15:36 PM

'You are the only limitation!' Alumna says her time at UHCL was 'empowering'

Written by: Cynthia Anaya

University of Houston-Clear Lake is proud to have alumni who have contributed to their community outside of Texas as well as outside the country. Annabel Dixon is one such alumna. After earning her MBA in International Business and Master of Science in Finance in 2006, she held two positions at large oil companies in Doha, Qatar. One was as a business performance consultant and the other was as a senior business advisor/team manager/project manager from  2014-2016.

Dixon has more than 24 years of experience concentrated in business operations and program management, with 14 years of mid-level management experience. Currently, she works at General Motors as the sustainability coordinator for China and Europe. In this role, she serves as the subject matter expert in the U.S. on China and Europe’s overall environmental, social, and governance (ESG) status, targets, and interpretation of policies and central government direction.

Bringing international experience to the U.S.

Her decision to pursue her MBA at UH-Clear Lake stemmed from her time working in China, where she was born. “I moved to the U.S. in April 2002 and lived in the Clear Lake area,” she said. “I had 10 years of international experience in the management of major capital projects in China, but I felt I was hitting the career ceiling with limited business training. I only had a B.A. in English Literature and Language in China. I admired the people who had MBAs; it seems they were very decisive in business decisions as corporation managers.” 

She began taking MBA courses and became especially interested in finance. Although a friend of hers questioned her decision to pursue an MBA in the U.S. as an immigrant, her family was very supportive because of her work history which included working with diverse teams. Their encouragement fueled her decision to study international business at UHCL.

Empowering students to achieve their goals

She said that her time at UHCL gave her a sense of empowerment, which is a key factor in what keeps her connected to the university. “I felt UHCL empowered me not only with the degrees, but the methodologies that helped me solve the practical issues in the real corporate world,” she said. “My education at UHCL empowered me to be a much stronger and confident business professional.”

She also credits her professors and other UHCL alumni for sharing their inspirational stories as students, and she hopes to inspires others in the same way. “I would like to share my experience from the real world with students to help them envision their future career path,” she said.

In addition to her academic and career accomplishments, Dixon has also inspired others on a personal level. She ran her first marathon in Houston when she was 44, followed by another five the same year, including the 2013 Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day. Although the tragic events of that day shook the nation, she didn’t let it stop her from completing the MS 150 bike ride from Houston to Austin later that month. The following year, she ran nearly a dozen ultra-marathons ranging from 31 miles to 100 miles. As Dixon said to UHCL students in one of her speeches, ”You are the only limitation!”

Her achievements before, during, and after her time as a UHCL student serve as a testament of how the university can contribute to a student’s overall success in every aspect of life.

For more information about UHCL's MBA programs, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/business-administration-mba.