This Insider info comes from Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional & Executive MBA Admissions.
If you are still deciding between leaving your job to attend an MBA full-time, or continuing to work while you earn your degree part-time, rest assured you’re not alone. Here are some basic questions I ask people who are grappling with this decision:
What do you want to do with your MBA?
The answer to this question can help determine whether a full-time or part-time program makes more sense for you. The majority of Texas McCombs MBA students go into their MBA with the goal of switching jobs. Our Working Professional (WP) MBA programs – Evening MBA (in Austin), MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, and MBA at Houston – are an excellent fit for those looking to switch to a career in consulting, or to move into a different function within the same industry (such as operations to finance, or vice versa). The strong general management focus of the curriculum in the WP programs also gives graduates the tools they need to run a company, whether it’s their own or someone else’s. And hands-on experiences through the MBA+ Leadership Program offer students the opportunity to work on a consulting project to sharpen the skills needed for a switch.
If you’re planning a complete industry switch, say from software engineering to financial services, or moving into a specialized field such as investment banking or clean tech, then you may want to think about how your past experiences are related to these goals. If they’re completely unrelated, getting exposure and experience in this field prior to beginning your job search can be important. The Full-Time MBA requires a summer internship, and the elective choices allow students to dive deep into a specific industry or area of focus to position you for a strong career pivot.
Tip: Research your target companies in advance and see if they require an internship with the company prior to full-time employment.
If you have reviewed the Texas McCombs MBA application process, you are familiar with the basic steps to applying. Here are some of the steps we’ve highlighted in detail recently:
Of course, the above list does not cover everything. Each application is unique, and you may have a special situation or questions specific to your career goals or background. Our MBA admissions team has put together our Top 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions below.
We have the privilege of welcoming Forté Foundation members into our MBA program each fall. The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of top companies and business schools, working to launch women into successful careers through access to education, opportunities, and a supportive network. Texas McCombs has been a proud Forté partner since it was founded in 2001, and the MBA program participates in Forté events across the country every year.
We recently caught up with a new MBA and Forté Fellow who hadn’t always planned to pursue an MBA, but quickly realized how the Texas McCombs MBA program could help to reach her goals and foster her passion for advocating for women in business. Meet Pallavi Nair!
Hook ’em! Class of 2020 MBA, Pallavi Nair
Tell us about your background– the education, volunteer or work experience that led you to want to pursue your MBA?
My hometown is Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and I have a chemical engineering background. I think what drew me most to engineering is the drive to fix problems and build solutions. After my undergraduate degree, I worked as a product development engineer at PepsiCo R&D, continuing to use this passion to drive new innovation for brands such as Doritos. At some point it became clear to me that while I loved engineering, I was also fascinated by the strategy behind how we innovated. What were the emerging market trends that were actually worth pursuing? How should we leverage the company’s global resources effectively while keeping our regional consumers in mind? I knew about unlocking new technologies, but how did we decide which technologies were worth unlocking? These questions made me realize that I would love to earn my MBA and spend time delving into these topics through hands-on learning experiences and interactions with not only great professors, but classmates who have experience in a variety of business-related fields. I want to keep creating solutions over the next two years and beyond, and can’t wait to start applying the knowledge I gain through my MBA to my problem-solving approach!
What was the application process like for you? Why did you choose Texas McCombs?
I think my application process was a little different than most. I did not decide until early fall that I was ready to apply to b-school; I was very happy at my current job and an MBA was not necessarily a checklist item to further my current career path. Instead, it was the realization of what truly interested me and what I hoped to learn that drove me to apply. I selected the programs I applied to very carefully, based mostly on reputation, location and program structure, and visited each of the campuses. What struck me the most about McCombs as compared to the other schools was the culture. It’s something people mention a lot, but experiencing it in person really makes a difference! I truly felt the McCombs “win-as-one” culture was very evident. The student body truly felt like a family, and the environment felt comfortable and inclusive without sacrificing motivation and a drive for success. I was also extremely humbled when I found out I had been selected as a Forté Fellow by McCombs in my offer of admittance. The desire to drive positive change for gender equality in the workplace was something I had brought up passionately in my application process, and I was very happy to know that the school saw me as a fit representative for Texas McCombs in this arena.
The 2018-2019 Full-Time MBA application is now open! If you’re planning to apply, we encourage you to review the MBA events below and register now to hold your spot. We host events in cities around the world in various formats so you can choose the event that works best for you to meet admissions staff and students or alumni face-to-face to ask your questions about the program and admissions process. Events are also the best way to get to know our culture and make sure your lifestyle and goals are a good fit for our MBA program.
This MBA Insider content comes from the Texas McCombs MBA Admissions team and was originally posted in July 2017.
If you’ve decided you want to apply to the MBA program at Texas McCombs– congratulations on making a fantastic decision! But, now what? One of the first application components that future students typically focus on is the required standardized test. It can be an intimidating first step. Our MBA program accepts both GRE and GMAT. How can you know which test is best for you?
First, the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference on which test you take. Our article on examining your graduate test options can give you a good overview of the basic differences between the tests.
We do not believe that one test is better at demonstrating your preparedness for business school than the other. But it is important to think about what exam is best for you as an individual. In some cases, there may be a good reason to consider taking the GMAT over the GRE, or vice versa.