Working Professional & Executive 2015 Women’s Forum Recap

Texas MBA Women's Forum - Welcome sign and table

The Texas MBA recently held its annual Women’s Forums for all Working Professional and Executive MBA Programs in Dallas, Houston, and Austin! Faculty, staff, alumni, and current students from the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas MBA at Houston, Texas Evening MBA, and Texas Executive MBA programs hosted around 60 prospective women MBAs for a day of information sessions and networking receptions.

Women attendees at information session - 2015 women's forum

Texas MBA at Houston Women’s Forum, Career Presentation

These events give prospective women MBAs the opportunity to discover all aspects of the Texas MBA program and how they can unlock their potential and develop as business leaders. Women’s Forum attendees had the opportunity to hear an overview of the Texas MBA program and connect with women in the program to learn about their experiences.

A highlight of the event was a talk from premier professional development coaches, Valerie Savage.
Valerie is a seasoned executive with 30 years of financial, strategic, operational and investor relations experience as an executive and consultant for private and public companies. Her session at the Women’s Forum demonstrated how to identify and articulate unique credentials to help position professionals for a successful career.

Choosing to pursue an MBA presents unique challenges for women, especially working professionals. The Women’s Forums provided realistic insight into the program, life as an MBA, and opportunities for candid discussion with former and current students.

If you were not able to attend the Women’s Forum this year, check out some of the other events happening on campus. We hope to see you soon!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Evening MBA, Events, Executive MBA, MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, MBA at Houston

Full-Time MBA Admissions Update: Final App Deadline & Meet Your AO’s

The final Texas Full-Time MBA application deadline is March 24th. We are excited to have seen an increase in both the quantity and quality of applications so far, and have received applications from over 40 countries! The Texas MBA Admissions team is looking forward to welcoming Round 1 admitted students to our Texas Saturday event in Austin this weekend.

Meet Your Admissions Officers

The Texas MBA Full-Time Admissions team is dedicated to helping you navigate the admissions process, learn #WhyMcCombs, and get all your questions answered. Learn more about who you can expect to meet on your journey to McCombs below.

Julia Campbell, Full-Time Admissions

Julia Campbell
Senior Admissions Officer, Texas MBA Full-Time Program

How long have you been with the Texas MBA and what is your background?
I joined McCombs in February 2011 in the Development and External Relations department and moved to the Texas MBA Program Office full time admissions staff in August 2012.  I earned my business degree in Finance and Operations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and moved to Texas where I worked in sales, analysis, donor relations, and event strategy.  My focus on the full-time admissions is women’s recruitment, management of the McCombs Admissions Committee student volunteers, interview operations, waitlist management, alumni engagement and recruitment/yield event strategy.

What has been your most rewarding experience so far working on the Texas MBA admissions team?
Oddly enough, the most rewarding experience I’ve had in admissions isn’t related to admissions at all, although many professionals in admissions will tell you that this job is a total blast (you get to meet new and interesting people every day, travel the planet, read thrilling essays, and make those incredible congratulatory phone calls to admitted students.)  The winner for me, though, is attending MBA Orientation after everyone has been admitted to see them off to begin this exciting new phase of their lives.  I’ve spent many, many hours getting to know these people as applicants on paper and in person. By the time summer orientation rolls around, I know them well and it’s a rewarding experience to see them take the first real steps to pursue what they’ve worked so hard to convey to me during the application process: their dreams and ambitions begin.

In your opinion, what are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas MBA class?
My focus in admissions is women’s recruitment, a very interesting area to watch these days.  With studies and headlines coming out all the time swinging the pendulum on where a woman’s position is in the business world, it’s incredible to witness this movement on an individual level.  I work with inspiring, capable, driven, self-aware women MBA candidates and current students who choose to pursue their business careers with such commitment and sense of purpose that I can’t help but have full faith that this “gap” will continue to close.

