Category: Diversity & Inclusion (page 1 of 2)

Student Spotlight: Pallavi Nair, Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

We have the privilege of welcoming Forté Foundation members into our MBA program each fall. The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of top companies and business schools, working to launch women into successful careers through access to education, opportunities, and a supportive network.  Texas McCombs has been a proud Forté partner since it was founded in 2001, and the MBA program participates in Forté events across the country every year.

We recently caught up with a new MBA and Forté Fellow who hadn’t always planned to pursue an MBA, but quickly realized how the Texas McCombs MBA program could help to reach her goals and foster her passion for advocating for women in business. Meet Pallavi Nair!

Class of 2020 MBA, Pallavi Nair

Hook ’em! Class of 2020 MBA, Pallavi Nair

Tell us about your background– the education, volunteer or work experience that led you to want to pursue your MBA?

My hometown is Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and I have a chemical engineering background. I think what drew me most to engineering is the drive to fix problems and build solutions. After my undergraduate degree, I worked as a product development engineer at PepsiCo R&D, continuing to use this passion to drive new innovation for brands such as Doritos. At some point it became clear to me that while I loved engineering, I was also fascinated by the strategy behind how we innovated. What were the emerging market trends that were actually worth pursuing? How should we leverage the company’s global resources effectively while keeping our regional consumers in mind? I knew about unlocking new technologies, but how did we decide which technologies were worth unlocking? These questions made me realize that I would love to earn my MBA and spend time delving into these topics through hands-on learning experiences and interactions with not only great professors, but classmates who have experience in a variety of business-related fields. I want to keep creating solutions over the next two years and beyond, and can’t wait to start applying the knowledge I gain through my MBA to my problem-solving approach!

What was the application process like for you? Why did you choose Texas McCombs?

I think my application process was a little different than most. I did not decide until early fall that I was ready to apply to b-school; I was very happy at my current job and an MBA was not necessarily a checklist item to further my current career path. Instead, it was the realization of what truly interested me and what I hoped to learn that drove me to apply. I selected the programs I applied to very carefully, based mostly on reputation, location and program structure, and visited each of the campuses. What struck me the most about McCombs as compared to the other schools was the culture. It’s something people mention a lot, but experiencing it in person really makes a difference! I truly felt the McCombs “win-as-one” culture was very evident. The student body truly felt like a family, and the environment felt comfortable and inclusive without sacrificing motivation and a drive for success. I was also extremely humbled when I found out I had been selected as a Forté Fellow by McCombs in my offer of admittance. The desire to drive positive change for gender equality in the workplace was something I had brought up passionately in my application process, and I was very happy to know that the school saw me as a fit representative for Texas McCombs in this arena.

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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.

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What Diversity Means in the Texas McCombs MBA Community

Here at McCombs, we feel lucky every day to be surrounded by such awesome students. Their intelligence, ambition, and genuine nature is truly humbling. Our students and staff value the ability to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for MBAs and as a result, the Texas MBA Program fosters a supportive, open community across all programs. Our students seek to learn not only from their case studies, professors and projects, but from each other.

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.

Opening Up

Every year, the Texas MBA hosts future MBA students on campus at McCombs for experience events with current students, staff, faculty and alumni.  Our Diversity Forum and Women’s Forum events offer you the opportunity to meet MBAs from a variety of career paths and backgrounds, learn program details from Texas MBA staff & faculty, as well as experience life in beautiful Austin, Texas.

As the MBA Admissions Committee builds each class, unique work backgrounds, undergraduate experiences, and innovative career plans emerge. While these factors are important and impressive, what makes the McCombs community special goes beyond that. Our students elevate their thinking & challenge one another, while being united by an enterprising spirit of growth throughout the program and beyond.

Working Together

MBA students at CGSM, giving the hook 'em sign

Admitted Texas MBAs at CGSM,
Investment Banking Day

McCombs has partnered  with  The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) since 1984. The Consortium’s mission is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership. The CGSM Class of 2017 was our largest class at McCombs to date. Other organizations we are proud to work alongside to further diversity & inclusion in the business world include:

We strongly encourage you to explore these organizations. They offer great resources to help future MBAs navigate their options & the application process.

Supporting Each Other

Texas MBAs organize and reach out when called on to support each other or the greater MBA & business community around the world. Our many student organizations foster connections throughout your MBA.

One of our MBA orgs,  EQUAL MBAs,  invites you to register for the 20th Annual Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA & Business Graduate (ROMBA) Conference.  The conference is open to current, alumni and prospective LGBTQ MBAs and business graduates and their active allies. You need an access code to register. If you are interested in attending, please email equalmbas@mccombs.utexas.edu and let them know.

Diversity, at its core, is opportunity: opportunity to learn, step outside yourself, and to cultivate a network that can pull you in directions that will benefit your future. 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. It is what makes us different, and we encourage each of our students to be themselves fully, without reservation.


