What Are Executive MBA Programs Looking For?

What is the ideal profile for someone trying to get into Exec MBA program?

Rodrigo Malta, Director of MBA Admissions, McCombs School of Business, says:

The answer to this question will vary by school, so it is always best to check with the programs you are applying to determine their entry requirements. EMBA programs offer the opportunity for mid-career professionals to enhance their ability to lead, gain top-management perspective, understand the economic, social and political forces driving business change, and gain command of core business fundamentals. Not a lot of schools offer both a Working Professional and an Executive MBA program format.  Many times, the key differences between these programs are the timing of classes (weekdays v. weekends) and work experience of those individuals in the program.  When evaluating Executive MBA programs, it is important to look at the class profile before applying but to also visit classes if possible to compare and contrast the classroom interaction between Working Professional and Executive MBA classes.  Additionally, it is important to ask if classes are taught by the same faculty members.

Original question and answer found on Quora.

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Texas MBA at SXSW 2013

With SXSW just days away, I wanted to share a couple of ways that the Texas MBA program will be involved at the conference this year.

Texas MBA at SXSWTexas MBA at SXSW Startup Village

When: March 9, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Vince Young Steakhouse

Along with the Master of Science in Technology and Commercialization (MSTC) and the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) programs, Texas MBA will once again be hosting a networking reception during SXSW Interactive. This year’s reception will feature a live band, complimentary food and beverages, and branded giveaways. If you made it to last year’s event, then you know that a great time is in store – don’t forget to RSVP.

Texas MBA at SXSW Trade Show

When: March 10-13, beginning at 11 a.m. each day
Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4

Current students, as well as staff from our admissions and career management teams, will be on hand to talk with prospective students about the various opportunities within our programs. Staff and students will also be available to speak with prospective employers about the talent pool at McCombs for MBA internships and full-time positions. Stop by to learn more about the Texas MBA and pick up some cool McCombs swag.

In addition to our program’s involvement, many other faculty, staff, and students from across the university will be involved in SXSW activities. For more information, check out McCombs at SXSW and UT at SXSW.

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Posted in Evening MBA, Events, Executive MBA, Executive MBA at Mexico City, Full-Time MBA, MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, MBA at Houston

Meet Jocelyn Sexton, MBA ’14

Texas MBA Student Jocelyn SextonName: Jocelyn Sexton
Class: Executive MBA, ‘14
Hometown: Shiner, TX (home of the world-famous Shiner Beer)
Education: Journalism-Public Relations, University of North Texas
Current Job: In January, I accepted a new position as the Director of Programs, Products and Services at the Texas Land Title Association. Previously, I spent nearly seven years in state government working as an editor and communications coordinator.

Why did want to come back to school for your MBA?
I always knew that I wanted to earn a master’s degree and originally gained admittance into UT’s top-rated graduate advertising program. The program seemed to offer a good balance between creative and strategic thinking, and I was excited to attend UT in the fall. However, because I work full-time, I planned to take just one or two classes at a time and slowly work my way through the program.

I never really entertained the thought of pursuing an MBA because I was intimidated by all the math (… and still am). But after I received my acceptance letter to UT, I started to take a harder look at my future career plans, and realized all of my ambitions were ultimately tied to management. My career had reached a long plateau, and if I was ever going to get into a true leadership position, I felt like a business degree might help me finally make a move up the ladder. Lucky for me, UT had two great MBA programs available for folks like me who worked full-time. I’m happy to be in the Executive MBA program because I’ll finish in just two years, and I’m only in class every other week.

What has been your biggest surprise since starting the Texas MBA program?
If I’m being completely honest, I had a preconceived notion that MBA graduates from prestigious programs such as UT had a reputation for being a bit snobby. I worried about not measuring up or feeling insignificant compared to my classmates. But I could not ask for a better group of peers! By and large, my classmates are so nice, friendly, humble, encouraging and helpful. There’s not one snob in our bunch! Also, I’m incredibly impressed by the backgrounds of so many of my new friends. From military folks, doctors and engineers, to a farmer, an art dealer and a former MMA fighter… we have a crazy-awesome mix of experiences. Many of my classmates have already had exceptional careers, but when we’re in school, we’re in it together and totally there for each other. The professors at McCombs are really great, but I’ve learned more from my classmates.

Texas MBA Student Jocelyn Sexton and Family

Outside of class, what are you involved in?
At school, I serve as the co-chair of the Texas Evening and Executive MBA Women’s Forum, and I look forward to continuing a campaign that encourages more professional women to pursue an MBA at UT. At work, I’m involved with professional organizations that promote leadership, professional development and communication, especially for association executives. But the most important thing in my life — above school and work — is being a wife and mom. My husband and I are parents to (in my unbiased opinion) the world’s best three-year-old boy, and I try to carve out as much time as possible hanging out with my two handsome guys. It’s really hard to juggle everything, but I’m hoping it will all be worth it once I earn my degree!


