Category: MBA Events (page 1 of 4)

Women’s Weekend 2019 Recap

This November, Texas McCombs welcomed 55 future MBAs to our annual Women’s Weekend.  This event  was designed for anyone committed to the empowerment of women in business. The weekend brought attendees together to meet current MBA students, alumni, McCombs faculty & staff, and to see first-hand all that Texas McCombs and Austin has to offer.

Welcome to Austin

One of the many reasons why students choose McCombs is for the vibrant business community in Austin. To that end, the weekend kicked off with a welcome reception on Friday evening, sponsored by Austin-based company Bumble Bizz, and hosted at The Riveter, a co-working space designed by women, for everyone, in the heart of downtown Austin. During the welcome reception, attendees had the opportunity to meet current students and members of Graduate Women in Business (GWiB), an MBA student organization dedicated to the personal and professional development of women.

“A woman in business, to me, looks like the women that are in my program. They are poised. They are confident. And I admire how genuine they are and how many programs and activities they are involved in, and I try to match their energy as well”

 Caroline Okocha, MBA ’20

GWiB hosts events throughout the year that focus on advocacy, difficult conversations in the workplace, gender identity, and how to be an ally. Every week, GWiB posts a new #WCW (“Woman Crush Wednesday”) post to highlight members within the community.

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Every week, we feature a woman from our community. Our #wcw this week is first year Presney Blackman! #whymccombs Hometown: Cincinnati, OH Past Work Experience: Key Account Manager for Dow Chemical Company Future Career Goals: I’d like to begin my career in Tech Marketing and eventually go into entrepreneurship McCombs Organizations and Leadership Positions: McCombs Ambassador Committee, Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, MBA Tech Club, GWiB, Marketing Fellows What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you would like to share with GWIB members? Run your race. It’s easy, especially in business school, to look to what others are doing as an indication of what we should be doing. However, the gifts you have been given are different from the gifts of others. Be true to who you are and don’t live to meet the expectations of others. Do you have any book or podcast recommendations? Loving Revisionist History by Malcom Gladwell & The Real Life Podcast with Jefferson Bethke and his wife Alyssa. Who is YOUR #wcw and why? Serena Williams is my #wcw. She is a fighter! I am in awe of her strength, femininity, vulnerability and her love for her husband and child and dedication to her craft. She’s inspired this next generation of young black American tennis players and it is a privilege to be able to witness. She’s the #GOAT!

A post shared by GWiB at McCombs (@gwibmccombs) on

Current MBA student, Jessica Reese-White, says that attending Women’s Weekend when she was applying in 2018 gave her insight into the culture and strengthened her decision to attend McCombs.

“A lot of programs tell you they have a very welcoming culture for women, but you want to actually see that in practice. McCombs prioritizes diverse classes and having strong representation. It’s still mostly men in the world of business and I think it’s important for me as a queer woman of color to be here and show women that they have a space here in the program, and that there are other people like them here.” 

— Jessica Reese-White, MBA ‘21

After the reception, attendees were invited to Upstairs at Caroline, a popular Austin nightspot, for a casual night out with current MBA students.

Getting to Know Texas McCombs

Day two kicked off bright and early with a welcome introduction by Assistant Dean Tina Mabley, rocking matching “Lady Boss” shirts with her daughter.   

Assistant Dean Tina Mabley and her daughter in matching "Lady Boss" shirts.

Assistant Dean Tina Mabley and her daughter show off their “Lady Boss” shirts at Women’s Weekend.

Current MBA students Claire Austin, Presney Blackman, Sophie Roane, and Vicky Wu, presented an overview of the program, followed by an insightful “Career Exploration” talk by Assistant Dean of Graduate Career Management, Janet Huang, that highlighted why McCombs Career Services ranks as one of the best in the country

Janet shared what she believes is the best way to find a balance in a successful career: Ikigai, a Japanese concept that means, “reason for being.”

Janet during her presentation

Janet Huang talks about career resources at Discover McCombs: Women’s Weekend.

Finding strong avenues for career building and advancement is a common challenge for women in business. MBA ’20, Catherine Laclede, said that while the gender distribution highly depends on your industry, top 20 business schools, including McCombs, are taking steps towards gender parity.