Rene Martinez, Full-Time Admissions

Rene Martinez
Senior Admissions Officer, Texas MBA Full-Time Program

How long have you been with the Texas MBA and what is your background?
I joined the Full Time Texas MBA Admissions team in August of 2014. Upon completing my degree in Communication Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, I began working for International Studies Abroad’s (ISA) high school division where I managed program recruitment, admissions and served as the on-site Director in Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain. Following my work with ISA, I managed Texas teacher recruitment for the student travel branch of the Discovery Channel. Prior to joining the MBA admissions team, I worked in the UT International Office where I coordinated all aspects of an 18-month Foundation Year program for non-matriculated business and engineering students from Saudi Arabia.

What has been your most rewarding experience so far working on the Texas MBA admissions team?
So far my most rewarding experience has been having the opportunity to travel to China and South Korea to interview highly qualified candidates for our next incoming class. I enjoyed meeting a number of bright candidates, hearing their stories and learning about how they plan to use a Texas MBA to elevate their careers and take a giant leap toward their goals.

In your opinion, what are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas MBA class?
I think diversity and cohesion are what make our Texas MBAs so special. Our students come from a wide range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries. It is inspiring to see how they come together on campus with a shared vision of not only working toward their own goals but also going above and beyond to collaborate and ensure the success of each one of their classmates.

Stephen Sweeney, Full-Time Admissions

Stephen Sweeney
Director of Admissions, Texas MBA Full-Time Program

How long have you been with the Texas MBA and what is your background?
I have been working at the Texas MBA for slightly over a year.  I am also an alum of the full-time program and volunteered with admissions as a student.  Prior to enrolling in McCombs, I worked in the hedge fund industry and taught fourth grade through Teach For America.  After I graduated, I worked in management consulting until returning to McCombs.

What has been your most rewarding experience so far working on the Texas MBA admissions team? Interacting with such high caliber, driven individuals from all over the world who are interested in McCombs has been incredibly rewarding!  I love hearing each applicant’s reasons pertaining to why they are passionate about attending McCombs.

In your opinion, what are some of the strongest attributes of a Texas MBA class? 
Our accessible faculty along with the hands-on opportunities that McCombs offers truly sets our program apart.  Whether being selected for one our Fellows programs or doing an MBA+ project, our students have ample ways to apply what they learn in the classroom to current issues facing companies.  I also feel that our Career Management team is the best in the business.  This is evident in our placement rates, but you have to see how students transform over the two years and much of this can be attributed to our stellar Career Management team.  Our location in Austin also creates a learning environment that is competitive and collaborative at the same time.

If you are applying to our program before the March 24 final deadline, here are some fantastic blog entries to help you complete your application:

Understanding the 2015 Essay QuestionsUnderstanding the 2015 Essays Leveraging the 3rd PersonLetters of Recommendation 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 and we encourage you to check out our many upcoming events.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Full-Time MBA, Students

Work Experience Quantity vs. Quality: Which Is Preferred By MBA Admissions?

Quality vs Quantity

Quality vs Quantity

Sometimes more is better. Like chocolate, vacation days and itemized tax deductions. But sometimes more is NOT better, like saturated fat, bills and dental work. The key is how you look at it. Admissions officers tend to look at things as if they were holding a Libra Scale, especially when considering work experience on your MBA application. On one side, there’s raw number of years (quantity), on the other is your job description (quality). Read more ›

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McCombs Super Week Recap: A Head Start on Summer Internship Recruiting

Marketing and Finance are the largest employment functions for Texas MBA students, and over 35% of these jobs are in the Consulting or Technology industries. For the class of 2015, over 40% of our students pursued these functions. In order to respond to the high volume of recruiting interest from employers and students, the Texas MBA Career Management team has created an annual event: “Super Week.”

This year, Super Week was held on campus January 12-16 2015. For students, it provides a focused opportunity to conduct first round interviews with top employers for summer internship positions. For employers, it grants a streamlined and competitive process for accessing McCombs talent.

As working professional MBAs are fully employed, only Full-Time MBAs interview for summer internships. About 30-50% of working professional MBAs do elect to seek employment other than their current, and many of those participate in both fall and spring on-campus recruiting for 2nd year MBAs.

We’ve asked participating employers to reflect on their Super Week experiences. Here is what they said:

Why recruit Texas MBAs?

