Page 16 of 23

Marketing Case Challenge

For those of you just getting to know the MBA experience along with classes, recruiting, networking, and “networking with classmates” (i.e.: having some fun…), case challenges are a (sometimes overlooked) piece of the puzzle.

Case challenges are sponsored by companies and are generally real-world questions that the companies are actually working on.

There are basically case challenges for everything: finance, marketing, global, and operations are just a small portion of them. Usually, they’re overnight competitions where interested parties self-select teams of 4 people to compete against either their classmates or against other schools (depending on the competition). They usually have cash prizes for the top three places, and they generally give out swag for other stuff (best speaker, best deck, etc.). Judges are representatives from different companies, so they’re great networking opportunities as well.

This year, rather than an overnight challenge, the marketing case challenge was a week long. Teams received the case on October 21, submitted their completed presentations by October 28, and presented on October 30. The competition was sponsored by Walmart and focused around how Walmart could use Pinterest to target millennials. For someone with a consulting background who worked in healthcare, public sector, and cable, this was a pretty big change.

Here’s the team vigorously (sort of) finishing the deck to get it submitted before the deadline:

IMG_3942

Little did we know… they had an extra surprise in store for us during the competition… A TORNADO WARNING! Here’s a small group of us after we made it to safety:

IMG_20151030_090019

Hook ‘Em, pre-presentation style:

IMG_7291

A picture of the ultimate victors:

IMG_20151102_131109_01

And finally, the second place team celebrating:

IMG_20151102_140518_01

Personally, it was great to get to go through this. I learned a lot about marketing through the conference, and I honestly came in not knowing what I would gain from the challenge. After going through, it was awesome getting to work with people outside of my typical study team, get some marketing experience, and work on building my speaking-skills. Plus, the case was really interesting and relevant for anyone who has an interest in marketing.

There’s also a marketing conference that goes along with the case challenge each year which, this year, focused on “whole-brained marketing” (i.e.: How good marketers today own a combination of creativity and analytics skill-sets). The two keynote speeches were from Peter Horst, CMO, Hershey, and Kip Knight, President, H&R Block US Retail Operations, but the entire panel of speakers was awesome

Full details on the conference here or,
Check out the Storify feed. Hook ’em!

ExxonMobil & Net Impact Host 1st Energy Bowl at McCombs

It’s well-known that Texas produces more crude oil and natural gas than any other state in the US. However, did you know that the Lone Star State leads the country in wind powered generation capacity? The energy industry serves a crucial role in the macro economy and its complexity, technological advancements, and never-ending thirst for capital attracts many students to McCombs every year.

Here at UT, we benefit from vast resources to aid in our professional development towards becoming leaders in the energy industry. As Texas MBAs, of course we like to team up and make a friendly competition out of it whenever possible. Last week, Net Impact and ExxonMobil gave us the perfect opportunity to do so by hosting its inaugural Energy Bowl at McCombs.

FullSizeRender

Texas MBAs at the Energy Bowl!

Leading industry experts MC’d the competition, which was not your average trivia night (not going to lie, I 100% expected a question on the gusher at Spindletop, TX…I was wrong).  Exxon and Net Impact tested students on categories including energy in pop culture, history, new and emerging sources, and projected trends in energy use. We’ve selected a few challenging questions to share below (Answers at the bottom of this post):

  • How many smartphone batteries would you need to equal the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline?
  • Which musician once worked as a roughneck on an offshore oil rig?
  • In what city was the first dam specifically developed for generating hydroelectric power?
  • How many 5 MW wind turbines would it take to provide the equivalent of NYC’s electricity consumption?

We had a great time trying to solve these problems and asking the panelists questions about the future of the industry between rounds. Perhaps more important than racking up points at trivia is your team name, shout-out to “1.21 Gigawatts” for the clever Back to the Future reference.

Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in conventional or renewable energy, there’s no better place to make the next step than McCombs!

(Answers: 4,000, Trace Adkins, Austin, 4,000 + back-up power)

Hands-On Experience: The Texas MBA+ Leadership Program

From Sara Reeves, Senior Program Coordinator, MBA+ Leadership Program

In the Texas MBA program, leadership is earned both in and outside the classroom. While our students are in the classroom building the technical skills necessary for success in today’s ever-changing and complex business environments, the MBA+ Leadership Program works to support and compliment the curriculum with a range of enhanced opportunities. These programs and services are designed to allow Texas MBAs to individually tailor their leadership growth experience through coaching, seminars, and consulting projects to make real connections between classroom theory and practice, setting themselves apart from other MBA students.

Coach-on-Call

Fall 2014 - Networking Presentation in Dallas with MBA Plus Coach 1

Networking Presentation with an MBA+ Coach

MBA+ has carefully curated a roster of more than 40 communication, specialty, and executive coaches identified for their range of expertise and years of experience. This guarantees students across the six Texas MBA programs can find coaches perfectly attuned to their individual needs.

