Tag: Texas MBA Program (page 3 of 4)

Alumni Spotlight: Blanca Lesmes, Texas Executive MBA ’11

Everyone has something they’re passionate about, and for Blanca Lesmes it’s increasing the accessibility of healthcare to women. Blanca graduated from the Texas Executive MBA Program in 2011 and has used her degree to propel this passion and save the company she co-founded, BB Imaging & Healthcare Consulting, ensuring increased access to ultrasound services for women in the Austin area.

We recently caught up with Blanca to see what she’s up to and to learn about her reasons  #WhyMcCombs.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA and why did you choose McCombs?

In 2009, my organization was struggling to remain afloat during the recession. I knew that I needed to expand my toolkit to ensure the survival of the company. After visiting a class at McCombs, I knew I wanted to be in an environment that encouraged as much learning from professors as from the talented professionals in the class.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside of the classroom — you learned while completing your MBA?

Oh wow, this is tough. I learned that success in business requires surrounding yourself with amazing people.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?

I have a better understanding of the business cycle. I am incredibly grateful for the network of people I now call my friends. They continue to challenge my assumptions and encourage my personal growth.

Tell us about BB Imaging & Healthcare Consulting. Why did you decide to start this company? What is your role?

BB Imaging & Healthcare Consulting provides ultrasound services and business solutions in healthcare. In 2004, there was a need in the obstetrical market for ultrasound solutions in communities surrounding Austin, this was the impetus for our inception. I am currently the President of the organization. I focus on business development In addition, our organization is a Federal Contractor and my role is to expand into providing consultancy services outside of Texas.

What do you love about your job?

MY TEAM!!! I am so lucky to be able to enjoy the folks I call my team. They are incredibly skilled and masterful at what they do. I couldn’t have imagined working with a kinder bunch.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I am passionate about working to increase accessibility of healthcare to women. Currently, I am on the board of an educational non-profit and a non-profit dedicated to providing women in Malawi (Africa) access to care. I love brainstorming new business ideas and problem solving. On a personal note, I have a tween and a teenager who keep me busy and fulfilled.

What advice do you have for future Texas MBAs?

Just jump! Do not overthink this decision. Many people do what I call “self de-select”. Meaning, applicants don’t even submit applications to the admissions committee because they determine themselves under-qualified. I challenge new candidates to present their best application and attempt this amazing journey. The worst that can happen is not enrolling in the fall which is the same outcome if one doesn’t apply. I say deal with “potential” disappointment and just jump.

Entrepreneurship at McCombs: Austin Startup Week

The McCombs School of Business, ranked #6 for entrepreneurship by U.S. News & World Report, offers many unique resources in one of America’s most innovative cities to prepare students for new business ventures. Many Texas MBA alumni have gone on to run successful startups not only here in Austin, but across the country. Check out some of the companies our awesome alumni have started as we gear up for Austin Start Up Week on October 3, 2016.

Sock Club: Noah Lee, MBA ’16

Sock Club offers a monthly sock subscription and customizable sock designs, with delivery straight to your door. 

  • Founded: 2012sockclub-847b3fcd4214f607a3f5e426e9e175b4
  • Advice to current students: Half the battle is getting started. You will never know if the idea will succeed unless you try it.
  • Favorite part of current position: Every day brings a new challenge.
  • Biggest challenge as an entrepreneur: Finding the time to get everything done and finding good help.
  • How did you and your partner Dane come up with the idea for Sock Club? We read a Forbes article on a subscription sock company that shipped black Italian dress socks, we liked the idea of a reoccurring revenue model, and thought it would be better to do it with colorful socks. Away we went.
  • How did McCombs and the Texas MBA Program help you in running your business? Running a new company requires managing your mistakes and opportunities, and is impacted by how effectively you can react to the results of your economic activity. The Texas MBA Program didn’t necessarily teach me how to do things. It taught me how to think about things and make decisions.

Nicely Noted: Perry Nelson, MBA ’10 

A stationery subscription service that delivers a curated collection of letterpress cards and stamps to your mailbox every month.

  • Founded: 2011xnorsrpc
  • Advice to current MBAs: Take risks while you have the safety net of being in school. You have unique access to almost anyone in the business community by approaching them as a student; take advantage of it.
  • Favorite part of current position: Wearing many hats! Every day is different, and the challenges run the gamut from working with developers, training interns, and pitching press for editorial coverage to assembling the monthly mailing, and more.
  • Biggest challenge as a business owner: Prioritizing and keeping the core value proposition at the forefront of all your efforts.

Beatbox Beverages:  Aimy Steadman, Justin Fenchel, Dan Singer, & Jason Schieck, MBA ’13

A ready-to-drink mixed alcohol beverage, prepared in Austin. 

Justin Fenchel says:beatboxlogo_retina

  • Founded: 2011
  • Advice to current MBA students: Take a chance — you have two years to explore what you really want to do. Try not to get caught up in the chaos of who has a job and who doesn’t. Take the time to find out what you really want to do because you’ll never have a better opportunity.
  • Favorite part of current position: Working doesn’t feel like work.
  • Biggest challenge as an entrepreneur: Stress and fear from starting a business in an industry that we effectively have no experience in.

