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Work Experience Quantity vs. Quality: Which Is Preferred By MBA Admissions?

Quality vs Quantity

Sometimes more is better. Like chocolate, vacation days and itemized tax deductions. But sometimes more is NOT better, like saturated fat, bills and dental work. The key is how you look at it. Admissions officers tend to look at things as if they were holding a Libra Scale, especially when considering work experience on your MBA application. On one side, there’s raw number of years (quantity), on the other is your job description (quality). Continue reading

McCombs Super Week Recap: A Head Start on Summer Internship Recruiting

Marketing and Finance are the largest employment functions for Texas MBA students, and over 35% of these jobs are in the Consulting or Technology industries. For the class of 2015, over 40% of our students pursued these functions. In order to respond to the high volume of recruiting interest from employers and students, the Texas MBA Career Management team has created an annual event: “Super Week.”

This year, Super Week was held on campus January 12-16 2015. For students, it provides a focused opportunity to conduct first round interviews with top employers for summer internship positions. For employers, it grants a streamlined and competitive process for accessing McCombs talent.

As working professional MBAs are fully employed, only Full-Time MBAs interview for summer internships. About 30-50% of working professional MBAs do elect to seek employment other than their current, and many of those participate in both fall and spring on-campus recruiting for 2nd year MBAs.

We’ve asked participating employers to reflect on their Super Week experiences. Here is what they said:

Why recruit Texas MBAs?

“We recruit at McCombs because of a history of long-term success here.”
-Associate, Barclays

“Candidates at UT fit the bill academically and technically but also socially and personally.”
-Associate, Citi

“We recruit here because McCombs consistently provides great candidates who are well prepared. You deliver year after year in terms of candidates.”
-Recruiter, Simmons and Co.

“Our firm has a focus on oil and gas. McCombs has one of the best concentrations of people interested in energy/oil and gas, which makes it a perfect place for us to recruit.”
-HR Manager, North & South America, Schlumberger Business Consulting

On January 12th & 13th, 20 investment banks or financial firms conducted more than 200 interviews with 43 unique students. Wednesday through Friday, saw 11 management consulting firms conducting around 200 interviews with 76 unique students.  On January 20, the Ford Career Center reopened for the spring recruiting season to include all other recruiting industries as well as a few additional banks and consulting firms.

For all involved, this event is the culmination of an intense recruiting process after months of networking and preparation. Many thanks to the MBA Students, Student Leadership, Alumni, MBA Program Office Management and Staff, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and the Recruitment Services Team for pulling together to make this happen and provide a competitive, aggressive yet “level playing field” recruiting environment. This high degree of collaboration led to McCombs being tied for 11th in the nation for business schools with the highest percentage of MBA job offers in 2014.

Hook ‘Em!

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

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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

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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 – TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu 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!

Sincerely,
Texas MBA Admissions Team

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