solving complex business problems for major companies, as well as my management skill set to become a strong people developer. The best bosses I’ve ever worked under have been a combination of the two – discerning and quick with data and strategy, but also patient and understanding with me as I pushed myself to learn and deliver. My goals are to become my ideal boss, and use that position to develop people around me and deliver real results to the community.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…my family opened up our first yogurt store in my hometown of Laredo, Texas. I was staying up well past midnight every weekend to plan our offerings, negotiate machinery deals with Chinese suppliers, draw out the store floor plan, and write up marketing ads and radio jingles – and I could not have been happier. When the store finally launched at the end of the year, my family was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude as we sat in a beautiful store and offered something we believed in to the community we loved.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a traveling journalist. I love the thrill of following a good lead. I was a state champion in news, feature, editorial, and headline journalism, as well as essay writing, in high school and I loved it so much. I also wrote for my university newspaper, The Daily Texan, a few small magazines, and studied journalism in an international study abroad program. It’s incredible to think how media shapes our understanding of the world and conception of society. However, the stories that go untold are often the most poignant, heart-wrenching truths about our time that need attention more than anything else. I love how journalism has the power to shed light on those truths. Also, I just love to write and travel.” 

What was the happiest moment of your life? The happiest moment of my life was sitting at the top of pagoda in Myanmar, watching hot air balloons lift up as the sun rose over a seemingly untouched landscape dotted by trees and other golden pagodas. I was on my Semester at Sea, a study abroad program where you take classes on a ship with 600 other students as you sail around the world. We stopped in Myanmar after going through Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, and Singapore. Myanmar was both nothing and everything I had imagined – not at all a land torn apart by civil war and strife with the military junta as the news told me (this was this past spring), but a pure land of surprising authenticity uncorrupted by mass tourism and commercialization. I was also in this major stage of growth and learning about the world – about government, international relations, apartheid, genocide, and other huge episodes in history that my American education somehow missed. It doesn’t seem like it would be the happiest moment, but it was because I felt both content with exactly where I was in that moment as well as catalyzed to do something real in the world. I was blow away – in the best way – by the beauty of the scene in front of me; the impetus that transformed me into a strong-willed humanitarian; and perhaps the thrill of climbing up a towering pagoda with the kindest of friends in the middle of the night in a beautiful country.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my role as a mentor. For several years now, I have mentored a student from KIPP Arts & Letters Middle School, a charter school that seeks to serve socioeconomically disadvantaged students. The student I was assigned to work with is uncannily similar to students I grew up with on the border – underperforming in school and deeply troubled at home. One of my biggest learning moments in service was actually with her, when I tried so hard for the first few months to ‘be a mentor’ and ‘give her resources.’ After she mentioned a serious issue with her parents one day, I realized this pretense as an older, knowing mentor was not serving her nearly as much as I had hoped. I was candid about my complete self and all of my own struggles, sitting for hours over kayaking or dinner so I could just listen to what she had to say. Since then, she has completely opened up and actively seeks advice and guidance on school and work weekly – even now that the official mentorship program has ended. She even changed her mind about her future and decided to seriously pursue a college education, an idea that seemed out of the question to her just a few years ago. It completely transformed my view on sustainable service and actually inspired my research in Mexico with a professor studying Participatory Action in urban planning, as well as sparked my senior thesis idea further on community-invested social entrepreneurship.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A butterfly. I need time to observe, think, and create in my cocoon. When I do burst out of it, I have beautiful butterfly wings to show for it and can flutter quite far. I also tend to chase lots of flowers (err, opportunities) and am always hunting to add more things to life that bring me joy.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my brother, Robert. We are four years apart, so he took on all the hardship of being both the first child and the first generation American in my family. He went through smaller homes and battered cars and ESL classes, while I was born into a household better off after four more years of income. Robert is brilliant in his own right, but everything he learned, he had to struggle through quite alone (as our parents often were not as familiar with the American education system as our peers’ parents were). Meanwhile, I glided through with Robert funneling air under my wings. I especially saw it in high school and college, where he would tutor me to get ahead in classes, push me to enter academic competitions, and mentor me himself or with his peers to become the student and professional candidate I wished to become. Years later, I can see very clearly that every award and accomplishment I ever got was, to a significant degree, rooted in a brother’s love and dedication to his little sister.

Fun fact about yourself: I once told a pregnant woman the gender of her baby for the first time! I was in a medical magnet high school and was doing one of my rotations at an OB/GYN, and I was hanging out a lot in the ultrasound room. I guess I got the hang of it after a while!

Favorite book: I love Emily Giffin books. Or The Magician by Lev Grossman!

Favorite movie: The Parent Trap. My family and I used to watch it every month when I was little for some odd reason and now I associate it with happy memories growing up.

Favorite musical performer: Justin Timberlake, live in Las Vegas

Favorite vacation spot: Cape Town, South Africa

What are your hobbies? Editorial journalism, international travel, intense board games, trying to cook, fashion and interior design

What made Rachael such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“I had the pleasure of leading a group of students to Hong Kong and China to study the global supply chain of Target Corporation. One of my great joys in teaching at UT is the opportunity to travel with groups like this, specifically because of the relationships that I get to develop with my students while we are traveling. Rachel is one of those students who stand out in every group because of her welcoming nature, beautiful smile, and intellectual curiosity. She is obviously bright and inquisitive, but she is able to match that with a charisma that disarms even the most cynical.

I have known Rachel since before she became my student as I had her brother, Robert, as a student years before. Robert told me about his sister and introduced us with the hope that she would come to Hong Kong on our summer trip. He shared with me that she was a very special person, and he was right (I should add, however, that the trait does run in that family).

Rachel personifies all that we would want to have in a great UT student: Hard work, intellectual strength, curiosity about the world around her, and genuine care and concern for her fellow students. I strongly recommend her for consideration as this year’s outstanding student.”

Michael G. Hasler, Ph.D.
Program Director—Master of Science in Business Analytics
Senior Lecturer—Information, Risk, and Operations Management
Department Fellow—Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence
The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business