Tag: application (page 1 of 10)

The Non-Numeric You: Beyond Your GPA

In the world of MBA Admissions, your numbers are not everything. By “numbers”, we’re referring to the ones applicants tend to focus on when they submit an MBA application:  Their undergraduate GPA, total GMAT/GRE score, quant and verbal scores, percentile, etc. With limited seats in MBA classes, organizing applicants into rankings and measurable figures to sort out who is “best” for the program is a logical and helpful tool.

But, you are not just a simple sum of your numeric parts. The same way that you are not just left-handed or right-handed — your scores are part of you, but certainly do not define who you are.

We should say up front that putting your best numbers forward is important. That’s why nailing your GMAT and putting your best GPA into your application is a must. However, 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 automatically indicate to us that you will 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.

To get a sense of your fit in the program, reviewing your work history, academics, and career trajectory helps out a lot. But MBA programs are limited & competitive — a lot of people want to take our classes, have that internship, and work at that company. And frankly, a lot of people have a 700 GMAT and 3.8 GPA. So…

What will make you stand out so that you 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 good tips to help you get started:

First, 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: writing, traveling, helping with charities, making films, teaching yoga, investing money, sailing, scaling ridiculously high mountains for no reason but to see the view, eating different foods…etc. These lists will help you see your passions, talents, and interests more clearly.

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? Does your history as a writer impact your ability to draft great marketing communications? It is this particular combination of YOUR interests, history, and path that make up your unique story. And it is how you tell this story that makes all the difference in how we view you as a potential MBA candidate.

Finally, convince us that you are not only capable, but that you are unique fit for McCombs and we will be lacking something without you as part of the class. It could help to think about it from the perspective of MBA Admissions: Our goal is to find a group of highly capable people that will not only succeed in this prestigious academic environment (as evidenced by things like GPA, GMAT, work experience, and education), but who will also contribute something to our community as a whole. We want people who will leave the program better than they found it. And if we can clearly see who you are as a whole person, then we can picture you in our school, contributing your individuality to the overall uniqueness of our amazing institution.

So, if you sights are set on McCombs for your MBA journey, 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 all about (the non-numeric) you!

Always feel free to reach out to Texas MBA Admissions with any questions.

Good Luck & Hook ‘Em!

Tips & Tricks For Submitting Your Texas MBA Application

Even after reviewing the Texas MBA Admissions Process online, there’s always a special situation or further questions you might need answered as you submit your responses, so…

Here are the Texas MBA Admissions Team’s Top 5 FAQ topics:

Application FAQs

1. Texas Residency Status – Everyone who applies to an MBA program is classified as a non-resident until s/he is admitted, accepts the offer, and completes the Texas Residency Questionnaire. Rest easy, even though your status may look incorrect – if you were born and bred here, you’ll surely have a chance to prove it later on.

2. How & What to Submit for Transcripts – We get all sorts of questions on all sorts transcripts, from foreign language transcripts to study abroad transcripts, and from old transcripts to web downloaded transcripts. Here’s how to deal with transcripts:

  • Order official transcripts from any university or college you attended EXCEPT junior or technical colleges. If your transcripts are in a foreign language, they must be translated into English.
  • Scan and upload these to your McCombs Application online.
  • Pay your Application Fee.
  • Scan and upload transcripts to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).
  • Put your official transcripts in safe-keeping. If you’re offered admission and intend to enroll, you’ll send your officials to GIAC.

3. Letter of Recommendation – This is also a common question, and since you’re not in complete control of this aspect of your application, you may just need assurance of what you can control. Here at the Texas MBA Program, we require one professional letter of recommendation from a person who has supervised your work and/or has assessed your performance during your career. Letters of recommendation are received directly from the recommender via a secure portal. While completing your application, you will be able to send your recommender an invitation to access this secure portal to submit their recommendation. Once your letter of recommendation is received, you will receive an automated email.