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March 2013 Events Schedule

March Events

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Posted in Evening MBA, Events, Executive MBA, Executive MBA at Mexico City, Full-Time MBA, MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, MBA at Houston

Students To Compete At SXSW Startup Competition

Texas MBA Students Compete at SXSWWith spring break just around the corner, most college students can hardly think of anything other than getting as far away from their college campus as possible.

However, that’s not the case for a team of four Texas MBA students, whose break begins just down the road from UT as they compete in the SXSW MBA Startup Competition.

“We’re really excited for SXSW,” says Dan Scellen, who along with teammates Joe Gosse, Ely Cohn, and Chase Machemehl will be representing McCombs in the competition to pitch their startup, Stereocast. “It will be a big stage for us,” he adds.

Stereocast is a platform that provides the ability to simultaneously share a live music performance at multiple locations, helping independent bands and venues by allowing them to expand their audience from the physical presence at the show.

“We blend the latest in low-cost, high-quality production technology into the workflow of the venue, then stream those shows live over the web to fans all over the world, who can watch it on their TVs, PCs, and tablets. It’s a disruptive way of consuming music, one that is at the forefront of many of the trends in consumers’ music and technology using habits. As the marginal value of another recorded song has eroded to zero, we believe we can connect the consumer and artist with a significant source of value,” says Dan.

The team’s journey to SXSW began right here in the business school, as the first round of the competition pitted four McCombs startups against each other to fight for the opportunity to represent UT at SXSW. Judging, which was done by Kevin Williams, John Doggett, and Rob Warren, was based on a video pitch and a 10-slide presentation.

After beating out their peers from McCombs, Stereocast will now join startups from other top MBA programs in the final round, where they will compete for up to $25,000 in cash prizes. The finals of the SXSW MBA Startup Competition will take place on March 9.

From all of us at McCombs, good luck, Stereocast!

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McCombs Marketing Conference

The second annual McCombs Marketing Conference was held on February 21-22, 2013. The event focused on entrepreneurial marketing, exploring how marketing leaders are crafting new businesses, extending the customer value-chain, supporting venture programs, and promoting entrepreneurial thinking.

Below is a compilation of thoughts, photos, and videos that were shared by attendees during the event.

Posted in Uncategorized

Student Org Spotlight: Executive MBA Entrepreneur Board of Advisors

Last semester, Texas Executive MBA student David Doran had an idea to help out his entrepreneurial classmates. He wanted to create a program that would allow EMBA students who own businesses to work together and directly apply the knowledge gained in the classroom. What resulted was the launch of the McCombs Executive MBA Entrepreneur Board of Advisors (EEBA) this past fall.

I recently caught up with David, who between his busy work and school schedules, managed to answer a few questions about this new group.

What made you want to start up this Board?
I have a few students in my Executive MBA class that own businesses. Most, if not all Executive MBA student business owners do not have a formal board of directors. I thought it would be helpful to leverage our class’ knowledge and expertise by establishing a student run peer group that acts as each other’s board of advisors. The peer group helps fellow business owner classmates set quarterly SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals and holds each other accountable for executing them. The McCombs School of Business already has Texas Venture Labs to help students launch new ventures. This new program is targeted at Executive MBA students who are already running companies and fellow classmates who want to help be advisors. The goal for this peer group is for each EMBA business owner’s company being an on-going, real-world case study in which we can interact with management.

How did you get the idea?
Peer based advisory boards are not a new concept. I have been a member of The Alternative Board (TAB) and I am currently a member of the HTG Peer Groups and have found them extremely valuable in helping me growing my company. Peer based boards of advisors organizations that provide professional facilitators such as The Alternative Board and Vistage, charge members over $5,000 per year. I figured with the talent and leadership we have in our Executive MBA classes, we could create our own peer group without the need for professional facilitators. There’s no cost, except our limited time, to participate in the McCombs School of Business Executive MBA Entrepreneur Board of Advisors.

How does the board work?
All members share in running the meeting and performing board tasks. The EEBA peer group works by having the group establish a “go-giver” culture where everyone is focused on being a “go-giver” in helping Executive MBA student led companies. We had a very successful first EEBA meeting on December 8th, 2012 with six companies presenting to a board of 18 advisors. Bill Blackstone, MBA ’14, and Community Strategist at Rackspace, volunteered to host our first board meeting at the Rackspace office in Austin.

