Category: Executive MBA (page 1 of 7)

Considering Your MBA
in Uncertain Times

Dave Jackson is the Senior Admissions Officer for the Texas McCombs MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth program and is a proud McCombs MBA alumnus . He has 20 years of experience in journalism, public relations, and communication. Dave graduated from the MBA program in 2010 amidst the Great Recession. Here, he provides a personal perspective of his time in the program that may be helpful to those currently evaluating an MBA amongst the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. 

Dave Jackson Headshot

Dave Jackson, Senior Admissions Officer of MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth

I remember sitting in a conference room in the Fall of 2008, in my first year of the Texas McCombs MBA at DFW program. For those who remember that time, we were in the midst of one of the worst recessions in our country’s history as the subprime mortgage crisis brought the financial system to its knees.

The alum standing at the front of the room talking to our class asked, “Who thinks this is a good time to be looking for a job?”

None of us even gave a thought to raising our hands. Most of us were more worried about keeping the jobs we had, let alone finding something new.

He looked at his audience of skeptics and said, “I would argue that this is the best time of all to be looking for a job. Because companies are only hiring people for positions that they know will add value. And those are the jobs you want.”

One simple argument changed our whole perspective on what appeared to be a bleak economic situation.

Now we’re facing another crisis – a public health challenge combined with an economic one. And it’s perfectly rational to ask: Is now the right time to make an investment in an MBA?

This is ultimately a personal question: Everyone has their own set of criteria for what makes a good investment and when is the right time to make it.

Here are a few things to consider:

Return on InvestmentJust as investment advisors recommend that you invest your money for the long-term, recognize that you have many more years ahead in your career and your MBA will pay off over a long period of time. But in thinking more specifically about payback, the most recent GMAC survey of business school alumni found high-levels of both satisfaction and return among both full-time and part-time graduates. Employers value the MBA and despite an uncertain hiring environment, there will be opportunities for good candidates in the future. Additionally McCombs was named No. 1 Best Value among top 20 business schools by U.S. News and World Report, based on the gap between average starting salaries and debt.

NetworkRemember that the concepts of return and value are two different things. While return is more easily quantifiable and you should expect a reasonable payback period, you begin accruing value with your MBA from the day you start, and you continue to accrue that value over the rest of your life. A big part of that value comes from the network you build with your classmates and alumni. As a McCombs student, you instantly join a powerful and passionate network of 500,000+ University of Texas at Austin and 100,000+ McCombs alumni who are eager to help their fellow Longhorns. Being surrounded by a group of smart, goal-oriented, diverse and downright interesting people will give you new perspectives on how to do your work differently, provide you with new tools for solving problems and give you connections (and friendships) that will always be with you throughout your career.

Knowledge Another main source of value in an MBA is the knowledge you gain, which has no expiration date. MBA faculty are the best in their fields, and they also recognize the strength of knowledge in the room. They know how to facilitate discussion and draw on the expertise of you and your fellow students. At McCombs we are fortunate to have extraordinary breadth across academic disciplines, as one of only five schools in the nation to rank in the top 20 across 11 or more U.S. News graduate business specialties. Additionally our faculty have been named top 10 Best Professors by The Princeton Review for 10 of the last 11 years, based on feedback from students about teaching quality and accessibility outside the classroom. We assume that everyone seeking an MBA aspires to be a leader, and our curriculum is geared toward preparing you for leadership. As we’re learning each day, strong leadership skills and empathy are critical in difficult times to ensure that our businesses, organizations, and team members are prepared to get through difficult challenges. As an MBA graduate, you will be well-equipped to play a leading role in solving the next crisis we face as a society.

Perspective Finally, it’s important to recognize that the current environment, while difficult and unprecedented, is temporary. The world economy has weathered many challenges over its long history. And while the “when” isn’t clear, things will get better. It’s important to consider whether waiting to pursue your MBA is worth the opportunity cost of missing out on the benefits you can start receiving sooner.

