Tag: alumni (page 2 of 2)

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.

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!

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