Texas MBA Holiday News

happy holidays_texasmba-01

No matter what your plans this winter break, the Texas MBA would like to wish you a safe and happy last few weeks of 2014! We had an awesome fall semester and all-around great 2014. Our hard-working students and staff made this year one of the best ever. We have a few final announcements before we say, “See you in 2015!”:

Holiday Hours: The Texas MBA Program Office will be closed from Monday December 22nd, 2014 through Friday, January 2, 2015. 
Please contact us – [email protected] with any questions you anticipate before December 22nd if possible, as we will not be available during closed hours.

Application Deadlines: For many, the holiday break from work can be a great time to sit down and put those final touches on your application.  As a reminder, our next application deadlines are:
January 6, 2015 – Full-Time Texas MBA Round 2 Deadline (This is the final deadline for all international applicants)
January 28, 2015  - Texas Evening MBA Early Decision Deadline for priority consideration for January 2016 start.
March 3, 2015 – Next Round Deadline for all Texas MBA Working Professional Programs. This includes the Texas Evening MBA, the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, the Texas MBA at Houston, and the Texas Executive MBA programs.

Spring Events: Don’t forget to plan your spring visit to McCombs to see all the Texas MBA has to offer! Check out our upcoming events webpage to register now and reserve your spot to meet us.

Happy Holidays! See you in 2015!

Sincerely,
Texas MBA Admissions Team

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Community

Full-Time MBA Admissions: Round 1 Decision Update & Round 2 Deadline Approaching

From Rodrigo Malta, Director of Texas MBA Admissions:

Hello from Texas MBA Admissions!  I have not contributed to our blog in a while, and given that our second Full-Time MBA application deadline is quickly approaching, I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you.

We are excited to have kicked off the admissions cycle with a very strong Full-Time MBA Round 1 that saw an increase in both the quantity and quality of applications! For Round 1, we have received over 700 applications from 40+ countries. As we conclude the review of our first round, I also wanted to let you know that we are on track to release admissions decisions by December 18th.  For these applicants, mark your calendar for February 7th, as this is the date for our Texas Saturday Event for Admitted Students right here in Austin. More info on this highly-anticipated event will be available soon!

If you are applying to our Round 2 in January, you are at the home stretch!! Here are some fantastic blog entries to help you complete your application:

Understanding the 2015 Essay QuestionsUnderstanding the 2015 Essays Leveraging the 3rd PersonLetters of Recommendation The Road to McCombsThe Roads to McCombs You’ve Got Application Questions, We’ve Got AnswersTips on the Application

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at [email protected] and we encourage you to check out our many upcoming events.
We look forward to meeting you soon!

Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Full-Time MBA

Rowling Hall Cafe Naming Competition WINNER

From our Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Eric Hirst:

I’d like to be the first one to say to you, when Rowling Hall opens in Spring 2017, I invite you to “meet me at the Moontower.”

As you may know, we broke ground for Rowling Hall on Friday, November 7th. It’s an exciting time for Texas MBA andBreaking ground on Rowling Hall MSTC programs.

Rowling Hall is designed to bring together overlapping communities of students, faculty, staff, alumni, recruiters, business leaders, and thought leaders from across campus and around the world. In Rowling Hall, these communities will have the opportunity for spontaneous collaboration, purposeful interaction, sharing ideas and networking.  People will come to the building to collaborate, present their ideas, play and be inspired. We’ll have innovative classroom and study space. We’ll showcase the intellectual capital generated by McCombs students, faculty, and alums. We’ll highlight the experiential learning opportunities of our community and we’ll attract the very best minds to our programs.

The café will be an important hub of activity for the building, offering healthy, diverse options for eating, caffeinating and relaxing in the evening with a beer/wine bar. We have planned the cafe to encourage collaboration and spontaneous interaction. Ideas that “change the world” will be hatched in that space.

Donors Susie and Kenny Jastrow provided a generous gift for the project’s community café. Not only did the Jastrows generously help fund the project, they asked current students to have a lasting impact on the new building by naming the cafe.  The Jastrows offered to reward the winning idea with a prize of a full year’s tuition!

After a rigorous process, we have reached the conclusion of our Café Naming Competition!  It has been a great ride.  We began with 127 entries for the name from students from each of our programs (Full-time, Dallas, Houston, Evening, Executive, Mexico and MSTC).  The Naming Committee narrowed the list down to the top 30.  Students from all programs voted for the Top 5 names.  On Monday, December 1st, finalists gathered for the pitch party.

Moontower 

The name “Moontower” establishes the café as a meeting spot, it pays homage to the cultural history of Austin as well as the iconic tower of the University of Texas. 

