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Infographic: First Year MBA Insights from Working Professionals

The Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth and Texas MBA at Houston programs are prestigious, flexible MBA programs tailored to fit your lifestyle, allowing you to work full-time while earning an MBA from a globally-recognized brand within a network of award-winning faculty and accomplished students.

See what the Class of 2016 for the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth program had to say about their first year in the program:

DFW_survey_infograph

And here’s what the Class of 2016 for the Texas MBA at Houston program had to say about their first year in the program:

Hou_survey_infograph

Exploring Career Paths with Texas MBA Career Management

From Michelle Hardy, Director of MBA Employer & Alumni Engagement

Each year, Texas MBA Career Management leads Treks to various cities to visit the main offices of different companies, giving students a great opportunity to learn more about their industry of interest and allowing them to become more familiar with the culture at these companies. Visits typically consist of presentations, Q&A sessions, and numerous opportunities for networking with alumni and executive management.

Texas MBA students at the Google corporate office during the 2015 Bay Area Trek.

Texas MBA students at the Google corporate office during the 2015 Bay Area Trek

I have been on the Texas MBA Career Management team since 2007. My first role was as a Career Advisor for the  Texas Full-Time MBA program. On my second day of work, I found myself on a plane to San Jose, California with 30 students from the Class of 2009 for a Bay Area Trek. That was one of two treks planned in that school year–the other was a fall trek to New York City for Wall Street Investment Banking and Financial Services. Fast forward to Spring 2016: I am now on the MBA Employer Relations team (formed in 2010) and we have planned 15 student Career Treks for the 2015-2016 school year.

Clearly, we have seen a lot of change in the past eight years. One of the biggest trends has been an enormous increase in student career interest in the West Coast. When I started at McCombs, 9% of our graduates landed jobs on the West Coast–we’ve nearly doubled that percentage with the class of 2014! Interest in technology companies has exploded, making it a large area of focus for our Employer Relations team.

Complementing those two trends, West Coast tech companies have been opening offices and/or growing their corporate presence in Austin i.e., Facebook, Google, Apple, Cisco Systems, eBay, PayPal, VMware and Electronic Arts just to name a few. We continue to build our relationships with these firms, as well as seeking new opportunities.

We have also seen every facet of student interest in entrepreneurship increase, from coming into the program already running a firm, or founding a company in business school, to working at a startup or fast growing company post-graduation.

Texas MBA Students at the Intel Corporate Office as part of the 2015 Bay Area Trek

Texas MBA students at the Intel corporate office during the 2015 Bay Area Trek

In response, we have created many unique opportunities for MBA students to network with and connect to the startup community. We now host a biannual McCombs Entrepreneurship Night, which showcases startups founded by McCombs MBA students and/or alumni.

That event is held in conjunction with Austin Startup Week in the fall and during SXSW Interactive in the spring. We capitalize on SXSW, hosting a student-run booth during the SXSW trade show, allowing those students access to the 400+ companies showcased during the week-long event. The contacts we make during these events are invited to our Entrepreneur Society (ES) events during the school year, such as the Pitch Party in the Fall and ES Connex in the spring, a networking night for local startups looking to hire interns or full-time candidates.

The one thing that holds true across my tenure with the Texas MBA is the importance of our alumni as the key to companies opening their doors to our students.

We created a new team last year under the MBA Employer Relations umbrella to focus on MBA alumni engagement with both current and prospective students. We have come a long way and are excited about the future employment opportunities that await our Texas MBAs!

The Texas MBA Career Treks scheduled for the 2016-2016 school year include:

Texas

Houston Energy Finance
Houston CleanTech
Houston Investment Banking (Twice!)
Houston Consulting

Dallas Marketing
Dallas Consulting
Dallas Asset Management

Austin Marketing
Austin Asset Management
Austin Startup
Austin Big Tech

New York

New York Investment Banking

California

Bay Area

Washington

Seattle

Texas MBA at Mexico City Alumni Spotlight

The internationally-ranked Texas Executive MBA at Mexico City Program is a part-time, two year program designed for mid-career professionals and executives who want to stay close to home, but still earn a U.S. MBA. This dual-degree program awards an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s of Administration from Tecnológico de Monterrey – Campus Santa Fe.

Daniel Galvan DuqueAlumni Spotlight: Daniel Galvan Duque

A recent graduate from the Texas Executive MBA at Mexico City Program, Daniel Galvan Duque, has worked his way up through PepsiCo Mexico. As the Senior Marketing Manager for the Gatorade division in Mexico, Daniel is in charge of building and executing the strategic marketing plan for the sports brand. By conducting data analysis on consumers’ behavior and market trends, Daniel and his team develop the marketing campaigns that we are exposed to in our day-to-day. However, Daniel did not start his career on the Gatorade account.

