What Diversity Means at McCombs

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Texas MBA students celebrate at the 2014 Diversity Forum. Apply for the 2015 forum on our website!

From Rene Martinez, Associate Director of Admissions, Full-Time Texas MBA Program:

Here at the McCombs School of Business we tend to brag incessantly about our awesome students. They truly are not only the smartest MBA students around, but also the kindest, most genuine, and highly capable people that we know.  But what makes them this way?

I could begin to list off their unique work backgrounds, or the interesting things they learned during their undergraduate experiences, or their innovative career plans, but while important and impressive, these lists do not really explain what makes them special. If I were to identify the defining characteristic of a McCombs student, it would be an excitement for learning and an adventurous spirit that keeps this excitement alive through adversity and change.

This characteristic is so pervasive within our student body that we work very hard to create an academic environment to support and encourage innovation, adaptation, and excitement for the unknown. We insist that our student body is as diverse as possible, so that the unknown can be found not only in the courses you take, but also in the person sitting next to you in your study group. Diversity, at its core, is opportunity: opportunity to learn, step outside yourself and grow, and to make a network that can pull you in directions that will most benefit your future. It is what makes us different, and we encourage each of our students to be themselves fully, without reservation.

No matter who you are, you can be successful at McCombs, as long as you, too, are excited about the unknown and want to grow with the people around you. 

Last summer we celebrated our 30th year of partnering with the Consortium of Graduate Study in Management (CGSM), an organization whose purpose is to promote and develop diverse MBA candidates. Our recently admitted CGSM Class of 2017 is our largest class at McCombs to date and one of the largest among member schools!

This is only one of many ways we support and promote diversity, including our Diversity and Women’s Forums, the Forte Foundation, MLT, ROMBA, National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and our many, many student organizations. Each year we are excited to see the countless ways each new student adds to the diversity we have forged over the decades McCombs has existed. We look forward to the possibility of adding your uniqueness to our community as well! Please reach out to us to learn more about how you can find your fit at McCombs.

Hook ‘Em!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Community, Full-Time MBA, Uncategorized

Texas MBA 2015-2016 Essay Questions: Admissions Guide to Introspection

From Julia Campbell, Associate Director of MBA Admissions, Full-Time Texas MBA Program:

As you think about how to approach the essays in your MBA application, consider appropriate mental theme music. Unfortunately for most, a fitting score might be the one from “Jaws”; ominous, foreboding and downright intimidating. But maybe for you it’s less scary, a bit more uplifting, full of hope, something like “Chariots of Fire” perhaps? Let’s hope. In any case, your best shot at writing strong essays is to approach them armed with insider tips from the Admissions Committee.

We read hundreds of essays. Thousands. The purpose of these essay questions is to understand why you want to attend McCombs, who you are both professionally and personally, and what goals you want to achieve while in our program and beyond. We only have two short essay questions and while it may be tempting, avoid the snooze-fest/shock-factor extremes, do us (and yourself) a favor and think hard about these answers.  Heed our advice below and tackle it while “Don’t Stop Believing” plays in the background:

ESSAY 1

  1. At The University of Texas at Austin, what starts here changes the world.  You are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2018, meeting your cohort for the first time. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, including relevant information about your personal and professional life.

Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

    1. Write an essay (250 words)
    2. Share a video introduction (one minute)
    3. Share your about.me profile

AO Advice:

You are going to need to role play a little bit. Close your eyes. Imagine you are standing in front of your new Texas MBA Class of 2018 classmates introducing yourself. You will be placed into one of four cohorts, a group of 65-70 classmates that will be your family during the core curriculum. What would you say if you only have 250 words or one-minute? First impressions are important in person and are equally important in an admissions application.

A few key things to make sure you include are a greeting or introduction, your current profession or professional identity, goals for the future, how McCombs fits in and some personal anecdotes. We want the full picture, but in a nutshell.

Also, what makes you interesting and unique are both your personal and professional interests and attributes.  Therefore, an intro that only discusses work experience, or only discusses previous life experience, is incomplete.  Give us a rounded mix, so that we better understand who you are in a more complete sense, and not only in one facet of your life.