Many of our coaches have been with the program for a number of years and have developed a special affinity for McCombs’ students, going out of their way to support them. It is not uncommon to find our communication coaches up with teams throughout the night during case challenge season, helping students perfect decks as the sun sets and practice presentations as it rises.

“Communication coaches are one of the best resources of the MBA program. I was pleasantly surprised that they would meet our team off campus at all hours of the night. I found my coach very insightful and would definitely look to her for advice in the future.” – Mikhail Buczkiewicz, Full-Time MBA 2016

Seminars and Events

Truly successful leaders possess a mix of technical business acumen and those more elusive “soft” skills. MBA+ supports both aspects of leadership through industry-specific workshops (such as our fall “Corporate Valuations” and spring “Entrepreneurial Selling”), as well as personal development seminars on topics ranging from Inclusive Leadership to Resilience.

MBA+ also give students the opportunity to broaden their networks and horizons by hosting events that bring together students from across our six programs and leaders from business community, including our signature International Night and Annual Pitch Party.

MBA+ Projects

We recognize experience is often the best instructor and strive to offer Texas MBA students hands-on opportunities through our micro-consulting program. Teams of 4-6 students tackle real-world business problems for companies ranging from high-profile consulting firms to local start-ups. By recruiting a selection of projects each semester across industry, functional area, and scope, we ensure students are able to gain the specific skills and network contacts needed to advance their careers.

Spring 2015 Projects - Salesforce - Team Picture
Spring 2015 Salesforce Team
“The MBA+ project was a transformative experience. We worked together as a cohesive unit and delivered a high-impact deliverable. Above all, the project was a first rate networking opportunity with a choice employer and its leadership, which gave us a good sense for the firm’s culture.” – Christian Barjum, Deloitte, Full-Time MBA 2016
Spring 2015 Projects - Pegasystems - Team Picture
Spring 2015 Pegasystems Team
“The project helped my communication skills and gave me a valuable leadership opportunity. I was interested in working at Dimensional and I have taken a full time job with Dimensional after interning there this summer! The project allowed me an opportunity to gain more exposure to the company and increase my network there.” – Molly Bell, Dimensional, Full-Time MBA 2016

The MBA Admissions Interview: How to Totally Crush It

From Julia Campbell, Senior MBA Admissions Officer, Full-Time Texas MBA Program:

You submit your application. You wait and wait and then, TA DA! An interview invitation appears in your inbox.  Your immediate reaction is probably several mental exclamation points (!!!), but I think it’s fair to say that all MBA applicants feel pretty dichotomous when it comes to the interview experience. Something like:

Yay I got invited to interview! But oh my goodness, now I’m totally freaked out and have a million questions; What are they going to ask? Should I be myself or should I open with a joke I read online? Should I bring my resume in strawberry-scented triplicate? What do I wear? Should I interview on-campus, via Skype, or off-campus? Is it better to interview with a current student, admissions officer or alumni? Should I send a follow-up thank you via email, hand-written card, or none at all?  How do I set up the interview in the first place?! Eeek!

Breathe. Like anything else, your MBA interview invitation is an opportunity. While some applicants may look forward to it, others may not exactly enjoy the anxiety. If you are a member of the latter group, look at it this way: This interview can be just the thing the Admissions Committee needs to stitch together the rest of your application elements with a genuine, prepared, and poised interview performance.

The interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the application process. Seize it.

You are most likely applying and subsequently interviewing with multiple MBA programs. This means managing several different interview processes, a complicated project given the variability among schools. It’s important to be familiar with how the Texas MBA program runs its interview operations.

Instructions are plastered all over the email invitation to interview and the online systems you use to book the interview, so be sure to read all instructions very carefully before scheduling anything.  Generally speaking, our interview structure is this:

Interviews are by invitation only and can come at any time during the application Round. There are three different interview types: On-campus with a current student or admissions officer, off-campus in your local city or hub city location with an alumni interviewer or admissions officer, or via Skype with a current student or admissions officer. For each type (excluding alumni interviews) there is an online calendar from which you can select an interview slot that works with your schedule over a period of a few months. We will inform you of the last date your interview needs to be completed. The only exception to this is that booking your alumni interview off-campus in your local city follows a slightly different process, but we provide the step-by-step instructions if you decide to go that route.

You are not able to choose your individual interviewer, but rest assured all of our current student interviewers, alumni volunteer interviewers and admissions officers are fully trained and capable of conducting an interview that is professional, fair, impartial and helpful. Interviews typically last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. All interviews are blind, which means the interviewer does not have access to anything about you or your application, except for your resume. Even so, it’s always a good idea to bring a copy for the interviewer to reference during the conversation.

