Category: MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth (page 4 of 24)

Acing It: GRE vs GMAT

Life is all about choices.  Lease or buy?  Diet versus regular? GRE or the GMAT? But when personal preference for aspartame doesn’t immediately establish you firmly in one camp or another, it’s time to stop and think what the choice says about you.  When it comes to choosing between taking the GRE or the GMAT for your MBA application, how do you choose the right test for you?

In this post, I won’t address the logistical implications of each exam (such as the GRE is cheaper and offered at more locations and the GMAT is accepted at more business schools so it’s more bang for your buck.)  Nope, not going to go there.  You can Google yourself silly with all of their basic differences. Instead, I will address choosing the test from an admissions perspective, assuming you’re planning on submitting an application to the Texas MBA Program sometime soon.

Basic case in point:  the Admission Committee doesn’t care which test you take.  Ultimately it’s up to you.  We don’t believe intrinsically the opinion that one test is better at demonstrating your preparedness for b-school than the other because we believe that standardized test scores are not the only thing on your application that illustrate your academic abilities.  If it were used alone, perhaps the more traditional approach of using the GMAT would suffice, but it’s not.  We use many, many other things.  But that’s a whole other post.

Much like other choices you make on your application, if you choose wrong you can put yourself in a position of unnecessary disadvantage.  We realize the tests are different and applicants choose each for varied and valid reasons, therefore we couldn’t have a preference at face value.  However, what we DO prefer is that you think hard about which test you need to take within the context of your overall goals.



The GMAT is required for most Consulting and Investment Banking companies because they use your score as a baseline qualifier for the recruiting process.  If Consulting or I-Banking are in your sights, this means that the GMAT is the best choice because you could take it once and use your score for both your Admissions application as well as your career recruitment profile.

Additionally, some recruiters outside the I-Banking and Consulting space may not have a strong preference either way which test you take, however they may have more experience assessing skill set based on the GMAT.  If you choose to take the GRE you should understand that it is less common and therefore makes it more difficult for recruiters to compare these results against the majority of applicants that take the GMAT.


Sometimes, the GRE is the best choice for those applicants who are pursuing their MBAs in conjunction with another Masters, like in our Dual Degree programs.  Once again, taking only the GRE allows you to apply to both programs separately with one score, a convenience factor that most Dual Degree applicants very much appreciate given how much more paperwork is required to submit applications for two programs.


Don’t qualify as an applicant pursuing Consulting/I-Banking/Dual Degree?  There are still some key differences in the tests that may have some bearing on your decision for which to take.  A little history lesson: MBA programs only started accepting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT over the last few years.

Alumni and hiring companies are more familiar with the GMAT and its score scale.  With the GRE new on the scene, they may need clarification regarding what the GRE score actually means and how the quantitative and verbal score sections may translate to the GMAT scores they are used to.

MBA Admissions Officers are also new to the GRE setting.  However, many of us have worked with the test and have recruited amazing candidates to our programs since we started accepting it a few years ago and are more comfortable assessing verbal and quantitative skill sets based on those scores.

So ultimately, which test is best?  Our advice is to choose wisely using your academic and career goals and knowledge of each test’s reputation in both the admissions context and the professional world to make the best choice for you.  If none of the above circumstances speak to your situation, then truly you are free to pick the exam you prefer.  Either way, we say “good luck!”

What Diversity Means at McCombs


By Brodie Reynolds, Associate Director of Admissions, Full-time MBA, University of Texas at Austin

We have a tendency here at the McCombs School of Business of bragging incessantly about how great our students are.  They truly are not only the smartest MBA students there are, 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 these lists do not really explain what makes them special.  These lists of course matter, but if I were to identify the defining characteristic of the McCombs student, it would be an excitement for learning, and an adventurous spirit that keeps this excitement alive through adversity and change.