Finally, the choice is yours: written essay, about.me page, or video.  We have seen significant success in each platform.  Therefore, play to your strengths.  If your skill is in writing, focus on the essay.  If you have a knack for creative flare, color, design and photos, then have fun with an about.me profile.  If you want to create a video and rely on your voice and video editing skills, then we are excited to see it.  In any submission, have fun with it and do not take this essay for granted—it can go a long way to setting the stage for your application as your introduction.

ESSAY 2

The McCombs School of Business is where leadership is earned.  We have an inclusive environment where our dynamic and driven students take an active role in the Texas MBA community.  Please discuss why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you, what you hope to achieve, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experience. (500 words)

AO Advice:

Love McCombs? Prove it. This is your chance to convey your passion, excitement, personality, and experience, while also addressing how that experience relates to your MBA and career goals.  By the time we read your essays, we have already seen your resume, scores and basic elements of your application.  In this answer, we need you to expand upon the bare facts, and convey to us why you are the perfect student for McCombs.

This is a dense question, lots of content. The key will be to make sure you address each section of the question individually and within the tight limit of 500 words. Below is a dissection of each part of the question to help you craft a complete answer:

  • “… why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you…”: Focus here on the words Texas MBA and you.  A vague essay is a poor essay, so give us specifics. Meditate on “how do I love McCombs, let me count the ways”, because if you’ve read our website or spoken to an admissions team member, frankly there is a LOT to love; classes, concentrations, organizations, students/alumni, professors, unique academic and career-oriented opportunities, the list goes on. So before you write your essay, I recommend you write a list of your top reasons why McCombs is total MBA perfection.  Then, make sure these specifics are mentioned to illustrate your dedication to our program. What’s the consequence of saying vague things like McCombs is “amazing” and “a great program”? First, we may question your familiarity with our school, or worse we may assume you just reused the same generic essay you used for another MBA program – yikes.
  • “… what you hope to achieve…”:  The primary difference between this portion of the prompt and the previous section is that we are asking you to clearly connect how McCombs will help you achieve your career objectives and personal goals.  Create a 5 and 10 year plan for yourself, then see what classes, organizations, and experiential opportunities that we offer specifically relate to this career plan.   Then connect the dots for us.  Essentially, we want to know what you want and how McCombs will help you get it.
  • “… how you will contribute to your classmates’ experience …”: Lastly, as you are mapping out your reasons for attending our program, also remember that we pride ourselves first and foremost on our collaborative, diverse and extremely tight-knit community.  We work very hard to find individuals excited about being a part of this community in particular, so in what ways will you contribute?  How will you give back while you are here? How can you leverage our program offerings and combine it with your skill set to propel the entire program forward. Convince us that you are indispensable to our community, and that we simply cannot live without you.

Last bit of advice. Return to classic writing techniques, a strong essay structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling and cadence.  A few common essay writing pitfalls to avoid include convoluted sentences, going off-topic, name-dropping, vague or confusing goals, citing inaccurate classes, professors, or student organizations, or calling us by any other name besides McCombs or the Texas MBA (a common mistake for people who reuse essays.)  Also, DON’T REUSE ESSAYS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS!  We can totally tell.

As always, please email us at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu if you have any other questions.  Get started early and edit, edit, edit!  Your essays can really send a strong application into orbit, so good luck, and happy applying!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Full-Time MBA

McCombs is Coming to a City Near You!


Throughout this summer and fall, current Texas MBA students & admissions staff will be traveling around the globe to meet you and answer your questions. Look out for event details and registration info soon on our off-campus events page. Events will be confirmed and added throughout the season.

Register Now for a Texas MBA Coffee Chat in Your City!

Our students will be across the United States this summer for amazing internship opportunities. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet a student for coffee in your city and learn first-hand what sets the full-time Texas MBA program apart from the rest. These informal meetings will be taking place in a variety of cities so students can directly address your questions about the program as well as the admissions process. RSVP to your chat now!.

We encourage you to stay in touch and we look forward to meeting you. See you soon!
Hook em!