“We recruit at McCombs because of a history of long-term success here.”
-Associate, Barclays

“Candidates at UT fit the bill academically and technically but also socially and personally.”
-Associate, Citi

“We recruit here because McCombs consistently provides great candidates who are well prepared. You deliver year after year in terms of candidates.”
-Recruiter, Simmons and Co.

“Our firm has a focus on oil and gas. McCombs has one of the best concentrations of people interested in energy/oil and gas, which makes it a perfect place for us to recruit.”
-HR Manager, North & South America, Schlumberger Business Consulting

On January 12th & 13th, 20 investment banks or financial firms conducted more than 200 interviews with 43 unique students. Wednesday through Friday, saw 11 management consulting firms conducting around 200 interviews with 76 unique students.  On January 20, the Ford Career Center reopened for the spring recruiting season to include all other recruiting industries as well as a few additional banks and consulting firms.

For all involved, this event is the culmination of an intense recruiting process after months of networking and preparation. Many thanks to the MBA Students, Student Leadership, Alumni, MBA Program Office Management and Staff, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and the Recruitment Services Team for pulling together to make this happen and provide a competitive, aggressive yet “level playing field” recruiting environment. This high degree of collaboration led to McCombs being tied for 11th in the nation for business schools with the highest percentage of MBA job offers in 2014.

Hook ‘Em!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Career, Events, Full-Time MBA

The MBA Admissions Interview: How to Totally Crush It

We’ve all been there.  Despite all the preparations, research and rehearsals, you find yourself nervous about your MBA Admissions interview.  While this isn’t technically a job interview, you may do well to treat it like one.  An MBA Admissions interview is a very important part of your overall application and ultimately one of the first steps towards your post-MBA life.

At the Texas MBA program, interviews are by invitation only and can come at any time during the application Round.  While some applicants may look forward to the opportunity to interview, others may not exactly enjoy the anxiety thereby engendered. If you are a member of the latter group, look at it this way: the interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the application process, so here are a few ways you can take advantage:

  1. Don’t be on time – be early: Arriving early is interviewing 101, yet it still manages to falter even the most prepared of candidates.  Arriving early is even more critical if you’ve never been to campus or navigated UT parking before.
  2. “What was the question again?”:  You’d be surprised how many times at the end of an applicant’s long-winded answer we are asked to repeat the original question.  Most often this happens to people who try to cram too much into the first answer for fear of not being given an opportunity later on to address that well-rehearsed example.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to it!  Plus, sometimes there is an opportunity at the end of an interview to mention anything we didn’t address in the formal line of questioning.
  3. Loosen Up: Given our program’s famously friendly culture, our interviews are relatively informal.  If you still find yourself nervous, practice your answers in front of a mirror, a friend or a willing stranger and ask them how you did; did you answer the question? Did you rush through it?  Take a moment to outline your answer in your mind first, and then address it calmly and confidently.  Don’t get tooooo comfortable, though.  While we’re an easy-going bunch, maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism is always a good idea.
  4. Know what we’re looking for: We listen for confidence, clear and concise communication of career goals, concrete examples of teamwork and leadership, in-depth knowledge of our MBA program, and overall genuine enthusiasm.  Also, the interview can be a place to showcase secondary skills that are difficult for us to determine solely based on your application: interview skills, self-awareness, communication style, and “hire-ability”.
  5. Know your audience: If you are invited to interview for the Texas MBA program, you have three options: On-Campus with an Admissions Officer or current student, Off-Campus with alumni or Admissions Officer in select cities, or via Skype with an Admissions Officer or current student.  Remember the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference for how or who you interview with, just as long as you prepare depending on your audience.
  6. Come with questions: A good list of questions can illustrate a few key things about a candidate: you’ve done your research, you care about our program, you have envisioned yourself as an MBA and you can formulate thoughts under pressure.  Don’t overdo it, though.  We usually leave anywhere from 10-15 minutes for questions, so limit your list to 2-3 good ones maximum and have a few backups.

While our interviewing style is admittedly less intense than corporate recruiters and some other MBA programs, don’t let our laid-back attitude fool you.  The Admissions Committee uses the interview as a way to add character, depth and spirit to your written application, so keep these tips in mind to ensure a positive outcome.  Good luck!