A couple helpful hints:

  • Complete this part of your application first. This will launch email notifications to your recommenders and allow them to get started on the form while you’re working on the other components of your application.
  • Contact your recommenders ASAP to let them know they should receive an email as soon as you save the section. Sometimes these emails end up in a junk folder since they come from a generic Texas MBA email address.
  • Monitor the status of your recommendations on your McCombs application status page to ensure they’re completed within a reasonable amount of time and by the deadline. You can resend notifications from within the application as needed.

4. Test Scores – As long as you’ve taken the test and have made the request to have your official scores sent to UT Austin by the round deadline, your application will be considered “on time.” During the admissions process, we sync what you reported in the application with what’s received by UT Austin. It can take several weeks for your official score to be received by the university, and the one-stop status check in your application marks this item complete once it arrives.

If you’ve decided to retake the exam after you’ve submitted your application, please notify the appropriate program as soon as you have your score. Please note there is no guarantee that your updated test score(s) will be considered in the evaluation of your candidacy, as this depends on when the McCombs Admissions Committee receives the update from you. Again, it’ll take several weeks for the official score to reach UT Austin, but be sure you’ve made the request to have the updated score sent.

If you’re applying to multiple programs at McCombs, you don’t need to send separate scores to each program. UT Austin has a central repository for official scores that all departments can access.

5. Application Fee – You will not be able to pay the application fee for about two business days after you hit the submit button, depending on when you submit your application. Your application is considered “on time” if submitted by the deadline, regardless if the fee is paid on that date. However, your application will not be evaluated if you do not pay the fee once it’s due. For information about where to pay the fee, and application fee waivers for select applicants, please review the Application Fee section on the Admissions Process page of our website.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions!

Hook ‘em!

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Insider Tips for Re-Applying to the Texas MBA Program

From the Texas MBA Admissions Team

With the 2017 application up and running, questions are starting to roll in from those who have applied to the Texas MBA Program in the past and are interested in re-applying for the Class of 2019. So, we thought we’d take some time to address some of the most frequent questions we’ve received.

First of all,  having applied in a previous year is not considered a negative factor in your application. We are pleased to see your continued interest in the program and will evaluate your new application on its merits, and in the context of the new applicant pool. Consider giving yourself a fresh start when you approach your new application. Think through and reassess your application, addressing any weak areas. Add new information that may be helpful in the admission process.

While completing your application, you will be asked to answer the question “Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to enhance your candidacy?” The admissions committee reviews this closely, so please ensure that you spend the time reflecting on and explaining these improvements.

Below is an overview of the application process for re-applicants:

  1. Application:  All re-applicants are required to complete a new application, new essays, and a new resume and pay the application fee.
  2. Official Transcripts: Official transcripts are kept on file for one year and do not need to be resubmitted unless you have taken additional course work, or if you applied more than one year ago. Be sure to monitor your GIAC “MyStatus” page online to make sure transcripts show as received for the current application year.
  3. Test Scores: GMAT and GRE scores are only valid five years after the date the test is taken. For TOEFL scores, this period is two years. You need to take these standardized tests again if the scores have expired. The McCombs Admissions Committee considers only the highest total submitted score in the evaluation of applications. Official test scores are kept for one calendar year. If you have submitted an application beyond one year in the past, you may be required to re-submit certain credentials.
  4. Recommendation Letter:  Although not required, we suggest you submit a new letter of recommendation. Determine if another recommender may provide a more current, insightful and thorough perspective. If you choose to use one or more prior recommendations, you will be able to import the existing letter(s) of recommendation while completing your application.

Please note that, due to the number of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback on previously denied applications. Thank you again for your continued interest in the Texas MBA Program, choosing to re-apply shows perseverance and dedication.

Additional information about the Admissions Process can be found here.  Please reach out to us at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu with any questions. We look forward to receiving your new application!

Essay Writing Tips from Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions

From Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior Full-Time MBA Admissions Officer

As you think about how to approach the essays in your Texas Full-Time MBA application, your best shot at successfully answering the essay prompts is to approach them thoughtfully. The purpose of these essay questions is to understand why you want to attend McCombs, to find out what drives you, and to learn more about who you are both professionally and personally. While it may be tempting, do us (and yourself) a favor and avoid the snooze-fest/shock-factor extremes. Instead, approach your essays genuinely and with reflection. Armed with a few insider tips from the Admissions Committee, you will be well on your way to submitting a strong application.