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Posted in Admissions, Events, Full-Time MBA

Attend a Texas Evening MBA Summer Event!

Join us for a Texas Evening MBA admissions event this summer! Information sessions and special ice cream socials are happening in June and July.

This is your opportunity to experience the Texas MBA, chat with current students, learn about the admissions process, and get an inside look at life at McCombs!

Texas Evening & Executive MBA Info Session | June 10, 2015
Learn about the Texas Evening MBA and Texas Executive MBA programs to find out which program is right for you.

Texas Evening MBA Lunch Info Session at Cover 3 | June 17, 2015
Join admissions staff and current students for lunch to learn about the Texas Evening MBA program in a small, informal setting. Space is limited so register now!


Texas Evening MBA Summer Ice Cream Socials!

Network with current Texas MBA students and enjoy a sweet treat! We will be hosting Ice Cream Socials in June and July to give you the  opportunity to experience the program first-hand.

Hold your spot! Register now:

Register: June 23 Ice Cream Social

Register: July 7 Ice Cream Social

We encourage you to check our website for a list of all admissions events coming up throughout the summer. We look forward to meeting you soon!

 

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Posted in Admissions, Evening MBA, Events

Be Prepared for 2016: Full-Time Texas MBA Application Rounds Announced!

The 2015 Full-Time Texas MBA application is now closed. In order to help you prepare for our next admissions cycle, the 2016 Full-Time Texas MBA application deadlines are listed below. The application will open in late summer 2015 and we encourage you to learn more about our admissions process and criteria or review the Full-Time Texas MBA application webpage for more information on applying to the McCombs School of Business.

2016 Rounds Application Deadlines
First Round October 13, 2015,
Priority deadline for scholarships & fellowships
Second Round January 12, 2016
Final Round March 31, 2016

Please check back soon for the 2016 application essays announcement in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you may review the 2015 essays.

We encourage you to check out all of our upcoming admissions events for opportunities to learn more about the program, join the #WhyMcCombs conversation, or send us an email with any questions you may have.
Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Full-Time MBA

Perfecting Your Value Proposition to Get the Job You Want

Uncapped red pen sits atop resume, ready to perfect it to get the job you want.

Uncapped red pen sits atop resume, ready to perfect it to get the job you want.

You’ve just found your “dream job” posted online. Now, you’re rushing to submit your resume in hopes of being called for an interview. But, when you push the “submit” button, your stomach churns as you wonder “Will they see what they are looking for? Were my resume and cover letter compelling enough?”

If you’ve ever applied for a job that you knew was perfect for you, but never received a reply, then these tips are meant for you. Developing and perfecting a strong “value proposition” – what you uniquely have to offer a company – is the most important Read more ›

Posted in Career, MBA+ Program

Texas MBA Spring Semester Recap

The end of the academic year is approaching! Congratulations, Class of 2015!
It’s time to look back at some highlights from Texas MBAs this past semester & some of the great reasons #WhyMcCombs:

Omar Garza & Tenaj Ferguson, 2015 TVL Scholarship winners

Congratulations to Omar Garza & Tenaj Ferguson, 2015 TVL Scholarship winners!

Congratulations TVL Scholarship Winners!

This year’s TVL Scholarship Competition Semi-Finals & Finals were held on February 20th. 16 presenters gave their pitch to a panel of judges in hopes of winning the scholarship. Each TVL Scholarship is worth up to $174,000!

Full scholarships were awarded to 1st place and “Best Presenter” winner, Tenaj Ferguson, for Lady Epicure Gourmet all-natural frozen bars & 2nd place winner, Omar Garza, for YouRefund, a tax fraud prevention app. 3rd place was awarded to Phil Trench for VacayBuddy & 4th place was awarded to Patrick Zhang for Concertleaf.

 

Texas MBA '15 & Food Fortunes contestant, Courtney Leffall

Texas MBA ’15 & Food Fortunes contestant, Courtney Leffall

Texas MBA ’15 & The Grillmobile Land a Deal on Food Fortunes!