“I’m pursuing marketing which tends to be more women-dominated, so I don’t feel the difference as much; but for women who are considering consulting or investment banking, that difference can be more pronounced and noticeable. Having organizations and an event like this where you see other women who really want to do the same things really validates what you want to pursue.” 

— Catherine Laclede, MBA ‘20

Before lunch, attendees heard from a “Beyond the MBA” alumni panel. These women shared success stories about how Texas McCombs helped them grow professionally and personally. The attendees then broke out into mock classes with professors Marissa Epstein and Julia Coronado for a first-hand experience inside the classroom. 

A picture of The Beyond the MBA Alumni Panel at Discover McCombs: Women's Weekend by a banner that says "advancing the world together."

The “Beyond the MBA” Alumni Panel at Discover McCombs: Women’s Weekend.

At noon, everyone got a taste of Austin Tex-Mex from local favorite, Fresa’s, during a networking lunch with current MBA students. During the lunch, MBAs offered more personalized, candid insights and valuable tips for applying to McCombs. 

After lunching and learning, MBA+ Communication Coach, Amira Pollock, led a workshop on leadership presence where she talked about the secret to improv, the importance of non-verbal communication, and outlined the difference between confidence and courage.

“Confidence is how you present yourself, courage is the energy to do it. Next time you’re nervous, tell yourself that it’s okay. You’re going to do this anyway.”

– Amira Pollock, MBA Communication Coach

Real Talk: Women in Business

Before the close of the weekend, current students led a panel where they shared their experiences as women in the business world and gave insight into what being a student at McCombs is really like day-to-day.

“All the Fellows programs have female presidents — that just really speaks to the caliber of women we have at McCombs.” 

Maria-Paula Muñoz Carley, MBA ‘20.

“I believe the biggest struggle women face in business is the lack of representation at the higher level. A big way to overcome that is by getting more women into business.. And that’s why I’m here at the McCombs getting my MBA – I want to be at the top and I want to help other women succeed down the line” 

— Kathie Xiao, MBA ‘20

“You’re definitely going to need an environment where you feel supported and like it’s okay to fail and grow. Knowing that McCombs had a strong group of women that were so invested in each other’s success was really inspiring to me, and really made me feel confident about the decision I was going to make.”

Catherine Laclede, MBA ‘20

women at mccombs

Current Texas McCombs MBA students

Women’s Weekend came to an end with student hosts Kathie Xiao and Caroline Okocha’s talk: #WhyMcCombs: A Story in “Mememojis.” 🤘😁 Kathie kicked off the panel by sharing some challenges she’s faced.

“I’ve gained so much confidence in my business school experience because I’ve put myself in situations where I’m going to be uncomfortable a lot. But, you don’t grow unless you become uncomfortable and push yourself to the edge.”

— Kathie Xiao, MBA ‘20

Alongside her, Caroline shared that getting an MBA is, “a way for women to break the glass ceiling.” Both of them ended the event by sharing the following advice for prospective students:

  1. Don’t panic. Focus on your goals; you don’t have to have it all figured out.
  2. Celebrate your own accomplishments, but also those of all the amazing people around you. We’re all competitive people, but we all want to help each other. This is your community. 
  3. Have fun and make the most of these two years. Find your people, find your place.

“McCombs is a place where you can fight stereotypes. There’s genuine care in the program. We want to be there for you.”

 Caroline Okocha, MBA ’20


If you have any questions, please reach out to MBA Admissions. For more information on our community and programs, check out our websiteHook ’em!

The Full-Time MBA Admissions Team

Every year, the Texas McCombs Full-Time MBA admissions team travels around the world to participate in events to meet you, share what makes McCombs such a unique place,  and answer any questions you have about the program or application process. This team is also who will support your application process, really getting to know you and your goals.

Get to know more about them, below. 🤘

Rodrigo Malta, Managing Director of MBA AdmissionsRodrigo Malta
Managing Director, MBA Recruiting and Admissions

How long have you been with the MBA program and what is your background?
I grew up in Brazil and moved to the United States in high school. I earned my bachelor’s degree in management from Missouri State University. I then used my MBA experience at McCombs to transition from an internal audit career in the telecommunications industry to a marketing role in the technology industry with Dell. During my time as an MBA student, I was very involved in our McCombs Ambassador Committee. This passion for MBA admissions eventually led me back to McCombs and to my current Director role – my dream job!

