From Around the World to the Texas MBA Program

McCombs recently held our annual International Night! For the past 14 years, International Night, hosted by IMBASA (International MBA Student Association) & the MBA+ Leadership Program, has been the largest MBA event of the year, attracting 1000+ attendees.

Texas MBAs from all over the world shared their culture with their classmates through food, dancing, traditional games, and entertainment. Texas MBA students, staff, alumni, and their families took a break from their academic rigors to rediscover the diversity of McCombs.

Meet Some International Texas MBAs

Texas MBA student Danielle FreundDanielle Freund, MBA Class of ’18

What is your hometown country/city?
I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, the largest city in the country, home to more than 12 million people.

Why did you choose the Texas MBA Program?
There were a few factors that made me choose the Texas MBA program. The first was the McCombs brand. It is a top school, with a renowned name and a large alumni network. Also, I was lucky enough to visit most of the schools I applied to and I was able to experience and relate to the collaborative and inclusive culture of McCombs. And last but not least, who doesn’t want to live in Austin? I fell in love with the city from the moment I arrived.

What advice do you have for other international applicants interested in attending McCombs?
My advice for interested international applicants is to visit the school (if possible) and talk to current students to understand a little bit more about the culture and life at McCombs and in Austin. Also, know there are going to be difficulties, but never let that discourage you! The MBA program at McCombs is a unique experience and totally worth it.

Texas MBA student Albert ZhangAlbert Zhang, MBA Class of ’18

What is your hometown country/city?
I come from China and my hometown is Jinan, capital of the Shandong province. Prior to McCombs, I worked in Shanghai, the fantastic financial center of China.

Why did you choose the Texas MBA Program?
The MBA Investment Fund is one the most important reasons why I chose McCombs. And working in the fund for almost a year reconfirms what I thought previously. It (the Fund) is an amazing place with brilliant professor and peers, where I’ve learned how to do equity fundamental analysis and pitch my outcomes to others, and gained plenty of connections with people working in asset management. I found people here extremely friendly. When I reached out to alumni before I made the decision, they all were willing to share with me their experience, and give me their valuable advice. And when I started to look for internships and full-time jobs, I received lots of help from alums as well. You will not feel lonely in this community!

What advice do you have for other international applicants interested in attending McCombs?
I have to admit that these two years are not easy, and sometimes really tough. But this is MBA life, and it helps you adjust well for your future career. As internationals, don’t sell yourself short, because it’s a triumph when you learn a second language and a different culture. Try your best to embrace what you have and try hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Texas MBA student JoonHo SungJoonHo Sung, MBA Class of ’18

What is your hometown country/city?
I’m from Seoul, South Korea, which is one of the most dynamic cities in the world.

Why did you choose the Texas MBA Program? 
I decided to leave my safety area to challenge myself and create new ventures. Austin is the perfect city for entrepreneurs. It’s growing rapidly and offered the perfect lifestyle, and McCombs and the University of Texas at Austin fully support this entrepreneurial culture with tons of comprehensive resources. With the best research hub and engineering school, more and more technology companies, and talent coming to this city daily, Austin is the “next Silicon Valley.”  Plus, before working in the software industry, I was a rock musician and film director. Music, film, tech, and startups… How could I skip the Texas MBA and Austin?

What advice do you have for other international applicants interested in attending McCombs?
If you ask “Why McCombs?” to alumni, probably many of them will say “the people.” And this is absolutely true. I met so many nice alumni and staff from McCombs through my application process. We do care about your “goodness” as a whole person before the business professional. Meet and talk with as many people as possible to find a fit for you before making this important life decision. (Especially for us international students!) Everyone has different backgrounds and goals, and definitely there is no program that is perfect for everyone, so do your research.

Texas MBA student Upasana BhattacharyaUpasana Bhattacharya, MBA Class of ’18

What is your hometown country/city?
I was born in India, and raised in Indonesia.

Why did you choose the Texas MBA Program? 
During the application process, I visited the campus, spoke to alumni and current students, and two things stood out: The students seemed balanced – smart and laid-back – and everyone seemed invested in each other’s success. As a current student, I see this play out in alumni engagement as well; McCombs has a strong pay-it-forward culture! I also attended a core strategy class and, thanks to an open-door policy, I was able to chat with a professor in Marketing. Both of these professors taught me in my core semester. It was a deja vu moment for me! I wanted to be in a program where I could learn and evolve but stay true to myself. McCombs was where I felt I could do that, and so far, I haven’t been disappointed!