Texas MBA & 2013’s TVL Scholarship winner, Courtney Leffall, featured his Grillmobile on Food Network’s Food Fortunes in March. Along with his father, Leffall pitched his idea to a panel of judges. After 90% of the audience voted to purchase the product, they landed an investor! This episode of Food Fortunes aired on March 30th.

 

UT Tower lit up burnt orange

Lighting up the Tower for McCombs wins May 12th!

McCombs’ Wins Light up the UT Tower!

On May 12th the UT tower will be lit in honor of McCombs TWO big wins this year:

National Energy Finance Challenge
Sixteen teams from business schools across the country competed in the 9th annual National Energy Finance Challenge this fall and the team from the Texas MBA won for the 4th time in the last 5 years!

Net Impact Graduate Chapter of the Year
The Net Impact community at McCombs focuses on corporate responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability in the business world. This year, the McCombs chapter was named graduate chapter of the year!

Texas MBA staff & student show the "Hook Em" at the Texas MBA Booth at SXSW Trade Show

Hook ‘Em! At the Texas MBA Booth at this year’s SXSWi

 

The Texas MBA at SXSW

The Texas MBA kicked off SXSW this year with a hugely successful Entrepreneurship Night! Current & prospective Texas MBAs mingled with SXSW attendees, local entrepreneurs, and McCombs  faculty & alumni. The Texas MBA also had a booth at the SXSWi Trade Show. We showcased all we have to offer and chatted with people from around the globe about the value proposition of the Texas MBA. We are already looking forward to next year and hope to see you there!

 

The future home of the Texas MBA – Rowling Hall!

Rowling Hall Update

Construction on the future site of the Texas MBA, Rowling Hall, began last fall and is making progress! The new building, next to the AT&T Executive conference center, will open in Spring 2017. Rowling Hall will be the “launch pad” for projects between the school’s students & alumni, and the wider Austin business community. Stand-out features will be the new active learning classrooms!

 

Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Community, Students

The Texas MBA: A Career Enhancer for Working Professionals

Whether you are looking to change careers, explore new opportunities, or start your own business venture, the Texas MBA has a part-time program to help you get there. The Texas Evening MBA, the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, the Texas MBA at Houston, and the Texas Executive MBA are all flexible, part-time MBA programs that allow you to pursue your degree while continuing to work full-time. The FINAL application deadline for our Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Executive programs is May 12th! Apply Now.

For those seeking opportunities for advancement within their current profession, check out what some of our current students, graduating this spring, had to say about “Career Enhancement” in the Texas MBA:

Raven Honsaker, Dallas MBA ’15

Texas MBA student, RavenBackground: BS Mechanical Engineering , West Virginia University; BS Aerospace Engineering , West Virginia University 7 years; Engineering, Bell Helicopter

Employment:
Bell Helicopter 2013  Business Ventures Specialist (April 2014  Promoted to Manager, Business Optimization)
Coming from the engineering world and moving into strategy  development, I was looking for a more formal education in business.  The courses I have taken through the Texas MBA program have helped me immensely. I have yet to go through a semester without learning a concept in class that is directly applicable to a new project I’ve been assigned at work.”
 

Laura Handley, Houston MBA ’15

Background: Texas MBA student, LauraB.A. Political Science,  Texas A&M; 1.5 years – Maersk Line, Sales Support Specialist; 1 year – Foxconn, Business Analyst (supply chain); 3 years at M&H, HR Recruiter

Employment:
Started at Noble Energy (June 2014) in Talent Acquisition
Moved to new role at Noble Energy (Jan 2015) as a Global Mobility Advisor
My pursuit of an MBA brought a lot more credibility to my resume when I was trying to make a switch to a larger company. Thanks to both my experience in the MBA program, I was able to move into a top notch HR department and then make a change to a more analytical HR role reporting under the compensation group.”

