Tag: full-time MBA (page 1 of 3)

The Myth of the Non-Traditional MBA Candidate

The following was written by Samantha Frapart, Texas MBA ’17.

I thought I couldn’t get into business school. With my double-major in English and Ecology, five years in non-profits, and my natural aversion to words like “Nasdaq” and “synergy,” how could I convince admissions teams that I belonged in their MBA programs? Well, after graduating from McCombs in May of 2017, I’m here to happily debunk one of the greatest myths of business school: The non-traditional candidate.

Contrary to popular belief, business programs aren’t looking for human calculators. They are looking for students eager to foster strong teams, willing to negotiate & compromise, and ready to share diverse perspectives. In management classes, I was able to add a unique viewpoint to discussions on anything from government regulations to corporate social responsibility. Though I looked to my study-team for help with my finance homework, I was able to offer equally important business lessons like proper brief-structure and design thinking.

We all have something to offer, it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is and letting it shine through.

Though I assure you “non-traditional” is a thing of the past, I know this process can feel daunting. So with the Texas Full-Time MBA application opening soon, I’d like to share some helpful tips from my experience (before and during business school) in hopes that it might ease your worries and prepare you for the fantastic two years ahead.

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We’re Bringing McCombs to a City Near You!

Texas MBA alumni & staff are hosting events in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco this fall.

These Texas MBA Roadshows are your opportunity to learn about the Texas Full-Time MBA Program, attend presentations from MBA Career Management and Admissions, and network with Texas MBA alumni — all in a city near you. These events are packed with in-depth information about experiential learning at McCombs, the application process, MBA student life, global opportunities, career resources, and more.

Register now below.

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Essay Writing Tips from Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions

The below is from Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior Texas 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 essays is to understand why you want to attend McCombs and to learn more about you 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 below, you will be well on your way to submitting a strong application.

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Texas MBA Global Connections: Explore. Discover. Lead.

Texas MBAs went global this spring with study tours across six countries — Cuba, India, China, South Africa, Malaysia, and Thailand! These tours are part of the McCombs Global Connections (MGC) program: An eight to ten-day study tour to business powerhouses around the globe.

Image via McCombs Today

During these tours, Texas MBA students explore global opportunities and learn many aspects of conducting business outside the United States. Through guest speakers, company visits, project work, and case studies, MGC provides an incredible opportunity for Texas MBAs to explore the economy, major industries, local businesses, and culture in different nations, enhancing their transferable skills and understanding of different cultures to operate in an international market.

Global Connections 2017 enabled 134 Texas Full-time MBA students to participate in engagement experiences, including cultural immersion, business visits, conferences, and discussions.

India

Texas MBA students visited local Indian communities and businesses such as Intel, Infosys, VMware, IBM and American Embassy in Bangalore and Delhi. Special activities included the Social Impact Day at Mewat Village and the “Our Native Village” cultural tour.

Exploring Indian culture. Photo by Deidra Stephens

Business visit to Infosys in Bangalore. Photo by Deidra Stephens

First Ever Cuba Tour

Texas MBAs had the opportunity to learn about the business operation and economic potentials in Cuba through a series of conferences, including the Conference on US-Cuba Relations, Conference on the Cuban Economy, Currency, Debt and Financial Institutions, and Conference on New and Micro Business Models in Cuba. They also attended local company visits to the Organopónico Vivero Alamar – Cuba’s most successful urban cooperative agricultural project and Autochapt – a non-agricultural cooperative /car repairing micro business.

Texas MBAs rode in nostalgic style in Cuba.

Texas MBAs in the first Global Connection Study Tour in Cuba. Photo by Shannon Moffett

South Africa

Texas MBAs immersed themselves in learning cultural differences and business practices in the “Think Impact Day Series” and business visits to Delheim Winery, Coca-Cola South Africa, and Heart Capital.

Global Connection Study Tour in South Africa. Photo by John Greely

Global Connections Study Tour in South Africa

Global Connections Study Tour in South Africa.

China

With three cities visited — Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing — the China Study Tour offered business visits to successful companies in China such as BYD, InterChina, Emerson, CSUN, CNOOC, and tours to major Chinese landmarks.

Texas MBAs at the Great Wall of China. Photo by Karl Novick

Business visits to China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Photo by Karl Novick

Southeast Asia (Malaysia and Thailand)

Two countries and three cities were visited in Southeast Asia’s Study Tour. Texas MBAs enhanced their cultural competency and global business operation skills with visits to the Malaysia Investment Development Authority, Emerson Process Management, NI Penang, Wong Engineering, and Western Digital.

Texas MBA students in Bantu Caves (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Photo by Joel Obaseki

Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Torrey Kolesar

Read more about the previous Global Connections Study Tour trips to South Africa, China, and Brazil.

For more info about the Full-time Texas MBA Program, visit our Facebook page or Twitter account, or contact us with any questions.

Hook’em!

