Student Spotlight: Elsa Wright, MBA at Houston Class of 2021

When Texas McCombs MBA at Houston student, Elsa Wright, has a goal, she meets it. While working in the waste management and sustainability industry in Houston, Texas, her goal was senior leadership at her company. Like many professional women, Elsa wondered if she would be able to achieve all her career goals alongside her personal goal of having a family. Below, Elsa shares how she navigated these goals & priorities, overcame her struggle with imposter syndrome, and eventually enrolled in the MBA program. Juggling graduate degree work, motherhood, and marriage in the midst of a pandemic has definitely been a challenge, but Elsa has shown that determination and belief in oneself will ultimately lead you to success.

PHOTO: Elsa's Headshot. She has short brown hair and is wearing a red dress shirt with a black blazer.

Elsa Wright, Texas McCombs MBA ’21

Getting Her MBA

Elsa was eager to gain the foundational knowledge and skills needed to move into a leadership role in her career and knew an MBA from Texas McCombs could get her there. As a minority woman and mother, Elsa faced the realities of the world head-on.

“With recent events in the news, a lot of people have become more aware of the struggles that minorities face every day — struggles that stem into career growth,” she says. “I struggled with the idea that I had to achieve a master’s degree to be on the same playing field as many of my white male counterparts who hadn’t. Intelligence could be equally distributed among our society, but opportunities are not always.”

Elsa says she has struggled with imposter syndrome her entire life and her biggest piece of advice to anyone, especially women and mothers, considering an MBA is: “Just do it!”

“I have personally spent more time considering the idea and deciding to make the leap than I have spent actually getting my MBA,” Elsa says. “I felt that maybe I wasn’t ready, that I should wait for my son to get older, or that an MBA is just too competitive and I might not get in.”

Impostor syndrome— the false belief that others have overestimated your capabilities or that you’re not good enough— disproportionately affects women more than men — especially women of color. One of the direct factors contributing to impostor syndrome is the lack of women in organizational leadership, according to a 2019 Lean In study. The business world, including the realm of business education, has made strides in recent years, but there is still much work to be done toward equity and gender parity.

When narrowing down her prospective MBA schools, Texas McCombs appealed to her because of the prestige, atmosphere, and flexibility it offered.

PHOTO: Elsa standing in front of the University of Texas tower.

Elsa Wright standing in front of the UT tower at sunset.

“As I researched MBA programs, I found that Texas McCombs was the highest ranked in Texas. I attended the info sessions, and instantly felt what I like to call ‘the warm and fuzzy feeling.’ I felt welcomed with open arms, and could feel such a forward-thinking attitude that I could not resist being a part of.”

“The Working Professional program understands and respects that, as a working professional, we’re undergoing a journey,” she says. “The program didn’t require a specialization, but instead teaches you how to speak all languages of business, which allows me to explore where my career may take me instead of fixating on a specific career path.”

The moment she stepped on campus, Elsa knew that Texas McCombs would be her home for the next two years.

“I’ll never forget, it was our very first day of Austin Intensives and Assistant Dean, Joe Stephens, spoke in front of the entire Working Professional class of ’21: He said:

‘For those of you that may suffer from imposter syndrome and feel like you don’t belong here or deserve to be here, I am here to tell you that you do belong, and you do deserve it. We chose you because you have something to offer this program.’

To this day, those words resonate inside me and push me forward to make a difference.”

Pivoting to Online Learning

Elsa says her first year in the MBA at Houston program has been personally and professionally eye-opening. Now, she’s more open to possibility and career challenges, and has the confidence in technical business subjects that she never had before.

“During my MBA experience so far, I have grown both personally and professionally. It has opened my eyes to so many more possibilities in my career and given me a sense of confidence in business topics that I before was illiterate in.”

In her second and final year of the program, Elsa will be continuing her studies in the midst of a global pandemic. She now faces the challenge of online learning, working from home, and childcare.

PHOTO: Elsa, her son and husband.

