Category: MBA Community (page 1 of 17)

Examining Your Healthcare Higher Ed Options

Our MBA at Houston program is top-ranked, led by world-renowned Texas McCombs faculty, and positioned at the center of thriving Houston, Texas– the no. 1 city in the country for healthcare jobs. Over 736,000 people are employed at Houston’s world-famous Texas Medical Center alone. Many healthcare professionals pursuing a graduate degree may wonder what an MBA can do for their careers or if an MHA or MBA is right for their goals.

Angela Van Dyke headshot McCombs Houston Class of 2020

Angela Van Dyke, MBA 2020

We recently caught up with MBA at Houston 2020 student, Angela Van Dyke, a healthcare professional who has earned her MHA and is on her way to an MBA, to explore these options.

Angela holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. She currently works at PersonalMed as their National Sales Manager.

On Getting her MHA

Angela is passionate about the healthcare industry and sees herself working in the field long term.

I pursued an MHA to gain a deep and abiding understanding of the entire healthcare industry. I wanted a fundamental grasp of law and economics specifically in their application to healthcare. I also wanted to learn more about public and population health, hospital management, and clinical services.” 

On Pursuing her MBA

Through the MBA, she is becoming more proficient in technical concepts, such as finance, accounting and analytics. So far, her experience at Texas McCombs has exceeded her expectations.

“Pursuing an MBA is like a journey of transformation that allows you to pick up new tools and sharpen old skills. It’s an incredible time in your life to grow personally and professionally. The MBA is well recognized across all industries and empowers you with the credibility, creativity, and ability to add value for any organization in a variety of settings in virtually any industry at any level. An MBA arms you with the necessary expertise to quickly assess problems and determine the appropriate strategy for success. This is why I found it valuable to return to school and pursue my MBA.” 

Why Both Degrees?

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Student Spotlight: Dara Chike-Obi, MBA Class of 2019

Dara Chike-Obi, Evening MBA Class of 2019

Dara Chike-Obi,
Evening MBA ’19

Dara Chike-Obi is an Evening MBA student from Houston and a new mom who recently shared her experience of being a new parent while in the MBA program. “Unthinkable exhaustion” is the very honest first response that comes to mind when she is asked about her experience, which was also rewarding and very possible with realistic expectations and family support on her side.

On Being A Student and a Mom

“Ignorance truly is bliss. I was naive and had no understanding of the amount of mental, physical, and emotional energy that is required of a new mom. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. As graduation nears, and my child gets older; I feel stronger, smarter, and quicker than I’ve ever felt before. If I can get through this, I can get through almost anything.”

Her Biggest Challenge

My biggest challenge was figuring out how to balance school, new baby, marriage, and a full time job. Many times I had no other option but to put my head down and power through. You soon realize that the toughest parts of your journey are ALWAYS temporary. Take one day at a time, one breath at a time. Eventually, you look up and see how far you’ve actually gone.”

Dara’s Advice

“I have two pieces of advice:

1. Make sure you have help.

This cannot be done alone. Your support system needs to understand that this is an ‘all hands on deck’ situation for the next two years. My wonderful husband rearranged his work schedule so he can be home on class nights to put our son to bed. My mother in-law would drive 4 hours from Dallas with a trunk full of freshly prepared food for my entire family. You must allow people to help you.

2. Accept that there is no balance.

Madeleine Albright said it best:  ‘Women can have it all, just not at the same time.’ You’re going to be pulled in multiple directions by multiple people. Learning to prioritize will get you far.”


We encourage you to review our Parental Accommodation Policy for details on the kind of accommodations it can provide. When you enter a working professional MBA program, we understand that family support is a key element.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need further info.

Elevate: Diversity & Inclusion Conference at McCombs

On February 8th, Texas McCombs hosted its first ever Elevate: Diversity & Inclusion Conference. This event aimed to identity how companies and business leaders create effective strategies to transform their current culture into one where both diversity and inclusion become embedded into the organization’s core values. Texas McCombs students and staff have been participating in more D&I conversations within the program and with the outside business community in recent years with an understanding that MBA community strength and positive growth is fostered through these efforts.

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

The First Conference of Its Kind

Elevate was first conceived by MBA students Ashley Fox and DeAndrea Staes. They identified the diversity and inclusion space as a big opportunity for growth and community outreach for the MBA program.

Through the conference, Ashley and DeAndrea targeted the recruitment of underrepresented minorities as a potential improvement area for MBA programs and created an Elevate Diversity Scholarship to provide support to underrepresented minority students accepted to the McCombs School of Business.

Ashley Fox and DeAndrea Staes at Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference. Photo by Lauren Gerson

“The most impactful part of the conference was seeing what started as a small vision, grow into something phenomenal. Over the course of two days, seeing our sponsors, speakers, students and community come together in a collaborative fashion for a common purpose truly sparked something great for the future of McCombs,” says DeAndrea. “I truly enjoyed seeing participants roll their sleeves up at the design thinking session hosted by IBM to address critical questions like, ‘How do you find acceptance inside a company’s culture?’ and ‘What happens financially when companies are not diverse and inclusive?’ This set the tone for an amazing conference with powerful conversations.”

