Tag: MBA application (page 2 of 5)

Deciding Between Full-Time or Working Professional MBA Programs

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.

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Insider Tips for Completing Your MBA Application

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.

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Choosing the Right Test for Your MBA Application

This MBA Insider content comes from the Texas McCombs MBA Admissions team and was originally posted in July 2017. 

If you’ve decided you want to apply to the MBA program at Texas McCombs– congratulations on making a fantastic decision! But, now what? One of the first application components that future students typically focus on is the required standardized test. It can be an intimidating first step. Our MBA program accepts both GRE and GMAT.  How can you know which test is best for you?

First, the Admissions Committee doesn’t have a preference on which test you take. Our article on examining your graduate test options can give you a good overview of the basic differences between the tests.

We do not believe that one test is better at demonstrating your preparedness for business school than the other. But it is important to think about what exam is best for you as an individualIn some cases, there may be a good reason to consider taking the GMAT over the GRE, or vice versa.

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How to Successfully Answer the Full-Time MBA Essay Questions

These MBA Insider tips were provided by Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior Full-Time MBA Admissions Officer.

Your best chance at successfully answering  this year’s Full-Time MBA application essays comes from approaching them thoughtfully. The purpose of these essays is to understand why you want to attend Texas McCombs, and to learn more about you as an individual.  With a genuine goal of authenticity and the tips below, you will be well on your way to submitting a strong application.

MBA Essay 1

We will learn a lot about your professional background through your resume and letter of
recommendation. We want to get to know you further. Please introduce yourself.

An essay of 250 words, OR  a video introduction of one minute

Our Advice:

You may be wondering, “How do I introduce myself in only 250 words or through a one minute clip?” Don’t worry– you’re not alone. Many applicants struggle with how to package their entire experience into a short essay.

First, this prompt is purposely open-ended. It grants you the freedom to introduce yourself in a way that is authentically you. When you first meet someone, what’s your elevator pitch? Give us a well-rounded mix of information, so that we better understand who you are in a more complete sense, and not only in one facet of your life. Think about what makes you tick.

But don’t forget about the first sentence of the prompt: “We will learn a lot about your professional background through your resume and letter of recommendation.” This is meant to remind you that the admissions committee will already know a lot about your background through other parts of the application. While your professional life is important, this essay is your opportunity to share who you are outside of the bullet points on your resume.

Finally, the choice is yours: written essay or video. We have seen significant success on both platforms 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. However, if you do submit a video, keep in mind that sending us a photo slideshow isn’t advisable. These clips do not grant the admissions committee the chance to actually see or hear you, and that is really what we are looking for, and what makes these videos so great. Have fun with either submission, and do not take this essay for granted— it can go a long way in setting the stage for your MBA application.

MBA Essay 2

Picture yourself at graduation. Describe how you spent your two years as a Texas McCombs MBA, and how that experience helped to prepare you for the post-MBA world.
500 words

Our Advice:

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Insider Tips for Highlighting Your Pre-MBA Work Experience

This MBA Insider content comes from Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional & Executive MBA Admissions.

When evaluating your application, our MBA Admissions Committee aims for a complete picture of your qualifications and fit with the program. It’s all about perspective. We look  at your application as if we are holding a scale, balancing all the parts.

When considering the specific experience on your resume, on one side there’s a raw number of years (Quantity), and on the other is your job experience (Quality).

Quantity

Say that you are the CEO of a mid-size corporation. Wonderful!  Oh, you just started in this position? That’s an amazing accomplishment, but perhaps you’d still admit that your knowledge and expertise in such a new position wouldn’t be as developed as someone who’s been doing it for a few years.

Or maybe you have been in the same job for 10 years.  Wow!  No doubt you are a go-to person when it comes to that role, but could it mean that perhaps you didn’t take as much initiative or demonstrate leadership qualities required to launch you to the next level? Or perhaps you have only had a project manager role for a year, but in that time you’ve produced measurable results and demonstrated leadership.  In these cases, the quality of your work experience matters more.

Quality

A general job title like “Project Manager” may seem lackluster, but could actually be pretty exciting.  Don’t let us make assumptions. Take every opportunity on your application to illustrate just WHAT about your job made your experience rich and rewarding.

On the flip side, a Chief Operating Office title sounds impressive, but what kind of company did you work for and how extensive were your duties?  An impressive title with naught to back it up won’t move the needle in your favor when it comes to work experience.

The take-away on work experience:  Years, titles, and accomplishments are not, by themselves deciding factors. To help you provide us with a clear picture, here are our top tips for highlighting the quality and quantity of your work experience on your resume:

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