A Houston native, Ruy Lozano worked for 25 years in the Houston Fire Department, the third-largest municipal fire department in the country, where he was an assistant fire chief and managed a multi-million dollar budget for transportation, logistics, procurement and infrastructure.
After speaking with the Houston Fire Department’s fire chief and realizing the chief’s progressive and innovative mindset was a result of his MBA journey, Ruy decided to pursue an MBA himself. In March of this year, after a nationwide search, he was appointed as the fire chief for the New Braunfels Fire Department.
Ruy joins host Christine to look back at their time in the MBA program together, the diversity of their class, the business element of public service and some of the toughest times Ruy experienced during his work with the Houston Fire Department.
On balancing school and being an assistant fire chief:19:33 - Was it tough? Absolutely. But there was also so many, there was so much cross-pollination. There would be times that I'm working and things that we were talking about in class were kind of coming into my workplace. So it was a huge advantage to be able to grow together, you know, I was growing as an assistant chief, I had only been an assistant chief for less than a year when I joined the program. And then growing as an EMBA, you got an opportunity to kind of see the theories being applied in practical use, but then you had that amazing cohort that you could bounce ideas off of.
Reflecting on his time at Rice:01:28 - That's one of the greatest experiences of my life, attending Rice. Not just learning from the instructors, but learning from the conversations where professionals were debating, dialoguing and just having an exchange of ideas.
What makes Rice different:05:05 - You were allowed to be vulnerable. You were allowed to make a mistake. And no one was going to judge you for it because we were all there to learn. I truly attribute my progressing into the position of fire chief to Rice and the amazing cohort we had.