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Join a Texas MBA for Coffee this Winter


The winter break is here again and that means our Winter Coffee Chats are back! Coffee Chats provide a great opportunity to meet up with current students in a more casual environment to hear about their experience in the program and get youradmissions questions answered. Students will be hosting these chats in a number of cities around the world. To see a full list of coffee chat dates and locations for each program, please visit the links below:

As a reminder, the Texas MBA Program office will be closed from December 22 – January 2.

Happy holidays from the Texas MBA program! \m/

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Texas MBA Holiday News

happy holidays_texasmba-01

No matter what your plans this winter break, the Texas MBA would like to wish you a safe and happy last few weeks of 2014! We had an awesome fall semester and all-around great 2014. Our hard-working students and staff made this year one of the best ever. We have a few final announcements before we say, “See you in 2015!”:

Holiday Hours: The Texas MBA Program Office will be closed from Monday December 22nd, 2014 through Friday, January 2, 2015. 
Please contact us – with any questions you anticipate before December 22nd if possible, as we will not be available during closed hours.

Application Deadlines: For many, the holiday break from work can be a great time to sit down and put those final touches on your application.  As a reminder, our next application deadlines are:
January 6, 2015 – Full-Time Texas MBA Round 2 Deadline (This is the final deadline for all international applicants)
January 28, 2015  - Texas Evening MBA Early Decision Deadline for priority consideration for January 2016 start.
March 3, 2015 – Next Round Deadline for all Texas MBA Working Professional Programs. This includes the Texas Evening MBA, the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, the Texas MBA at Houston, and the Texas Executive MBA programs.

Spring Events: Don’t forget to plan your spring visit to McCombs to see all the Texas MBA has to offer! Check out our upcoming events webpage to register now and reserve your spot to meet us.

Happy Holidays! See you in 2015!

Texas MBA Admissions Team

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

From Rodrigo Malta, Director of Texas MBA Admissions:

Hello from Texas MBA Admissions!  I have not contributed to our blog in a while, and given that our second Full-Time MBA application deadline is quickly approaching, I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you.

We are excited to have kicked off the 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 700 applications from 40+ countries. As we conclude the review of our first round, I also wanted to let you know that we are on track to release admissions decisions by December 18th.  For these applicants, mark your calendar for February 7th, as this is the date for our Texas Saturday Event for Admitted Students right here in Austin. More info on this highly-anticipated event will be available soon!

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

Understanding the 2015 Essay QuestionsUnderstanding the 2015 Essays Leveraging the 3rd PersonLetters of Recommendation 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 and we encourage you to check out our many upcoming events.
We look forward to meeting you soon!

Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Blog, Full-Time MBA

Rowling Hall Cafe Naming Competition WINNER

From our Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Eric Hirst:

I’d like to be the first one to say to you, when Rowling Hall opens in Spring 2017, I invite you to “meet me at the Moontower.”

As you may know, we broke ground for Rowling Hall on Friday, November 7th. It’s an exciting time for Texas MBA andBreaking ground on Rowling Hall MSTC programs.

Rowling Hall is designed to bring together overlapping communities of students, faculty, staff, alumni, recruiters, business leaders, and thought leaders from across campus and around the world. In Rowling Hall, these communities will have the opportunity for spontaneous collaboration, purposeful interaction, sharing ideas and networking.  People will come to the building to collaborate, present their ideas, play and be inspired. We’ll have innovative classroom and study space. We’ll showcase the intellectual capital generated by McCombs students, faculty, and alums. We’ll highlight the experiential learning opportunities of our community and we’ll attract the very best minds to our programs.

The café will be an important hub of activity for the building, offering healthy, diverse options for eating, caffeinating and relaxing in the evening with a beer/wine bar. We have planned the cafe to encourage collaboration and spontaneous interaction. Ideas that “change the world” will be hatched in that space.

Donors Susie and Kenny Jastrow provided a generous gift for the project’s community café. Not only did the Jastrows generously help fund the project, they asked current students to have a lasting impact on the new building by naming the cafe.  The Jastrows offered to reward the winning idea with a prize of a full year’s tuition!