Warren Buffett, a child of the Great Depression who has become one of the world’s greatest investors in good times and bad, has said, “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”

An MBA is an investment that will pay off over a long time horizon, in ways both easy to measure and less tangible but still significant. So if you’re thinking about whether these turbulent times are right for making the MBA investment, it’s worth considering that this might be the best time of all to go for it.


Visit Texas McCombs MBA to find out more about all our programs, events and community, or take a peek into student life on Instagram.

MBA Student Life in Austin:
The City, Campus, and Culture

As an MBA student at Texas McCombs, your world-class education comes with access to the vibrant city of Austin. Ranked as the #1 place to live in the U.S., there is always something to do in the Texas capital. Our local Longhorn network extends far beyond Texas McCombs, and you will enjoy all the outside-the-classroom perks that come with being a student at The University of Texas at Austin. 

The Silicon Hills

Nicknamed “Silicon Hills,” Austin has become a hub for technology and entrepreneurship. With companies like IBM, Google, Intel, Apple, Oracle, Dell, and Samsung growing their presence in the city, Austin ranks as the no. 1 place in America to start a business and the no. 2 best city for startups. Austin is home to about 5,500 startups and tech companies, hosts an annual Austin Startup Week, and is home to one of the biggest tech business innovation showcases in the world– SXSW.

The city is also geographically small enough that the Google Offices are only a twenty-block, bike ride from campus, unlike megalopolises like New York and Los Angeles.

“The largest factors of my attendance decision were corporate partnerships, program culture, and location. The growing presence of tech companies in Austin, TX was an attractive option for full time employment, and I loved the strength of the relationship between McCombs and the city. While it was important to me to join a prestigious program, I would not have done so at the sacrifice of a cultural fit.”

— Kyle Johnson, MBA Class of 2021

The University of Texas also has strong ties with growing industries in The Texas Triangle–Houston, Austin, and Dallas. In a recent interview with Menlo Coaching, Rodrigo Malta, Managing Director of MBA Recruiting and Admissions, highlighted the advantages of the incredible location of Texas McCombs, life in Austin, MBA Fellows Programs, and job placement opportunities outside of Texas.

Thumbnail to a video produced by Menlo Coaching of an interview with Rodrigo Malta

Austin and its neighboring cities, Houston and Dallas, offer more to students now than ever before with industries like tech, real estate, and consulting booming—all headquartered in central Texas.

In the interview above,  Rodrigo highlights that Houston is famous for its energy and banking sectors– Shell, BP, and Exxon-Mobil are all headquartered or partially headquartered in Houston, making the city a hot market for energy-focused MBAs. Investment banks in Houston also have strong energy practices,  broadening the scope of careers.

Dallas is a mix of little of everything, but consulting and manufacturing are especially strong with companies like BCG, Ericsson, and Toyota calling Dallas home.

“The city itself gives our students a lab in which to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom. What really differentiates us from other business schools is the relationship that the university has with the city of Austin.”  –Rodrigo Malta, in an interview with Menlo Coaching 

What’s on Campus

Step outside Rowling Hall, and be immersed by The University of Texas campus. Head to the gym for a quick workout, a swim, a quick basketball game, climb on our rock wall or relax in the sauna. Our facilities also offer massage sessions and classes in yoga, various levels of exercise, different sports training, CPR, First Aid and Wilderness Medicine, and more. 

Students are also granted free admission to museums in Austin. The Harry Ransom Center that specializes in collecting literary and cultural artifacts like the Gutenburg Bible and the first photo ever taken–the Niépce Heliograph. Our other museums around campus include The Blanton Museum of Art, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas Memorial Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

 

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The City’s Culture

In recent years, Austin has been noted as one of the best travel destinations with 27.4 million domestic visitors annually. During the day, outdoor enthusiasts can float along the Colorado River by paddle-board, canoe or kayak, dive into the Barton Springs Pool, or take a hike at the Barton Creek Greenbelt. At sunset, watch as hundreds of bats fly out from under the South Congress Bridge. 

