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The Road to McCombs and Texas

Each fall our dean, admissions team, and career management representatives join alumni in several cities for Texas MBA Roadshows, 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 Roadshow 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.

connor-orourkeName: Conner O’Rourke, MBA ’17
Pre-MBA Residence: New York City, NY
Undergrad University & Major: University of Michigan, English
Previous Job:
Sales Marketing Manager, NBC Universal
MBA Concentration:

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? Simple.  I chose McCombs because it’s situated in the best city in the country and the students I met during my class visit were the perfect combination of smart, witty and down-to-earth.

How has the McCombs community helped you to adjust to your new home? The McCombs community has been unbelievable.  So much so that I have decided I can’t leave Austin.  Don’t be surprised if your temporary 2-year home becomes your permanent residence.  It happens to the best of us.

Any advice for other New Yorkers thinking about attending McCombs? Get ready to live outside again and hear phrases like, “you’re welcome” and “my pleasure.”  Between hiking on the Greenbelt, kayaking on Lake Travis and golfing year round, there are endless opportunities to spend your weekend doing something active opposed to searching for that cool bar in BK that everyone says you should go to but can’t help you find.  But there are also dozens of great bars with live music and no cover…

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process? Take your time.  It’s your chance to craft a story based on your favorite subject.  YOU.

What is your favorite Austin or Texas tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs? My own Sunday tradition of waking up, grabbing Ms. P’s breakfast tacos and spending the day on the Greenbelt.

Any advice on things to do prior to starting school (after you’re admitted)? Get to Austin a week or two early.  It may be hot, but Austin is a fun town and getting here early will lower your stress level.

Favorite memory of New York: Laying on my back at midnight alongside the Hudson watching the planes fly in and out of all three airports.

Anything else that you would like to share? Last year may just have been the best year of my life.

thumb_img_4302_1024Name: Courtney Good, MBA ’17
Pre-MBA Residence:  Washington, D.C.
Undergrad University & Major: University of Virginia, Economics & Environmental Science
Previous Job: Associate, Charles River Associates
MBA Concentration: Clean Tech

Why did you choose the Texas MBA Program? I chose the Texas MBA Program for two main reasons: the curriculum and the culture. Having worked in the energy industry prior to returning to business school, I knew I wanted to stay in the industry; the Clean Tech concentration at McCombs and UT Austin’s status as a leading energy institution assured me that I would get the industry knowledge and resources I was looking for. Additionally, the collaborative culture at McCombs and McCombs’ involvement with the greater Austin start-up community drew me to the program.

How has the McCombs community helped you to adjust to your new home? Adjusting to life in Austin could not have been easier – you are given 270 new friends when you get to campus, and are located in a city with endless opportunities and recreation. Additionally, going through the core curriculum in the fall semester with your cohort really brings everyone closer and created a great support system as I transitioned to my new home.

Any advice for other Washingtonians thinking about attending McCombs? You will be surprised at how many of your classmates are moving from the D.C. area. Also, you will feel at home because the Texas State Capitol building is right next to the university and modeled after the U.S. Capitol building!

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process? Take time to customize your essays and highlight why you think McCombs is the best fit for you. The admissions team has to read many essays, and a love for McCombs and Austin will definitely stand out.

What is your favorite Austin or Texas tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs? Food wise – definitely breakfast tacos. I didn’t realize how attached I was until this summer during my internship in Atlanta, GA when I was not sure what to eat for breakfast on the weekends. Make sure to try Torchy’s or Tacodeli if you come visit Austin!

Any advice on things to do prior to starting school (after they are admitted)? First, during the summer I would recommend updating your resume and creating an initial list of your target companies. The beginning of school is a whirlwind, so the more work you have done on your resume over the summer, the more time you will have for other commitments and activities. Secondly, I recommend taking some time off and traveling or visiting family before you get to Austin. Have some fun, and give your mind a break from work before you dive into the core curriculum!

Favorite memory of Washington, D.C.: I enjoyed going to watch parties in D.C. to support the UVA basketball team.

meredith-saundersName: Meredith Saunders, MBA ’18
Pre-MBA Residence: Chicago, IL
Undergrad: The Ohio State University, Operations & Supply Chain Management
Previous Job: Internal Consultant, CNA Financial
MBA Concentration: Healthcare & Operations/Supply Chain Management

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? I chose the Texas MBA Program for many reasons, but two of the most important were the variety of experiential learning opportunities and the culture. Having the opportunity to practice the skills I had learned in the classroom prior to applying to a full-time position was extremely important to me; as well as being in an environment where the students are genuinely excited not just about their own successes, but also about those of their peers.

