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Exploring Career Paths with Texas MBA Career Management

From Michelle Hardy, Director of MBA Employer & Alumni Engagement

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

Texas MBA students at the Google corporate office during the 2015 Bay Area Trek.

Texas MBA students at the Google corporate office during the 2015 Bay Area Trek

I have been on the Texas MBA Career Management team since 2007. My first role was as a Career Advisor for the  Texas Full-Time MBA program. On my second day of work, I found myself on a plane to San Jose, California with 30 students from the Class of 2009 for a Bay Area Trek. That was one of two treks planned in that school year–the other was a fall trek to New York City for Wall Street Investment Banking and Financial Services. Fast forward to Spring 2016: I am now on the MBA Employer Relations team (formed in 2010) and we have planned 15 student Career Treks for the 2015-2016 school year.

Clearly, we have seen a lot of change in the past eight years. One of the biggest trends has been an enormous increase in student career interest in the West Coast. When I started at McCombs, 9% of our graduates landed jobs on the West Coast–we’ve nearly doubled that percentage with the class of 2014! Interest in technology companies has exploded, making it a large area of focus for our Employer Relations team.

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.

Texas MBA Students at the Intel Corporate Office as part of the 2015 Bay Area Trek

Texas MBA students at the Intel corporate office during the 2015 Bay Area Trek

In response, we have 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. We capitalize on SXSW, hosting a student-run booth during the SXSW trade show, allowing those students access to the 400+ companies showcased during the week-long event. The contacts we make 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.

The one thing that holds true across my tenure with the Texas MBA is the importance of our alumni as the key to companies opening their doors to our students.

We created a new team last year under the MBA Employer Relations umbrella to focus on MBA alumni engagement with both current and prospective students. We have come a long way and are excited about the future employment opportunities that await our Texas MBAs!

The Texas MBA Career Treks scheduled for the 2016-2016 school year include:

Texas

Houston Energy Finance
Houston CleanTech
Houston Investment Banking (Twice!)
Houston Consulting

Dallas Marketing
Dallas Consulting
Dallas Asset Management

Austin Marketing
Austin Asset Management
Austin Startup
Austin Big Tech

New York

New York Investment Banking

California

Bay Area

Washington

Seattle

Texas MBA at Mexico City Alumni Spotlight

The internationally-ranked Texas Executive MBA at Mexico City Program is a part-time, two year program designed for mid-career professionals and executives who want to stay close to home, but still earn a U.S. MBA. This dual-degree program awards an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s of Administration from Tecnológico de Monterrey – Campus Santa Fe.

Daniel Galvan DuqueAlumni Spotlight: Daniel Galvan Duque

A recent graduate from the Texas Executive MBA at Mexico City Program, Daniel Galvan Duque, has worked his way up through PepsiCo Mexico. As the Senior Marketing Manager for the Gatorade division in Mexico, Daniel is in charge of building and executing the strategic marketing plan for the sports brand. By conducting data analysis on consumers’ behavior and market trends, Daniel and his team develop the marketing campaigns that we are exposed to in our day-to-day. However, Daniel did not start his career on the Gatorade account.

In the beginning stages, Daniel worked on the bottler side of the business, working on implementing marketing activities in the field. His time on that side of the business “was interesting and educational” as he began “to understand the difficulties of implementing a marketing strategy at the consumers’ touch points,” Daniel recalls. Moving forward in his career, Daniel was given the opportunity to manage the marketing strategy for the Pepsi brand. This was especially challenging and exhilarating for him as he implemented his strategy in Mexico against large and tough competitors. Excelling in this position brought Daniel to where he is now, Gatorade, the perfect fit for our sports-loving alumni.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside of the classroom — you learned while completing your MBA?
I loved the fact that there were a lot of smart people in the classes and that the weaknesses of some were the strengths of others and vice-versa. I was able to understand how important it is to work with the right people. You really do not need to know everything, you just need to make sure you are in a group of people that complement each other and the results can be amazing.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?
I think McCombs gave me a higher level view of business, it gave me perspective. I am much more capable of having more senior conversations with top management, which is really beginning to put me more in the spotlight. I still need to continue working on becoming a better advocate, but I do strongly believe that the program helped shape me into a better leader and a more balanced businessman.