Reach out to us with any questions about life as a student, connecting with organizations, or the application process. We’re here to help and look forward to meeting you.

Hook ‘Em!

Texas MBA Global Connections: Explore. Discover. Lead.

Texas MBAs went global this spring with study tours across six countries — Cuba, India, China, South Africa, Malaysia, and Thailand! These tours are part of the McCombs Global Connections (MGC) program: An eight to ten-day study tour to business powerhouses around the globe.

Image via McCombs Today

During these tours, Texas MBA students explore global opportunities and learn many aspects of conducting business outside the United States. Through guest speakers, company visits, project work, and case studies, MGC provides an incredible opportunity for Texas MBAs to explore the economy, major industries, local businesses, and culture in different nations, enhancing their transferable skills and understanding of different cultures to operate in an international market.

Global Connections 2017 enabled 134 Texas Full-time MBA students to participate in engagement experiences, including cultural immersion, business visits, conferences, and discussions.

India

Texas MBA students visited local Indian communities and businesses such as Intel, Infosys, VMware, IBM and American Embassy in Bangalore and Delhi. Special activities included the Social Impact Day at Mewat Village and the “Our Native Village” cultural tour.

Exploring Indian culture. Photo by Deidra Stephens

Business visit to Infosys in Bangalore. Photo by Deidra Stephens

First Ever Cuba Tour

Texas MBAs had the opportunity to learn about the business operation and economic potentials in Cuba through a series of conferences, including the Conference on US-Cuba Relations, Conference on the Cuban Economy, Currency, Debt and Financial Institutions, and Conference on New and Micro Business Models in Cuba. They also attended local company visits to the Organopónico Vivero Alamar – Cuba’s most successful urban cooperative agricultural project and Autochapt – a non-agricultural cooperative /car repairing micro business.

Texas MBAs rode in nostalgic style in Cuba.

Texas MBAs in the first Global Connection Study Tour in Cuba. Photo by Shannon Moffett

South Africa

Texas MBAs immersed themselves in learning cultural differences and business practices in the “Think Impact Day Series” and business visits to Delheim Winery, Coca-Cola South Africa, and Heart Capital.

Global Connection Study Tour in South Africa. Photo by John Greely

Global Connections Study Tour in South Africa

Global Connections Study Tour in South Africa.

China

With three cities visited — Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing — the China Study Tour offered business visits to successful companies in China such as BYD, InterChina, Emerson, CSUN, CNOOC, and tours to major Chinese landmarks.

Texas MBAs at the Great Wall of China. Photo by Karl Novick

Business visits to China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Photo by Karl Novick

Southeast Asia (Malaysia and Thailand)

Two countries and three cities were visited in Southeast Asia’s Study Tour. Texas MBAs enhanced their cultural competency and global business operation skills with visits to the Malaysia Investment Development Authority, Emerson Process Management, NI Penang, Wong Engineering, and Western Digital.

Texas MBA students in Bantu Caves (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Photo by Joel Obaseki

Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Torrey Kolesar

Read more about the previous Global Connections Study Tour trips to South Africa, China, and Brazil.

For more info about the Full-time Texas MBA Program, visit our Facebook page or Twitter account, or contact us with any questions.

Hook’em!

Austin: The City with Something for Everyone

Life in the Texas MBA program goes beyond the cohort classrooms. The city of Austin is integral to our experience in the two years that we spend at McCombs. The best thing about Austin is that there is something to do here for everyone. From race-car enthusiasts to live music connoisseurs, everyone in the program takes a little bit of this city wherever they go. In this blog, we wanted to touch upon three different types of events that are truly unique to Austin’s soul.

For Music Lovers: Austin City Limits Music Festival

Move over Coachella, the biggest and best artists in music make their annual pilgrimage to Austin and play in front of 75000 people in the outdoor greens of Zilker Park. The venue is decked up with food and drinks, an art market, kids area for families, while music ranges from rock, indie, country, folk, electronic, and hip-hop. This year, the McCombs group created their own flag and made their presence felt all over Zilker Park.

For Technology Lovers: South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive

SXSW Interactive is focused on emerging technology making Austin the breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. The festival includes a trade show, speakers, parties, and a startup accelerator. This year, Meerkat, the video streaming application, was one of the featured technologies gaining traction due to endorsements from many celebrities including Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Every year, Texas MBA has a booth at the SXSWi Tradeshow promoting new technology ventures supported by our own students.

For Fun Lovers: Eeoyre’s Birthday

It doesn’t get much more Austin weird than Eeyore’s Birthday Party – the annual Pease Park bacchanal known for outrageous costumes and booming drum circles. This event is celebrated on the last Saturday of April, featuring colorful costumes, a trash can of lemonade, honey sandwiches and a live flower-draped donkey.

Eeooyre'sBday

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