Former MBA Student Association President Leaves Mark on MBA Program

Many students pass through the Mason MBA program each year taking away new skills and experiences, but only a few make a lasting impact on the program for future students to come. Ruxandra Arustei, MBA ’11 was one student who did just that.

As a full-time student, Arustei had the time and drive to do something more special with her time at Mason. During her second semester in the program, she took advantage of her position as MBA Student Association (MBASA) president to revamp the association and enhance the MBA experience for her fellow classmates.

Arustei says, “I was able to initiate some great projects focused on expanding the class room to Wall Street, creating strong bonds

Ruxandra Arustei ’11

within the Mason MBA network and also building strong friendships through social events.”

She says all this could not have been done without the support of faculty and staff.

Paige Wolf, director of graduate programs and associate professor of management at George Mason University School of Business, remembers Arustei as an engaged student and community builder among her MBA colleagues. She says, “We are proud to have Ruxandra as an alumna. She was a leader in the MBA student association and the events she designed are still carried on today including the New York Residency and MBA picnic.”

The New York Residency program for MBA students has grown into a signature event for the program. The optional trip is arranged by the MBASA president who coordinates with the MBA staff to make all arrangements. The program kicks off with an alumni happy hour in Manhattan, followed by a visit to the New York stock exchange the next day and multiple visits to companies located in downtown New York.

Today, Arustei is the director of financial analysis at Crescent Hotels and Resorts, one of the highest ranking independent, third-party operators of hotels and resorts in the United States and Canada. She works both in operations and investment analysis finding ways to improve the profitability of a portfolio of 80+ hotels and supporting investors through the due diligence and underwriting of hotel deals they pursue.

An international student from Romania, Arustei chose Mason based on its location in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the financial value of the program, and the flexibility and diversity she found there.

“Mason is a very diverse and open environment, focused on the development of students both through education and professional skills,” she says. “It’s a great place to learn, not only based on curriculum, but from peers and very capable and knowledgeable professors.

“It’s a combination of high standards, diversity, flexibility and value.”

Arustei has maintained relationships with classmates and professors including Wolf who has called on her former student to share her experiences in the MBA program at information sessions with prospective students.

“Every day at work there’s a challenge that requires certain knowledge or skills, that, fortunately I’ve acquired through the Mason MBA,” says Arustei. “There’s no doubt that all the hard work put in all the classwork has paid off.

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Rebecca Diemer

I serve as the associate director for MBA Programs at George Mason University's School of Business.

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