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The MBA Admissions Interview: How to Totally Crush It

We’ve all been there.  Despite all the preparations, research and rehearsals, you find yourself nervous about your MBA Admissions interview.  While this isn’t technically a job interview, you may do well to treat it like one.  An MBA Admissions interview is a very important part of your overall application and ultimately one of the first steps towards your post-MBA life.

At the Texas MBA program, interviews are by invitation only and can come at any time during the application Round.  While some applicants may look forward to the opportunity to interview, others may not exactly enjoy the anxiety thereby engendered. If you are a member of the latter group, look at it this way: the interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the application process, so here are a few ways you can take advantage:

  1. Don’t be on time – be early: Arriving early is interviewing 101, yet it still manages to falter even the most prepared of candidates.  Arriving early is even more critical if you’ve never been to campus or navigated UT parking before.
  2. “What was the question again?”:  You’d be surprised how many times at the end of an applicant’s long-winded answer we are asked to repeat the original question.  Most often this happens to people who try to cram too much into the first answer for fear of not being given an opportunity later on to address that well-rehearsed example.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to it!  Plus, sometimes there is an opportunity at the end of an interview to mention anything we didn’t address in the formal line of questioning.
  3. Loosen Up: Given our program’s famously friendly culture, our interviews are relatively informal.  If you still find yourself nervous, practice your answers in front of a mirror, a friend or a willing stranger and ask them how you did; did you answer the question? Did you rush through it?  Take a moment to outline your answer in your mind first, and then address it calmly and confidently.  Don’t get tooooo comfortable, though.  While we’re an easy-going bunch, maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism is always a good idea.
  4. Know what we’re looking for: We listen for confidence, clear and concise communication of career goals, concrete examples of teamwork and leadership, in-depth knowledge of our MBA program, and overall genuine enthusiasm.  Also, the interview can be a place to showcase secondary skills that are difficult for us to determine solely based on your application: interview skills, self-awareness, communication style, and “hire-ability”.
  5. Know your audience: If you are invited to interview for the Texas MBA program, you have three options: On-Campus with an Admissions Officer or current student, Off-Campus with alumni or Admissions Officer in select cities, or via Skype with an Admissions Officer or current student.  Remember the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference for how or who you interview with, just as long as you prepare depending on your audience.
  6. Come with questions: A good list of questions can illustrate a few key things about a candidate: you’ve done your research, you care about our program, you have envisioned yourself as an MBA and you can formulate thoughts under pressure.  Don’t overdo it, though.  We usually leave anywhere from 10-15 minutes for questions, so limit your list to 2-3 good ones maximum and have a few backups.

While our interviewing style is admittedly less intense than corporate recruiters and some other MBA programs, don’t let our laid-back attitude fool you.  The Admissions Committee uses the interview as a way to add character, depth and spirit to your written application, so keep these tips in mind to ensure a positive outcome.  Good luck!

Join a Texas MBA for Coffee this Winter


The winter break is here again and that means our Winter Coffee Chats are back! Coffee Chats provide a great opportunity to meet up with current students in a more casual environment to hear about their experience in the program and get your admissions questions answered. Students will be hosting these chats in a number of cities around the world. To see a full list of coffee chat dates and locations for each program, please visit the links below:

As a reminder, the Texas MBA Program office will be closed from December 22 – January 2.

Happy holidays from the Texas MBA program! \m/

Texas MBA Holiday News

happy holidays_texasmba-01

No matter what your plans this winter break, the Texas MBA would like to wish you a safe and happy last few weeks of 2014! We had an awesome fall semester and all-around great 2014. Our hard-working students and staff made this year one of the best ever. We have a few final announcements before we say, “See you in 2015!”:

Holiday Hours: The Texas MBA Program Office will be closed from Monday December 22nd, 2014 through Friday, January 2, 2015. 
Please contact us – with any questions you anticipate before December 22nd if possible, as we will not be available during closed hours.

Application Deadlines: For many, the holiday break from work can be a great time to sit down and put those final touches on your application.  As a reminder, our next application deadlines are:
January 6, 2015 – Full-Time Texas MBA Round 2 Deadline (This is the final deadline for all international applicants)
January 28, 2015  – Texas Evening MBA Early Decision Deadline for priority consideration for January 2016 start.
March 3, 2015 – Next Round Deadline for all Texas MBA Working Professional Programs. This includes the Texas Evening MBA, the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, the Texas MBA at Houston, and the Texas Executive MBA programs.