Most interviews follow the general framework of introductions, questions from the interviewer for you to answer, then some time is left at the end for you to ask your questions about the program and/or application process. Once the interview is completed, you are finished! There is nothing further you need to do and your application is considered complete. All that’s left is to wait patiently for our final decision in the weeks that follow.

TIPS & PITFALLS TO AVOID:

Choose Wisely: Decisions, decisions. Interview type selection is like deciding on your coffee order at Starbucks – copious options, but there’s something for everyone. Each type of interview affords individual benefits. If you’re located proximate to Austin, try to come to campus for an interview. If you have never been to campus or met us in person before, we highly recommend interviewing on campus to get a feel for the facility and community culture. You might even be able to book a class visit, information session, or tour and interview all in the same weekend. If you can’t make the trip due to work conflicts or you are internationally-based, you might consider taking advantage of our alumni interviewers in local cities. Interview hub markets like New York, Seoul, China, India, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and others are among the options. Or maybe none of that works for you and Skype is the only way to get it done. No problem, we’ve got options so you can choose what works best for you.  We see your interview type selection as entirely logistical and do not hold it against you if you don’t interview with us on campus.

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. As for Skype, your instructions ask that you are prepared to begin the Skype video call at the allotted interview start time, but it’s always a good idea to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to work out any inevitable technological hiccups that crop up.

“And that’s why I’m scared of heights and allergic to strawberries…Wait, what was the question again?”:  You’d be surprised how many times at the end of an applicant’s long-winded tangential 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.

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 too comfortable, though. While we’re an easy-going bunch, maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism is always a good idea. This includes professional language and attire as if you were interviewing for a job (that means you too, Skypers! I’m sure your pajamas are lovely, but we’d much rather see a blazer.).

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.” Keep these in mind so we can get a feel for the application intangibles.

Know Your Audience: Remember the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference for which interview type you elect or who you interview with, just as long as you prepare for your audience. Since you can’t always tell who is going to interview you (interviewers can change since we conduct hundreds of interviews in a given round), you can do a little recon based on the name of the interviewer. You can check out our current student and alumni interviewer profiles on our website, or read about our admissions officers in the Admissions Committee section. That way you know what you’re in for.

Come with questions: A good list of questions for your interviewer can illustrate a few key things about you as a candidate: You’ve done your research, you care about our program, you have envisioned yourself as an MBA, and you can formulate coherent thoughts under pressure. We usually leave anywhere from 10-15 minutes for questions, so limit your list to 2-3 good ones and have a few backups.

While our interviewing style is admittedly less intense than corporate recruiters, don’t let our laid-back Austin 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!

The Road to McCombs and Texas

Each fall our dean, admissions team, and career management representatives join alumni in several cities for McCombs Road Shows, sharing the many opportunities that come with the Texas MBA and answering any questions you may have about the application process or life at McCombs.

Below, we’ve highlighted students from the four Road Show stops we have in the United States – Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Check out what they have to say about Austin, McCombs, and the advice they’d like to share with applicants.

Texas MBA Student Matteo Pacifici

Name: Matteo
City of Origin: Chicago
Undergrad:
Emory University
Previous Job:
Investment Banking/ Wells Fargo
Securities
MBA Concentration:
Real Estate and Private Equity
Finance

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? I attended Texas for the vibrant Austin community, the booming economy of the state of Texas and the global reach of the McCombs brand.

How has the McCombs community helped you to adjust to your new home? Offering clubs and organizations geared to every interest, McCombs gave me an unprecedented number of ways to interact with like-minded MBAs from the get go.

Any advice for other Chicagoans thinking about attending McCombs? Do it! Chicago isn’t going anywhere. Don’t underestimate the power of challenging yourself in a new environment like Austin. You can spend the rest of your life in big cities, but take the opportunity to enjoy two years in a young, vibrant and entrepreneurial city.

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process? Don’t underestimate the power of introspection. Take the time to reflect on yourself and your priorities and your application will be much more genuine.

What is your favorite Austin or Texas tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs? Breakfast Tacos… All-Day, Everyday

Texas MBA Student Poonam PrasadName: Poonam
City of Origin: San Francisco Bay Area
Undergrad: UT Austin
Previous Job: Operations/ Google Inc.
MBA Concentration: High Tech Marketing, Brand and
Product Management


Why did you choose the Texas MBA program?
Some aspects of the Texas MBA program that solidified my decision to attend were the diverse student body, highly collaborative environment, nationally ranked marketing program, and incredibly multifaceted city!