Elsa’s family

“As a mother of a four-year-old, it became extra challenging since I can no longer rely on daycare during working hours. This means studying during lunch time and after work hours. While some people have caught up on Netflix shows while staying home, I’ve been forced to be even more efficient with my time, juggling motherhood, full-time work and my MBA coursework without the traditional resources I was accustomed to leaning on in the past.”

Throughout these difficult times of uncertainty, Elsa says she’s thankful for her partner, who’s also made sacrifices and has been there to support her through her MBA journey.

“Our fellow mom and dad classmates and I owe our better-halves tons of kudos for holding down the house for us to make this MBA happen.”

Elsa is no stranger to challenges and is looking forward to taking her upcoming and final year at Texas McCombs to the next level to meet her goal of accelerating her career.

“I’m amazed with how much I have grown both as a person and as a professional. Today, I’m able to apply so much of what I’ve learned to my daily work to improve my understanding of my current role, and to understand my company on a micro and macro scale.”

“As a full-time professional and mother, I know that the next year will be a challenge for me to juggle, especially with the continued challenges COVID-19 poses. However, I’m also hopeful that the remaining journey, even though difficult, will prepare me for the world and the challenges to come in the future. I’m confident that this experience will be more than worth the time and effort.”

The Road Ahead

Elsa is most fond of and proud of the moments spent bonding with the women in the program because of their unique perspectives and perseverance.

“Women still generally make up a minority in both business and business education, but that minority is strong and relentless. We make sure to get together, make time and lend an ear to each other.”

“It’s important for women to lift each other up. We make an unwavering, lasting impact in each other’s lives.”

Elsa is currently the Major Manufacturing & Industrial Account Manager at Waste Management in Houston, where she has worked for ten years. She started at the company working for customer service and says she’s been blessed to have mentors who have provided her with constructive criticism and advice to expand her professional growth. In the future, she plans to apply all the skills and expertise she’s acquired through her MBA to go further in her career than she’s ever imagined.

Elsa holding a trophy.

Elsa Wright holding the 2019 Big Eagle Circle of Excellence Award at Waste Management.

In 2019, Elsa was awarded the Big Eagle Circle of Excellence at Waste Management—  an elite, company-wide recognition of the 75 top-performing employees out of the 45,000+ company-wide.  After she won, she was asked to make a speech about what led to her success, to which Elsa replied that there is not just one thing that ever leads to success.

“You can’t sum up success with one award, recognition or promotion. Success is infinite and immeasurable; it’s the culmination of hours, days and years of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice – emphasize on sacrifice,” she says. “I have been at WM for over ten years, that is over 20,000 hours of work. Success never arrives overnight.”

Elsa’s top tip for success is to not just work hard, but learn.

“I’ve witnessed countless individuals just focus on work, but never make an effort to actually learn. You can always learn something new. I attribute my success to my eagerness to learn and not just understand my role, but the role above mine and the one above that. If I can retain what I learn and teach it to someone else effectively, and possibly dissect the process and create a better one, not only have I become a better asset for my company, but also a better version of myself.”


Visit Texas McCombs MBA to find out more about all our programs, events, and community, or take a peek into student life on Instagram.

Hook ’em!

Women at Texas McCombs

Today, Texas McCombs celebrates Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting some women the right to vote 100 years ago in 1920. The Texas McCombs MBA program is proud to have made strides to increase the number of women in our programs, but in both business and business education, we acknowledge there is still much progress to made toward gender parity.  Meet some of our Texas McCombs women who are already leading the way below.

Headshot of Susan Alvarez

Susan Alvarez, Texas McCombs MBA Class of 2021

Susan Alvarez
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

“It’s important to understand that not all populations are treated equally, and pivotal to help make a change in the right direction.”

Tell us about yourself. What led you to pursue an MBA?

I am a double Longhorn and did my undergrad at UT. Afterward, I was in the Army ROTC and then was commissioned into the army as a Second Lieutenant. I served eight years as a Logistics Officer and during that time, I did two combat deployments in Afghanistan in 2014  and Iraq in 2017. I am now happily married to my husband, Michael, who served in the Army for nine years and is also getting his MBA at McCombs.