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

We created this event to evoke change in the McCombs community and create a sustainable, long-term solution that would provide a forum for the University of Texas and greater Austin community to engage and learn about diversity, inclusion, and culture,” says Ashley. “The feeling after the Elevate Conference ended was indescribable. After we gave our closing remarks, we knew that this conference would be a marquee event and change agent for the Texas McCombs and Austin community for years to come.”

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

“I am truly proud of what Ashley and I were able to accomplish and know that this is just the beginning,” says DeAndrea. “We are excited to see what the future holds for this dynamic, student-led, electrifying conference!”

The Keynote Speakers 

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Meet the Evening MBA Class of 2021!

A new class of Evening MBA students have joined us at Rowling Hall in Austin this spring to kick off their MBA journey! During their January orientation, our first group of ’21s  prepared for their classes, got to know each other, met MBA faculty & staff, and had a great week of networking and fun. Evening MBA students start their program annually every January, with classes held Monday and Tuesday evenings in Austin. With their weekends more flexible and their careers un-interrupted by their class schedule, our Evening MBA students are truly unique.

We had a very strong and enthusiastic pool of applications to pull from when putting together our Working Professional MBA classes this year, and the numbers certainly reflect that. The Evening MBA welcomed a larger class than last year, with 65 new Texas McCombs students. Texas McCombs Evening MBA Class of 2021 has 65 students; 25% women; 9% international; 27-34 middle 80% age; 3-10.5 work exp middle 80%; 3.34 GPA average; 661 GMAT average; are Q:155 & V:156

35% of the Evening MBA Class of 2021 submitted a GRE score either exclusively or with a GMAT score

8 different nationalities and citizenships are represented, including India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Spain, Syria, Italy and the U.S.

This is also one of the most diverse classes in terms of job functions and industries, that the MBA program has ever seen.

Industries represented in the Class of 2021-- tech; financial services; consumer products/retail; manufacturing; energy

In addition, over half of the Class of 2021 earned their undergraduate degree outside of Texas. After entering the workforce, these students earned an average of 5.8 years of work experience before applying to the MBA with notable companies like Apple, Tesla, Whole Foods, Facebook, IBM and Yeti.

The class has 25% women, holding steady within the overall growth in the number of women in our Working Professional programs. The number of underrepresented minorities in the class doubled this year, marking another success as we continue to advocate for the inclusion of individual perspectives and diverse backgrounds in our classes.

Our Evening students come from a wide range of companies and some of the most exciting and innovative employers in the U.S.

Where our students work

18 members of C/O 2021 already spent their undergraduate years at UT Austin… Welcome back Longhorns! 🤘


We feel humbled and privileged by the amazing experiences and perspectives making up the Texas McCombs MBA Class  and cannot wait to see what they accomplish during their time in the program. If you’d like to join them as part of Texas McCombs MBA network, our 2019-2020 application is open!

Hook ’em!

Student Spotlight: Ricardo Robles, Houston MBA Class of 2020

Ricardo Robles Jr. Headshot

Ricardo Robles Jr. Houston MBA Class of 2020

This past fall, 84 new MBA students started at Texas McCombs as part of the Houston MBA Class of 2020!

We recently caught up with Ricardo Robles Jr., a Houston native who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He has worked as an engineer at Pacific Drilling, an engineering consultant at Lloyd’s Register and is currently a Senior Specialist for Performance at Rowan Companies.

Ricardo’s “Why McCombs?”

Ricardo first saw an MBA as a “springboard” for developing his skills in business and expanding his network. He believed an MBA would accelerate his professional progression and open up new avenues for success. He is most excited to continue building relationships in the program that will impact him for the rest of his life.

“Texas McCombs was always at the top of my choices for multiple reasons: the reputation of the program, the excellent professors, and the global network to name a few. Analyzing the program on paper put it on the top of my list but meeting the staff and other prospective students through information sessions made me sure that Texas McCombs was the right choice for me.”

McCombs Impact 

Ricardo’s notable experiences include studying statistics with real world applications and collaboration with students from different backgrounds.

“The diversity of the student body has really helped me refine my collaboration skills with people who may be very different from me. Collaboration has been a major part of this program from the beginning and I’m looking forward to working with my classmates more.”

Ricardo’s Advice to You

For those of you interested in applying for your MBA at Texas McCombs, Ricardo has some advice for you:

“Attend an information event!. They are helpful at every stage of the process. Whether you are still wondering if an MBA is the right choice for you or which program you should pursue at Texas McCombs, events are a great resource to experience the culture and talk to current students.”


Visit Texas McCombs MBA  to find out more about all our programs, events and community, or join the #WhyMcCombs conversation on Twitter. Hook ’em!

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