Category: Student Life (page 1 of 5)

Texas MBA Love Stories

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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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 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.


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.


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.


Airplanes, Austin, Classes, and People – My Texas MBA Allure

I’ve spent most of my life living in the eastern time zone, so moving to Texas was a wild departure from my past. As I chatted with prospective students who spent their whole lives in the Northeast, or maybe even outside of the US, it made me remember the questions and priorities I had when I was seeking out business schools. Did I find what I was looking for in Texas? (Spoiler: The answer to that question is “yes”)

Here are four main things I was looking for:

1. I want to go work for _______.

Inside, I’m still a small kid, fascinated by the prospect of two giant jet engines propelling a 300+ ton wide-body airplane up into the sky. I always wanted to work for the airline industry – yes, that pressurized metal tube, shoes off, delay-prone industry. Knowing this, I set out to find a school that gave me the best chance at fulfilling my ambitions. It was the active and well-connected alumni network, the well thought-out career support system, and Texas’ historic strength in the industry that made the school so attractive to me. In fact, it was one of the alumni that helped convince me that I would have the connection and resources at McCombs to get where I wanted to be.

Importantly, it’s not just the connection to a dream job or function that mattered. The relationship to my career aspirations, the career management staff and system strength, and diverse experiences of my classmates mattered just as much. I asked my self, “can I develop a connection with the career staff who will have my best interest in mind?” “Is the career support system proactive?” Thinking back, I made absolutely the right call.

(For brevity sake, I left out the next seven paragraphs about airlines. I have been known to talk people’s ear off about it…)

2. The Neat Outdoor-sy City Called Austin

First off, I spent most of my life in the frigid tundra of the Midwest. I loved the snow (and snow days!), and thought it had a bad reputation. When I descended on Texas, freezing weather was somewhat a foreign concept.


Austin’s Freezing February

Seriously though, Austin’s an outstanding outdoors town. It’s actually a neat town in general. I like to spend a lot of time outdoors – playing tennis, ultimate Frisbee, jogging – and in the ten different cities I’ve lived in my life, Austin’s has by far the best trails, courts, and the weather to enjoy it all. If you’re not familiar with the area, definitely check out Barton Springs Pool the next time you’re here. It’s Austin’s natural river open for swimming nearly all year-round


Hiking the Barton Creek Trail with Classmates

3. A Customizable Curriculum

By now, you’ve probably heard about our class structure – two years, four semesters, mandatory core classes to start. But it’s the brevity of the required core curriculum that was especially attractive. After all, the Full-Time Texas MBA Program is only two years / four semesters long.

When I was looking at the Texas MBA Program, I was concerned that the small class size meant less options for electives. Many case/discussion-based classes need critical mass to tap into the proverbial “wisdom of a crowd”. That said, I discovered a surprising number of interesting electives for a program that currently averages 270 students per year, because there’s so much time to take electives (nearly three-quarters of the program are reserved for electives).

A great example of a course that shows the diversity of our electives is “Corporate Governance” taught by Professor William Cunningham. To analyze a Board of Director’s important duties and responsibilities, the Professor invites several former and current senior executives from various companies to address the class. I’m taking this course this semester; it’s a rare opportunity to take a course where we can learn from today’s business leaders. And so far, it has been quite a treat.

4. The People

It’s a bit of a clichéd concept, but I believe that people can make the greatest difference. I always tell this anecdote about how I started to see UT as the place for me. Last year, I was making my decision on business schools, and visited Austin to check out the city and the university. Incidentally, it was the Austin Marathon weekend. There was something about the volume of energy and excitement around the city that surprised me, even if it housed a very large public university.

When I visited McCombs, it was much the same. The important thing to ask is – do I see myself with these people as my classmates? Would I enjoy their company, and be able to work with them? After talking to the current students, the faculty from the class I was able to shadow in, and even random people in the atrium, I think I saw myself fitting in just fine.


Texas vs. Cal from the MBA Student Section! (I believe we were winning at this point…?)

McCombs Annual Ski Trip

Some of you out there might be wondering: will attending business school in Texas still allow me to get out to the mountains to ski/board? Well, I’m happy to report, the answer is a resounding YES!

A fun day on the slopes in Breckenridge!

A fun day on the slopes in Breckenridge!

During the first weekend in February, about 150 Texas MBAs, spouses, significant others, and friends descended upon Breckenridge, Colorado for the annual Graduate Business Adventure Team (GBAT) Ski Trip. Every spring semester, the GBAT organizes a trip out of Austin, and up into the mountains, to take in a little fun on the slopes (and on the town!).  The GBAT organizes lodging arrangements, equipment/lift ticket discounts, shuttles, and happy hours. With everything that Texas MBAs have going on around Austin, it definitely makes things easy when all we need to plan on our own is flights!

We all had a great time breathing in the fresh mountain air (or huffing and puffing in the much higher than sea-level altitude, as it were). But beyond the excellent ski conditions, it was a great time to relax with friends and forget about the stresses of schoolwork that we left behind!

Some highlights of the trip included:

  • Sun and blue sky conditions
  • Friday evening happy hour at Mi Casa – such a great turnout that it was standing room only!
  • A couple of us getting summer internship offers while having lunch on the mountain
  • Condos that were just steps away from the lift
  • Bar-hopping on Main Street in Breckenridge
  • The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships (see below)


Snow Sculpture Championships

Snow Sculpture Championships

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