In the beginning stages, Daniel worked on the bottler side of the business, working on implementing marketing activities in the field. His time on that side of the business “was interesting and educational” as he began “to understand the difficulties of implementing a marketing strategy at the consumers’ touch points,” Daniel recalls. Moving forward in his career, Daniel was given the opportunity to manage the marketing strategy for the Pepsi brand. This was especially challenging and exhilarating for him as he implemented his strategy in Mexico against large and tough competitors. Excelling in this position brought Daniel to where he is now, Gatorade, the perfect fit for our sports-loving alumni.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside of the classroom — you learned while completing your MBA?
I loved the fact that there were a lot of smart people in the classes and that the weaknesses of some were the strengths of others and vice-versa. I was able to understand how important it is to work with the right people. You really do not need to know everything, you just need to make sure you are in a group of people that complement each other and the results can be amazing.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?
I think McCombs gave me a higher level view of business, it gave me perspective. I am much more capable of having more senior conversations with top management, which is really beginning to put me more in the spotlight. I still need to continue working on becoming a better advocate, but I do strongly believe that the program helped shape me into a better leader and a more balanced businessman.

What was your favorite memory of Austin Intensive?
I really enjoyed all of the intensives. It was a glimpse of living the Austin life. I always wished they lasted longer or that there was one every semester instead of just once every year. From walking around the 40 Acres to hitting the Gregory Gymnasium for an early run, from the case competition that kept us awake until 4:00 a.m., to going for a burger at Hopdoddy on South Congress. I would do it again anytime!

Learning on the Job with MBA+ Projects

I know, you’re pouring over the McCombs website doing your due diligence researching all of the great programs the Texas MBA Program has to offer, and you’ve most likely come across the MBA+ Leadership Program.

Those smiling faces and their Starbucks aprons. “I want to try out my new b-school skills consulting for real live companies!”, you think. I know, because I wrote about it in my application essays, too. It is one of the unique experiential learning programs that drew me to McCombs. Now that I’m a real life McCombs student doing a real live MBA+ project, I’d like to share a report from the front lines.

First, it’s worth saying that I had no idea what to expect. I came to McCombs from the education sector, so I knew very little about business or consulting, except that I wanted to learn the tricks of the trade. Consulting (and all things business, for that matter) seemed like a black box. You put numbers and analysis and strategy meetings in on one end, and out come decisions.

For my MBA+ project, I’m working with Deloitte’s Human Capital practice to research the impact of the “Industrial Internet of Things” on people. How will workplaces change? How will people’s jobs change? How can companies proactively position themselves in the midst of this change? It sounds pretty high-level and vague, but the reality of the project has been more than I imagined: more company face time, more learning, and more fun.

DELOITTE 2015

1. Company Face Time

We interface with a team of six Deloitte employees who are company leaders at various levels. Across the board they have bent over backwards to make themselves available and to make this a positive experience for the McCombs team. Senior consultants fresh out of McCombs help to guide and navigate us through the process, and senior partners generously take our calls and emails. Everyone provides thoughtful advice and feedback. Who knows how many potentially billable hours of their time we’ve racked up at this point…

As a “nontraditional” student interested in transitioning to strategy consulting, it’s been an excellent way to hit the ground running right from the beginning. It’s true that making an office visit is a great way to get a feel for what it would be like to work at that company. Doing a MBA+ project is even better, in my opinion. You get a feel for what makes the company tick,  you know people at the company, and they know you.

2. Learning

I knew literally nothing about consulting at the start of this project. In the words of one of my fellow MBA+ teammates, “I thought a vertical was how high you could jump.” We’re halfway through our project, and I can say that I now understand what consultants do (kind of) and how to do it (ok, that’s a gross overstatement, but I know more than I did).

I’ve learned from my peers, many of whom are former consultants, and can style the heck out of a PowerPoint deck. And I’ve learned from jumping in. Week one of the project we were meeting with senior consultants who were giving us the rundown on the project trajectory. Week two we were on a call with partners. Week six we were presenting to those same partners.

And from all that work, I now feel like I’m starting to gain two very consultant-y (and generally useful regardless of industry and function) skills: I’m comfortable with ambiguity and I can work with a team to structure an unstructured problem. They’re skills I already had, but the project has helped to refine them, strengthen them, and make me view them in a new light.