What has been your most rewarding experience so far with the MBA Admissions Team?

The graduation ceremony in the spring of every year is very special and rewarding to me. I love seeing our excited students walking across the graduation stage and enjoy meeting their families and friends that supported them in this great endeavor.

What are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas McCombs MBA class?

Hands down the diversity of our class! We bring together students from all corners of the world with unique personal stories and varied professional backgrounds. Add in our award-winning faculty members and this is the perfect recipe for lively class discussions and an amazing learning environment.

Stephen Sweeney, Director of Texas Full-Time MBA AdmissionsStephen Sweeney
Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions

How long have you been with the MBA program and what is your background?

I have been leading the recruiting and admissions for the Full-Time MBA at Texas McCombs since January of 2014. I am also an alum of the program and volunteered with the McCombs Ambassador Committee as a student. Prior to enrolling at McCombs, I worked in the hedge fund industry and taught fourth grade through Teach For America.  After I graduated from the MBA, I worked in management consulting until returning to McCombs.

What are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas McCombs MBA class? 

Our accessible faculty along with the hands-on opportunities that McCombs offers truly sets our program apart. Whether being selected for one our Fellows programs or doing an MBA+ project, our students have ample ways to apply what they learn in the classroom to current issues facing companies. I also feel that our Career Management team is the best in the business. This is evident in our placement rates, but you have to see how students transform over the two years and much of this can be attributed to our stellar team.  Lastly, no other top MBA program is located in Austin– the best city in the country!

Senior Admissions Officer, Stacey KammerdienerStacey Batas
Senior Admissions Officer, Full-Time MBA 

How long have you been with the MBA program and what is your background?

I’m a higher ed lifer! I became a part of the Texas MBA team in 2015. Prior to my current role, I worked for an Austin-based marketing firm focused on college and university admissions. We helped clients with social media, branding, search campaigns, publication design, etc. I also spent 8 years in admissions and marketing at a private college in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I managed our events and recruited transfer and international students. While in Charlotte, I attained my MA degree in Higher Education. I’m originally from a small town in Western Pennsylvania so I’ve been slowly making my way down to the warm weather!

What has been your most rewarding experience so far with the MBA Admissions Team?

I manage and supervise the “MAC,” or McCombs Ambassador Committee. They’re our (super amazing) students who answer your emails & phone calls, grab coffee with you, host you at our on-campus events, and help Admissions recruit a strong and diverse incoming class. It’s been very rewarding to work with such a collaborative & intelligent group of individuals who are passionate about giving back and talking about their love for Texas McCombs with future students.

What are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas McCombs MBA class?

The student culture! Our Texas MBAs are so supportive of each other. They want everyone to succeed and push their classmates to be their best selves. Students even go so far as to help each other prep for the same interview! The culture of the program also reflects our great location– the city of Austin. MBA students are friendly, laid back, and take advantage of all that Austin has to offer.

Jaden Felix, Senior Admissions Officer, Full-Time MBA Jaden Felix
Senior Admissions Officer, Full-Time MBA

How long have you been with the MBA program and what is your background?

It’s been a quick one and half years on the Texas McCombs MBA recruiting and admissions team, but 9+ years at the University. I was born and raised in Fresno, CA and graduated from The University of Michigan with a degree in political science. Prior to joining Texas McCombs, I worked at University of Michigan and in the Office of the Dean of Students at The University of Texas at Austin where I focused on leadership development, intercultural education, wellness and safety, as well as, student success initiatives. My interest in positive leadership, change, and effective teams within organizations led me to pursue a Master of Science in Leadership and Change at St. Edwards University. I’m looking forward to meeting you on the road and on-campus.

What has been your most rewarding experience so far with the MBA Admissions Team?

My most rewarding experience is preparing and welcoming our community of Consortium students to the annual Consortium Orientation Program and Career Forum. With assistance from Career Management, Employer Relations, Admissions, and the 2ndyear MBA Consortium liaisons, we design a dynamic training to jump start their Texas McCombs MBA journey with mock interviews, alumni speakers, coaching, experiential learning activities, and community building. To top it off, we even create playlist of each person’s song of choice – think of it as their ultimate mix tape – which is very eclectic. It was full of memorable experiences and takeaways, including you’re always on, prioritize your time, recharge, and chanting Texas Fight.

