Tag: consulting

First-Year Texas MBA Student Wins Consulting Case Competition

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Last month, the Texas MBA at Houston Consulting Club, the Consulting Club at the Jones Graduate School of Business, and the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center hosted the first annual Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition. Ten students from the Texas MBA at Houston Consulting Club represented McCombs and came together with students from the other two organizations to form six mixed teams.

Participants had 5 hours to get acquainted, analyze the case, create a slide deck, and practice their presentation. All of this preparation was then expended in a 10 minute presentation to spectators and guest judges from McKinsey, BCG and Ernst & Young. After careful deliberation, the judges announced the top-performing team, who won the $500 prize! Ashutosh Shinde (MBA ’17) from McCombs, Felipe Armaza and Paul Surpenant from Jones, and Alessandro Alabastri from the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center were selected as the winning team of the 1st annual competition.

The purpose of the event was to:

  • Boost awareness and interest in the consulting career track
  • Provide participants with the ability to showcase the key skills that consulting firms are looking for such as teamwork, analytical ability, communication, problem-solving, and business acumen
  • Provide a venue where individuals pursuing a career in consulting can network, both across the various consulting clubs in Houston and also with current consultants
  • Unite the local candidate pools and open the door for holding more joint events between the MBAs, PhDs, and MDs within consulting clubs
  • Demonstrate to consulting firms that Houston has an extremely attractive recruiting pool

Team 3 - Houston Case competition Alessandro Alabastri (CCTMC), Paul Surprenant (Jones), Ashutosh Shinde (McCombs), Felipe Armaza (Jones)

The case centered on the future of Apple Inc., exploring three new (actual or potential) product offerings: the watch, the television, and the car. Given the current market trends and Apple’s previous successes, the teams prepared a recommendation outlining the optimal product portfolio for Apple to focus on in the near future.

Teams were assessed on their ability to create, assemble, and present their recommendations to judges, founded thorough data-backed analysis and representing a practical and economically feasible business strategy for Apple to potentially implement. Judges additionally considered the team’s poise while answering questions, the creativity behind their analysis, and the level of professionalism demonstrated by the team members.

Congratulations to Ashutosh and the rest of the Texas MBA at Houston Consulting Club!

 

Original Source: Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center

Learning on the Job with MBA+ Projects

I know, you’re pouring over the McCombs website doing your due diligence researching all of the great programs the Texas MBA Program has to offer, and you’ve most likely come across the MBA+ Leadership Program.

Those smiling faces and their Starbucks aprons. “I want to try out my new b-school skills consulting for real live companies!”, you think. I know, because I wrote about it in my application essays, too. It is one of the unique experiential learning programs that drew me to McCombs. Now that I’m a real life McCombs student doing a real live MBA+ project, I’d like to share a report from the front lines.

First, it’s worth saying that I had no idea what to expect. I came to McCombs from the education sector, so I knew very little about business or consulting, except that I wanted to learn the tricks of the trade. Consulting (and all things business, for that matter) seemed like a black box. You put numbers and analysis and strategy meetings in on one end, and out come decisions.

For my MBA+ project, I’m working with Deloitte’s Human Capital practice to research the impact of the “Industrial Internet of Things” on people. How will workplaces change? How will people’s jobs change? How can companies proactively position themselves in the midst of this change? It sounds pretty high-level and vague, but the reality of the project has been more than I imagined: more company face time, more learning, and more fun.

DELOITTE 2015

1. Company Face Time

We interface with a team of six Deloitte employees who are company leaders at various levels. Across the board they have bent over backwards to make themselves available and to make this a positive experience for the McCombs team. Senior consultants fresh out of McCombs help to guide and navigate us through the process, and senior partners generously take our calls and emails. Everyone provides thoughtful advice and feedback. Who knows how many potentially billable hours of their time we’ve racked up at this point…

As a “nontraditional” student interested in transitioning to strategy consulting, it’s been an excellent way to hit the ground running right from the beginning. It’s true that making an office visit is a great way to get a feel for what it would be like to work at that company. Doing a MBA+ project is even better, in my opinion. You get a feel for what makes the company tick,  you know people at the company, and they know you.

2. Learning

I knew literally nothing about consulting at the start of this project. In the words of one of my fellow MBA+ teammates, “I thought a vertical was how high you could jump.” We’re halfway through our project, and I can say that I now understand what consultants do (kind of) and how to do it (ok, that’s a gross overstatement, but I know more than I did).

I’ve learned from my peers, many of whom are former consultants, and can style the heck out of a PowerPoint deck. And I’ve learned from jumping in. Week one of the project we were meeting with senior consultants who were giving us the rundown on the project trajectory. Week two we were on a call with partners. Week six we were presenting to those same partners.

And from all that work, I now feel like I’m starting to gain two very consultant-y (and generally useful regardless of industry and function) skills: I’m comfortable with ambiguity and I can work with a team to structure an unstructured problem. They’re skills I already had, but the project has helped to refine them, strengthen them, and make me view them in a new light.

3. Fun

On our launch call, an hour into a slew of tips and frameworks and ideas from Deloitte, one of the higher ups closed with this advice:

“You’re getting to do consulting without any of the downsides—don’t forget to have fun! There’s no downside, only an upside.”

I’ve gotten to work with five stellar fellow first years and have gotten to know them and learn from them. We’ve gotten to play consultant and present in a fancy downtown conference room. We got to spend hours reading fascinating research, talking to industry leaders, and coaxing a neat, structured final deliverable out of the mass of available information. It’s basically a playground for a b-school nerd. What more could you want?

Is it hard to focus on the project because there is a ton of other things going on at this point in the semester, most of which involves grades? Yes. Does the project help to ground me in the reasons I came here in the first place, and give me a taste of what I can do on the other side of this place? Heck, yes. So when you get here, just know that your very own MBA+ project awaits!

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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