The decision to pursue an MBA was honestly difficult for me initially. I loved being in the Army and the work I was doing but being a dual-military couple comes at a heavy price. At the time we decided to leave the Army, Michael and I had been married for five years but had actually lived together for only 18 months. We were on opposing deployment schedules and spent the majority of our marriage apart. In 2016, I interviewed for company command, got the next position in my career path, and two weeks later was on a plane to Kuwait for my second deployment. There never seemed to be a “good time” to have a child and at some point, we had to ask ourselves if what we were doing was best for our goals and our family. Pursuing an MBA would provide me the stability and reassurance necessary to grow a family without the fear of work dictating my life’s choices.

Tell us about being a woman in the workplace and in the military. What has your experience been like, and did this influence your decision to choose McCombs?

As a woman in the army or in the workplace in general, there’s always the thought of maintaining a delicate personality balance; the slight fear of coming off too abrasive, or being too nice and getting taken advantage of. My dad told me years ago, “Don’t ever let them see you cry. Excuse yourself and cry in privacy so that they don’t see you as weak.” He served over 20 years in the Army and tried his best to prepare me. I’ve learned that no leadership style is all-encompassing. You can’t expect to treat every soldier the same and receive the same level of output. You have to make quick mental assessments and be willing to adapt to changing situations.

What do you look forward to in regards to women’s equity? Have you seen change or progress being made at McCombs? 

We’ve come so far from where we were and it is incredible to see the progress we’ve made. I am the President of the McCombs Texas Veterans in Business, where women make up ten percent of our student veteran population. My hope is to inspire other female veterans to take on leadership positions and normalize women in higher ranking roles. I am also a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization dedicated to boosting the representation of underrepresented American minorities in the business sector. It’s important to understand that not all populations are treated equally, and pivotal to help make a change in the right direction.

 

Headshot of Jacqueline Newell

Jacqueline Newell, Texas McCombs MBA Class of 2021

Jacqueline Newell
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

“Women can have a complementary perspective to situations that break up group think or confirmation biases.”

Tell me about yourself and background. What led you to pursue an MBA?

I’m an officer in the U.S. Army with over 18 years of service. I have a background in logistics, but have worked in the Strategic Organizational Design and Development field for the last 10 years and was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. I’m married; my husband retired from the Army in 2016. We have a daughter starting her sophomore year in high school. We were most recently stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany—outside Frankfurt—before coming to Austin for school.

The Army offers a program whereby officers can apply for full-time Master’s degrees fully sponsored by the Army. I saw this as a good time in my career to pursue a Master’s, and I believe having an MBA will not only help me be better at what I do for the Army, but also help me mentor junior officers as they progress in our field.

Tell us about being a woman in the workplace and in the military. What has your experience been like, and did this influence your decision to choose McCombs?

I think being a woman in the military is a great opportunity! Women can have a complementary perspective to situations that break up group think or confirmation biases. This can drive problem solving and innovation. While it may seem intimidating to be in a male-dominated industry, and to offer a different perspective, it is necessary.

I have also found that if I focus on building up the teams I’ve worked on— and sometimes even building teams where none previously existed— the goals were always achieved and the teams have been successful. The collaborative environment of the Texas McCombs MBA was a great fit for this type of leadership style I’ve been developing.

What do you look forward to in regards to women’s equity? Have you seen some change or progress been made at McCombs?

I think it’s challenging to separate and discern correlations and causations when looking at outcomes and women’s equity. What I think is important is the culture and environment that welcomes and promotes women. Texas McCombs has done well to encourage and promote women leaders and give women a voice.

 

Lola Headshot

Lola Sholola, Texas McCombs Class of 2020

Lola Sholola
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

“I am mostly looking forward to experiencing a complete shift in mindset with respect to how women are perceived, and for women to be considered equal to their male counterparts.”

Tell me about yourself and background. What led you to pursue an MBA, and why McCombs?

I consider myself an “East Coast girl” since I grew up in the D.C. area, though I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. I always had a knack for numbers, so I majored in Actuarial Science at Morgan State University, an HBCU located in Baltimore, MD. Upon graduation, I accepted a role at Liberty Mutual and was relocated to Seattle, WA to join their Analytics Development Program. I stayed at the company for about four years, moved through a variety of roles and gained product management expertise. However, I wanted to explore business more broadly and gain a better understanding on how to lead and run a business unit; hence, my reason for obtaining an MBA degree.