Austin locals swimming in lake.

Locals enjoy the springs outside of Barton Creek pool. Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash.

Our “Keep Austin Weird” mantra is noted for the city’s live music, art galleries and shows, festivals of all kinds, and countless breweries. The popular South Congress Avenue, SoCo for short, is home to the famous “I love you so much” mural,  Homeslice Pizza, and many unique shops and boutiques.

“From the first time I stepped foot in Austin, I’ve been amazed by the energy and vibrancy of the city. Although all great business schools offer tons of resources, Texas McCombs’ seamless integration with the surrounding city was a huge factor in my decision. There’s nowhere else I could experience being at the nexus of equally amazing academic, technology, and entrepreneurial communities, all whilst eating some proper Texas barbecue.”   — Alice Xu, MBA Class of 2021

For a night out, visitors and residents alike head to Sixth Street or Rainey Street, two of the busiest bar districts, for their late-night drinks. Sixth Street is the main entertainment district in Austin with something different at every end with an abundant amount of bars to choose from. Rainey Street, while busy, is more relaxed. The street is lined with houses that were renovated into bars and is popular for its brunch scene on Sundays.

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Our Longhorn Community

Texas McCombs welcomes around 270 full-time MBA students a year, which is perfect for fostering a collaborative, tight-knit student environment. With over 40 different professional, social, and community-centered student organizations, there is a place for everyone.

The Texas Alumni Network is one of the largest in the world with more than 500,000 UT Alumni, 100,000 McCombs Alumni, 25,000 MBA Alumni and more than 30 Alumni Chapters. 

“I had three main reasons to choose McCombs: The collaborative culture of the school that leads to owning one of the best networks, the world class career management center that guides you through one of the best recruiting experience ever, and the new mini silicon valley of the USA – Austin. After all, MBA for me was all about building professional relations, career progression, and exposure to potential hubs of the future.”

 — Haimanti Gupta, MBA Class of 2021

We are deeply committed to developing a supportive alumni network and dedicated career staff that can tailor your experience to get you where you want to be. With more than 200 unique employers and over 1,300 on-campus interviews,  rest assured that the Texas McCombs MBA program will help you launch your dream career at every step of the way.

Master's candidates are presented with their degrees during a MBA graduation celebration at Gregory Gym on May 19, 2017. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.


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If you have any questions, please reach out to MBA Admissions. Hook ’em!

First Look: Executive MBA
Class of 2021

The Round 1 application deadline is approaching for our Executive MBA, currently ranked #8 in the U.S. by Poets and Quants, and our admissions committee is preparing to put together another elite class of students to bring their skills and experience to the McCombs network.

This past August, our newest enrolled students started their MBA journey at Rowling Hall. Introducing the Executive MBA Class of 2021:

stats for the Executive MBA program class of 2021.

 

The Executive MBA welcomed 48 top-caliber business professionals to the Texas McCombs MBA network with women leaders making up 21% and international students making up 18%.  We also have a growing military population throughout all programs at McCombs with 10 veteran students included in our Executive class this year.

These executives represent a wide array of industries, including technology, energy, government, banking and finance, and consulting. Our students also have rich educational backgrounds, as 27% of the class already hold advanced degrees.

They also have an average of 14 years of experience, signaling their skills in managing teams, decision-making, and entrepreneurship. Their experiences will challenge and inspire one another in order to reach new heights in their careers over the next two years in Austin.

As Austin continues to grow, 28% of Executive students live outside the Austin metro area and commute to the city every other weekend for classes. Commuters are not uncommon for the program and all students benefit from the strong, expansive business culture of McCombs and Austin.