3. Fun

On our launch call, an hour into a slew of tips and frameworks and ideas from Deloitte, one of the higher ups closed with this advice:

“You’re getting to do consulting without any of the downsides—don’t forget to have fun! There’s no downside, only an upside.”

I’ve gotten to work with five stellar fellow first years and have gotten to know them and learn from them. We’ve gotten to play consultant and present in a fancy downtown conference room. We got to spend hours reading fascinating research, talking to industry leaders, and coaxing a neat, structured final deliverable out of the mass of available information. It’s basically a playground for a b-school nerd. What more could you want?

Is it hard to focus on the project because there is a ton of other things going on at this point in the semester, most of which involves grades? Yes. Does the project help to ground me in the reasons I came here in the first place, and give me a taste of what I can do on the other side of this place? Heck, yes. So when you get here, just know that your very own MBA+ project awaits!

Founding Health Innovation Fellows or How I Accidentally Got an MBA in Entrepreneurship

The following was written by Jennifer Thomas, MBA ’16:

One of the many reasons I chose McCombs was because of the burgeoning health industry in Austin. From the construction of the forward-thinking UT Dell Medical School, to the emerging digital health start-up scene, I knew there was opportunity as a McCombs student to get involved and learn from this growth.

While other MBA programs marketed more traditional healthcare concentrations, McCombs offered innovation and the chance to chart new territory in an industry in need of creative, tech-savvy ideas.

Once on campus, I got involved in the MBA Healthcare Association, eventually serving as president of the student-run organization. While this group does an excellent job of providing networking and high-level educational events, there was still a need for more in-depth healthcare programming where students could dissect and debate the many complexities of the U.S. healthcare system.

To help fill the gap, a fellow healthcare classmate, Nicholas Buck, and I launched Health Innovation Fellows (HIF) in the spring of 2015. The purpose of HIF is to promote McCombs as a place that produces business leaders with the capability to impact the healthcare industry through innovation and leadership. In other words, HIF provides an avenue for students to engage with groundbreaking healthcare leaders as well as gain hands-on experience bringing innovative ideas to the market.

Interested students apply and interview for HIF in the fall of their first year. In the spring, Fellows attend monthly roundtables with executive guest speakers. The events are part lecture, part group discussion and debate. Our January speaker is Stacey Chang, former Managing Director of the Healthcare practice at IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, and current Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health, a collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at UT. In the fall or spring of their second year, fellows join healthcare companies for a part-time internship for credit where they can apply the innovation techniques learned in their first year and during their summer internship.

Because the health industry is in a state of rapid change, both in terms of policy and technology, hands-on exposure to current challenges is vital to building the knowledge MBAs need to succeed.

As a second semester student and almost Texas Ex, I am excited to watch this program evolve under the first class of official fellows. Looking back on our experience, I did not appreciate the entrepreneurial skills I’d ultimately learn while building a new student organization. The McCombs program leadership and the UT Healthcare Initiative team helped support us along the way, providing valuable introductions and other resources. If you’re looking for a program that allows you to not only learn from the best but also build your own legacy, there is no MBA offering better than McCombs.

Meet the 2016 Fellows

 

Ben Berg, MBA ’17 – Marketing & Healthcare – Nerds out on personalized medicine

Ben is the Co-President of Health Innovation Fellows and VP of Recruitment of the MBA Healthcare Association at McCombs. Prior to returning for his MBA, Ben spent four years in consulting at NSF Health Sciences Medical Devices, advising medical device manufacturers on FDA regulations.  This coming summer, Ben will join Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals as an intern in their Experienced Commercial Leadership Development Program. Ben received a B.A. in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Daniel Ledeen, MBA ’17 – Entrepreneurship & Healthcare – Nerds out on healthcare consumerism

Daniel is the Co-President of Health Innovation Fellows and a Vice President of the MBA Healthcare Association at McCombs.  During his first semester at McCombs, Dan worked with the Health Catalyst program at the new UT Dell Medical School and with Capital Factory, an Austin based incubator and start-up accelerator. Prior to returning to school, Daniel worked in business development for Telcare, a Sequoia Capital portfolio company focused on developing mobile health tools to improve patient engagement and risk management through leveraging real-time data and analytics. Before joining Telcare, Daniel served overseas in the United States Marine Corps as a Logistics Officer. Daniel received a B.A. in History from Rice University in 2009.

