Category: Full-Time MBA (page 1 of 15)

eQual MBAs #Pride Stories

As Pride Month comes to an end, Texas McCombs would like to highlight how our Engaged Queer & Ally (eQual) MBAs organization has continued to support the McCombs and Austin communities, share resources and organize exclusively in a digital platform to celebrate Pride this year. Despite being in the middle of a global pandemic, McCombs students continue to stay engaged, as world-changing leaders committed to serving our many diverse communities.

Equal MBA team photo

eQual MBA students at Texas McCombs

Who are eQual MBAs?

Engaged Queer & Ally (eQual) MBAs, McCombs’ LGBTQ+ affinity group, is dedicated to promoting diversity & inclusion in the @utexasmba program & community at large. Every year, they’re committed to recruiting more LGBTQ+ prospective students, organizing regular events, connecting to alumni, and building relationships with allies and sponsors. Furthermore, through their efforts, eQual MBAs bring forth educational discussions to McCombs about gender and sexuality, advocate for allyship and inclusion, and connect members to the larger Austin LQBTQ+ community. Overall, the group is divided into three different pillars: allyship, alumni, and service.

Aside from being full-time MBA students, everyone involved in the organization has faced additional challenges throughout their eQual MBA journey. Despite being the smallest affinity group at Texas McCombs, they continue to grow. Currently, they hold 14 LGBTQ+ members — a record high for the club – along with many allies as members. 2020-2021 co-presidents Andie Parazo and Matt Mason look forward to continuing to grow membership and offering support and resources to the LGBTQ+ and ally community at McCombs.

The eQual MBAs organization, to me, means having a community that will always be there to support me. The members of eQual are not only the people that I rely on to help organize events for the advancement of queer and all underrepresented people’s rights, but they are also some of my closest friends in the MBA program.

— Matt Mason, eQqual MBAs Co-President, MBA Class of 2021

Allyship, Intersectionality and the Importance of Showing Up

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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.

After Admission: Deciding Your
MBA Offer

Making it through the MBA application process to receive an offer of admission from Texas McCombs is a big accomplishment! But it is not the end of your MBA admissions journey. The decision process goes both ways and you must accept your offer of admission to be enrolled in the next class. As a driven and competitive MBA candidate,  you may be deciding between offers at multiple business schools. Everyone’s individual decision is different, but a few common themes always come up when we ask our students, “Why McCombs?”

The City

Austin, Texas tops rankings for quality of life, growth, tech and innovation year after year. ATX has been named the No. 1 Best Place to Live by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, 2018 and 2019!

A few photos of Austin - Lake Travis, the city, the Capitol, & a concert

The MBA program moved into a new, world-class facility in 2018. Robert B. Rowling Hall sits at the intersection of the university and the Austin business community, acting as a launchpad for ideas. Open, transparent and flexibly designed, the building creates the physical space for you to engage, collaborate and learn experientially. Our dedication to excellence plus our new home made us a Top Ten Business School to Watch in 2019 .

Rowling Hall exterior

Robert B. Rowling Hall, Graduate Business Building, UT Austin

The Network

Right at the center of Austin is the McCombs School of Business–  a tight-knit, driven community of students, staff and faculty, making up part of one of the largest university networks in the world:

500,000+ UTY Austin Alumni, 100,000+ McCombs Alumni, 25,000+ MBA Alumni

Our MBA culture is famously welcoming and our students come from diverse backgrounds that make our community dynamic and inspiring. It has been said that McCombs MBAs are relentlessly driven, yet they are the first to jump in and encourage and support each other to excel. Connect with current MBA students to learn more about what sets us apart.

Texas McCombs MBA Consortium Students at Rowling Hall, fall 2018

Texas McCombs Consortium MBA students at Orientation 2018

The Focus on the Future

Texas McCombs is human-centered and future-focused, meaning we have our eye on what’s coming next in business– from the exciting research coming out of McCombs every day to the many rankings where we are among the best schools in the nation. We strive to be a top business school, giving our students the best possible experience. Recently, we landed on seven Top 10 lists in Princeton Review’s 2020 rankings!


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

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!

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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!

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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