The MBA Admissions Interview: How to Totally Crush It

From the Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions Committee

You submit your application. You wait and wait and then, TA DA! An interview invitation appears in your inbox.  Your immediate reaction is probably several mental exclamation points (!!!), but I think it’s fair to say that all MBA applicants feel pretty dichotomous when it comes to the interview experience. Something like:

Yay I got invited to interview! But oh my goodness, now I’m totally freaked out and have a million questions; What are they going to ask? Should I be myself or should I open with a joke I read online? Should I bring my resume in strawberry-scented triplicate? What do I wear? Should I interview on-campus, via Skype, or off-campus? Is it better to interview with a current student, admissions officer or alumni? Should I send a follow-up thank you via email, a hand-written card, or none at all?  How do I set up the interview in the first place?! Eeek!

Breathe. Like anything else, your MBA interview invitation is an opportunity. While some applicants may look forward to it, others may not exactly enjoy the anxiety. If you are a member of the latter group, look at it this way: this interview can be just the thing the Admissions Committee needs to stitch together the rest of your application elements with a genuine, prepared, and poised interview performance.

The interview affords one of the only formal opportunities for official face-to-face interaction during the application process. Seize it.

You are most likely applying and subsequently interviewing with multiple MBA programs. This means managing several different interview processes, a complicated project given the variability among schools. It’s important to be familiar with how the Texas MBA Program runs its interview operations.

Instructions are plastered all over the email invitation to interview and the online systems you use to book the interview, so be sure to read all instructions very carefully before scheduling anything. Generally speaking, our interview structure is this:

Interviews are by invitation only and can come at any time during the application round. There are four different interview types: on-campus with a student, via Skype with a student, off-campus in your local city with an alumni interviewer, or at a HUB city location with an admissions officer. For each type (excluding alumni interviews) there is an online calendar from which you can select an interview slot that works with your schedule. We will inform you of the last date your interview needs to be completed. The only exception to this is booking an interview in your local city with an alumni interviewer; that process is slightly different, but we provide the step-by-step instructions in our interview invitation communications if you decide to go that route.

Rest assured all of our current student interviewers, alumni volunteer interviewers and admissions officers are fully trained and capable of conducting an interview that is professional, fair, impartial and helpful. Interviews typically last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. All interviews are blind, which means the interviewer does not have access to anything about you or your application, except for your resume. Even so, it’s always a good idea to bring a copy for the interviewer to reference during the conversation (this is required if you are interviewing with an alumni interviewer).

Most interviews follow the general framework of introductions, questions from the interviewer for you to answer, then some time is left at the end for you to ask your questions about the program and/or application process. Once the interview is completed, you are finished! There is nothing further you need to do and your application is considered complete. All that’s left is to wait patiently for our final decision in the weeks that follow.

TIPS & PITFALLS TO AVOID:

Choose Wisely: Decisions, decisions. Interview type selection is like deciding on your coffee order at Starbucks – copious options, but there’s something for everyone. Each type of interview affords individual benefits. If you’re located proximate to Austin, try to come to campus for an interview. If you have never been to campus or met us in person before, we highly recommend interviewing on campus to get a feel for the facility and community culture. You might even be able to book a class visit, information session, or tour and interview all in the same weekend. A special “Lunch & Learn” session will be offered on select interview dates. If you can’t make the trip due to work conflicts or you are internationally-based, you might consider taking advantage of our alumni interviewers in a city near you. We also offer HUB interviews in markets around the world, such as Korea, China, India and Mexico. Or maybe none of that works for you and Skype is the only way to get it done. No problem, that option is always available. We see your interview type selection as entirely logistical and do not hold it against you if you don’t interview with us on campus.

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 Austin parking before. As for Skype, your instructions ask that you are prepared to begin the Skype video call at the allotted interview start time, but it’s always a good idea to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to work out any inevitable technological hiccups that crop up.

“And that’s why I’m scared of heights and allergic to strawberries…Wait, what was the question again?”:  You’d be surprised how many times at the end of an applicant’s long-winded tangential 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.

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 too comfortable, though. While we’re an easy-going bunch, maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism is always a good idea. This includes professional language and attire as if you were interviewing for a job (that means you too, Skypers! I’m sure your pajamas are lovely, but we’d much rather see a blazer.).

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.” Keep these in mind so we can get a feel for the application intangibles.

Know Your Audience: Remember, the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference for which interview type you elect or who you interview with, just as long as you prepare for your audience. Are you interviewing with an admissions officer?  Read about them on our Admissions Committee page. Our alumni interviewer profiles can be found on our website.  If you’re interviewing via Skype or on-campus, be cognizant that not every student has the same background as you!  Steer clear of industry jargon.

Come with questions: A good list of questions for your interviewer can illustrate a few key things about you as a candidate: you’ve done your research, you care about our program, you have envisioned yourself as an MBA, and you can formulate coherent thoughts under pressure. We usually leave anywhere from 10-15 minutes for questions, so limit your list to 2-3 good ones and have a few backups.

While our interviewing style is admittedly less intense than corporate recruiters, don’t let our laid-back Austin 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 and Hook’ Em!

 

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