McCombs sort of fell on my lap, to be honest. I started my MBA application process two years into my job at Liberty Mutual and knew I had to attend as many MBA conferences and recruiting events as possible in the Seattle area. As it turns out, an organization called the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) hosted a webinar on “Why MBA” and “Why CGSM” and almost half of the CGSM alumni hosts were Texas McCombs alums. After the session, I stayed back to chat with a few of them and fell in love with their personalities. I made up my mind to do more research about the program; from there, things took off. I graduated this past May and I’m currently working at Walmart in a Finance and Strategy role I love.

What has your experience been like as a woman in the workplace and at McCombs?

Broadly speaking, being a woman is tough in the workplace. I like to consider myself a feminist: I wholeheartedly believe in equal opportunity and treatment for all. Unfortunately, that has not always been my experience and there is still a large pay gap between men and women in the world.

At McCombs, I joined GWiB (Graduate Women in Business) because of its mission to lead toward equality. It provides a space for women to develop their skills professionally and personally. It was an opportunity for me to support organizations working to empower women.

What do you look forward to in regards to women’s equity? Have you seen some change or progress been made at McCombs?

I am mostly looking forward to experiencing a complete shift in mindset with respect to how women are perceived and for women to be considered equal to their male counterparts. There is still a pay gap between men and women in the world. Will this perception ever change? I certainly hope so. Presently, it is difficult to find women CEOs, not just in the U.S. but globally. I think we need to see more women having a seat at the table. Have I seen changes at McCombs? Yes, certainly from a recruiting perspective. McCombs is also a member of Forté Foundation, an organization that provides women with higher education and professional development opportunities. Overall, it is a work-in-progress and McCombs is aware of this and consistently working with GWiB to increase male allies and support.

 

Clara's Headshot

Clara Kraft Borges, Texas McCombs MBA Class of 2022

Clara Kraft Borges
Full-Time MBA Class of 2022

You’ll see that a lot of amazing powerful women out there who are willing to talk, help and just uplift one another.”

Tell me about yourself and background. What led you to pursue an MBA, and why McCombs?

I’m a returning Longhorn. After graduating from UT Austin’s Moody School of Communications, I started a career in Digital Marketing. Prior to MBA, I was working as a Marketing Manager at a startup that was founded in my hometown in Brazil. What led me to an MBA was a desire to learn and help others. I saw that with an MBA I could advance my career, and by doing so, help other people who didn’t have the same opportunities as me. I chose McCombs because I know first-hand about the quality of education at UT Austin, as well as its diverse environment.

What has your experience been like as a woman in the workplace, and what are you looking forward to at McCombs? 

In my experience, being a woman in the workplace means having to put in more work and energy to achieve the same results as your male counterparts that are usually the majority at companies. This is the case not only with women but other minorities as well. While this can be frustrating, I’ve also found that women have supported each other, both in the workplace and outside. We’re shifting from a time when women were seen as jealous of one another to a culture where women support and speak up for each other, which makes me very hopeful for the future.

I’m a proud Forté Fellow. The possibility of joining Forté was one of the biggest points that influenced me to choose McCombs. I’m looking forward to being part of a network of amazing women and being able to pay it forward during my lifetime.

What do you look forward to in regards to women’s equity, and what words of advice would you give women considering getting their MBA?

I mainly look forward to seeing an increased awareness of the inequalities that affect women in the workplace. I spent several years of my career without perceiving workplace situations that favored men, or situations where a woman’s opinion wasn’t heard. It’s painful to acknowledge that this happens, but I believe it’s the first step to bridging this inequality. The second step is speaking up. To women considering getting their MBA, I’d advise you to reach out to other women that you admire or would like to meet, and you’ll see that a lot of amazing powerful women out there are willing to talk, help and just uplift one another. Work on creating a network of women that you admire and you’ll go very far!