Who can join the group?
Membership will be open to all Texas EMBA students (past and present) who wish to help their fellow business owners by applying what they have learned in the EMBA program. Our next meeting is Sunday, March 17th which is the same as our class weekend. Cynthia Huchingson, MBA ’12, and Development Director at Oncology San Antonio, has volunteered to host the meeting at her office. We have students from the EMBA class of 2012, 2013, and 2014 planning to attend. EMBA students and alumni interested in attending the next meeting should contact Cynthia Huchingson, cynthia@oncsa.com.

David Doran, MBA ’14, is also the CEO of Texas System Group based in Austin. He can be reached at david.doran@utexas.edu.

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Posted in Executive MBA, Students

Longhorn Love Stories

It doesn’t get any better than a Longhorn Love Story! All week, McCombs Today has been featuring Q&As with couples who met and found love at McCombs, and we figured these stories were worth a share. Enjoy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stefanie Gudis, MBA ‘11, and Pete Conrad, MBA ‘11

Says Stefanie: “Pete and I met during our first year of our MBA program at McCombs. Neither of us can remember the exact moment when we met for the first time (apparently it wasn’t that memorable!), but we know it was soon after we arrived in Austin and were going through MBA orientation activities. We were both new to Austin (I moved from Los Angeles and Pete from Chicago) and neither of us knew anyone, so we were both focused on meeting our new classmates and getting to know the city. Little did we know we would also be meeting the person who would become our future spouse!”

Stefanie and Pete are set to get married on March 23. Congratulations! Read full story.

Michelle Musil, MPA ‘03, and Sean Musil, MBA ‘04

Says Sean: “We met in Professor Rao’s finance class. I saw two really pretty girls that I didn’t recognize from the MBA program. In the second class it became clear that they were joining our class from the MPA program. I’m still not a great accountant, so when we organized into teams I REALLY wanted to make sure that we had them on the team. I checked with the rest of my team who signed off on their joining us – and that’s how we met”

Michelle and Sean live in Austin and have been married since 2011. Read full story.

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How Do You Find The Right Business School For You?

How do you find the right business school for you?

Rodrigo Malta, Director of MBA Admissions, McCombs School of Business, says:

Research is key!  An MBA requires the commitment of a lot of time and financial resources, so it is always best to find an MBA program that is the right fit for you.  Back when I was an applicant, I used a spreadsheet with several attributes to evaluate MBA programs.  The attributes ranged from cost, program length, location, post-MBA placement, class size, school size, entrance requirements, etc.  A lot of this information is available on ranking websites. This spreadsheet really helped pare down my list of schools to a top 4-5.  At that time, after narrowing down the list of schools, I started contacting the admissions team at these institutions to schedule class visits, etc.  Only after visiting all schools, I finally decided on the school to pursue my MBA studies.  Visiting the campus is key before applying and/or making the final selection for your MBA pursuit.

Original question and answer found on Quora.

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Meet Frankie Arvelo, MBA ’14

Texas MBA Student Frankie ArveloName: Frankie Arvelo
Class: Full-Time, ’14
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Concentration: General Management
Education: Sports Management, University of Massachusetts – Amherst / Law, University of Pennsylvania
Pre-MBA Job: Compliance Officer at Goldman Sachs

Why did you want to come back to school for your MBA?
I wanted to further develop my analytical toolkit by strengthening my quantitative ability through the rigorous courses and opportunities presented by an MBA. Additionally, I wanted to move away from a back-office support position to a business decision-making role; an MBA provides the perfect avenue for career switchers.

What has been your biggest surprise since starting the Texas MBA program?
I have been pleasantly surprised by the breadth and depth of interests and abilities of my classmates and the faculty.  Prior to attending McCombs I believed that the Texas MBA mainly focused on energy finance.  However, while energy finance is a strength of the school, the Texas MBA program and its students are involved in many fields from technology marketing, entrepreneurship, consulting, and the list goes on.

Anything specific that you are looking forward to this spring semester?
I am looking forward to my elective courses and exploring the greater UT community. Through electives students gain exposure to fields they may not be familiar with (i.e. myself and real estate finance) or to acquire knowledge on fields that they wish work in post-graduation. As to the second point, the resources available to students at UT are tremendous and I am keen on taking advantage of those resources.

Outside of class, what organizations and activities are you involved with?
I am a member of the McCombs Admissions Committee, the Graduate Business Council, Graduate Business Wine Club, Graduate Consulting Group, Graduate Marketing Network, and am a Consortium Fellow.

Texas MBA Consortium Students

Frankie, second from right on bottom row, pictured with Texas MBA classmates at the 2012 Consortium Orientation Program.

What attracted you to the Consortium?
I was interested in the Consortium for a variety of reasons: there is an opportunity for a fellowship and potential scholarship money, consolidated application and fee, Consortium holds an orientation program where there are summer internship positions available, as well as networking opportunities with sponsoring companies and students from member schools.

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