 

Abhinayaa Chokkalingam, MBA ’17 – Operations & Healthcare – Nerds out on innovative healthcare devices

Abhinayaa is a Vice President of Health Innovation Fellows and President of Operations Fellows. Through the 2016 academic year, Abhinayaa will work with Dell as part of the Supply Chain labs program and will intern in Dell over the summer in the same department. After graduating as an Electronics and Communications Engineer, Abhinayaa worked in a rotational management role at Siva Group based in India across various industries including healthcare, education and trading equities. As part of the program, she managed the marketing team of Aiwo, a subsidiary of Siva Group, launching and branding a futuristic healthcare product across India, Singapore, and Seychelles. Abhinayaa received a B.E. in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Anna University in India.

 

Dion Giannoukos, MBA ’17 – Marketing & Management – Nerds out on EMR and the growing use of data analytics in modern healthcare

Dion is a Vice President of Health Innovation Fellows. After spending the past four years in pharmaceutical R&D, Dion spent his first MBA semester developing his business acumen and was involved in several business challenges and projects alongside his coursework. This included an MBA+ project with NanoHybrids where he served as team leader, helping the client develop a marketing strategy for a new line of products directed at healthcare clinicians and research institutions. With previous experience in pharmaceuticals from translational research through clinical trials, Dion hopes to bring that knowledge and close connections with major institutions such as M.D. Anderson to McCombs. He looks forward to offering fellow students a better understanding of the challenges facing our healthcare system and how they can make an impact with the knowledge they acquire through their time at McCombs. Dion received a B.A. in Biology from Franklin & Marshall College.

 

Michael Love, MBA ’17 – Finance & Healthcare – Nerds out on making our healthcare system financially sustainable

Michael is a Vice President of Health Innovation Fellows and Vice President of Education for the MBA Healthcare Association. Prior to returning to school for his MBA, Michael worked for Premier, Inc., a leading national healthcare solutions organization, in their consulting division. Michael worked with healthcare providers across the country, enabling them to increase hospital efficiencies, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the costs of care. His team-based projects allowed him to see all different sides of the healthcare industry, and through his work with the physicians, service line directors, and hospital executives, he implemented business opportunities that put the hospitals in advantageous positions in their markets. Michael returned to school to strengthen his financial, strategy and leadership skill sets so that he can continue to improve the financial stability of our healthcare system from a higher level. He received a B.B.A. in Finance from The University of Georgia.

 

Karthik Narasimhan, MBA ’17– Marketing & Healthcare – Nerds out on advances in drug discovery

Karthik is a Vice President of Health Innovation Fellows and President of the MBA Healthcare Association at McCombs. He is also a 2016 Marketing Fellow. Prior to business school, Karthik spent five years at Promega Corporation, a biotech tools provider for drug discovery, forensics and life sciences research. He was the Business Development Executive for the Asia Pacific region and was based in Singapore. This fall, Karthik worked on a MBA+ project for NanoHybrids, an Austin-based nanotechnology startup. He received a PhD in Biological Sciences from the National University of Singapore.

HIF Founders

 

Nicholas Buck, MBA ’16 – High-Tech Marketing & Healthcare – Nerds out on bringing the digital age to healthcare

Nicholas is the co-founder of Health Innovation Fellows and co-chair of the McCombs Admissions Committee. Prior to business school, Nicholas spent 4 years at a healthcare and pharmaceutical market research firm in NYC providing intelligence and consulting services to big pharma, health IT, and biotech firms. Last summer, he was a Sr. Graduate Advisor intern in Dell’s Commercial Marketing, Healthcare & Life Sciences group. There, he spent time formulating strategy for entry into a new customer segment and evaluating channel partner management programs. Post-graduation from McCombs, Nicholas will be pursuing start-up and boutique consulting firms that meld together his passion for technology and healthcare. He received a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University, and a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) from A.T. Still University.

 

Jennifer Thomas, MBA ’16 – Marketing & Healthcare – Nerds out on mobile health innovations

Jennifer is the co-founder of Health Innovation Fellows and outgoing President of the MBA Healthcare Association at McCombs. This past summer, Jennifer interned with Bayer Pharmaceuticals in their Management Associate Program and will return to join their commercial rotational program in the fall of 2016. Over the course of this past semester, Jennifer had the opportunity to intern in a business development role for a local health tech startup, NarrativeDx, as well as work on a digital health accelerator design project with the new UT Dell Medical School. Prior to returning for her MBA, Jennifer spent five years in client management roles with Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), the leading provider of independent ad-hoc consulting services to business professionals around the world. Jennifer received a B.S. in Human & Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.

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