Everything You Need to Know About the Texas McCombs MBA COVID-19 Test Waiver

 

Standardized exams like the GRE, GMAT, EA, TOEFL & IELTS help us to evaluate a candidate’s academic preparedness for the rigor of business school and is one metric used to compare candidates within a large pool of applicants.

In addition, studying for and taking the exam – for some, even taking it multiple times can show the admissions committee your commitment to the competitive business school application process and how you may approach academic challenges as a student. 

However, we understand that many are experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that these challenges may be affecting your applications plans and ability to take an exam. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, we are providing applicants who are unable to take an exam in person or online the opportunity to petition for a test score waiver.

Here, our Admissions Team answers some questions you might have about the Texas McCombs MBA COVID-19 test waiver, including who the waiver is for and how it might impact your application. 

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 test waiver? 

Applicants who meet both of the criteria below have the opportunity to petition for a special test waiver:

  • You are unable to take an exam in-person at a designated testing center due to lack of availability in your region, or because you or someone in your household is immunocompromised, AND  
  • You are unable to take an exam online due to lack of availability in your region, technology or other test-taking requirements (e.g. device availability or compatibility, slow internet connection, testing environment) 

If you do not meet both of these criteria, we require that you complete the standardized tests prior to submitting your application.Both GMAC and ETS have introduced remote testing options for the GMAT, GRE, EA, and TOEFL exams for candidates impacted by coronavirus, and the majority of testing centers have re-opened globally with stringent health and safety precautions.   

How do I request a COVID-19 test waiver? 

If you meet both requirements above and would like to request a COVID-19 test waiver, please email TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu to receive a link to the petition and to learn more about the test exception process 

Is there a deadline to request a COVID-19 test waiver? 

The test waiver petition must be approved by the admissions committee before you submit your application to McCombs. The admissions committee may take up to five business days to review your petition, so please follow the timeline below to meet the application round deadlines. At this time, test waiver petitions are only being accepted for the following application deadlines.  The admissions committee will start accepting test exception petitions for later application deadlines after the new year.  

  Submit Petition By…  …For Application Deadline  Submit Petition By…  …For Application Deadline 
Full Time MBA  October 6, 2020  October 13, 2020   December 18, 2020  January 5, 2021  
MBA at Houston  October 20, 2020  October 27, 2020  January 26, 2021  February 2, 2021 
MBA at DFW  October 20, 2020  October 27, 2020  January 26, 2021  February 2, 2021 
Evening MBA  October 20, 2020  October 27, 2020    
Executive MBA     January 26, 2021  February 2, 2021 

How does a test waiver impact my application? 

If you are approved for the COVID-19 test waiver, you may be asking yourself, “What are my chances for admission?” 

The truth is that by removing one component from your application, your other components will carry more weight in the committee’s final decision. Below are some items to consider as you craft your application. 

Academic History 

Does your undergraduate or graduate transcript accurately reflect your academic ability? If your GPA is low, and you do not submit a GMAT or GRE score, the admissions committee may have concerns about your ability to succeed in the rigorous MBA curriculum.  

One other factor to consider is whether or not your quantitative ability shines elsewhere in your application. While many of our MBA students come to McCombs from non-quantitative majors, these applicants are typically able to prove their quant prowess through the GMAT or GRE. If you come from a non-quantitative background and qualify for a test waiver, you will need to find other areas within your background or experience that can demonstrate your quantitative skills. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that you are set up to succeed academically in the program. If the admissions committee has concerns about your quantitative ability, it may impact your chance of admission, or you may be required to complete pre-MBA coursework prior to admission and/or prior to enrollment.  

Work Experience 

Your work experience will be reviewed thoroughly by the committee for leadership potential, progression and/or increasing responsibilities, and achievements. Generally, the level of responsibility someone has within a company correlates positively to how they will perform in a rigorous graduate educational program.  For those with less than the average work experience, a standardized test score may make your application more competitive. 

If you have any professional certifications, such as the CPA, CFA, Series 7, or others – be sure to highlight these on your resume and within your application, as attaining these types of certifications helps show the committee your academic readiness.  Advanced or terminal degrees should also be highlighted.  