We feel humbled by the amazing experiences and perspectives making up the Texas McCombs MBA Class of 2021 and cannot wait to see what they accomplish during their time in the program. If you’d like to join them as part of the Texas McCombs MBA network, start your application!  

To learn more about the MBA, download our brochure, check out other Executive MBA events, or follow us on Instagram for an inside look at student life. We look forward to meeting you and reading your application.

Hook ’em!

How to Highlight Your Work Experience

This MBA Insider content comes from Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional & Executive MBA Admissions.

When evaluating your application, our MBA Admissions Committee aims for a complete picture of your qualifications and fit with the program. It’s all about perspective. We look  at your application as if we are holding a scale, balancing all the parts.

When considering the specific experience on your resume, on one side there’s a raw number of years (Quantity), and on the other is your job experience (Quality).

Quantity

Say that you are the CEO of a mid-size corporation. Wonderful!  Oh, you just started in this position? That’s an amazing accomplishment, but perhaps you’d still admit that your knowledge and expertise in such a new position wouldn’t be as developed as someone who’s been doing it for a few years.

Or maybe you have been in the same job for 10 years.  Wow!  No doubt you are a go-to person when it comes to that role, but could it mean that perhaps you didn’t take as much initiative or demonstrate leadership qualities required to launch you to the next level? Or perhaps you have only had a project manager role for a year, but in that time you’ve produced measurable results and demonstrated leadership.  In these cases, the quality of your work experience matters more.

Quality

A general job title like “Project Manager” may seem lackluster, but could actually be pretty exciting.  Don’t let us make assumptions. Take every opportunity on your application to illustrate just WHAT about your job made your experience rich and rewarding.

On the flip side, a Chief Operating Office title sounds impressive, but what kind of company did you work for and how extensive were your duties?  An impressive title with naught to back it up won’t move the needle in your favor when it comes to work experience.

The take-away on work experience:  Years, titles, and accomplishments are not, by themselves deciding factors. To help you provide us with a clear picture, here are our top tips for highlighting the quality and quantity of your work experience on your resume:

7 Tips for a Better Resume

  1. Tailor Content – You may have heard the adage that your resume should be tailored to your audience, which is true. But customizing your resume may simply entail reordering or swapping out bullet points. Remember, a resume is a summary of your relevant experience, not necessarily all of it.
  2. Emphasize Results – We don’t just want a summary. We want to know whether you generated results from your work.  If the person replacing you could copy and paste your resume bullet points into their resume, that’s probably a sign your bullet points need to better emphasize your individual contributions in the role.
  3. Avoid Redundancy – Think of each line on your resume as a valuable piece of real estate. Consider the incremental value that each line on your resume provides for you as a candidate. If you have performed the same task in multiple roles, is it necessary to list that same task more than once on your resume? Likely not.
  4. Show Balance – We want to see a “balanced” candidate – someone who has been strong in the classroom and in the workplace while participating in extracurricular activities and having unique interests outside of work. Consider creating an “Additional” section to detail your activities and interests for use as a potential conversation starter.
  5. Utilize White Space – Great resume content can only be great if a reader can easily access it. That’s where resume readability comes into play. Don’t forget to use your white space effectively. A resume is not about cramming as much you can onto the page. Rather, give your content some space to breathe.
  6. Enlist Proofreaders– Perhaps the most important element of a resume is that it is free of errors. A single spelling, grammatical, or formatting error can hurt even the most impressive resume. Have multiple individuals proofread your resume.
  7. Convey Personal Brand – What do you think of when you think of great global brands like Apple, Nike, or Google? What words come to mind? Now, when we read your resume, what words do you want to come to mind about you? Have a peer give your resume a 30-second review and see if the words you want to pop for a reader, actually do.

Remember, your resume is important, but it’s only one data point for you as a candidate. Years of work experience give only one sense of you as a candidate, so use your resume to make the quality of those years really stand out. Hook ’em!