ESSAY 1

The University of Texas at Austin values unique perspectives and cultivates a collaborative environment of distinct individual contributions. It is the first day of orientation. You are meeting your study group, comprised of five of your classmates from various backgrounds. Please introduce yourself to your new team, highlighting what drives you in your personal and professional life.

Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response. 

  • Write an essay (250 words)
  • Share a video introduction (one minute)

Admissions Officer Advice:

Imagine you are standing in front of your new Texas MBA Class of 2019 study group introducing yourself. Your study group is comprised of 5 or so of your classmates who will differ from you professionally, geographically, and culturally; these individuals will be your designated group work partners throughout the first semester. What would you say to your group if you only have 250 words or one-minute? What is your personal “elevator speech?” First impressions are important in-person and are equally important in an admissions application.

Key items to make sure you include are a greeting or introduction and some personal anecdotes. We want the full picture of who you are, but presented in “nutshell” form.

What makes you interesting and unique are both your personal and professional interests and attributes.  Therefore, an intro that only discusses work experience, or only discusses previous life experience, is incomplete.  Give us a rounded mix, so that we better understand who you are in a more complete sense, and not only in one facet of your life.  When someone asks you what motivates you, what is your response?  We are looking to learn more about what drives you – in other words, we want to find out not only what you are passionate about in your personal and professional life, but why.

Finally, the choice is yours: written essay or video.  We have seen significant success in each platform and do not prefer one over the other.  Therefore, play to your strengths!  If your skill is in writing, focus on the essay.  If you want to create a video and rely on your voice and video editing skills, then we are excited to see it.  (Keep in mind that submitting a photo slideshow with background music does not grant the admissions committee the chance to actually see or hear you, which is what makes video submissions so great!)

In any submission, have fun with it and do not take this essay for granted—it can go a long way in introducing yourself and setting the stage for your application.

ESSAY 2

Based on your post-MBA goals and what drives you in your personal and professional life, why is the Texas MBA the ideal program for you and how do you plan to engage in our community? (500 words)

Admissions Officer Advice:

This prompt allows you to leverage your short term career goal (remember the one you included on the admissions application?) and your response to essay one!  It’s also an opportunity for you to show McCombs some real love.  By the time we read your essays, we have already seen your resume, scores and basic elements of your application. In this answer, we need you to expand upon the bare facts and convey to us why you are the perfect student for McCombs and how you will become an active contributor in our community. Texas MBA students are dynamic and engaged, and we are looking for applicants who are equally as driven.

This is a dense question with lots of content. The key will be to make sure you address both segments of the question individually and within the tight limit of 500 words. Below is a dissection of each part of the question to help you craft a complete answer:

“… why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you…”

  • Focus here on the words Texas MBA and you.  A vague essay is a poor essay, so give us specifics. If you’ve read our website or spoken to an admissions team member, frankly there is a LOT to love: classes, concentrations, organizations, students/alumni, professors, unique academic and career-oriented opportunities, and the list goes on. Before you write your essay, I recommend you write a list of your top reasons why you think McCombs is total MBA perfection. Then, make sure these specifics are mentioned to illustrate your dedication to our program. What’s the consequence of saying vague things like McCombs is “amazing” and “a great program?” First, we may question your familiarity with our school, or worse, we may assume you just reused the same generic essay you used for another MBA program – yikes.
  • Don’t forget that the admissions committee is also looking for you to clearly connect how McCombs will help you achieve your career objectives and personal goals you’ve listed on your application.  We will have already reviewed your short and long term goals, and now we want to know how you think McCombs will help get you there! What classes, organizations, and experiential opportunities that we offer specifically relate to your career plan?  Connect the dots for us.

“… how do you plan to engage in our community…”

  • Lastly, as you are mapping out your reasons for attending our program, also remember that we pride ourselves first and foremost on our collaborative, diverse and extremely tight-knit community. We work very hard to find individuals excited about being a part of this community in particular, so in what ways will you contribute? How will you give back while you are here? What will be your lasting legacy at McCombs? How can you leverage our program offerings and combine it with your skill set to propel the entire program forward? Convince us that you are indispensable to our community, and that we simply cannot live without you.

