Category: Student Life (page 1 of 9)

The Non-Traditional MBA Candidate

The following was written by Samantha Frapart, Texas McCombs MBA ’17, and originally posted in June of 2017. 

I thought I couldn’t get into business school. With my double-major in English and Ecology, five years in non-profits, and my natural aversion to words like “Nasdaq” and “synergy,” how could I convince admissions teams that I belonged in their MBA programs? Well, after graduating from McCombs in May of 2017, I’m here to happily debunk one of the greatest myths of business school: The non-traditional candidate.

Contrary to popular belief, business programs aren’t looking for human calculators. They are looking for students eager to foster strong teams, willing to negotiate & compromise, and ready to share diverse perspectives. In management classes, I was able to add a unique viewpoint to discussions on anything from government regulations to corporate social responsibility. Though I looked to my study-team for help with my finance homework, I was able to offer equally important business lessons like proper brief-structure and design thinking.

We all have something to offer, it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is and letting it shine through.

Though I assure you “non-traditional” is a thing of the past, I know this process can feel daunting. So with the Full-Time MBA application currently open for the next class, I’d like to share some helpful tips from my experience (before and during business school) in hopes that it might ease your worries about applying and prepare you for the fantastic two years ahead.

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Get to Know the Texas McCombs MBA Community!

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

The Texas McCombs community is famous for its diverse perspectives and welcoming spirit. Our students are inspiring and we feel lucky every day to be able to share their stories. We invite you to keep up with MBA program news, admissions updates, alumni highlights, and student life on social media.

social_facebook(1) Our Facebook page is where to find info on events and application deadlines.

social_twitter(1)  Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date news and alumni/student highlights.

social_youtube(1) Get to know our programs and students on YouTube.

insta Don’t miss our Instagram Stories: real-time events and student takeovers.

We post regularly on MBA and business community info to make sure past, current, and future Texas McCombs students stay updated on all the reasons “Why McCombs.” Check out some of the posts we’ve shared recently below. Hook ’em!

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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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MBA London Exchange: Five Lessons Learned

The following was written by Stephanie Hobart, Texas McCombs MBA ’18. 

London is a city known for its chilly, cloudy weather, warm pints of beer, and public transit via the the London Underground. As a city, it’s almost the complete opposite of Austin, where I chose to pursue my full-time MBA degree. So why would I go to London to spend my exchange semester at London Business School?

The Texas McCombs MBA highlights the need to think globally in business today and then provides an opportunity to explore another corner of the globe on an exchange program. I chose London Business School for my exchange program because I wanted the opportunity to not only live in one of the most diverse cities in the world, but also participate in an MBA program that has an almost 90% international student population. Regardless of language or familiarity with a city, moving to a new location can always be a challenge.

Author, Stephanie Hobart and Daniel Katz, McCombs MBA students on exchange at LBS.

Me and Daniel Katz, both McCombs MBA students on exchange at LBS on our last day of class!

Three semesters of business school prepared me for meeting large groups of new people, engaging in classroom and networking conversations, and the change of scenery from Austin to London provided me the chance to learn about life in a European MBA program in one of the most dynamic cities in the world.

Five London Lessons Learned

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Texas MBA Love Stories

This post was written by Jolene Ashcraft, Head of Marketing, Texas McCombs MBA Programs.

This Valentine’s Day, we checked in with some of our MBA alumni who found love at McCombs and have tied the knot in the last year. Find out how they met and what they’re up to now.

Michelle Sutton ’16 and Javier Armenteros ’16

Wedding Date: October 21, 2017

Wedding Location: Chapel Hill, NC

How We Met: By chance, we were seated next to each other at the MBA Orientation Banquet on our very first day of the program, but we did not get to know each other well until our second semester when we traveled to Park City, Utah on the Graduate Business Adventure Team (GBAT) Ski Trip and then to South Africa as part of the McCombs Global Connections Study Tour program.

Currently: We live in Dallas, TX, where Michelle is an Associate Brand Manager at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and Javi is an Associate Finance Manager at PepsiCo Frito Lay. We are both proud Longhorns and are involved in MBA recruiting for our respective companies.

“We loved having such a strong contingent of McCombies at our wedding!”

Christie Sutton ’15 and Patrick McConnell ’15

Wedding Date: October 14, 2017

Wedding Location: San Francisco, CA (We originally planned for Healdsburg in Sonoma County, but due to the Northern California fires, we made a last minute move to San Francisco with the help of many of our McCombs friends.)

How We Met: We met in Austin during one of the McCombs Adventure Program (MAP) Day Trips, which take place before school officially begins. We sat next to each other on the bus to the wine tasting tour in Fredericksburg, TX and were friends from the start.

Currently: We currently live in San Francisco, CA and both work at Apple. Christie works in market development for the Corporate Retail division, and Pat works as a program manager on the new product launch team.

Christie and Pat with MBA classmates at their wedding

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