Our Full-Time Class of 2020 is composed of 284 impressive MBAs from all over the world. Students from outside the U.S. are a valuable part of the Texas McCombs network, bringing their individual perspective and cultural background to Austin. 24% of our 2020 Full-Time MBAs are international students.
We recently caught up with MBA ’20 Guilherme Junqueira, a student originally from Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil. His journey to Texas McCombs offers insight to future international students wanting to earn their MBA here.
Guilherme’s “Why McCombs?”
Guilherme lived in Sao Paulo for nine years where he attended university to study Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Before coming to Austin for his MBA, Guilherme worked at Oxiteno as a Lead Product Management Analyst.
When applying to graduate school, Guilherme researched different schools and their admission process online and attended events in Sao Paulo. He expanded his research after taking the GMAT by attending Texas McCombs MBA events, and speaking with current students and alumni via phone calls and emails.
“I wanted to join a top MBA program located in a small to mid-size city and with a small class; these were important factors because I wanted to develop close connections with my classmates in a more focused program environment. After submitting my applications, I came to the U.S. to visit five schools that I had applied to; this definitely was the best way to confirm that McCombs was the best fit for me.”
He attended business school events in Sao Paulo and multi-school events such as the MBA Tour. For him, events offered clarity to understand the similarities and differences of each program. After being admitted, he attended company-sponsored pre-MBA events in both Brazil and the United States. The A.T. Kearney Bootcamp helped confirm and narrow his career priorities post-MBA. He found that he enjoyed participating in national career fairs, such as Prospanica, in career treks and entrepreneurship events.
“I attended three pre-MBA events in the US that I would definitely recommend: A.T. Kearney Bootcamp, Goldman Sachs Roundtables and JumpStart Financial Services and Consulting Forum, all very helpful to confirm my career priorities and to expand my networking.”
“McCombs was the school where I could most see a spirit of ‘collaboration’ that most business schools claim and, most importantly, people who I would like to engage with. Austin is known as one of the best cities to live in the U.S., and I also really enjoy its entrepreneurial environment. Even if you don’t want to open a startup, it’s inspiring to be in a fast-growing economy and have the chance to participate in startup pitch events, engage with entrepreneurs and attend high-scale events such as SXSW.”
From Brazil to Austin
After accepting his offer to Texas McCombs, he notified his previous employer and was able to have a soft transition. He attended MBA Preview Weekend in February and visited potential places to live, eventually settling on one of those places. He talked to other current students during that time and got tips for moving to the city and getting prepared for student life.
“I ended up coming to Austin in early June, which is earlier than usual, to do a pre-MBA project and to attend some pre-MBA events in the U.S., so I had a good amount of time to organize my apartment before starting the MBA. The culture is a little different and I also wanted time to sharpen my language skills. I was very excited to start working on my career next steps, to get to know and engage with new people from different parts of the world, and to move to Austin.”
Guilherme noted that his favorite thing about attending Texas McCombs is our Graduate Consulting Group student organization and joining our McCombs Ambassador Committee to help MBA Admissions organize meetings & events and offer advice to future students.
“Participating in the Graduate Consulting Group, which helps students prepare for the recruiting process in Consulting and Corporate Strategy roles, has been such a great experience. The student organization is very well managed and develops weekly presentations to get first-years prepared for the recruiting process, besides co-organizing several on-campus company events and the Consulting treks. It has also been great to be part of the McCombs Ambassador Committee and interact with future students.”
Guilherme’s Advice to You
He advises other international prospective students to research the school online, engage with current students and alumni, and participate in events during the admission process. He suggests building a career plan before applying to an MBA– think about how the MBA will help you get to the next level and start engaging with industry sectors that you are planning to recruit for as early as possible.
“It’s essential that you really get to know the school to see if Texas McCombs is a good fit for you, considering your own priorities. The MBA program is very intense, and you need to prioritize, so it helps a lot to have clear goals. After being admitted, participate in pre-MBA events, either in your home country or in the U.S., if you can. Finally, if you are a career-changer or have never worked in the U.S., I’d recommend try to get some experience before the program starts. I did a brief pre-MBA project with an Austin-based startup, helping the founders develop a pricing strategy for a new product, and it was a great experience.”
Guilherme hopes to become more engaged in student organizations and participate in more case competitions in his next year at McCombs. For post-MBA he is looking for a career transition to Corporate Strategy or Consulting.