After a rigorous process, we have reached the conclusion of our Café Naming Competition!  It has been a great ride.  We began with 127 entries for the name from students from each of our programs (Full-time, Dallas, Houston, Evening, Executive, Mexico and MSTC).  The Naming Committee narrowed the list down to the top 30.  Students from all programs voted for the Top 5 names.  On Monday, December 1st, finalists gathered for the pitch party.


The name “Moontower” establishes the café as a meeting spot, it pays homage to the cultural history of Austin as well as the iconic tower of the University of Texas. 

The City of Austin erected the Moonlight towers in 1894 as a way to light up multiple blocks at the same time.  The Moonlight towers made streets safer and made citizens more comfortable.  The State of Texas recognized the towers in 1970 as State Landmarks, and the City embarked on restoration projects for the 100 year anniversary in 1995.  

As Austin has developed and grown into a first-tier, international city, a few moontowers have been removed, but their importance as icons of old-Austin is evident through the preservation efforts which seek to reinstate them where possible. Culturally, Moon towers used to serve as safe meeting points for young people to interact and have fun.  The café should serve this purpose in Rowling Hall.   

As the McCombs School continues to gain prominence on campus and around the world, we need to further embrace the rest of University.  A Moontower provides light for blocks around it, and our school needs to continue to be a place of enlightenment.  A Moontower attracts people like a beacon, and we need to continue to bring people together.  Our new building and café will serve these purposes, and should have a name that fits: Moontower.

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Texas MBA Fall Semester Recap

The end of the year is approaching, so it’s time to look back at some of the highlights so far from our outstanding students and alums this semester. These are just a few great reasons #WhyMcCombs:


Socially-minded MBA student members of McCombs Net Impact – Graduate Chapter of the Year!

Net Impact Graduate Chapter of the Year

The Net Impact community at McCombs focuses on corporate responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability in the business world. This year, the McCombs chapter was named graduate chapter of the year. The mission of Net Impact is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.




Texas MBA alum, Brian Williams (left of center), accepts the $10,000 cash award for his Whiteboard Challenge win


Purchase Black Wins Innovation Whiteboard Challenge

McCombs alum, Brian Williams took home the top prize at this year’s National Black MBA Association Inc.‘s Whiteboard Challenge. His company,, was one of 3 finalists. Williams pitched to a panel of several successful entrepreneurs and investors about his company, which promotes African-American owned business in an e-marketplace. He took home top honors and a cash prize of $10,000.


UT Tower lit up burnt orangeMcCombs Wins National Energy Finance Challenge

Sixteen teams from business schools across the country competed in the 9th annual National Energy Finance Challenge this fall and the team from the Texas MBA won for the 4th time in the last 5 years! This challenge is a unique learning experience for students in which they focus on real-life financial issues in the energy industry. The competition connected MBA students to corporate executives and recruiters from world-renowned companies.


Texas MBA alums Brad Schultz, Amy Steadman & Justin Fenchel of Beatbox beverages wow Mark Cuban on Shark Tank for their million dollar deal!

Texas MBA Alums Secure Million Dollar Deal 

Austin-based, Texas MBA powered start-up, Beatbox Beverages struck a deal with business mogul Mark Cuban on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank in October. For one third stake in the company, Cuban invested one million dollars.
The three Texas MBA alums impressed the panel of judges with their entrepreneurial know-how and their clear strategy for the future of their company to ensure continued success. Beatbox has definitely been “booming” since the show aired.


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

Groundbreaking of Rowling Hall, the Future home of the Texas MBA

Construction on the future site of the Texas MBA, Rowling Hall, began on November 7th. The new building, next to the AT&T Executive conference center, will welcome students in 2017. Rowling Hall will be the “launch pad” for projects between the school’s students & alumni, and the wider Austin business community. Stand-out features will be the new active learning classrooms and the close proximity to event & work spaces.


We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Texas MBAs. Hook ‘em!

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Posted in Admissions, Alumni, Blog, Community, Students
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