How has the McCombs community helped you to adjust to your new home?  The McCombs community has been great! Before school even started, I attended two of the MAP trips and met so many amazing people. And since then, there have been endless opportunities to go to other events including football tailgates, new restaurants, concerts, and so many other activities to get together with your classmates and explore Austin.

Any advice for other Chicagoans thinking about attending McCombs? Definitely come visit campus! And talk to as many current students as you can. Ultimately, you can read all you want about the culture of each school on their website, or Poet&Quants, but the best thing about McCombs is that once you get here, you can see that everything that is said about the culture being inclusive, and collaborative, and having amazing people, are ALL true. And you will leave here thinking that as heartbreaking as missing two Chicago winters would be; McCombs is where you need to be.

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process?

  1. You will get through it, and it will all be okay. It’s a long process and the GMAT is the worst, and the essays seem endless, but it is absolutely so worth it in the end.
  2. Definitely take culture/fit into consideration as you’re deciding where to go. Just because it looks great on paper, it may not be the best for you; so make sure you visit and see for yourself what each school has to offer and  meet the people that could be your future classmates and friends!

What is your favorite Austin or Texas tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs? Definitely the live music. There are bands everywhere, just waiting for you to come listen. It’s incredible. And as far as food goes I’m not going to limit myself to breakfast tacos, but tacos of all kinds here in Austin are delicious, and there is a pizza place called Via 313 that found the perfect balance between deep dish and hand tossed pizza. You need to go, and you won’t regret it.

Any advice on things to do prior to starting school (after they are admitted)? Take time off!! Relax, take a trip, do nothing. Just stop working and give your brain a break.

Favorite memory of Chicago:  St. Patrick’s Day 2012one of Chicago’s biggest holidays. March had come and it was still fully winter, knee length puffy parka constantly in tow, and the forecast looked worse than usual. Long story short; it ended up being 80 degrees and one of the sunniest days Chicago has likely ever had before June. I think every single person who lived  in the city came out to celebrate for whatever reason they wanted that day. The river was packed, spirits were extremely high, and the optimism for summer in Chicago was in full swing! It was by far, one of the most amazing, surprising, and fun days I had  in Chicago.

Anything else that you would like to share? Take advantage of everything the city  has to offer before you move, it is SUCH an amazing place!

royal-addisName: Royal Addis, MBA ’17
Pre-MBA Residence: Modesto, CA
Undergrad: University of the Pacific, Engineering Management
Previous Job: Go-To-Market Project Manager, E&J Gallo
MBA Concentration: Strategy & Innovation

Why did you choose the Texas MBA program? For many reasons- but what really stood out to me was the reach of the Texas MBA alumni network and the school’s strong employment connections with Bay Area technology companies.

How has the McCombs community helped you to adjust to your new home?  Without a doubt it has been the encouragement and support received from the 2nd year MBA students and MBA program staff. They continually go out of their way to inspire students and make us feel at home as we transition into “MBA life”.

Any advice for other San Franciscans thinking about attending McCombs?  Don’t let the thought of being in the middle of Texas frighten you! Austin may not have the beach, Dolores park, and wine country right in its backyard…. but we do have Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park, Hamilton Pool, and Barton Springs just to name a few. Check them out!

Any advice for folks that are going through the application process? Take any opportunity you get to connect with school alumni and learn from their personal experience- it’s never too early to reach out! Alumni can be a fantastic resource during the application process and can help paint a more well-rounded picture of an MBA program.

What is your favorite Austin or Texas tradition/food/etc. you’ve discovered since attending McCombs?  It has to be UT Football tailgates- I’ve never seen anything like it!

Any advice on things to do prior to starting school (after they are admitted)?  Take some time off away from your job if you can.  Core classes will be upon you soon (i.e. “winter is coming…”)  so relax, recharge your batteries, take time to connect with friends and loved ones, and get ready to hit the ground running!

Favorite memory of San Francisco:  Being in the city when the Giants won the 2010, 2012, & 2014 World Series!

