Having primary interests in writing and journalism, Rachel Diebner didn’t exactly know how she found herself in the business school when she arrived on the 40 Acres as a freshman.
But three years later, Diebner has now found a home at McCombs. The senior is set to graduate with a double major in BHP and Plan II and a minor in supply chain management.
“BHP was something I never knew was coming and never knew I would fall in love with,” Diebner said. “It was the best choice I kind of accidentally threw myself into.”
Despite her initial hesitation about her academic career path, Diebner has always been certain about one thing: her passion for philanthropy. Outside of school, she devotes her time to serving her community through her involvement with Texas Orange Jackets and Chi Kappa Phi Service Society.
“To live a meaningful life means that I am uplifting and empowering other people,” Diebner said. “I’ve always had a heart for service. Both groups (Texas Orange Jackets and Chi Kappa Phi Service Society) have great mindsets about service. I appreciate learning about different ways to impact communities and exploring why we serve, who we serve and what it means to be a good citizen and community partner.”
Diebner is grateful for the unique opportunities she has experienced during her time as a member of her service societies. She cherishes her memories of the moments she has spent reading to children at Helping Hand Home.
“Through Chi Kappa Phi Service Society, I became connected to Helping Hand Home, a residential treatment center for children who have experienced abuse and neglect,” Diebner said. “During the summer after my sophomore year, I volunteered there every Friday night as a bedtime reader: I’d spend an hour or two reading my old childhood favorites, like Junie B. Jones or Where the Wild Things Are, to the youngest girls’ cottage. Being able to provide the girls with things their parents might not have been able to at the time — a sense of comfort and security as they crawled in bed at night, a magical story as they drifted off to sleep, a love for books and reading — was extra special.”
Diebner believes it is actually her dedication to social impact that has allowed her to realize her academic and professional aspirations in the business world. When she interned at McKinsey & Company as a business analyst last summer, she discovered that creative thinking skills used in business can be applied to resolving current social issues.
“Part of why I like McKinsey is because they aim to tackle the world’s most challenging problems,” Diebner said. “I think that I’ll grow tremendously from surrounding myself with such smart, driven people, and I hope that someday I’ll be able to use the lessons I learn to tackle the world’s most challenging social impact problems. I want to apply that business-minded thinking to nonprofits and socially-driven organizations around the world, helping them help more people.”
After completing her summer internship with McKinsey, Diebner has decided to accept a full-time offer to pursue a career in consulting with the firm after graduation.
Everything has neatly fallen into place for Diebner at this point in her life on the 40 Acres, but she believes she couldn’t have thrived without learning from both her successes and failures along the way.
“It’s OK to not have it all figured out yet,” Diebner said. “All the pieces will slowly fall into place … It’s OK to take time to explore random things, to dabble a little bit, to make mistakes and fail and figure things out. That’s the best way to go about finding what path is right for you.”