The Top 5 MBA Admissions Questions

If you have reviewed the Texas McCombs MBA application process, you are familiar with the basic steps to applying. Here are some of the steps we’ve highlighted on this blog:

Of course, the above list does not cover everything. Each application is unique, and you may have a special situation or questions specific to your career goals or background. Our MBA Admissions team has put together our Top 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions below.

Who has Texas residency status?

Everyone who applies to the Texas McCombs MBA is classified as a non-resident until they are admitted, accept the offer, and complete a Texas Residency questionnaire. So even though your status may look incorrect to start, if you’re a Texas resident, you’ll have a chance to prove it later on in the process.

How do I submit transcripts?

We get all sorts of questions on transcripts– foreign language transcripts, study abroad transcripts, old paper transcripts, and electronic transcripts. Here’s a breakdown of the steps for transcripts:

  • Order official transcripts from any university or college you attended EXCEPT junior or technical colleges. Have the transcripts sent to you directly. If your transcripts are in a foreign language, they must also be accompanied by an official English translation.
  • Scan and upload all transcripts to your McCombs Application online.
  • Pay your Application Fee. (see #5 below)
  • Scan and upload transcripts to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).
  • Store your official transcripts safely. If you’re offered admission and intend to enroll, you’ll then send your official transcripts to GIAC.

Are letters of recommendation required?

We require one professional letter of recommendation from a person who has supervised your work and/or has assessed your performance during your career. We cannot accept additional letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are received directly from the recommender via a secure portal in your application. While completing your application, you will be able to send your recommender an invitation to access this secure portal to submit their recommendation. Once your letter of recommendation is received, you will be notified via automated email.

A few helpful hints:

  • Complete this part of your application first. This will launch email notifications to your recommenders and allow them to get started on the form while you’re working on the other components of your application.
  • Contact your recommenders ASAP to let them know they should receive an email to avoid them ending up in someone’s junk/spam email folder since they come from a generic Texas MBA email address.
  • Monitor the status of your recommendations in the McCombs application portal to ensure they’re completed within a reasonable amount of time, and by the deadline. You can resend notifications from within the portal as needed.

How long do I have to submit my test scores?

As long as you’ve taken a test and have made the request to have your official scores sent to UT Austin by the round deadline, your application will be considered “on time.” During the admissions process, we sync what you reported in the application with what’s received by UT Austin. It can take several weeks for your official score to be received by the university, and your application marks this item complete once it arrives.

If you’ve decided to retake the exam after you’ve submitted your application, please notify the appropriate program as soon as you have your score. Please note there is no guarantee that your updated test score(s) will be considered in the evaluation of your candidacy, as this depends on when the McCombs Admissions Committee receives the update from you. Again, it’ll take several weeks for the official score to reach UT Austin, but be sure you’ve made the request to have the updated score sent.

If you’re applying to multiple programs at McCombs, you don’t need to send separate scores to each program. UT Austin has a central repository for official scores that all departments can access.

When do I pay the application fee?

You will not be able to pay the application fee for about two business days after you hit the submit button, depending on when you submit your application. Your application is considered “on time” if submitted by the deadline, regardless if the fee is paid on that date. However, your application will not be evaluated if you do not pay the fee once it’s due.

Please be sure to complete the following steps AFTER you hit the submit button on the application:

  • Within two business days of submission of your application you will receive an email with instructions for how to log into your GIAC MyStatus Page. Log into your GIAC MyStatus page to pay the $200 application fee. Your application fee status should reflect “Paid” in the McCombs application portal within five business days of submission.
  • Upload Transcripts to GIAC after you have paid the fee. Note: Former University of Texas at Austin students will pay a transcript fee in lieu of uploading UT Austin transcripts to GIAC.

We encourage you to carefully review all the MBA application components in detail as you complete your application. And if you have additional questions, please reach out to us.

Hook ’em!

These tips were originally posted on Sept. 18, 2017 and have been updated for this application cycle.

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