The City of Austin erected the Moonlight towers in 1894 as a way to light up multiple blocks at the same time.  The Moonlight towers made streets safer and made citizens more comfortable.  The State of Texas recognized the towers in 1970 as State Landmarks, and the City embarked on restoration projects for the 100 year anniversary in 1995.  

As Austin has developed and grown into a first-tier, international city, a few moontowers have been removed, but their importance as icons of old-Austin is evident through the preservation efforts which seek to reinstate them where possible. Culturally, Moon towers used to serve as safe meeting points for young people to interact and have fun.  The café should serve this purpose in Rowling Hall.   

As the McCombs School continues to gain prominence on campus and around the world, we need to further embrace the rest of University.  A Moontower provides light for blocks around it, and our school needs to continue to be a place of enlightenment.  A Moontower attracts people like a beacon, and we need to continue to bring people together.  Our new building and café will serve these purposes, and should have a name that fits: Moontower.

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

Texas MBA Fall Semester Recap

The end of the year is approaching, so it’s time to look back at some of the highlights so far from our outstanding students and alums this semester. These are just a few great reasons #WhyMcCombs:

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Socially-minded MBA student members of McCombs Net Impact – Graduate Chapter of the Year!


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. The mission of Net Impact is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

 

 

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Texas MBA alum, Brian Williams (left of center), accepts the $10,000 cash award for his Whiteboard Challenge win

 

Purchase Black Wins Innovation Whiteboard Challenge

McCombs alum, Brian Williams took home the top prize at this year’s National Black MBA Association Inc.‘s Whiteboard Challenge. His company, PurchaseBlack.com, was one of 3 finalists. Williams pitched to a panel of several successful entrepreneurs and investors about his company, which promotes African-American owned business in an e-marketplace. He took home top honors and a cash prize of $10,000.

 

UT Tower lit up burnt orangeMcCombs Wins 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! This challenge is a unique learning experience for students in which they focus on real-life financial issues in the energy industry. The competition connected MBA students to corporate executives and recruiters from world-renowned companies.

BRAD SCHULTZ, AMY STEADMAN, JUSTIN FENCHEL (BEATBOX BEVERAGES)

Texas MBA alums Brad Schultz, Amy Steadman & Justin Fenchel of Beatbox beverages wow Mark Cuban on Shark Tank for their million dollar deal!

Texas MBA Alums Secure Million Dollar Deal 

Austin-based, Texas MBA powered start-up, Beatbox Beverages struck a deal with business mogul Mark Cuban on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank in October. For one third stake in the company, Cuban invested one million dollars.
The three Texas MBA alums impressed the panel of judges with their entrepreneurial know-how and their clear strategy for the future of their company to ensure continued success. Beatbox has definitely been “booming” since the show aired.

 

Rowling Hall groundbreaking

Breaking new ground: (left to right) Associate Dean, Eric Hirst, Dean, Tom Gilligan, Robert Rowling, President Powers, and GBC President Maureen McCaffery

Groundbreaking of Rowling Hall, the Future home of the Texas MBA

Construction on the future site of the Texas MBA, Rowling Hall, began on November 7th. The new building, next to the AT&T Executive conference center, will welcome students in 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 and the close proximity to event & work spaces.

 

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Texas MBAs. Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Alumni, Blog, Community, Students

2014 Texas MBA Diversity Forum Recap

The 2014 Texas MBA Diversity Forum was this past weekend, November 14-15, at the McCombs School of Business. The Texas MBA hosted 43 attendees from all over the world, as well as alumni, admissions staff, and current students. Future MBAs had the opportunity to get to know the program through class presentations, information sessions, and networking receptions.

Texas MBA Diversity Forum 2014 Co-Chairs

2014 Diversity Forum Co-Chairs (left to right): Ryan Flaharty, MBA ’16, Rashna Gummattira, MBA ’15, Courtney Leffall, MBA ’15

Highlights from this year’s forum included the “Why Texas?” presentation from Assistant Dean of the Full-Time Program, Tina Mabley, in which she discussed all attributes of Austin’s charm, from its innovative culture to its beautiful weather, outdoor spaces, and thriving arts and music scene. A Master Class presentation by marketing professor Stephen Walls prompted discussions about McCombs’ award-winning faculty and dynamic academic environment. Attendees also learned about student life through interactions with members of current student organizations.

Diversity Forum co-chair Rashna Gummattira, MBA ’15 with alum Roshan Gummattira, MBA ’08

The annual Texas MBA Diversity Forum is always a highly-anticipated, exciting event for prospective students. If you were not able to attend the Diversity Forum this year, check out some of the other events happening on campus to find something that fits your schedule. We hope to see you soon!