What advice do you have for other international applicants interested in attending McCombs?
This is a big investment (both time and money), so dig deep to ask yourself what you really want to accomplish and what your career goals are but remember that culture matters too! I knew the culture in McCombs was right for me based on the engagement from current students and alumni even when I was a prospective student with no ties to the school or area. You won’t be graduating with just a brand on your degree but with friends and a network you can reach out to for a lifetime. Austin will be your home-away-from home for two years, so make sure you (and your family, if they are joining you) can see yourself engaging with and building a small, and supportive community here.

Entrepreneurship at McCombs– Texas Venture Labs

The Texas MBA Program at the McCombs School of Business is located right in the middle of America’s most innovative city.  As a top entrepreneurial MBA program, Texas MBA can offer many unique resources to prepare students for new business ventures. One of the best resources for aspiring entrepreneurs at McCombs is Texas Venture Labs.

 Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) is an initiative to accelerate startups in taking their innovations to market and help entrepreneurs become leaders in business. As a Texas MBA, you’ll have access to the many resources that TVL has to offer! From pairing up with local startups for a semester-long consulting project, to having the opportunity to compete in the annual Investment Competition, TVL will help you build the skills you need to turn your idea into a success story.

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Military Community at McCombs

McCombs recognizes the value military veterans bring to our campus. Our community is one of support, collaboration, and dedication to prepare you for career success, which is why the Texas MBA is consistently a  top-ranked program for military MBAs.

Transitioning from military life to civilian life can be challenging.  An MBA degree can be a great resource for veterans to enhance their business skills and transition into a civilian role in the business community.

We Invite You to Learn More at the Texas MBA Military Forum!

The Texas MBA Military Forum offers future military MBAs the opportunity to meet many of the former military members currently enrolled in the Texas MBA Program, meet our top-rated faculty, and network with Texas MBA military alumni. Through this event, you’ll learn how to successfully transition from your military career to a top MBA program, as well as discover all of the resources available to you at The University of Texas at Austin.


The McCombs School of Business and The University of Texas at Austin offer many resources to aid in the transition into civilian life and returning to school full-time to earn your MBA. See below for some of resources available to vets enrolled at McCombs.

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How to Totally Crush Your Texas MBA Interview

From the Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions Team:

So, you’ve submitted your application and after waiting anxiously for further news, you’ve received that coveted interview invitation. First of all, take time to pat yourself on the back to have made it to this stage of the process! Receiving an interview invitation means that the Texas MBA Admissions Committee is excited to learn more about you.

However, after a few excited minutes of celebration, some questions might start popping in your head. Should I book a trip to Austin? What interview format options are there? What sort of questions will I be asked and who conducts the interview? How do I prepare for the interview?

Like anything else, your MBA interview invitation is an opportunity. While some applicants may look forward to it, others may not exactly enjoy the anxiety. If you are a member of the latter group, look at it this way: this interview can be just the thing the Admissions Committee needs to stitch together the rest of your application elements with a genuine, prepared, and poised interview performance.

The interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the application process. Seize it.

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Balancing Act: Family, Work, and Your MBA

From our Working Professional MBA staff and students:

Working professional MBA programs provide an inherent challenge – how to manage the competing priorities of work, school, and a personal life. Many wouldn’t think of adding to that mix perhaps the ultimate challenge, caring for a new baby. Nevertheless, McCombs Working Professional MBA students have shown it can be done, with the right planning, prioritizing and support network.

“There’s never a ‘right’ time to have a baby,” says Denise Xue, Texas Evening MBA Class of 2017, a financial analyst at Intel who gave birth to her son Daniel in April of 2016, during her fourth semester in the program.

Having a baby while getting an MBA is certainly not easy, but I never regret one bit. You will be extremely busy, and feel challenged both physically and emotionally, but at the same time you will also feel proud of yourself for the things that you accomplished.”

Here is some advice from Denise and other recent parents for those contemplating parenthood in combination with their Texas MBA:

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