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Rowling Hall is Coming!

In spring 2013, UT-Austin announced a $25 million pledge from Dallas businessman Robert Rowling, BBA ’76, his wife Terry Hennersdorf Rowling, BBA ’76, and their family to fund the construction of a 458,000-square-foot graduate business building – The new Robert B. Rowling Hall!

Rowling Hall will house the McCombs School of Business graduate programs, including the Texas MBA program. So, future Texas MBAs, here’s how our new home is coming along so far:



The Beginning of Something Big

The future home of the Texas MBA – Rowling Hall!

Construction plans on the future site of the Texas MBA, Rowling Hall, began fall 2014. The new building, next to the AT&T Executive conference center on the west side of the UT-Austin campus, will open in fall 2017. Rowling Hall will be the “launch pad” for projects between the school’s students & alumni, and the wider Austin community. Stand-out features include the active learning classrooms!

Groundbreaking of Rowling Hall

Construction on Rowling officially began on November 7th, 2015.

Rowling Hall groundbreaking

Breaking new ground: (left to right) Associate Dean, Eric Hirst, Dean, Tom Gilligan, Robert Rowling, President Powers, and GBC President Maureen McCaffery

Texas MBAs are known for their work ethic. They have established a reputation as leaders, team players…They roll up their sleeves and seek solutions. They take risks and try new things. They make things happen.Eric Hirst, Senior Associate Dean of the McCombs School of Business

“Meet me at the Moontower.”

Artist’s rendering of Moontower Cafe

Last year, McCombs held a contest to name the cafe at Rowling Hall. Students from all six MBA programs responded with 127 submissions.  A naming committee narrowed the list until student Mackswell Dickson, MBA ’16, emerged as winner, gaining a one-year tuition scholarship. Donor Robert B. Rowling was among the attendees at the final winner’s announcement. The winning name, the “Moontower Cafe,” was announced in an email to all students.

Artist’s rendering of Rowling Hall Terrace

Read more about “Rowling Rising” or follow Rowling Hall on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

We’ll see you there in 2017! Hook ’em!

Join the Texas Full-Time MBA Program for Coffee this Winter!

Meet up with current Texas Full-Time MBA students for a Coffee Chat this winter! These informal meetings take place in various cities in the United States and around the world, offering you a chance to connect to the Texas MBA Program firsthand. We encourage you to take this opportunity to engage with a current student in a candid conversation about the program, asking any questions you may have about academics, applying, student life at McCombs, or Austin, Texas.

This winter break, our students will be hosting coffee chats in the United States, Brazil, Canada and China. Find one in a city near you!


We encourage you to stay in touch and we look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions, please send us an email. See you soon!

Texas MBA Career Treks

Each year, the Texas MBA Career Management team leads Treks to various cities to visit the main offices of different companies, giving Texas Full-Time MBA 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.

One of the biggest trends our Employer Relations and Career Management teams have seen has been an enormous increase in student career interest in the West Coast. In 2010, 9% of Texas MBA graduates landed jobs on the West Coast — that percentage has nearly doubled with the class of 2016! Interest in technology companies has exploded, making it a large area of focus for our annual Treks.

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.

In response, the Texas MBA Program has 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. The contacts made 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.

2016-2017 Career Treks 


Texas MBA students at the Boston Consulting Group offices in Dallas, TX


Texas MBA students at the Chevron offices in Houston, TX


Texas MBA students at the A.T. Kearney office in Dallas, TX


Texas MBA students at the Bain & Company office in Dallas, TX


Texas MBA students at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch office in New York City


Texas MBA students at AT&T headquarters in Dallas, TX


Navigating Change – A Timely Topic for the Society of Women Engineers

From Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional & Executive MBA Admissions

I’m so grateful for this aspect of my job. This week, I had the distinct pleasure of presenting to the Austin Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers on the topic of Navigating Change, one day after this country’s historic election results. Karen Landolt, one of our MBA+ Leadership Program Coaches, engaged this group of 40 smart, professional women in exercises and discussion on this timely topic at Dell’s Parmer Lane campus. Dell and EMC are in the process merging companies, philosophies and cultures, and being aware of something as simple as the difference between Boston, where EMC is based, and Austin’s Dell is so important in forming a more perfect union.


Women in attendance represented a variety of engineering disciplines from a number of well-known companies in the Austin area, and they left with some practical tools to help navigate change in their organizations, their careers and in life. They also had a chance to network with each other and talk to Dell’s career team, as well as learn more about how an MBA can help advance careers not only through academics, but also through co-curricular resources such as the opportunity to receive 16 hours of one-on-one professional coaching from a prudently procured and prolific list of professionals. MBA+ coaches come with expertise in areas such as communication, executive career paths, leadership presence, professional image, improvisation (thinking on your feet), project management, media presence, creativity and innovation, emotional intelligence, and even accent modification among other skills.

If you’d like for someone from the Texas MBA to speak at your organization whether it’s a public or private company, or a professional or special interest group located in Houston, Dallas or Austin, please contact me at

Military Community at McCombs

Transitioning from military life to civilian life can be hard. Veterans will most likely have to move, find a new job, and leave behind a way of life that they have become accustomed to over the course of many years. An MBA degree can be a great resource for veterans to enhance their business skills and transition into a civilian role in the business community. Skills from military experience—leadership, management, team-building, logistics and operations— are easily transferable into an MBA experience and beyond.

McCombs recognizes the value military veterans bring to our campus. Our community is one of support, collaboration, and dedication to prepare you for career success. We have military students hailing from all branches of service and are honored to welcome new veterans to our classes each year.