Attendees of 2014 Texas MBA Diversity Forum

Texas MBA’s in attendance (left to right) Back Row: Adrian Rizo, MBA ’10, Frankie Arvelo, MBA ’14, Roshan Gummattira, MBA ’08, Front Row: Courtney Leffall, MBA ’15, Kirk Pilliner, MBA ’14, Rachel Callahan, MBA’08, Rashna Gummattira, MBA’15

Hook ‘Em!

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International Students Talk: The Road to McCombs and Texas

McCombs is proud of its diverse community. This week we’re highlighting some of our international students from around the globe! Check out what they have to say about Austin, McCombs, and the advice they’d like to share with future international applicants.

To learn more about the Texas MBA program, admissions events, and application information, please visit the Texas MBA website.

Texas MBA Student Faraha Kukkady

 Name: Farrah
 City of Origin: Bangalore, India

 Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? I wanted a school that was into social  impact and also has a strong entrepreneurship program. I also had the fortune of visiting the  school before applying and I loved the reception I received. It was a fit right away! And Austin  has a great music scene which is a bonus!

 Any advice for others from India thinking about attending McCombs? McCombs has a lot of hidden gems which I discovered after I joined the program. I would advise speaking to as many students and alums as you can to understand how McCombs can help you achieve your goals.

 

Texas MBA Student ShinName: Shin
City of Origin: Seoul, South Korea

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? I knew alumni from McCombs and they recommended I apply because it is an amazing school. The community is friendly, diverse and open to new-comers.

Any advice for others from South Korea thinking about attending McCombs? McCombs has so many hands-on opportunities, like MBA+, which will prepare you for any business environment in your future. Austin also has great weather and friendly people!

 

Texas MBA Student Martin Cantu Name: Martin
 City of Origin: Monterrey, Mexico

 Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? Texas MBA is a top MBA program that sets itself apart from other business schools. McCombs has a unique, friendly culture which helps anyone make the best of their program. A “pay it forward” attitude prevails in every McCombs student and alum. With the help of these networks, any goal seems feasible, and with Austin, a friendly, awesome city, included in the decision-making process, the choice becomes a no-brainer!

 Any advice for others from Mexico thinking about attending McCombs? Come to Austin to meet the McCombs community! You will learn about the program, meet the admissions team, get to know current students and their experiences, and get advice on the future steps you need to take with your application (Take advantage of this opportunity, students want to help!) You will soon realize that the Texas MBA is the program you are looking for.

 

Texas MBA Student XiaopingName: Xiaoping
City of Origin: Shanghai, China

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? First, McCombs offers a customizable schedule that can be tailored to my personal goals. I can dive deep into the Corporate Finance Concentration and the MBA+ Program, to convert learning into action. Second, I appreciate the culture, diversity and collaborative community of McCombs and UT. My cohorts at McCombs are community leaders with diversified backgrounds. Learning from their valuable thoughts and experiences can inspire me to think more deeply about my career goals, life philosophy, and my contributions to society.

Any advice for others from China thinking about attending McCombs? I did a lot of research to choose McCombs, and after arriving here, things are far beyond my expectations! I really enjoy the down-to-earth culture. Most Chinese applicants do not know much about Austin and Texas. Texas’s current economic situation is the best among all the states in the US. More and more companies, especially the high-tech companies, are moving into Texas for this reason. Austin  is a fast-growing city and the people here are nice and warm and you can enjoy the city life as well as the great natural scenes.

 

Texas MBA Student Arjun Dhand

 Name: Arjun
 City of Origin: Dehradun, India

 Why did you choose the Texas MBA program?  I  was looking for an MBA Program which would allow me to leverage my background in energy as well as provide world class education and professional opportunities. McCombs was therefore my top choice!

 Any advice for others from India thinking about attending McCombs? Spend a lot of time reflecting on your experiences, professional, academic and generally in life. Find a theme in your experiences and tie them to your story. It’s YOUR story, no one can tell it better than you, and McCombs is a great place to do that.

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2014 Texas MBA Women’s Forum Recap

On October 24-25, the Texas Full-Time MBA program hosted their annual Women’s Forum at the McCombs School of Business here at UT Austin. The forum is always a highly-anticipated event for the Texas MBA, and this year was one of the best yet!

Texas MBA Women's Forum 2014 Co-Chairs

2014 Women’s Forum Co-Chairs (left to right): Elaine Yeh, MBA ’16, Rebecca Linn, MBA ’15, Laurie Shults, MBA ’15

57 attendees had the opportunity to interact with McCombs faculty and staff, alumni, and current students during a number of informative sessions and networking receptions, allowing them to learn more about all aspects of the program and begin to picture themselves as Texas MBAs.