Jamie Moon, MBA Admissions Counselor

Jamie Moon
Admissions Counselor, Full-Time MBA

How long have you been with the MBA program and what is your background?

I have been with the MBA program since December 2015. Prior to working at McCombs, I worked for a physician’s office in Austin doing billing and administrative functions. Originally from Georgia, I attended Georgia State University for my bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

What are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas McCombs MBA class?

Definitely the students’ willingness to communicate and collaborate with each other. They are all very supportive of one another, even when in direct competition – like interviewing for the same job! I also appreciate their willingness to give back, not only to their class and the McCombs community, but the broader Austin community as well, be it through Board Fellows, or student organizations.


If you have questions or would like to connect with a student or staff member of our Admissions Committee, please reach out to us.

We can’t wait to meet you. Hook ’em!

Diversity & Inclusion at Texas McCombs

This post was written by Jaden Felix, Senior Admissions Officer for the Full-Time MBA.

Within the MBA program at Texas McCombs, we seek out thoughtful and talented students who want to lead in ways that positively shape organizations and society. Each student’s knowledge, skills, and talents are leveraged to create a dynamic learning experience that emphasizes collaboration, authenticity, and exploration. You can see this in action within study groups, cohorts, community conversations, and in how we design our courses. Global acumen, an understanding of diversity, and how to create a culture of inclusion are important components of the learning experience. The Texas McCombs MBA community strives to create a welcoming environment where all students can clearly see themselves.

The ability to succeed in business is no longer focused just on managing the diversity of teams, but on leveraging different perspectives and celebrating them. Our Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Raji Srinivasan, is leading school-wide efforts in this arena, and all departments and programs are working toward defining and sharing  what Diversity and Inclusion means to us to set strategic goals that will uphold our commitment to D&I in higher education and business.
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Which Part-Time MBA Program is Right for You?

This MBA Insider info comes from Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional and Executive MBA Admissions.

If you compare the class profiles of our Executive MBA with our Professional MBAs– Evening MBA, MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, and MBA at Houston programs– the differences can seem obvious. But there’s actually a broad grey area, where many professionals could fit well into either the Executive MBA or one of our Professional MBAs.

In the end, it’s a very personal decision about where to submit your application. But remember, it’s a two part process. You decide where you belong and the admissions committee agrees on the fit. Here is some advice on how to make an informed choice about which Working Professional MBA program to choose.

Consider Your Level & Years of Work Experience 

Average work experience for the MBA Programs:

Program 80% Range Minimum
Professional MBA 3-10.5 years 2 years
Executive MBA 9-21 years 8 years

While people with the minimum eight years of experience do join the Executive MBA, there are relatively few. Executive MBA candidates become more competitive closer to ten years of work experience. On the other side, Professional MBA candidates must have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience, and candidates get competitive with closer to four years. The admissions committee doesn’t simply count the years but evaluates the level and quality of your work experience– the impact you’ve made in your organization, advancement in your role or responsibilities, and unique accomplishments.

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Why McCombs? Evening MBA

This post was written by Kimberly Jones, Marketing Coordinator, Texas McCombs MBA Programs.

Texas McCombs part-time MBA programs are ranked #7 in the country by U.S. News due to the strength of our MBA network, career resources, and experiential opportunities. The McCombs MBA journey is focused on innovation and individually-tailored success, making it one of the most valuable degrees in the world. Our Evening MBA program is especially unique, offering classes on Monday & Tuesday evenings in Austin, so you can continue to work, achieve a work/school balance for your lifestyle, and graduate with a prestigious MBA degree from Texas McCombs in just 2.5 years. Explore the Evening MBA at Texas McCombs.

Evening MBA students in the classroom

Evening MBAs attend class at McCombs

If you’re considering applying to Texas McCombs, we encourage you to start your application now.

As an Evening MBA at McCombs, you will:

  • Learn from renowned, accessible faculty in every subject area
  • Gain skills in cutting-edge business that you can apply to your work in real time
  • Attend classes at the center of a thriving city on a top research university campus
  • Engage in cohort-based learning with a tight-knit, diverse group of peers
  • Explore direct connections to the world’s top employers

The next class of Evening MBAs starts in January 2019. We encourage you to register to attend a summer event below to get to know the Texas McCombs MBA community.

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