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The Texas Full-Time MBA Class of 2018

The Texas MBA Program is currently ranked #16 in the country by U.S. News & World Report, making McCombs #1 in the thriving state of Texas! The McCombs network is over 495,000 strong and consists of faculty, students, and alumni making a real impact around the world.

The Texas Full-Time MBA Program received more than 2,500 applications this past year and is excited to welcome the Class of 2018 to the Forty Acres this August! Get to know more about our incoming full-time class*:

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Student Profiles:

Colin Hogan

Colin is a native Texas & SMU graduate working in the Bay Area as Associate Brand Manager for Ubisoft Entertainment, the world’s third-largest video game publisher. He was a member of the two-person launch team for South Park: The Stick of Truth and four-person launch team for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. While he enjoys working in the gaming universe, Colin hopes to become a brand/product manager in an industry such as consumer packaged goods, retail, or tech, and make his way long-term to a VP of Marketing role. His wife is also joining the Longhorn family and starts the Masters of Education program this fall!

Ashley Hemphill

Ashley is a New Orleans native & LSU graduate who has been working in Shanghai for the past two years living out every little kid’s dream – working for Walt Disney.  She’s a Senior Financial Analyst for Imagineering, and has managed the budget for projects like “Mickey Avenue” and “Gardens of Imagination.” (Shanghai Disney just opened this June!)  She’s excited to come back to the states to enjoy some good Tex-Mex food, watch some college football, and pursue her dream of becoming a high-level executive in corporate strategy for a major global resort company. She is also a Forte Fellow and looks forward to becoming involved in Board Fellows and the China Business Association.

Joey Martin

Joey has been an officer in the Marine Corps since 2006, piloting the KC-130 Hercules transport plane. He’s lived in Afghanistan, California, and has most recently found himself in Newburgh, NY, where he spends his spare time with his wife and daughter, Elle. He’s also an ordained minister, so if you’re in need of a wedding officiant, Joey is your guy!  He hopes to pursue a career post-MBA in the healthcare consulting field, and has a passion for diabetes research and technology improvement.

Nina Hitchins

Nina comes to McCombs from Sydney, Australia byway of Boston, MA. After earning a degree in Resource Economics from the University of Sydney, she began her career as an economist working for the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics.  Most recently, Nina has served in a Senior Analyst role at NERA Economic Consulting. Her background as an energy policy advisor and energy consultant has given her an appreciation for the role of business in achieving both profitable and conscionable outcomes. Nina is convinced that the path to a clean economy will be paved by business, and she wants to be one of the architects.  Post MBA, Nina will position herself to become a clean energy strategic advisor and eventually an executive of a global renewable energy firm.

Josh Berrington

Josh was born and raised in southern California. He attended California State University – Stanislaus where he was a scholarship student-athlete playing on the men’s baseball team while discovering his love for marketing. He became highly passionate about healthy food CPG marketing and has spent his career as a brand manager for California Natural Products (CalNaturale Svelte) and Solazyme. Last year at Solazyme, he led the launch of the world’s first algae-based cooking oil into retail stores. His passion for food and entrepreneurship led him to create and refine an innovative food startup called Q’ello. During the 2015-16 application cycle, Josh entered this startup idea into the TVL Scholarship and walked away with the top prize.

Learn more about how you can join the next Texas Full-Time MBA class by checking out our admissions process, and see why the Texas MBA is the greatest value for your money on U.S. News & World Report.

Hook ‘Em!


*Class profile statistics for the Texas Full-Time MBA Class of 2018 are subject to change. Final numbers are not available until the 12th class day.

Build Your Entrepreneurial Skill Set with Texas Venture Labs

The McCombs School of Business and the Texas MBA Program are currently ranked 6th in the nation for entrepreneurship and offer many unique resources in one of America’s most innovative cities to prepare students for new business ventures. One of the best resources for aspiring entrepreneurs at McCombs is Texas Venture Labs.

 Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) is a campus-wide initiative to accelerate startups in taking their innovations to market in order to transform graduate students into entrepreneurs and business leaders. As a Texas MBA, you’ll have access to the many resources that TVL has to offer. From pairing up with local startups for a semester-long consulting project, to having the opportunity to compete in the annual Investment Competition, TVL can help you build the skills that you need to turn your ideas into a successful business venture.

TVL Resources Available to Texas MBA Students Include:

TVL Practicum:10171785_840654695950380_6985666880085173658_n

Texas MBA students admitted to the TVL Practicum program have the opportunity to participate in a semester-long consulting project with local Austin startups. You’ll gain real-world experience by providing research and consulting services to aid startups in taking their products to market and making funding decisions.

New Venture Creation:

The New Venture Creation course introduces students to the concepts and issues involved in evaluating and creating a new business venture.  By the end of the course, you will be able to evaluate business opportunities as an entrepreneur or investor for startups and established companies.

TVL Scholarship Competition:

In coordination with the McCombs School of Business, TVL has created the TVL Scholarship, a unique program for entrepreneurial students interested in attending business school. It is a competitive scholarship that is awarded each February. The winner of the TVL Scholarship also receives consideration for admission of their company into the TVL Accelerator upon graduation, consideration for a post-graduate position as a Venture Partner, as well as continued support from TVL throughout the development of their company.

Full scholarships were awarded to two first-place winners at this year’s competition:

  • Josh Berrington, for Q’ello – a plant-based milk that is completely traceable and delivered right to your door.
  • William Wilder, for Wilder Systems – a business that supplies automated tools to the aerospace industry to improve productivity and quality.