Ben Kleckley, Houston MBA ’15

Texas MBA student, BenBackground: B.S. Agriculture Systems Management, Texas A&M; Undergrad Intern at HEB Distribution Center 4 years; IT consulting; Accenture
Employment:
KPMG, Senior Associate, Strategy Group (anticipated start date: July 2015)
Involvement at McCombs:
Graduate Business Council, President
Consulting Club, Member & Supporter

Sarah Matt, Evening MBA ’15 Texas MBA student, Sarah

Background: BS Biology, Cornell University; MD, SUNY Upstate Medical University; Surgery Training, Washington Hospital Center
Employment:
Started September 2012  Attending Physician Mobile Doctors; Started Nov 2013  NextGen Healthcare, Physician Director of Clinical Content; April 2014  NextGen Healthcare – Sr. Dir. of Clinical Product Management
“Going through the Texas MBA program gave me the confidence to move from medical practice to software.  It has been a big jump, but now I manage a large team and am doing more of the strategy work I enjoy.  I use my MD and my MBA every day.
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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Career, Students

Welcome New Full-Time Admitted Students & Congrats, Soon-to-be-Grads!

UT graduation

University-wide Commencement events and ceremonies are May 22-23, 2015

Graduation for our Texas MBA Class of 2015 is only one month away! The “home stretch” is always a bitter-sweet time for McCombs students, since they are such a valued and dynamic part of the Texas MBA, but also eager to jump into the new ventures their future holds. The program is changed for the better because of their time here and we are proud of their hard work and accomplishments over the past 2 years and the legacy they will continue as new Texas MBA alumni. Congratulations, Class of 2015!

This time of year also means we are welcoming the newest members of the Texas MBA network: The newly admitted Class of 2017!

Texas Saturday & Preview Weekend Recap

Current MBA Students on the football field for Texas Saturday. Hook 'Em!

Current Texas MBAs on the football field to “kick-off” Texas Saturday

The Texas MBA hosts two events in the spring for newly admitted students: Texas Saturday and Preview Weekend.

During Texas Saturday in February and Preview Weekend in April, new Texas MBAs explore the Texas MBA program and the McCombs School of Business, meet future classmates, current students and alumni, interact with faculty and administration, learn about the diversity of McCombs, and enjoy a beautiful weekend in Austin!

This is a great opportunity for new Full-Time MBAs to get to know the Austin community and what life as a McCombs student holds for them. Through the summer and fall, we look forward to getting to know these new MBAs as they begin their Texas MBA journey.

 

Congrats, Class of 2017 – Welcome to McCombs!

Current Texas MBA students hold welcome signs up for new MBAs

 

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Community, Full-Time MBA, Students

Meet Your Admissions Officer: Dallas/Fort Worth

From Dave Jackson, Senior Admissions Officer, Texas MBA Dallas/Fort Worth Program:

It’s Good to be Back

Dave Jackson, Texas MBA Admissions Officer - Dallas/Fort Worth

Texas MBA Senior Admissions Officer, Dave Jackson

Hi everyone. I’m the new MBA admissions officer for the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, but I’m no stranger to the program. I graduated from the DFW program in 2010. The two years I spent in the program were a transformative experience for me, providing me with the broad business exposure to enhance my career in corporate communications. I was excited to return to the McCombs School of Business to help give similar opportunities to others. And I have spent my first month on the job immersing myself in the admissions cycle – recruiting prospective students at both university and company-sponsored events, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates – to shape the Class of 2017 here in DFW.

Several things have changed in the five years since I left the program. Most notably, the campus and the residency hotel are both different. The curriculum has undergone a significant review, with changes made to allow working professional students to graduate at the same time as our full-time MBA students. We have greatly expanded the MBA-Plus programs to broaden students’ skills outside the classroom.

But many things have not changed. The faculty is still top-notch, with many of the professors the same ones who taught me and the new ones of the same high caliber I remember. The curriculum challenges you to bring your best effort to each class and project, and provides you with information and inspiration to apply when you return to work on the Mondays after class weekends.

And the students continue to bring a blend of diverse work and academic backgrounds and a collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit that enables everyone to maximize the value of their MBA experience. They seed the relationships that become their personal and professional network for many years to come. The Texas MBA is about what you put into the program, and in return you get much more than three letters.

As I get to know the Classes of 2015 and 2016 and as we build the Class of 2017, I’m confident the program’s most important component – its people – remains its best component. Getting to know them has been my greatest reward in returning to McCombs.

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Community, MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth
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