The McCombs School of Business and The University of Texas at Austin offer many resources to aid in the transition into civilian life and returning to school full-time to earn your MBA. See below for some of resources available to vets enrolled at McCombs. We thank you for your service and hope you’ll come visit us in Austin to learn more about our nationally-ranked MBA programs.

Armed Forces Alumni Association (AFAA)

As the primary MBA student organization for military veterans in the program, the AFAA is a great way to get connected and involved in our community. The organization focuses on drawing parallels between the principles learned in the military and the skills required to be successful in business. Learn more on the AFAA website.

Student Veterans Association

The Student Veterans Association at The University of Texas at Austin works to serve the needs of students with prior or current military association, their families, and dependents. The organization aims to develop and implement support activities to better assess, promote, and represent the interests of this population within the University community.


Scholarships and Financial Aid

All veterans are eligible to receive our merit-based admissions scholarships and are automatically considered for these upon applying to the Texas MBA Program. Veterans will also automatically receive a waiver for the application fee upon submitting their application to the program.

The UT Austin Office of Student Veteran Services is available to help MBA veterans navigate the federal and state education benefits they are eligible for as well as connecting them with additional grants and scholarships available to them. Student Veterans Services also offers academic support, health care and wellness services and helps foster a community among veterans across the UT Austin campus. Check out their website for more information.

Career Support

No matter where you interests lie, the Texas MBA Career Management staff offers endless resources for helping you discover your strengths and relevant transferable skills that will make you stand out during the recruitment process post-MBA. While our military veterans go into a broad range of industries and functions, some of the most popular are operations, investment banking and consulting.

Texas MBA Military Forum | December 2-3, 2016

The Texas MBA Military Forum offers future military MBAs the opportunity to meet many of the former military members currently enrolled in the Texas MBA Program, meet our top-rated faculty, and network with Texas MBA military alumni. Through this event, you’ll learn how to successfully transition from your military career to a top MBA program, as well as discover all of the resources available to you at The University of Texas at Austin.



Military MBA Spotlight

sattler-nicholas-ncs663Nick Sattler,
Texas MBA Class of 2017

Did you encounter any challenges when entering the “civilian life” again?

My concern was that I thought I was making a huge transition that my classmates outside the military would not understand. But in a full-time MBA program, regardless of school, all of your classmates are making huge transitions at the same time. Once I realized that I was not alone in such a life change, as a veteran or otherwise, my civilian life began to take hold and my belief that I made the right decision was cemented.

What is your favorite part about the Texas MBA Program?

My ability to define my own path. At McCombs there is no definition of success to which we must subscribe. Instead, McCombs fosters a culture of success that is focused on each of us as individuals. Here, you are not prepared for a specific post-MBA role. Instead, McCombs establishes you as a leader- no matter where you want to go. If you know what you want to do, the Texas MBA will be able to get you there.

Do you feel your military background has given you a leg-up in a particular aspect of the program?

The leadership opportunities and breadth of experiences we had available as young professionals are unmatched in the private sector. As a result, my military experience coupled with dedicated mentors developed in me the knowledge for how to 1) see the big picture, 2) define objectives, and 3) present arguments and ideas convincingly. These are the elemental skills for future success.

How would you describe the Veteran support available at UT Austin?

Outstanding, pure and simple. I was concerned about the idea of two bureaucracies – a state university and the VA – working together. But I could not be more impressed with the efficiencies and access we have as vets at UT.

What would you say have been your biggest struggles in the program and how has McCombs helped support you in overcoming these challenges?

The biggest challenge was getting out of my own way. I discounted my ability to contribute to the MBA community because I did not have what I thought was a “typical” background. I was worried about being able to translate my experience into stories my peers and recruiters would understand. But quickly, I began to shed these ideas and build confidence in myself. McCombs is a community of wildly successful people from diverse backgrounds all going on to successful futures on equally diverse paths. That is incredibly motivating. I am honored to be here.

nash-doug-jdn954Doug Nash,
Texas MBA Class of 2017

Did you encounter any challenges when entering the “civilian life” again?

My biggest challenge was in understanding the organizational, work/life, cultural and growth considerations that surround every unique industry or function. Where we come from, there is usually an organized method of communicating these considerations (say, before choosing a military occupational specialty, or an aircraft platform), but in the civilian world the onus of research is much more on you.

What is your favorite part about the Texas MBA Program?

My favorite part is hands down the relationships. I certainly enjoy the academic challenges and education that have taken me very far to date, but nothing beats walking in to the Carpenter Center and being met with a room of smiles and warm greetings

Do you feel your military background has given you a leg-up in a particular aspect of the program?

I  expected my work ethic and mental endurance to be substantially stronger than my classmates’, but I was quickly proven wrong. These are some of the smartest, hardest working, and most ambitious individuals I have ever met. What actually turned out to be among my greatest strengths is an ability to organize within a group, boil problems down to solvable parts quickly, and task organize to execute the solution.

How would you describe the Veteran support available at UT Austin?

The Student Veteran Services office is incredible. The only thing that makes me feel bad for veteran students is that more don’t take advantage of this amazing resource… they are benefits experts, and present excellent access to network and camaraderie that spans across campus.

What would you say have been your biggest struggles in the program and how has McCombs helped support you in overcoming these challenges?

There are obvious challenges in beginning to develop business framework thinking, working through hard finance skills, statistics, etc… in addition to the fact that it’s tempting to try and draw parallels for everything back to your military experience. I challenge first year vets to get active in fellows programs, clubs, industry projects and social groups they otherwise wouldn’t in order to immediately begin to apply those frameworks and start developing experience and friendship bases outside of the uniform.

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