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The 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference

From Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior MBA Admissions Officer 

Over 400 businesswomen descended upon Austin, Texas this past weekend for the 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC)! The event is orchestrated annually by the Forté Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting & empowering women in business, and providing access to business opportunities and education. This year, The University of Texas at Austin had the pleasure of hosting these women in our own backyard at the AT&T Executive Hotel and Conference Center on campus.

The WLC reached a new attendance record this June, with 438 MBA students coming from almost 50 universities across the country!

The conference is geared toward incoming first year MBA students and rising second year MBA students, and gives women an opportunity to network with a plethora of top companies such as Whirlpool Corporation, Cognizant, Hines, Amazon, AT&T, Dow, Boston Consulting Group, IBM, and Wells Fargo.  Our MBA ladies took part in conference prep in the months leading up to the WLC so that they could make the most of the opportunities presented. These prep calls coached first year students on resume writing, networking with the company recruiters, and provided advice on how to follow up with leads generated at the conference.

The McCombs School of Business and the Texas MBA Program had the highest number of students in attendance (Hook ‘Em!) with 45 incoming and current MBA students from all our programs. The Class of 2018 newbies had the opportunity to meet one another before orientation in August and our incoming Forté Fellows also had the chance to meet each other at a reception on Thursday evening hosted by Dimensional Fund Advisors.  Additionally, thirteen Texas MBA alumni volunteered for panels & networking with current MBA women.

Texas MBA ’02 alumna and CMO of RetailMeNot, Marissa Tarleton, spoke on the challenges and opportunities of being a woman marketing executive. CEO of Austin-based startup Shipping Easy and Texas MBA ’94 alumna Katie May was featured on a panel about entrepreneurship. McCombs staff were also featured presenters at sessions such as “Leveraging Social Media for Your Career,” and the Texas MBA Graduate Women in Business organization (GWIB) hosted a fun happy hour on Saturday afternoon.

Join Us for Our Next Women’s Event in Austin!

Networking with and learning from so many successful and driven women is nothing short of inspirational. If you are making your plans for fall, our 2016 Women’s Forum registration is now open. Future women MBAs are strongly encouraged to attend this exclusive event to network with current students and alumni, meet McCombs faculty and staff, and attend info sessions about curriculum, career planning, experiential learning, and life in Austin, Texas.  Apply Now!

We look forward to seeing you soon. Hook ‘Em!

Essay Writing Tips from Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions

From Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior Full-Time MBA Admissions Officer

As you think about how to approach the essays in your Texas Full-Time MBA application, your best shot at successfully answering the essay prompts is to approach them thoughtfully. The purpose of these essay questions is to understand why you want to attend McCombs, to find out what drives you, and to learn more about who you are both professionally and personally. While it may be tempting, do us (and yourself) a favor and avoid the snooze-fest/shock-factor extremes. Instead, approach your essays genuinely and with reflection. Armed with a few insider tips from the Admissions Committee, you will be well on your way to submitting a strong application.

ESSAY 1

The University of Texas at Austin values unique perspectives and cultivates a collaborative environment of distinct individual contributions. It is the first day of orientation. You are meeting your study group, comprised of five of your classmates from various backgrounds. Please introduce yourself to your new team, highlighting what drives you in your personal and professional life.

Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response. 

  • Write an essay (250 words)
  • Share a video introduction (one minute)

Admissions Officer Advice:

Imagine you are standing in front of your new Texas MBA Class of 2019 study group introducing yourself. Your study group is comprised of 5 or so of your classmates who will differ from you professionally, geographically, and culturally; these individuals will be your designated group work partners throughout the first semester. What would you say to your group if you only have 250 words or one-minute? What is your personal “elevator speech?” First impressions are important in-person and are equally important in an admissions application.

Key items to make sure you include are a greeting or introduction and some personal anecdotes. We want the full picture of who you are, but presented in “nutshell” form.

What makes you interesting and unique are both your personal and professional interests and attributes.  Therefore, an intro that only discusses work experience, or only discusses previous life experience, is incomplete.  Give us a rounded mix, so that we better understand who you are in a more complete sense, and not only in one facet of your life.  When someone asks you what motivates you, what is your response?  We are looking to learn more about what drives you – in other words, we want to find out not only what you are passionate about in your personal and professional life, but why.

Finally, the choice is yours: written essay or video.  We have seen significant success in each platform and do not prefer one over the other.  Therefore, play to your strengths!  If your skill is in writing, focus on the essay.  If you want to create a video and rely on your voice and video editing skills, then we are excited to see it.  (Keep in mind that submitting a photo slideshow with background music does not grant the admissions committee the chance to actually see or hear you, which is what makes video submissions so great!)

In any submission, have fun with it and do not take this essay for granted—it can go a long way in introducing yourself and setting the stage for your application.

ESSAY 2

Based on your post-MBA goals and what drives you in your personal and professional life, why is the Texas MBA the ideal program for you and how do you plan to engage in our community? (500 words)

Admissions Officer Advice:

This prompt allows you to leverage your short term career goal (remember the one you included on the admissions application?) and your response to essay one!  It’s also an opportunity for you to show McCombs some real love.  By the time we read your essays, we have already seen your resume, scores and basic elements of your application. In this answer, we need you to expand upon the bare facts and convey to us why you are the perfect student for McCombs and how you will become an active contributor in our community. Texas MBA students are dynamic and engaged, and we are looking for applicants who are equally as driven.