Attendees of 2014 Texas MBA Women's Forum

Texas MBA’s in attendance (left to right) Standing Row: Jennifer Thomas, MBA ‘16, Nicole Velasquez, MBA ‘15, Nikki Meo, MBA ’15, Caitlin Miller, MBA ‘16, Flavia de la Fuente, MBA ‘15, Front Row: Rebecca Linn, MBA ‘15
Laurie Shults, MBA ‘15, Jamie Sutton, TVL Venture Partner, Christie Sutton, MBA ‘15,

The event brought in attendees from all over the country seeking to see highlights of life in McCombs and Austin. Texas, California, New York, D.C., Florida and Illinois were the most represented states among those in attendance. Alma maters besides UT Austin were also represented, including UCLA, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Duke, and Yale.

 

Professor Srinivasan of the Texas MBA program

Texas MBA Program Professor, Raji Srinivasan

“It was a wonderful and large group of young women, who
were excited to learn about the McCombs MBA program, University of Texas at Austin, and Austin! There was animated discussion about the challenges of coming back to school, especially for women, and issues related to career switching. I enjoyed speaking to them and learning about their career goals and aspirations! This is a great group of prospective MBA students and I look forward to seeing many of them in Fall next year.”           Professor Raji Srinivasan

If you were not able to attend the Women’s Forum this year, check out some of the other events happening on campus. We hope to see you soon!

 

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

McCombs Team Wins National Energy Finance Challenge (Again!)

Last week McCombs hosted the 9th annual National Energy Finance Challenge, and we are proud to announce a team of Texas MBA students took home the victory! Sixteen teams from business schools across the country competed in this year’s event. This is the 4th time McCombs has taken the top spot in 5 years.

The National Energy Finance Challenge is a business case competition focused on real-life finance issues within the energy industry. The purpose of the event is to bring corporate executives and recruiters from world-renowned companies with links to the energy industry into contact with the very best MBA students from around the country, and to provide a unique learning experience for the students involved.

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It’s time to light the UT Tower again in honor of the team’s national win

Congratulations to the McCombs team! This year featured two 2nd years students: Kirk Sisco & Juong Park, and three 1st year students: Eric Franco, Kyle Gabb & Robert Buckwalter.

Thank  you to Cody Evans, Nate Grady, and the Energy Finance Group officers and volunteers for organizing and hosting this year’s National Energy Finance Challenge. Hook ‘em!

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The MBA Admissions Interview: How to Totally Crush It

 We’ve all been there.  Despite all the preparations, research and rehearsals, you find yourself nervous about your MBA Admissions interview.  While this isn’t technically a job interview, you may do well to treat it like one.  An MBA Admissions interview is a very important part of your overall application and ultimately one of the first steps towards your post-MBA life.

At the Texas MBA program, interviews are by invitation only and can come at any time during the application Round.  While some applicants may look forward to the opportunity to interview, others may not exactly enjoy the anxiety thereby engendered. If you are a member of the latter group, look at it this way: the interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the application process, so here are a few ways you can take advantage:

  1. Don’t be on time – be early: Arriving early is interviewing 101, yet it still manages to falter even the most prepared of candidates.  Arriving early is even more critical if you’ve never been to campus or navigated UT parking before.
  2. “What was the question again?”:  You’d be surprised how many times at the end of an applicant’s long-winded answer we are asked to repeat the original question.  Most often this happens to people who try to cram too much into the first answer for fear of not being given an opportunity later on to address that well-rehearsed example.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to it!  Plus, sometimes there is an opportunity at the end of an interview to mention anything we didn’t address in the formal line of questioning.
  3. Loosen Up: Given our program’s famously friendly culture, our interviews are relatively informal.  If you still find yourself nervous, practice your answers in front of a mirror, a friend or a willing stranger and ask them how you did; did you answer the question? Did you rush through it?  Take a moment to outline your answer in your mind first, and then address it calmly and confidently.  Don’t get tooooo comfortable, though.  While we’re an easy-going bunch, maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism is always a good idea.
  4. Know what we’re looking for: We listen for confidence, clear and concise communication of career goals, concrete examples of teamwork and leadership, in-depth knowledge of our MBA program, and overall genuine enthusiasm.  Also, the interview can be a place to showcase secondary skills that are difficult for us to determine solely based on your application: interview skills, self-awareness, communication style, and “hire-ability”.
  5. Know your audience: If you are invited to interview for the Texas MBA program, you have three options: On-Campus with an Admissions Officer or current student, Off-Campus with alumni or Admissions Officer in select cities, or via Skype with an Admissions Officer or current student.  Remember the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference for how or who you interview with, just as long as you prepare depending on your audience.
  6. Come with questions: A good list of questions can illustrate a few key things about a candidate: you’ve done your research, you care about our program, you have envisioned yourself as an MBA and you can formulate thoughts under pressure.  Don’t overdo it, though.  We usually leave anywhere from 10-15 minutes for questions, so limit your list to 2-3 good ones maximum and have a few backups.