Career Goals 

If your post-MBA career goal is to work in management consulting or investment banking, employers in these industries may ask that you provide your GMAT score when applying for internships or full-time positions. If you qualify for a test waiver and are considering pursuing post-MBA jobs in these industries, it is important that you are aware of this before enrolling because you may end up having to take the exam to apply for these roles. 

Scholarships 

Scholarship awards are competitive and limited in number. Scholarship decisions are based on a longstanding holistic review process that takes into account your entire application and serves to assess the overall strength of your candidacy, including readiness for academic rigor, career goals, leadership potential, and fit with our program culture. Submitting an application without a test score may limit the information available to award a merit-based scholarship  

One other note: Admission deferral requests for the Full-Time MBA program will not be considered if you gain admission to Texas McCombs and have a test exception. 

What if I’m an international student and am not able to take the TOEFL or IELTS? 

If you are an international student who does not qualify for our standard TOEFL/IELTS waiver based on work experience and/or education history, but you meet the criteria for a COVID-19 test waiver, you may be asked to prove your mastery of English via other avenues, such as a meeting with an admissions committee member or an additional essay request. In addition, if admitted you may be required to enroll in and pay for the pre-MBA Business English Program, which occurs in June 2021.  

Final Thoughts on the COVID-19 Test Waiver

The COVID-19 test waiver is intended only for those who cannot take the exams in person or virtually due to circumstances beyond their control.  If you qualify for a test waiver and believe that your application will not be negatively impacted by the lack of a test score, we encourage you to submit the petition and apply when you are ready. However, it is important to remember that we have multiple application rounds for a reason! For some, it may be best to wait to apply until you can submit with test score in-hand.  The decision will be different for every applicant, and we encourage you to approach this thoughtfully.   

We wish you well during these difficult times. Please contact us if you have any questions, and best of luck on your application! 

When Should You Submit Your MBA Application?

The 2020-2021 Full-Time MBA application will open soon, and the Admissions Committee is accepting applications in four rounds this cycle. We usually receive questions about application deadlines and whether or not it matters when you submit your application– Round 1, 2, 3 or 4.

You should NEVER rush to submit your MBA application simply to take advantage of “more spots.” – The Admissions Committee’s best application round advice

Timing is a key factor in your overall application strategy. A lot of details go into deciding which round to apply, and one answer is not right for everyone. So, let’s break it down by round so you can get a clearer picture of when might be the best time for you to hit “Submit.”

Round One

Round 1 is a good choice for a couple of reasons:

  1. It is our first priority scholarship deadline– If you want to be considered for all merit-based scholarships, Round 1 is your best shot. As each round closes, our scholarship funding pool decreases.
  2.  All of our spots are still available! Plus, historically we’ve received fewer applications in R1 than in R2.

But, the best piece of advice for any round is that you should NEVER rush to submit your MBA application simply to take advantage of “more spots” or “more funding.”  Once you submit your application, you cannot “re-submit” a stronger application in a later round for the same term of entry. If you skip important preparation, including a formal test prep, articulating your “why MBA,” or conducting research just to be able to submit in Round 1, you could end up with a test score and application that doesn’t reflect you at your best.

In any case, submitting in Round 1 might not be a good idea, especially if you know that you can improve a component of your application. Waiting to apply until all aspects of your application are strong is always the best approach.

Round Two

Applying later is okay, too! If we filled up the class in Round 1, the Admissions Committee might be out of a job by February. Round 2 is traditionally our largest round, and receives many strong applicants. Scholarships and fellowships are still available and all information and data included in your application help the Admission Committee allocate scholarship awards. In short: A strong application will stand out in any round.

Round Three

Round 3 tends to be a smaller round. Many applicants in Round 3 simply didn’t realize an MBA was an option or on their radar until later in the application cycle. Historically, we always have spots available in Round 3 (which is why we have a Round 3), but each year the number variesWe can’t say it enough– A strong, complete, well-researched application always stands out.

It’s also worth noting that for international students this is the last round to apply.

Round Four

Round 4 is the newest round– an opportunity for those in a similar situation as Round 3, and for those not wanting to wait until next cycle. Many of the applicants who apply in this round are engaging in the MBA process later due to career, life, and employment changes or goals. Others will apply in this round because they are ready to start in the fall rather than waiting another year. Due to the limited and competitive nature of funding, one can expect a decrease in scholarship availability.