Any advice for other San Franciscans thinking about attending McCombs? Many of the qualities that make the Bay Area so wonderful can be found in Austin as well: the blossoming tech scene, the dynamic and self-driven oasis of students and professionals, the abundance of live music and music festivals, and the plethora of foodie-approved restaurants and institutions. Aside from the heat and humidity, adjusting from a life in the Bay Area to one in Austin with McCombs is virtually seamless.

How has the McCombs community helped you to adjust to your new home? Everyone in the program is very approachable and helpful when it comes to choosing apartments, picking classes, and getting acquainted with the ins and outs of becoming a longhorn. The second years are more than happy to lend insight and advice on professors and extracurricular activities, and your fellow first years will become your foundation and family as you embark on all sorts of adventures together – from group projects to interviews to social outings.

Any advice on things to do prior to starting school (after they are admitted)? Take full advantage of all the peripheral programs McCombs offers before session officially starts. You’ll forge long-lasting bonds with your classmates and faculty, as well as reinforce your sense of quantitative intuition, by attending events like the Bay Area coffees and luncheons, summer expeditions abroad, and academic boot camp. There are so many ways to feel like a part of the Texas MBA experience before even attending your first class. Every single day I find myself blown away by the level of thought and resources put into the construction of the program at McCombs, and there’s simply no place else I’d rather be. Hook ‘em!

Texas MBA Student Daniel GoldbergName: Daniel
City of Origin: Washington, D.C.
Undergrad: George Washington University
Previous Job: Strategy Consulting/ Booz Allen
Hamilton
MBA Concentration: High Tech Marketing &
Product Management

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? I came from a consulting background, and wanted to pivot into the High Tech field. Austin’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with McCombs elite reputation and the robust Longhorn network made the decision a no-brainer.

Favorite memory of DC: My wife and I loved attending the presidential inaugurations and watching airplanes take off at Gravelly Point park. The restaurants on U-Street and 14th was also a favorite weekend destination.

Any advice for other Washingtonians thinking about attending McCombs? You’ll be well prepared for the heat since it’s not much worse than DC. Also the cultural shift of having most people be a bit more relaxed and approachable was a pleasant surprise.

Any advice on things to do prior to starting school (after they are admitted) Get your significant other to join SAS so she/he can get plugged into that community, scout out neighborhoods near school before signing the lease, and try and get settled into your place before school starts. When it does there is very little time with your core classes for any other obligations.

Favorite “Austin” or “Texas” tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs? I thought DC had food trucks figured out, boy was I wrong. The food truck scene in Austin is incredible, with some being located on the property of restaurants and bars. I’ve been eating breakfast tacos three times a day!

Texas MBA Student Tiffany GdowikName: Tiffany
City of Origin: Washington, D.C.
Undergrad: The University of Virginia
Previous Job: Dispute Consulting/ Duff & Phelps
MBA Concentration: Corporate Finance

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? Why you decided to attend the Texas MBA? The experience of an MBA program – from the culture of the program to the learning environment – was one of my top factors in making my decision. The Texas MBA stood out among the others, almost immediately when I visited. The strong alumni base was also very appealing.

Any advice for other Washingtonians thinking about attending McCombs? I lived in the DC area for seven years after college and was ready for a change. While I really enjoyed DC, it has been so refreshing to break out of the bubble, spend time in Austin meeting new people, and take action on my career goals. Be bold and step out of your comfort zone, that is a valuable part of the MBA experience.

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process? Hang in there and don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s so easy to think of the process as one-sided (programs selecting you) but you want to be admitted into the program that’s the right fit for you too. Think of this as an opportunity to dig deep, figure out who you are and tell your story. When it comes time to making a decision, stay true to yourself and your goals.

Anything else that you would like to share? Kudos to you for taking this important step in applying for B-school, you won’t regret it!

Texas MBA Student Sherri Bohman

Name: Sherri
City of Origin: New York City
Undergrad: Lehigh University
Previous Job: Marketing Manager/ AllianceBerstein
MBA Concentration: Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? I chose to attend McCombs because of the exceptional Entrepreneurship Program, the diversity among students, and to expand my network beyond the Northeast.

Any advice for other New Yorkers thinking about attending McCombs? As someone who is hoping to get back to the Northeast post-graduation, I felt that two years in Austin would be a nice break from the big city to concentrate on my studies among new people and in a new environment. Think about your post-MBA plans and what you hope to gain out of your MBA experience when applying to schools!

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process? My advice for those going through the application process is to reach out to alumni and current students. This will give you an idea of the types of people you may be surrounded by if you choose to attend that school.

Favorite “Austin” or “Texas” tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs? One of my favorite things about Austin is all of the outdoor festivals and concerts. I also love the food truck scene!

To register for a Road Show or see all our upcoming events, please visit the Texas MBA events webpage. Hook ’em!

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2017 Texas MBA Insider

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Subscribe

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Skip to toolbar