2016 TVL Scholarship winners Josh Berrington (left) and William Wilder (right)

Venture Partner Position:

The Venture Partner (VP) position gives graduate students the opportunity to work on their startups the first year after graduation. Graduates work for TVL in a full-time position and receive salaries and benefits while working on their own ventures. VP Companies currently in operation include EquipBoard, a website that connects fans with celebrities’ gear, Escapaide, a mobile concierge service for hotels, GFree in the City, a gluten-free consulting service, UrbanDish, a sustainable food focused fast casual restaurant, and BeatBox Beverages, an alcoholic beverage manufacturer.

TVL Investment Competition:

The Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC) is designed to mimic the real-world process of raising venture capital. Students from The University of Texas at Austin present their ideas for new businesses and receive invaluable feedback from entrepreneurs and investors. Many TVLIC competitors go on to launch their businesses. Successful competitors have included uShip, Ordoro and Qcue.


The 2016 TVL Investment Competition Winners from the Texas MSTC Program

Other entrepreneurial resources at McCombs include:

Join Us For Our Texas Full-Time MBA Forums This Fall!

Join the Texas Full-Time MBA Program this fall for our annual Forums! Forum events at McCombs are your opportunity to experience the Texas MBA Program firsthand with students, alumni, and admissions staff. We encourage you to attend these exclusive events showcasing all that the McCombs has to offer. You’ll have the chance to attend info sessions about curriculum, career planning and student community, network with current students, enjoy the city of Austin,  get an in-depth look at life as a Texas MBA, and more!

Texas MBA Diversity Forum
November 4-5, 2016

Anyone who is committed to promoting the inclusion of underrepresented minorities in education and business is encouraged to apply for our Texas MBA Diversity Forum. Whether you are looking to advance your current career or make a career change, discover how the Texas Full-Time MBA Program can unlock your potential and help you develop as a business leader.



2014 Diversity Forum Student Co-Chairs and Alumni

Texas MBA Women’s Forum
November 18-19, 2016

The Texas MBA Women’s Forum offers you the opportunity to meet many of our future female business leaders currently enrolled in the Texas MBA Program, meet  our top-rated faculty, and share alumni experiences. Through this event, you will gain knowledge about the admissions process, discover career opportunities, grasp the global experience, and picture yourself as a Texas MBA.


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.


We look forward to seeing you soon! Hook ’em!

Catch Up with the Texas MBA on Social Media

Want an easy way to keep up with the Texas MBA Program? Follow us on social media for program news, event information, application updates,  and all the reasons #WhyMcCombs!




See What We’ve Been Up To This Summer

#TXMBA Consortium Class of 2018 #WhyMcCombs Photo by @chelleschenk

A photo posted by Texas MBA (@utexasmba) on

Photo Credit:

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Key, Texas MBA ’16

Despite having just walked the stage two months ago, recent Texas MBA graduate Justin Key is already well on his way to leaving his mark on the tech world. Prior to his time at McCombs, Justin entered the Texas Venture Labs Scholarship Competition with the idea for an app that would allow friends to compete against each other while watching Netflix by answering trivia questions pertaining to a specific show or movie. His idea won first place and after being accepted to McCombs as a part of the Class of 2016, Justin was able to make Plot Guru a reality. AAEAAQAAAAAAAAR4AAAAJDRmZGE5Zjc3LWI1YjctNGViYi1hMGZhLTJmOGQ3ZjUwZmRkOAHe and the rest of the Plot Guru team launched the app in November 2015 and have already had tremendous success. In order to continue to develop his entertainment tech skills, Justin recently made the move to Seattle, WA to embark on a new exciting adventure and join the team at Amazon.

We recently caught up with him to see what he’s been up to since graduation and to learn about his reasons  #WhyMcCombs.

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

After six years in consulting I was ready for a change. I had been working on a startup idea on the side for some time, and was looking for a program where I could pursue a top-tier graduate education while also pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. I found the experiential opportunities at McCombs to be just what I was looking for. After visiting the campus and getting a sense for the student culture I was hooked – no pun intended!

What were you doing before you came to McCombs for your MBA?

I was a strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers for about six years. I spent the latter three years based in their Zurich, Switzerland office, and was based in Washington, D.C. prior to that.

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

Two things: The value of hands-on experience and the importance of networking. Both are instrumental in getting a job and succeeding once you’re there.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?

The Texas MBA Program gave me the opportunity to explore new career paths, including entrepreneurship, while I was still in school. The classroom experience was important, but the opportunities that McCombs gave me outside the classroom really helped prepare me for the next stage in my career.

Tell us a little bit about Plot Guru. How did you come up with the idea for it?

Plot Guru is all about making the television-viewing experience more interactive. Our app syncs with the show you’re viewing online and sends you games and trivia in real-time based on what you’re watching on-screen. The idea for Plot Guru started during a weekly gathering of friends to watch one of our favorite shows. Before the episode started we would always compete to see who could guess what would happen next in the show. At some point my wife suggested, “What if we made a game out of this?” The rest is history.

What is your role at Amazon and what will you be working on?

AmazonVideoDirect_200I recently started a new job as a Sr. Product Manager at Amazon. I’m working on a new platform called Amazon Video Direct, which is a self-service program for content creators, such as independent film makers, to make their content available to stream online through Amazon Video. I’m really excited to use my experience in strategy, technology and entertainment to help small film producers get their content in front of millions of viewers on Amazon Video.

What else have you been up to since you graduated from McCombs, outside of work?

I’ve been pretty busy with the move up to Seattle, starting the new job and continuing to work on Plot Guru in my spare time. Besides all that, I always make time for travel. In the past couple months I’ve visited seven states and two countries!

What advice do you have for future Texas MBAs?

Figure out what you’re interested in and get as much hands-on experience in that area as possible! Take on MBA+ projects, fellowships, internships, and independent studies. You’ll never have a better chance to try out new things like you will during your time at McCombs.

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