While our interviewing style is admittedly less intense than corporate recruiters and some other MBA programs, don’t let our laid-back attitude fool you.  The Admissions Committee uses the interview as a way to add character, depth and spirit to your written application, so keep these tips in mind to ensure a positive outcome.  Good luck!

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Admissions Events: How to Leave a Lasting Impression

On the scale of big life decisions, deciding to get your MBA is up there.  It’s been a long road for you already, working full-time to gain valuable real-life work experience, aligning your finances, listening to countless professionals with MBA’s under their belts tout their own experiences.  Now, it’s your turn.  But, what’s the first step? 

Go to a Texas MBA Admissions Event and start networking.

Admissions Events provide an opportunity for prospective students to meet school representatives such as alumni, current students and admissions staff to learn about the program.  These events can take place in your local area, such as Coffee Chats where current Texas MBA students share their experiences over a casual cup of joe.  For a more formal setting, an MBA Fair is a great place to meet with admissions reps, compare schools and practice your networking skills.  A wise choice for gauging the classroom environment and faculty character would be to attend a Class Visit.  Another on-campus favorite is an Information Session where you learn specifics about the program and can enjoy lunch with a student and/or attend a quick tour of our facility.  For a more specific recruitment opportunity, you can apply to attend the Women’s Forum or the Diversity Forum (these fun and information-filled weekend events are for prospective students committed to enhancing diversity in business schools and management and provide targeted info on the Texas MBA program.)  Can’t make it to campus at all?  A McCombs Roadshow brings the Dean, admissions and career management reps to you in select major cities.  Or, if you’re really off the grid, take advantage of our helpful Online Events such as pre-deadline admissions chats and recorded webinars.

But how do you make a lasting impression when presumably there will be lots of prospective students with similar goals at these events?  Easy.  Be yourself and be memorable. 

BE YOURSELF

Mr. Rogers had it right: be true to yourself.  Being genuinely “you” is a major factor of the elusive qualification of “fit” that Admissions Committees look for.  We can’t get an accurate picture of how you’ll fit into the academic environment, student culture and professional network if you aren’t being yourself.  Let your personality shine through; are you professional yet quirky?  Or soft-spoken with a quick wit?  Share your story as you would with a new friend, as almost all school representatives will try and picture you in their minds as a future fellow Longhorn.  This shouldn’t be hard, as Longhorns are famously easy to talk to.  And don’t forget to use your description of yourself to demonstrate your knowledge of the program, student organizations and ways you intend to get involved.

BE MEMORABLE

Instead of going for the extreme interpretation of being memorable by going for “shock-factor” (although in admissions we deal with our fair-share of TMI), provide a quick and unique fact about yourself as a part of your introduction: Grew up on a family farm? An energy trader that speaks 7 languages?  A daytime CFA moonlighting as a tech-savvy entrepreneur?  These are all totally valuable and memorable nuggets of info to share with us; just as long as you’re able to tie it all back to getting your MBA within the 30 second timeframe of an elevator speech.   Months later when we’re reading your application, we’ll say to ourselves, “Ah yes, that lovely fellow who wants his MBA in Entrepreneurship to market his invention of silent Velcro” and boom.  You are memorable.

What else wins us over?

  • Do your research 
  • Ask questions beyond the FAQs on the website
  • Tell us about a Texas MBA alumnus you know
  • Ask how you can be involved in our community

Conversely, a few obvious no-no’s:

  • Don’t forget our school’s name or how to pronounce it
  • Don’t ask about scholarships right off the bat (it sends the wrong message).  We’ll get to it!
  • Don’t ask “what’s my chance of getting in?” after talking with us for 5 minutes (there are many factors which impact admissions decisions – read about our holistic application review)
  • Don’t forget to register to receive program information, admissions updates and future event info.

So, you’re ready to attend your first Texas MBA Admissions Event armed with the above tips and tricks to make the most of it.  If you’ve learned anything from being in the workforce in the last decade, you know relationships and impressions are just as important as who you are on paper, and the same is true for meeting your dream MBA program.  It starts with the first (and hopefully lasting) impression. 

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