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Together Towards Tomorrow:
A Mother-Daughter MBA Journey

The decision for a mother and daughter to go back to school together is as heartwarming as it is formidable. This is a story that goes beyond gaining a degree; it’s about redefining family bonds through shared global experiences and a mutual commitment to growth.

Their journey also puts a spotlight on the unique bond between a mother and daughter who have gone beyond traditional family roles to become classmates, teammates, study partners, and travel buddies—a duo united by their love for knowledge and determination to succeed.

In the vast and varied expanse of academic travel, and professional growth, there are stories that stand out not just for their uniqueness but for the profound messages they carry about learning, bonding, and growth. One such inspiring narrative is that of Misty Fehler and her daughter, Alexis Weaver, who embarked on an extraordinary adventure by deciding to pursue their MBA degrees together at Rice Business. Their academic and professional journeys, intertwined with shared classes, homework sessions, and, most memorably, international immersions, including an unforgettable trip to Lima, Peru, for their Global Field Experience (GFE), which we at Austral Group had the pleasure of planning and hosting.

A Shared Vision

Misty Fehler

Misty Fehler

“So Alexis and I both wanted to do an MBA for different reasons over the last several years. We looked into it at different times, but I recently started looking into Rice’s MBA program. I signed up for a class visit, and I told Alexis, -you should come-!
And so we went and we were both just completely sold from that point.”

The decision for Misty and Alexis to venture on this academic path wasn’t merely a coincidence. It was something they both had on their radar for quite some time.  Attending classes, collaborating on assignments, and navigating the challenges of an MBA program together have given them a rare opportunity to witness each other’s growth firsthand.

“So we thought of doing the same program instead of different programs because we both do the professional program and then we do it on the weekends together. We wanted to be able to have that experience together if we were both going to pursue an MBA at the same time.”

Their educational pursuit at Rice Business was characterized by more than just theoretical learning; it was marked by real-world exposure through several international immersions. One of the highlights was their participation in the Global Field Experience (GFE) in Lima, Peru—a program emblematic of Rice’s commitment to providing students with hands-on, practical business education on a global scale, focusing on emerging markets.

-We learned so much working in another country. We realized really quickly that it’s not the same as what we’re used to in the US.-

Alexis Weaver

Alexis Weaver

Alexis:

“And what’s really nice is that we like to spend time together as a family. We doubled our quality time with our school time. We were actually spending way more time together than we ever had been before.”

Misty:

“The most exciting thing is having that person that you’re already close with, to discuss certain case studies that we’re reading and then with our husbands as well and just going over those things as a family, all of our family got interested in the MBA program. We have diverse interests and we enjoyed discussing all these business topics.”

Learning Beyond Borders

Rice Business provided a unique backdrop for this duo, offering not just rigorous academic challenges but also real-world learning opportunities through their international immersions, particularly the Global Field Experience. 

Alexis:
“When we went on this particular trip, the GFE trip to Peru, we felt like this was our biggest connecting point with our classmates even though we’d been with them for a whole year.”

Misty:
“We were extremely impressed by the events that were planned, the transportation, and the hotel accommodations, everything was very high scale and high level, and we were very, very pleasantly impressed and surprised by how well-organized everything was.”

The Global Field Experience stands as a testament to the invaluable lessons that extend beyond the confines of a classroom. This program is designed to push the boundaries of traditional classroom education, propelling students into the global business landscape where they can apply their knowledge, gain invaluable insights, and make meaningful connections across cultures.

“What I love the most about my job as program manager is witnessing student's first impressions of Peru, particularly in the business context. Witnessing Alexis and Misty explore Peru together and creating unforgettable memories was truly special!”

Veronica Dupuy, Program Manager at Austral Group

“What I love the most about my job as program manager is witnessing student’s first impressions of Peru, particularly in the business context. Witnessing Alexis and Misty explore Peru together and creating unforgettable memories was truly special!”

However, in Lima, Misty and Alexis weren’t just tourists; they were consultants immersed in the local business landscape, tasked with delivering practical solutions to a Peruvian company. This wasn’t just an educational requirement; it was an opportunity to make a tangible difference, applying their knowledge to real-world problems and contributing genuinely to a local business’s growth and success.

“Once we were able to choose our own groups, we were in groups together, she and I, and we worked really well together. We’re very different. So we have very different styles. We complement each other but sometimes there’s a little friction there, but we work really well together through all of those things. She’s more on top of everything about due dates and, you know, when should we get things turned in and just kind of keeping me on track.”

Their adventure in Peru underscored the essence of global business education—making meaningful connections and gaining practical experience through real-world projects where students are not just learners but doers, thinkers, and creators ready to make an impact on the global stage.

Traveling together and working closely on this project allowed Misty and Alexis to see each other in a light different from the familiar roles they were accustomed to. They were not just mother and daughter but peers, collaborators, and fellow learners, each bringing their unique perspectives and insights to the table. This experience highlighted the beauty of their bond – a relationship that could seamlessly blend the personal with the professional, the familial with the academic.

“Our Program Coordinator, along with the Program Manager and the entire Austral local host team, were fantastic. They were incredibly welcoming and went out of their way to ensure our comfort throughout our time in Peru. We can’t express enough gratitude for the seamless logistics and flow of the program. It not only allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the beauty of the country but also ensured that we could efficiently carry out our work with our local business partners. This balance between work and exploration made our trip truly unforgettable.”

A Call to
Adventure

The story of Misty and Alexis invites us to rethink the possibilities and to pursue continuous education. It challenges us to consider how we can break our own molds, pursue lifelong learning, and carve out paths not just for personal gain but for shared experiences that enrich our relationships.

Rice Business stands at the forefront of this educational philosophy, emphasizing that beyond acquiring skills and knowledge, the true essence of business education lies in making meaningful connections, understanding diverse cultures, and preparing to act thoughtfully and responsibly in a globalized world.

A Celebration of Bonds this Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, the narrative of Misty and Alexis gains even more significance. It’s a celebration of the unique bond they share, a bond that has been strengthened and enriched by their shared academic and professional journeys. 

Alexis: “I wouldn’t know some of her strengths if I didn’t do an MBA with her because I could see her in a home setting and in a family setting, but I have never seen my mom in a sort of business partner setting. And so that’s a really cool way to expand our personal relationship is seeing how she works or how I work, in those ways that we’ve never explored before.”

Their story is a gentle reminder of the power of education to transform not just individuals but relationships. 

In a world where education and professional development are often solitary pursuits, Misty and Alexis remind us of the beauty of shared learning and growth. They exemplify that at its core, education is about expanding horizons—not just our own, but also those of the people around us.


“So it’s been a huge blessing to us to be able to do this together and a lot of fun”.

Happy Mother’s Day