Anything else that you would like to share?  I believe that the relatively smaller program size of ~270 students is an overlooked benefit and differentiating factor for McCombs. This results in a tight-knit community where you have ample opportunities to not only get to know almost everyone in your graduating class, but many of the people in the classes above and below you as well

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

Tips & Tricks For Submitting Your Texas MBA Application

Even after reviewing the Texas MBA Admissions Process online, there’s always a special situation or further questions you might need answered as you submit your responses, so…

Here are the Texas MBA Admissions Team’s Top 5 FAQ topics:

Application FAQs

1. Texas Residency Status – Everyone who applies to an MBA program is classified as a non-resident until s/he is admitted, accepts the offer, and completes the Texas Residency Questionnaire. Rest easy, even though your status may look incorrect – if you were born and bred here, you’ll surely have a chance to prove it later on.

2. How & What to Submit for Transcripts – We get all sorts of questions on all sorts transcripts, from foreign language transcripts to study abroad transcripts, and from old transcripts to web downloaded transcripts. Here’s how to deal with transcripts:

  • Order official transcripts from any university or college you attended EXCEPT junior or technical colleges. If your transcripts are in a foreign language, they must be translated into English.
  • Scan and upload these to your McCombs Application online.
  • Pay your Application Fee.
  • Scan and upload transcripts to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).
  • Put your official transcripts in safe-keeping. If you’re offered admission and intend to enroll, you’ll send your officials to GIAC.

3. Letter of Recommendation – This is also a common question, and since you’re not in complete control of this aspect of your application, you may just need assurance of what you can control. Here at the Texas MBA Program, we require one professional letter of recommendation from a person who has supervised your work and/or has assessed your performance during your career. Letters of recommendation are received directly from the recommender via a secure portal. While completing your application, you will be able to send your recommender an invitation to access this secure portal to submit their recommendation. Once your letter of recommendation is received, you will receive an automated email.

A couple helpful hints:

  • Complete this part of your application first. This will launch email notifications to your recommenders and allow them to get started on the form while you’re working on the other components of your application.
  • Contact your recommenders ASAP to let them know they should receive an email as soon as you save the section. Sometimes these emails end up in a junk folder since they come from a generic Texas MBA email address.
  • Monitor the status of your recommendations on your McCombs application status page to ensure they’re completed within a reasonable amount of time and by the deadline. You can resend notifications from within the application as needed.

4. Test Scores – As long as you’ve taken the test and have made the request to have your official scores sent to UT Austin by the round deadline, your application will be considered “on time.” During the admissions process, we sync what you reported in the application with what’s received by UT Austin. It can take several weeks for your official score to be received by the university, and the one-stop status check in your application marks this item complete once it arrives.

If you’ve decided to retake the exam after you’ve submitted your application, please notify the appropriate program as soon as you have your score. Please note there is no guarantee that your updated test score(s) will be considered in the evaluation of your candidacy, as this depends on when the McCombs Admissions Committee receives the update from you. Again, it’ll take several weeks for the official score to reach UT Austin, but be sure you’ve made the request to have the updated score sent.

If you’re applying to multiple programs at McCombs, you don’t need to send separate scores to each program. UT Austin has a central repository for official scores that all departments can access.

5. Application Fee – You will not be able to pay the application fee for about two business days after you hit the submit button, depending on when you submit your application. Your application is considered “on time” if submitted by the deadline, regardless if the fee is paid on that date. However, your application will not be evaluated if you do not pay the fee once it’s due. For information about where to pay the fee, and application fee waivers for select applicants, please review the Application Fee section on the Admissions Process page of our website.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions!

Hook ‘em!

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We’re Bringing McCombs to You. Texas MBA Roadshows.

Join the Texas MBA at our annual Roadshows in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and San Francisco this November! The Texas MBA Roadshows are your opportunity to learn about the Texas Full-Time MBA Program and hear from career management and admissions staff as well as network with Texas MBA alumni.

These events will feature special presentations about the different aspects of the Texas MBA degree, including an in-depth look at what a Texas MBA means for you and your future, the application process, the culture at McCombs, global opportunities, career services and the plethora of hands-on experiences offered here at The University of Texas at Austin. Why wait to jump start your career? Register now!

Washington, D.C. | November 1, 2016

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: Washington Marriott at Metro Center
775 12th St NW
Washington, DC 20005


New York City | November 2, 2016

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: The Breslin at the Ace Hotel
16 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001


Chicago | November 3, 2016

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: Hotel Palomar – Chicago
505 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654


San Francisco | November 10, 2016

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: JW Marriott – San Francisco Union Square
500 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94102


Insider Tips for Re-Applying to the Texas MBA Program

From the Texas MBA Admissions Team

With the 2017 application up and running, questions are starting to roll in from those who have applied to the Texas MBA Program in the past and are interested in re-applying for the Class of 2019. So, we thought we’d take some time to address some of the most frequent questions we’ve received.