Last bit of advice. Return to classic writing techniques, a strong essay structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling and cadence.  A few common essay writing pitfalls to avoid include convoluted sentences, going off-topic, name-dropping, vague or confusing goals, citing inaccurate classes, professors, or student organizations, or calling us by any other name besides McCombs or the Texas MBA (a common mistake for people who reuse essays).  Also, DON’T REUSE ESSAYS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS!  We can totally tell.

As always, please email us at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu if you have any other questions.  Get started early and edit, edit, edit!  Your essays can really send a strong application into orbit, so good luck, and happy applying!

Texas Working Professional and Executive MBA Programs: Apply Before The Final Deadline

From Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional and Executive MBA Admissions

Update 5/18/16: The May 17th final deadline has lapsed but the application remains open for the programs below through June on a space-available basis. The information below still applies to this application cycle, until closed.

Hopefully you’re reading this before May 17th, the final application deadline for the Texas MBA’s Executive, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth programs. I get so many frantic calls from people who, around this time of year, are finally getting around to making an MBA a part of their reality. And while applying to an MBA program should not be treated in any way like an impulse purchase – here are some ways to put together a solid application, even if it is late in the cycle. Start or submit today!

Spend 10 minutes reviewing requirements. You’ll need to have your ducks in a row to pull together an MBA application quickly. This means reviewing everything the committee needs to evaluate your candidacy. We happen to have a simple outline of our process online:

Texas Executive MBA

Texas MBA at Houston

Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth

Order transcripts TODAY. Request official transcripts for all of your undergrad and graduate coursework undertaken at colleges or universities (junior and community colleges aren’t necessary) and have them sent directly to you. You’ll scan and upload these in your MBA application – yes, you can break the seal if there is one. Hold on to these after you apply because if you’re offered admission and intend to enroll, the UT Austin Graduate and International Admissions Center will need to validate these originals.

Select your recommender TODAY, be choosy, and launch the notification. The Texas MBA application requires one recommendation, so make sure it’s someone who can speak to your professional character. Usually a current or recent manager provides the best content in a recommendation. The recommendation section of the application should be the first section you complete because notifications are launched as soon as you save the information.

If you’re taking an exam, start prepping TODAY. Please note the Texas Executive MBA accepts expired scores, as well as the option to petition to waive the exam. The Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth programs require a valid GMAT or GRE  taken within the last five years. According to the test creators, 200 hours are recommended to adequately prepare, and preparation should be done in an environment as similar to the actual testing environment as possible (i.e. no TV, coffee shops, distractions). You can submit the application with the score components you receive on the day of the test, and we’ll sync that up with official scores before making a final decision on your file.

Avoid pitfalls of last-minute essays. This is the one part of the submitted application where the committee hears your voice. Especially if you’re late in the cycle and haven’t interacted with the program through admissions events, the essays give us personal insight into your candidacy and what type of classmate you’ll be for all the students currently enrolled. This is the one aspect of your application that you have total control over, so please give it the time, attention and authenticity it deserves.

Don’t worry, there is and will be room in the class. If you’re thinking you’ve missed the boat for 2016, think again. We purposefully do not maximize facility capacity for a couple of reasons: McCombs prefers intimate cohorts of around 65-75 students and we allow for open seats so that prospective students can visit classes. In addition, there’s always a circumstance that prevents a few incoming students from enrolling (i.e. a new baby, job change, relocation), which opens up seats for other candidates. All of these factors give the committee the flexibility to consider candidates all the way up to the final deadline and in some instances, beyond.

The committee realizes that applicants for working professional and executive MBA programs, by nature, procrastinate during the MBA application process. We fully understand and expect that your professional life is a priority, otherwise why would you be seeking an MBA in the first place? Hopefully these tips give you the confidence you need to move forward and submit a quality application in the final round. We look forward to receiving your application in the near future!

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