What was your favorite memory of Austin Intensive?
I really enjoyed all of the intensives. It was a glimpse of living the Austin life. I always wished they lasted longer or that there was one every semester instead of just once every year. From walking around the 40 Acres to hitting the Gregory Gymnasium for an early run, from the case competition that kept us awake until 4:00 a.m., to going for a burger at Hopdoddy on South Congress. I would do it again anytime!

The NON-Numeric You: You Are Not Your GPA

From the Texas MBA Admissions Team

You Are Not Your GPA

This may come as a shock to some of you. Brace yourself. In the world of MBA Admissions, your numbers are not everything. By “numbers”, we’re referring to the ones applicants tend to obsess over when they submit an MBA application, i.e., their undergraduate GPA, total GMAT/GRE score, quant and verbal scores, percentile, etc.

We’re all human beings, right? But with a large population and coveted seats in education programs, we tend to organize ourselves into rankings and measurable figures to sort out whose best, better than best and champion supreme. But, we’re here to tell you that you are not just a simple sum of your parts. The same way that you are not just your handedness. Left-handed or right-handed, it’s a part of you, but it certainly doesn’t DEFINE who you are. When you enter a room, someone doesn’t say “Oh, hey, there’s Left-Handed-Ricky,” right? Well, they might, but that’s just a lame nickname.

Though, we should say up front that if the sum has parts, it’s important to get those right. That’s why nailing your GMAT and putting your best GPA/foot forward is a no-brainer. In our review of a typical MBA candidate, GMAT and GPA alone do not offer any consistent indication of success in the program. Even if you do have a 780 GMAT, this does not, in itself, indicate to us that you will succeed, make good grades, find an internship, thrive in your study groups, or find a good job after graduation.

It is the combination of strong numbers, your unique story, commitment to McCombs, and many other things that indicate how well you’ll do in the Texas MBA Program.

This blog addresses your NON-Numbers. That is, who you are as a unique person, and how to tell us that story well. This story can go a long way in convincing us that a so-so GMAT or GPA is nothing to worry about in the long run, because you have a clear sense of who you are and what you are capable of. Although, many of you might find presenting this part of your application the most difficult of all.

Let us give you an example. Say you have a 700 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA. Congratulations! Go you! So, you write an essay that is very straightforward. You want to take this class, have this internship, and ultimately end up working at so-and-so company. We can learn a lot about you based on your work history and your academic and career trajectory. But, let’s face it, a lot of people want to take that class, have that internship, and work there. And frankly, a lot of people have a 700 GMAT and 3.8 GPA.

You may ask: What will make me stand out so that I get a spot at McCombs over another applicant with the exact same numbers?

There is no single answer to this question, but here are some tips to help you get started:

1) It helps to conduct an exercise that creates a personal profile. List your work experience, your education, your academic and career goals, and where you ultimately want to see yourself in 10 years. Then, list your personal interests: like writing, traveling, helping with charities, making films, teaching yoga, investing money, sailing, scaling ridiculously high mountains for no reason but to see the view, and/or eating, to name a few.

2) Next, start to connect the dots. What about the various elements of your past, present, and future intersect? Does your drive to reach CEO status have anything to do with your mountain climbing? Does your love of food and travel have anything to do with your unique capabilities to work in diverse team settings and to find accord among very different people? Does your history as a writer impact your ability to draft great marketing communications? Though there are many, (many people love to eat, climb mountains, work in marketing and thrive in diverse settings) it is the particular combination of YOUR interests, history and path that make up your unique story. It is how YOU tell this story that makes all the difference in how we view you as a potential MBA candidate.

If it helps, think about it from an admissions officer’s perspective. Our goal is to find a collection of highly capable people that will not only succeed in this environment (as evidenced by things like GPA, GMAT, work experience and education) but who also contribute something to our community. We want to know who you are as a person. And if we can see you as a person, then we can picture you in our school, interacting with all of the other diverse students, and contributing your individuality to the overall uniqueness of our amazing institution.

Basic case in point: Convince us that you are not only capable, but that you are special and that we will be lacking something without your presence.

