New students from all of our MBA programs recently gathered in Austin to prepare for their classes, get to know each other, meet MBA faculty & staff, and have some fun. It was especially exciting to welcome our classes from Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston to their second home here on the UT Austin campus. These students experience the same top caliber curriculum, faculty, and network as our Working Professional students in Austin, but are able to attend classes close to home on campuses in Dallas and Houston.
We had a very strong pool of applications to pull from when putting together our Working Professional MBA classes this year, and the numbers certainly reflect that. First, let’s take a look at our DFW class:
The MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth welcomed its largest class ever, with 88 new students beginning their MBA journey with Texas McCombs. This is also the most international class the DFW program has ever had and the most diverse in terms of companies/organizations represented.
This Insider info comes from Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional & Executive MBA Admissions.
If you are still deciding between leaving your job to attend an MBA full-time, or continuing to work while you earn your degree part-time, rest assured you’re not alone. Here are some basic questions I ask people who are grappling with this decision:
What do you want to do with your MBA?
The answer to this question can help determine whether a full-time or part-time program makes more sense for you. The majority of Texas McCombs MBA students go into their MBA with the goal of switching jobs. Our Working Professional (WP) MBA programs – Evening MBA (in Austin), MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, and MBA at Houston – are an excellent fit for those looking to switch to a career in consulting, or to move into a different function within the same industry (such as operations to finance, or vice versa). The strong general management focus of the curriculum in the WP programs also gives graduates the tools they need to run a company, whether it’s their own or someone else’s. And hands-on experiences through the MBA+ Leadership Program offer students the opportunity to work on a consulting project to sharpen the skills needed for a switch.
If you’re planning a complete industry switch, say from software engineering to financial services, or moving into a specialized field such as investment banking or clean tech, then you may want to think about how your past experiences are related to these goals. If they’re completely unrelated, getting exposure and experience in this field prior to beginning your job search can be important. The Full-Time MBA requires a summer internship, and the elective choices allow students to dive deep into a specific industry or area of focus to position you for a strong career pivot.
Tip: Research your target companies in advance and see if they require an internship with the company prior to full-time employment.
If you have reviewed the Texas McCombs MBA application process, you are familiar with the basic steps to applying. Here are some of the steps we’ve highlighted in detail recently:
Of course, the above list does not cover everything. Each application is unique, and you may have a special situation or questions specific to your career goals or background. Our MBA admissions team has put together our Top 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions below.
We have the privilege of welcoming Forté Foundation members into our MBA program each fall. The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of top companies and business schools, working to launch women into successful careers through access to education, opportunities, and a supportive network. Texas McCombs has been a proud Forté partner since it was founded in 2001, and the MBA program participates in Forté events across the country every year.
We recently caught up with a new MBA and Forté Fellow who hadn’t always planned to pursue an MBA, but quickly realized how the Texas McCombs MBA program could help to reach her goals and foster her passion for advocating for women in business. Meet Pallavi Nair!
Hook ’em! Class of 2020 MBA, Pallavi Nair
Tell us about your background– the education, volunteer or work experience that led you to want to pursue your MBA?
My hometown is Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and I have a chemical engineering background. I think what drew me most to engineering is the drive to fix problems and build solutions. After my undergraduate degree, I worked as a product development engineer at PepsiCo R&D, continuing to use this passion to drive new innovation for brands such as Doritos. At some point it became clear to me that while I loved engineering, I was also fascinated by the strategy behind how we innovated. What were the emerging market trends that were actually worth pursuing? How should we leverage the company’s global resources effectively while keeping our regional consumers in mind? I knew about unlocking new technologies, but how did we decide which technologies were worth unlocking? These questions made me realize that I would love to earn my MBA and spend time delving into these topics through hands-on learning experiences and interactions with not only great professors, but classmates who have experience in a variety of business-related fields. I want to keep creating solutions over the next two years and beyond, and can’t wait to start applying the knowledge I gain through my MBA to my problem-solving approach!
What was the application process like for you? Why did you choose Texas McCombs?
I think my application process was a little different than most. I did not decide until early fall that I was ready to apply to b-school; I was very happy at my current job and an MBA was not necessarily a checklist item to further my current career path. Instead, it was the realization of what truly interested me and what I hoped to learn that drove me to apply. I selected the programs I applied to very carefully, based mostly on reputation, location and program structure, and visited each of the campuses. What struck me the most about McCombs as compared to the other schools was the culture. It’s something people mention a lot, but experiencing it in person really makes a difference! I truly felt the McCombs “win-as-one” culture was very evident. The student body truly felt like a family, and the environment felt comfortable and inclusive without sacrificing motivation and a drive for success. I was also extremely humbled when I found out I had been selected as a Forté Fellow by McCombs in my offer of admittance. The desire to drive positive change for gender equality in the workplace was something I had brought up passionately in my application process, and I was very happy to know that the school saw me as a fit representative for Texas McCombs in this arena.