This is a dense question with lots of content. The key will be to make sure you address both segments of the question individually and within the tight limit of 500 words. Below is a dissection of each part of the question to help you craft a complete answer:

“… why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you…”

  • Focus here on the words Texas MBA and you.  A vague essay is a poor essay, so give us specifics. If you’ve read our website or spoken to an admissions team member, frankly there is a LOT to love: classes, concentrations, organizations, students/alumni, professors, unique academic and career-oriented opportunities, and the list goes on. Before you write your essay, I recommend you write a list of your top reasons why you think McCombs is total MBA perfection. Then, make sure these specifics are mentioned to illustrate your dedication to our program. What’s the consequence of saying vague things like McCombs is “amazing” and “a great program?” First, we may question your familiarity with our school, or worse, we may assume you just reused the same generic essay you used for another MBA program – yikes.
  • Don’t forget that the admissions committee is also looking for you to clearly connect how McCombs will help you achieve your career objectives and personal goals you’ve listed on your application.  We will have already reviewed your short and long term goals, and now we want to know how you think McCombs will help get you there! What classes, organizations, and experiential opportunities that we offer specifically relate to your career plan?  Connect the dots for us.

“… how do you plan to engage in our community…”

  • Lastly, as you are mapping out your reasons for attending our program, also remember that we pride ourselves first and foremost on our collaborative, diverse and extremely tight-knit community. We work very hard to find individuals excited about being a part of this community in particular, so in what ways will you contribute? How will you give back while you are here? What will be your lasting legacy at McCombs? How can you leverage our program offerings and combine it with your skill set to propel the entire program forward? Convince us that you are indispensable to our community, and that we simply cannot live without you.

Last bit of advice. Return to classic writing techniques, a strong essay structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling and cadence.  A few common essay writing pitfalls to avoid include convoluted sentences, going off-topic, name-dropping, vague or confusing goals, citing inaccurate classes, professors, or student organizations, or calling us by any other name besides McCombs or the Texas MBA (a common mistake for people who reuse essays).  Also, DON’T REUSE ESSAYS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS!  We can totally tell.

As always, please email us at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu if you have any other questions.  Get started early and edit, edit, edit!  Your essays can really send a strong application into orbit, so good luck, and happy applying!

Register Now to Meet the Texas MBA & Learn More This Summer

The Texas Evening MBA Program is an MBA degree tailored to fit your schedule and your needs, allowing you to work full-time while earning your MBA from a globally-recognized university within a network of award-winning faculty and accomplished students. We encourage you to learn more about our program firsthand at one of our upcoming events this summer!

Events are the best way to interact directly with the Texas MBA and get to know current students and admissions staff. Register now!

Beat the Summer Heat at our Ice Cream Connects!

Texas MBA students and staff will be hosting Ice Cream Connects to give you the opportunity to experience the Texas MBA Program. This is your chance to network with current students, ask questions about our application process, attend an optional MBA class, and enjoy a sweet treat from Austin’s favorite, Amy’s Ice Cream, founded by Amy Simmons, Texas MBA Alumna ’93.

REGISTER: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

REGISTER: Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Discover Which Program is Right for You!

Join us for a Texas MBA Info Session in Austin on June 29, 2016 to take an in-depth look into what sets the Texas Evening MBA and Texas Executive MBA programs apart from the competition. This is your opportunity to compare programs, meet admissions staff, current students and alumni, and to ask any questions you may have about applying.

REGISTER: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Have questions? Please send us an email. We encourage you to stay in touch by signing up to receive news from the Texas Evening MBA. See you soon!

Photo Credit: 365thingsaustin.com

Connect with the Texas MBA Program this Summer & Fall!

Learn more about the Texas Full-Time MBA Program at one of our many events on-or-off campus this summer and fall! Whether you’re looking to visit us on campus in Austin, or meet up with us in a city near you, there are plenty of opportunities for you to learn about the value proposition of an MBA and how the Texas MBA Program can unlock your full potential.

We encourage you to register for one of our many upcoming events to get to know our current students, alumni and admissions staff!

Tours Map 2016

Our admissions staff and alumni will be traveling around the globe to meet you and answer your questions. Visit our tour events page for event details and registration information. Events will be confirmed and added throughout the season.

Visit Us on Campus

Join us for an info session on campus in Austin to take an in-depth look into what sets the Texas Full-Time MBA Program apart from the competition. Information sessions are your opportunity to learn about the program and to ask any questions you may have about the application process.

Friday, August 5th @ 12:30 p.m.

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Friday, August 19th @ 12:30 p.m.

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See all of our upcoming info sessions

Register for a Texas MBA Coffee Chat in Your City!

Our students will be across the United States this summer for amazing internship opportunities. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet a student for coffee in your city and learn firsthand what sets our program apart from the rest. These informal meetings will be taking place in a variety of cities so students can directly address your questions about the program as well as the admissions process.

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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!

2016-2017 Texas MBA Application Deadlines Announced!

Take your career to the next level by earning your MBA and gaining access to one of the largest alumni networks in the world!

The Texas MBA Program is currently ranked #16 in the country by U.S. News & World Report, making McCombs #1 in the state of Texas. We invite you to start preparing for the fall 2017 admissions cycle by reviewing the application deadlines below. We also encourage you to review the Texas Full-Time MBA Application webpage for more details, or learn more about our admissions process and criteria.

Round Application Deadline
Round 1 October 1, 2016
Round 2 January 10, 2017
Round 3  April 4, 2017

Note: The application will open in late summer 2016.

Why Wait? Start Preparing Today!

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