So, if you sights are set on McCombs for your getting your MBA, remember that there are multiple human beings on the other end of your application reading your story, looking beyond the numbers. Convey to us your passion and what makes you unique. We are excited to learn more about you! (The NON-Numeric you.)

Full-Time MBA Admissions: Round 1 Update & Round 2 Deadline Approaching

From Rodrigo Malta, Director of Texas MBA Admissions:

Hello and Happy New Year from Texas MBA Admissions! Our second Full-Time MBA application deadline is quickly approaching, so I wanted to take time to share some thoughts with all of you. We are excited to have kicked off the 2015-2016 admissions cycle with a very strong Full-Time MBA Round 1 that saw an increase in both the quantity and quality of applications. For Round 1, we have received over 800 applications from 40+ countries!

We released our Round 1 admissions decisions before winter break in December. For these newly admitted students, mark your calendar for February 12th, as this is the date for our Preview Weekend Event for Admitted Students right here in Austin. You can find more information on this highly anticipated event, including registration, on the admitted student website.

Discover More Reasons “Why McCombs?” 

If you are applying to our Round 2 by January 12th, you are at the home stretch! Here are some fantastic blog entries to help you complete your application:

Recommendations & ReferencesRecommendations & References The Road to McCombsThe Roads to McCombs You’ve Got Application Questions, We’ve Got AnswersTips on the Application

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu and we encourage you to check out our many upcoming events.
We look forward to seeing you soon!

Hook ’em!

The Waitlist: FAQs & How Tos

From Senior Admissions Officer, Julia Campbell & the Texas MBA Admissions Team:

The Texas MBA program admissions team is a very lucky bunch. We receive many applications from highly qualified applicants, which we are regrettably not able to fit inside our four walls of physical space. The result of this limitation is candidates being placed on the Waitlist. This is not a final decision from the Texas MBA Admissions Committee, rather a place to wait and see what unfolds.

Admittedly, it can be a challenging place for applicants to be, given its uncertainty and lack of a clear timeline and expectations, but we feel very strongly that it is also a wonderful opportunity, an exercise in patience, and a gift of time not given to all who apply.

In order to better assist our applicants on the waitlist, below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions with regards to the waitlist decision timeline, supplemental material requests, interviews, feedback and other common questions.

WAITLIST FAQ’s:

WAITLIST TIMELINE AND DECISIONS:

When will I have a final decision?

The Admissions Committee periodically reviews candidates currently on the Waitlist (as it seeks to balance the diversity of the incoming class), but we are not able to offer a concrete timeline of when you will hear your final decision. This is due to the uncertain and often unpredictable nature of the admissions process, and we are not able to predict the movement of the incoming class.

What is the latest date anyone has been admitted from the Waitlist?

We are unable to guarantee a timeline of when you will hear a final decision, however most decisions are typically released by early summer. In rare circumstances, decisions have been released as late as mid to late summer. While this is not a common occurrence, you are able to remain on the Waitlist as long as you are willing to continue being considered for admission. If your personal decision-making timeline does not allow you to remain on the waitlist, you are able to request to be removed at any time by emailing MBAWaitlist@mccombs.utexas.edu. We are not able to honor early decision requests from candidates on the Waitlist.

What if I am an international student on the Waitlist and I need a decision in order to begin the visa application process?

We are aware of the timelines required of international students and obtaining a visa. We understand that international applicants need time to process a visa, but unfortunately we may not know the final diversity and make-up of our class. Therefore, you may choose to remove yourself from the Waitlist due to visa timing issues.


WAITLIST SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS:

Can I submit new materials for consideration to enhance my candidacy?

As the Admissions Committee periodically reviews candidates on the Waitlist, there may be an opportunity for supplemental information or materials to be submitted for further consideration of your candidacy. It is not a guarantee that we will ask for an update or more information if we feel we have enough information in your original application to render a final decision. While typically we ask that candidates wait until prompted by Admissions Staff to provide supplemental information, we understand that there may be timely information or updates that you consider important. With regards to this type of new information (such as a recent promotion, a new test score, or a new job), you may inform the Admissions Committee by emailing the updated information to MBAWaitlist@mccombs.utexas.edu.