Spring Events: Don’t forget to plan your spring visit to McCombs to see all the Texas MBA has to offer! Check out our upcoming events webpage to register now and reserve your spot to meet us.

Happy Holidays! See you in 2015!

Texas MBA Admissions Team

Full-Time MBA Admissions: Round 1 Decision Update & Round 2 Deadline Approaching

From Rodrigo Malta, Director of Texas MBA Admissions:

Hello from Texas MBA Admissions!  I have not contributed to our blog in a while, and given that our second Full-Time MBA application deadline is quickly approaching, I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you.

We are excited to have kicked off the admissions cycle with a very strong Full-Time MBA Round 1 that saw an increase in both the quantity and quality of applications! For Round 1, we have received over 700 applications from 40+ countries. As we conclude the review of our first round, I also wanted to let you know that we are on track to release admissions decisions by December 18th.  For these applicants, mark your calendar for February 7th, as this is the date for our Texas Saturday Event for Admitted Students right here in Austin. More info on this highly-anticipated event will be available soon!

If you are applying to our Round 2 in January, you are at the home stretch!! Here are some fantastic blog entries to help you complete your application:

Understanding the 2015 Essay QuestionsUnderstanding the 2015 Essays Leveraging the 3rd PersonLetters of Recommendation The Road to McCombsThe Roads to McCombs You’ve Got Application Questions, We’ve Got AnswersTips on the Application

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at and we encourage you to check out our many upcoming events.
We look forward to meeting you soon!

Hook ’em!

Rowling Hall Cafe Naming Competition WINNER

From our Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Eric Hirst:

I’d like to be the first one to say to you, when Rowling Hall opens in Spring 2017, I invite you to “meet me at the Moontower.”

As you may know, we broke ground for Rowling Hall on Friday, November 7th. It’s an exciting time for Texas MBA andBreaking ground on Rowling Hall MSTC programs.

Rowling Hall is designed to bring together overlapping communities of students, faculty, staff, alumni, recruiters, business leaders, and thought leaders from across campus and around the world. In Rowling Hall, these communities will have the opportunity for spontaneous collaboration, purposeful interaction, sharing ideas and networking.  People will come to the building to collaborate, present their ideas, play and be inspired. We’ll have innovative classroom and study space. We’ll showcase the intellectual capital generated by McCombs students, faculty, and alums. We’ll highlight the experiential learning opportunities of our community and we’ll attract the very best minds to our programs.

The café will be an important hub of activity for the building, offering healthy, diverse options for eating, caffeinating and relaxing in the evening with a beer/wine bar. We have planned the cafe to encourage collaboration and spontaneous interaction. Ideas that “change the world” will be hatched in that space.

Donors Susie and Kenny Jastrow provided a generous gift for the project’s community café. Not only did the Jastrows generously help fund the project, they asked current students to have a lasting impact on the new building by naming the cafe.  The Jastrows offered to reward the winning idea with a prize of a full year’s tuition!

After a rigorous process, we have reached the conclusion of our Café Naming Competition!  It has been a great ride.  We began with 127 entries for the name from students from each of our programs (Full-time, Dallas, Houston, Evening, Executive, Mexico and MSTC).  The Naming Committee narrowed the list down to the top 30.  Students from all programs voted for the Top 5 names.  On Monday, December 1st, finalists gathered for the pitch party.


The name “Moontower” establishes the café as a meeting spot, it pays homage to the cultural history of Austin as well as the iconic tower of the University of Texas. 

The City of Austin erected the Moonlight towers in 1894 as a way to light up multiple blocks at the same time.  The Moonlight towers made streets safer and made citizens more comfortable.  The State of Texas recognized the towers in 1970 as State Landmarks, and the City embarked on restoration projects for the 100 year anniversary in 1995.  

As Austin has developed and grown into a first-tier, international city, a few moontowers have been removed, but their importance as icons of old-Austin is evident through the preservation efforts which seek to reinstate them where possible. Culturally, Moon towers used to serve as safe meeting points for young people to interact and have fun.  The café should serve this purpose in Rowling Hall.   

As the McCombs School continues to gain prominence on campus and around the world, we need to further embrace the rest of University.  A Moontower provides light for blocks around it, and our school needs to continue to be a place of enlightenment.  A Moontower attracts people like a beacon, and we need to continue to bring people together.  Our new building and café will serve these purposes, and should have a name that fits: Moontower.

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