Before you hit “Submit,” points to keep in mind:

  • Submit your application only when you’re 99.9% ready. Supplemental application materials submitted after a round deadline are risky, since there is no guarantee the Admissions Committee will see them. Once your file is read, we will not re-review again based upon new information received post-deadline.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute! We are not able to accept applications submitted after 11:59pm CT on the day of the deadline. Technical difficulties plague applicants every round, every year. Stay aware of deadlines the best you can, so you don’t become a cautionary tale. In the interest of a fair process, we don’t make exceptions to our deadlines, no matter what reason you have for a late submission.
  • Be patient. The Admissions Committee does not begin reviewing applications until the round deadline has passed. In other words, you might be far ahead and submit your application in August, but we won’t begin reviewing any submissions until after the Round 1 deadline in October.
  • The Admissions Committee does not provide individual feedback on applications, out of fairness to all applicants and due to the volume of requests we receive.

If you feel good about your application, we encourage you to apply but if you aren’t ready yet (i.e.: You need to retake your GMAT/GRE, rework your essay, or wait for a promotion at work to come through), don’t risk it– wait until you’re confident in your application before hitting the “Submit” button.

We look forward to reviewing your application this year, and are always here to answer your questions about applying. Hook ’em!

Successfully Answering the MBA Essay Questions

The essays in your MBA application are an important part of sharing your unique story. The most successful essays thoughtfully address the prompts, clearly communicate why you want to attend Texas McCombs, and authentically share who you are. We’ve shared some tips below to aid you in submitting a strong set of essays.

Texas McCombs MBA Essay 1

We will learn a lot about your professional background through your resume and letter of recommendation, but we want to get to know you further. Please introduce yourself. Select only one communication method for your response

a. Write an essay (250 words)
b. Share a video introduction (one minute in length)

First, this prompt is purposely open-ended. It grants you the freedom to introduce yourself in a way that is genuinely “you.” Think about what gives you energy and recharges you. When you first meet someone, what’s your personal elevator pitch? How does it share your values? Give us a well-rounded mix of information in this essay so we can better understand you beyond your work life.

Don’t forget about the first sentence of the prompt: “We will learn a lot about your professional background through your resume and letter of recommendation.” The admissions committee already read your resume, letter of recommendation, education history, and goals. While your professional life is important, this essay is your opportunity to share who you are outside of those components.

Finally, the choice is yours: written essay or video. We have seen significant success with both mediums and do not have a preference of one over the other. Therefore, play to your strengths! If your skill is in writing, focus on the essay. If you’re not shy in front of a camera, then record a video. However, if you do submit a video, keep in mind that sending us a photo slideshow isn’t advisable. These slideshow submissions don’t grant the admissions committee the chance to actually see and hear from you, which is really what we are looking for in a video submission. Have fun with either submission, and do not take this essay for granted— it can go a long way in setting the stage for your MBA application and creating another great impression.

Texas McCombs MBA Essay 2

Picture yourself at the completion of your MBA journey. Describe how you spent your time as a Texas McCombs MBA student to achieve your personal and professional goals. (500 words)

Essay Two provides an opportunity to explain why you’re applying to Texas McCombs. By describing what you’re excited for and your plans as an MBA, we will understand your career plan, learn what you’re passionate about, and discover how you want to develop yourself both in and out of the classroom.

What classes, organizations, and experiential opportunities specifically relate to your career plan? Personally, how do you envision yourself becoming an active member of our community? Connect the dots between your goals and how McCombs will get you there.

Make sure to give us specifics. If you’ve engaged with the program, you know there is a lot to look forward to: challenging classes, concentrations, organizations, student/alumni networking, award-winning professors, unique career-oriented opportunities, a vibrant city…the list goes on. Illustrate what attributes of the program you plan to take full advantage of and how you plan to make a positive impact while you are a student. What will be your MBA legacy? Convince us that you are indispensable to our community.

MBA Optional Statement

Continue reading

« Older posts
Skip to toolbar