When can I submit supplemental materials and how much lead-time will you give me to collect them?

In the event that the Admissions Committee requests additional or supplemental information to further consider your candidacy, an email will be sent to all candidates currently on the Waitlist approximately one week prior to the review period so there is plenty of time to collect materials for submission.

What kind of supplemental materials do you ask for?

While we can ask for a range of materials, typically it is a new resume, recent job promotion information, or a new test score. Occasionally, we might ask to clarify your career goals or provide us with your back-up plan.

How can I submit these materials?

Specific submission instructions will be sent along with the request for information, but typically supplemental materials can be sent directly to MBAWaitlist@mccombs.utexas.edu in the form of scanned PDF files to be uploaded manually to your application by our admissions staff (your application in the system cannot be edited once submitted).

I want to reiterate my interest & enthusiasm for the Texas MBA program, but don’t have specific updates (as listed above.) How can I do this?

The Admissions Committee prefers that you wait to be solicited for any supplemental items, and that any sent are material updates to your application. Please refer to the list of acceptable materials/information above. However, if you would like to let us know where the Texas MBA program ranks among your choices of schools, why we are the best fit for you and your career goals, or what other schools you are applying to, you may send that information along to the MBAWaitlist@mccombs.utexas.edu email address and we will be sure to include it as an attachment to your application.

Who should I direct my questions or supplemental materials to?

All Waitlist inquiries and supplemental information should be sent to MBAWaitlist@mccombs.utexas.edu. We will ensure that your materials and information are uploaded to your application for the Admissions Committee’s review.


WAITLIST INTERVIEWS:

Will I get a chance to interview if I’m placed on the waitlist and I haven’t already interviewed?

Interview invitations can come at any time during the admissions cycle. We do not interview all candidates on the waitlist. If we deem it necessary, we will request an interview while you are on the waitlist to further assess your candidacy. Please wait for an invitation via email.

WAITLIST APPLICATION FEEDBACK:

Can I receive specific feedback on my application?

We are not able to provide individual feedback on your application due to both the large volume of applications we receive and fairness to other applicants in the pool. However, we are always willing to discuss what makes a strong application, generally. This information is discussed in detail on our website.

GENERAL WAITLIST QUESTIONS:

How many people are placed on the waitlist in a given year?

Each year, we receive approximately 2,000+ applications total and the incoming class is approximately 270. While there are many qualified individuals, we are limited by the amount of space in our classrooms. The Admissions Committee thoroughly reviews each application holistically, but due to the extremely competitive applicant pool, the waitlist includes very strong candidates that we do not have room for at the time of decision notification. Each year, the applicant pool changes (different people apply) and the strength of that pool varies. Therefore, the size and strength of the waitlist varies considerably year to year.

Why haven’t I been contacted with further instructions, asked for an update on decision timing, or been sent a request for further information?

The Admissions Committee reviews candidates currently on the waitlist on a rolling basis depending on space created in the incoming class. As the timing of movement is largely out of our control, we are not able to predict key timelines associated with the waitlist until later in the admissions cycle. We would not be able to send you further instructions for gathering supplemental materials if we were not able to identify potential room in the incoming class. We ask that you continue to remain patient as we gain insight into the availability of space in the incoming class and trust that we will reach out to you in a timely fashion should we require further information or have any material updates regarding your candidacy.

Should I request an early decision if I have other enrollment deadlines to adhere to?

We are not able to honor early decision requests from candidates on the waitlist. If the Texas MBA program is at or near the top of your list of schools, we recommend you remain on the waitlist as long as your decision-timeline can bear. The reason not to request an early decision is that at the time of your requested early decision date, we may not have a full picture of available space in the class.

Is there an appeal process if I did not get admitted off the waitlist?

All admission decisions are considered final for a given application cycle (i.e., year). You are welcome to reapply to the program again next year. We do not hold this season’s application against you. We evaluate your new application on its merits and in the context of the new applicant pool.

Texas MBA Admissions
MBAWaitlist@mccombs.utexas.edu
512-471-7698

Please note our holiday hours this season.

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