Knowing this characteristic is so pervasive within our student body, we work very hard to create an academic environment that supports and encourages 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 coursework you take, but also in the person sitting next to you in your study group.  Diversity, at its core, is opportunity: opportunity to learn, opportunity to step outside yourself and grow, and opportunity to make a network that can pull you in the 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.

This summer we are celebrating 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.  You can learn more about the Consortium and its mission by attending the Information Session they offer during their Orientation Program event, which is in Austin this year from June 5th – 10th, 2014. 

This is only one of many ways we support and promote diversity, including our Diversity and Women’s Forums, the Forte Foundation, MLT, 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.

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. 

Coffee Chats With Current MBAs

Join A Current Student For A Coffee Chat

By David Burford

I have a friend who is so picky about his dining experiences that he is unwilling to eat at any restaurant in which he has not thoroughly examined all of its Yelp reviews. While I admire his efforts, I’ve never found this method to yield substantial time or money savings. He always seems to spend more time looking for a formidable restaurant than we do eating, and the online reviews tend to be too subjective and lacking the detail I’d want to know, like, “Salsa smells like gym socks.” Plus, it’s not like the authors are looking to find their reviews in next month’s edition of the highly esteemed “Yelp Reviews Monthly”. (Don’t actually Google that…) Bottom line, we don’t get the information we need to make an informed decision.

It’s easy to Google the words “Texas MBA review.” Not surprisingly, you’re going to get everything from “experts” of all things MBA, to a Texas A&M article (oh no they didn’t!), to, on page 10, reports that “Turtleman” Ernie Brown Jr. is under fire from the US Attorney’s Office!!!

In other words, this search is not very conclusive. And frankly, how could it be? I mean, Google, while amazingly awesome, is meant to give you the facts…just the facts, ma’am. Qualitative information is only useful if you and the author had the same likes, dislikes, benign indifferences, work background, etc.

Because it’s hard to get all the information you need to make a decision online, and since you can’t just Google the minds of our current students, we offer the next best thing: coffee chats. Don’t let the name fool you. If you don’t drink coffee, meet at a bar, bookstore, rodeo arena, bingo hall, etc.

In order to set up your coffee chat, visit the coffee chat page for your corresponding program of interest: Evening MBAExecutive MBA, MBA at Houston, or MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth. On each page you’ll find a proposed address of a coffee chat and corresponding name. Each person on the list is a member of the McCombs Admissions Committee; a team of students designated to help provide applicants with information in order to help them make a decision about the Texas MBA. Click the name corresponding to the address you’d like to meet at, or near, and a new email message will open addressed to the MBA student you selected. If you don’t see an address that will work, but would still like to reach out to a current student, feel free to reach out to the program email box for your program of interest.

Good luck on your MBA journey!

Illustration via lovelornpoets

You Are Not Your GPA

You Are Not Your GPA

How do you quantify the characteristics that make you great, but aren’t measurable? How do you synthesize your personality in an easily digestible paragraph? How do you reveal the real YOU to somebody that is simply reading your application on paper? The topic of this blog post is all the qualifiable, not quantifiable, components of your application. I’m not talking about your GPA, your GMAT, or even your letters of recommendation (that is a whole different blog post). I’m talking about how you convey who you are that makes you unique. And many of you might find presenting this part of your application the most difficult of all. Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Stephen Limberg, Accounting

McCombs Faculty Member Stephen Limberg During A Global Trip

One of the strongest attributes of the Texas MBA program is the highly acclaimed McCombs School of Business faculty, whose members are ranked among the best professors in the nation year after year. In this new Faculty Spotlight series, we’ll be introducing you to these classroom leaders, as we too get to know them all a little better. Up first is the Department of Accounting’s Stephen Limberg.

How long have you been at McCombs?
SL: Thirty one years ago I arrived in modestly populated Austin, Texas, on a steamy August day after driving from the west coast 24 hours without a layover. I pulled into town in a Honda Accord hatchback that was not air conditioned and was packed to the headliner with all my belongings. Hot and irritable, I located my apartment Continue reading

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