First of all,  having applied in a previous year is not considered a negative factor in your application. We are pleased to see your continued interest in the program and will evaluate your new application on its merits, and in the context of the new applicant pool. Consider giving yourself a fresh start when you approach your new application. Think through and reassess your application, addressing any weak areas. Add new information that may be helpful in the admission process.

While completing your application, you will be asked to answer the question “Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to enhance your candidacy?” The admissions committee reviews this closely, so please ensure that you spend the time reflecting on and explaining these improvements.

Below is an overview of the application process for re-applicants:

  1. Application:  All re-applicants are required to complete a new application, new essays, and a new resume and pay the application fee.
  2. Official Transcripts: Official transcripts are kept on file for one year and do not need to be resubmitted unless you have taken additional course work, or if you applied more than one year ago. Be sure to monitor your GIAC “MyStatus” page online to make sure transcripts show as received for the current application year.
  3. Test Scores: GMAT and GRE scores are only valid five years after the date the test is taken. For TOEFL scores, this period is two years. You need to take these standardized tests again if the scores have expired. The McCombs Admissions Committee considers only the highest total submitted score in the evaluation of applications. Official test scores are kept for one calendar year. If you have submitted an application beyond one year in the past, you may be required to re-submit certain credentials.
  4. Recommendation Letter:  Although not required, we suggest you submit a new letter of recommendation. Determine if another recommender may provide a more current, insightful and thorough perspective. If you choose to use one or more prior recommendations, you will be able to import the existing letter(s) of recommendation while completing your application.

Please note that, due to the number of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback on previously denied applications. Thank you again for your continued interest in the Texas MBA Program, choosing to re-apply shows perseverance and dedication.

Additional information about the Admissions Process can be found here.  Please reach out to us at with any questions. We look forward to receiving your new application!

Alumni Spotlight: Maggie Row, Texas MBA at Houston ’07

maggie rowSince graduating from the Texas MBA at Houston Program in 2007, Maggie Row has been helping to provide high-quality cancer care to patients around the world through her work at MD Anderson. Her MBA education provided her with new insights into the healthcare industry, and not only gave her the skills to become a better leader, but a better healthcare provider as well.


We recently caught up with Maggie to see what she’s up to and to learn about her reasons  #WhyMcCombs.

What were you doing before you decided to pursue an MBA?

I was the medical director for the Emergency Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a practicing emergency oncology physician.

Why did you decide to pursue and MBA and why did you choose McCombs?

Upon completion of my residency in 1994, I decided to pursue an MBA. I always enjoyed business, in fact, I did the accounting for my dad’s business while I was in high school and college. At MD Anderson, I’ve been given many different leadership opportunities and I felt that the additional skills I would gain would help me to be a more effective leader.

I chose McCombs because of the excellence of the program and the opportunity to stay in Houston –the program was literally two blocks from my house.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside of the classroom — you learned while completing your MBA?

Time management. My children were in kindergarten and first grade when I started my program at McCombs and I was also working full-time at MD Anderson. I had to be very disciplined, so I was able to be a mom, while at the same time being a wife, a student and a physician leader.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?

I think a business background is essential for a well-rounded clinician. The knowledge I learned in business school has been useful in every faucet of my job, even with direct patient care. This expansion of my skill set allows me to see medical issues, both business and clinical, from a different viewpoint. The ability to understand the financial and economic aspects of health care decisions has been a valuable asset.

What is your current position at MD Anderson?

I am currently Vice President of Operations for the MD Anderson Cancer Network. Our network works with hospitals and health systems around the world to help provide high-quality cancer care to patients in the communities where they live. In my role, I’m responsible for making sure that the exceptional care we provide here at our Texas Medical Center campus is integrated into our network member sites.

What do you love about your job?

I love that I’m helping cancer patients receive better care by extending the knowledge from MD Anderson to oncologists worldwide.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I spend time with my family – Jim, my husband, and children, Catalina (16) and Billy (15). We are either traveling, running, golfing, going to movies or just hanging out at our pool in Houston.

What advice do you have for future Texas MBAs?

Enjoy your undergraduate experience and learn as much as possible about life and the opportunities available for your future. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing when I graduated from college. Taking the time to work and obtain additional education helped me gain the tools I need to navigate my career.

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