Jones School Education Helps Alum “Ovarcome”


When Runsi Sen ’04 chose to pursue an MBA at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, she already knew it was a great school that would give her the tools to further her goal of becoming a senior-level executive. Her friends and her husband, who also attended the business school, spoke glowingly of the program, citing small classes and wonderful, engaged professors.

“I wanted to broaden my general management skills,” she says, “and I knew Rice would give me a holistic experience, particularly in strategic marketing.”

And the program did just that. Courses taught by Utpal Dholakia, James Weston, and Doug Schuler, whom she counts as “one of the best,” helped Sen earn a management position for Direct Energy. There, she climbed steadily higher on the career ladder, taking on various senior-level marketing management responsibilities.

A Shift in Focus

But during her career, life events began to shift Sen’s focus to more personal matters. The birth of her children caused her to desire more flexibility. She chose to transfer her management acumen to a consulting role for Optimal Strategix Group, a firm focused on strategic consulting.

In 2008, Sen saw her mother suffer and succumb to a disease that is not only highly treatable in early stages, but preventable. The death of her mother from ovarian cancer created yet another shift in Sen’s focus. It was a shift that would combine all of her experiences — her life in India, her education at Rice, her on-the-job training, and her passion for helping others.

In January 2012, Sen launched the nonprofit Ovarcome, which aims to raise awareness and provide treatment support and financial assistance to underprivileged women suffering from ovarian cancer in third world countries. “In developing nations,” explains Sen, “there is hardly any awareness about the disease. And awareness of the disease and early detection are critical to saving lives.”

Prepared for Transitions

Sen believes that her education at the Jones School provided a dynamic, relevant background that not only aided her traditional career path, but also prepared her for the transition into a new nonprofit venture. “I use strategic marketing every day in my work with Ovarcome,” she says, effectively reaching out to women and their families, doctors and donors via various communication tools. And while the program’s current focus is India, she plans to expand efforts into other countries, such as Uganda.

Sen recommends the Rice MBA program enthusiastically: “The one-on-one attention and the collaborative teamwork really help in developing leaders. I also was an international student, and I felt the environment was welcoming, friendly and nurturing. The career planning center was very helpful. Overall, the program was fantastic.”

— M. Yvonne Taylor

For more information about Ovarcome, visit the website at or connect on Facebook at