You’re Invited to McCombs Entrepreneurship Night!

Smart People. Big Ideas. New Connections.

What happens when you combine Austin Startup Week with McCombs’ renowned faculty, world class students and alumni, and Austin’s hottest tech startups? McCombs Entrepreneurship Night!

Come meet successful McCombs entrepreneurs from the Texas MBA and Texas MSTC programs showcasing their startups. You’ll have the opportunity to network with current students, alumni and local entrepreneurs from the growing Austin Startup scene. Join us for discovery, a great time, and complimentary food & drinks.

Register for McCombs Entrepreneurship Night

Meet Us During the ATX Startup Crawl!

The ATX Startup Crawl is a celebration of technology and entrepreneurship in Austin! The Texas MBA Program will be present during the event to answer answer questions and share with you how an MBA degree from The University of Texas at Austin can help you increase your potential and jump start your career.

RSVP today to grab your spot to network with more than 90+ Austin startups and don’t forget to stop by our booth!

Thursday October 6, 2016 5:00pm – 10:00pm
800 Congress Ave, Austin TX 78701

RSVP HERE

Check out more startups started by McCombs alums: http://www.today.mccombs.utexas.edu/2013/12/mccombs-alumni-product-guide

The Texas Working Professional & Executive MBA Class of 2018!

The Texas Working Professional & Executive MBA programs are currently ranked #7 and #17 in the country by U.S. News & World Report,  making McCombs #1 in the thriving state of Texas! At McCombs, working professionals and aspiring executives are able to to work full-time while earning their MBA from a globally-recognized brand within a network of award-winning faculty and accomplished students and alumni making a real impact around the world.

The Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas MBA at Houston,  and Texas Executive MBA programs welcomed a total of 239 new students to our campuses in Austin, Dallas and Houston this month! Get to know more about our incoming Class of 2018*:

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Student Profiles:

The Couples – Sarita Choudhary/Rohit Rana and Lane Robbins/Alex Lowe

The Dallas/Fort Worth program has two couples in the Class of 2018! Sarita and Rohit have known each other since childhood in India, they got married, they came to the United States from India together and they work together at Ericsson where Sarita is a solutions architect/team lead, and Rohit is a solutions manager.

Alex and Lane will be getting married during the program; they even waited to get the 2016-2017 class schedule before setting a date! These two have known each other for a long time growing up in northern Virginia, but Alex went away to college at SMU and Lane stayed close to home at James Madison University. They reconnected after college and Lane moved to Dallas to join Alex. The rest is history.

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Student Profiles:

George Timbrell

A self described recovering New Yorker, George has been adjusting to the Houston culture well!  He moved to Texas last year after the sale of his firm to Wunderlich Securities. He travels to the firm’s current 33 offices and help advisors deliver attractive investment ideas and solutions to clients.  He provides guidance on alternative investments such as hedge funds, private equity, direct investments and real estate to over 300 financial advisors through his team. George enjoys cycling, music and art and has been having a great time exploring those hobbies in the Houston area.


Emy Hernandez

Emy has been advocating for education since her senior year in high school.  Coming from a family where her parents had 6th grade educations and worked hard labor jobs, she often balanced helping the family and working to be successful in high school.  Emy currently manages programs with Houston ISD to help ensure Latino/a students are able to manage the college application and funding process. Educator and self-described “happy Latina lesbian,” Emy Hernandez is a huge advocate in the LGBTQ world. After getting to know her students, she realized the great need for LGBTQ support on campus and helped establish the Force Allies, the school’s first club dedicated to increasing awareness about the LGBTQ community.

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Student Profiles:

Richard Metzger

Richard was a distinguished naval graduate from UT Austin and served as a Navy Lieutenant in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Red Seas. After finishing his duty, he joined the family construction company in Houston and is currently VP over sales, marketing and safety. His love of UT runs deep, as well as his love of the water. He’s a certified PADI Master Scuba Diver specializing in spearfishing and wreck diving and is also a member of REEF – dedicated to ocean conservation. He’s also a Sunday school teacher and a church Deacon and he volunteers at Church Under the Bridge in Houston.


Karen Garrido

Karen has had a long career in corporate finance and treasury. She’s currently Finance Manager at AET, Inc., a petroleum logistics company headquartered in Singapore, where she is responsible for financial/tax reporting for entities in Norway, Brazil, UK and US.  Karen commutes from Houston to Austin for classes and is a dedicated mom of three daughters who are now in college, and also passionate about volunteering for local non-profits in Houston. She’s also pumped about going to football games with her new classmates!

Learn more about how you can join the next Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas MBA at Houston or Texas Executive MBA class by checking their our admissions processes.

Hook ‘Em!

Where In The World Are The Texas MBAs?

As a Texas MBA, you gain access to endless opportunities to travel across the United States and around the world. The Texas MBA Program and the McCombs School of Business strives to expose its students to new cultures and ideas to better prepare them to be effective business leaders who act ethically and responsibility within a global context and think strategically at an international level.

This summer, students from our Full-Time, Evening, Executive, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth programs traveled across the country to participate in internships, explored foreign countries while gaining new world perspectives, and made some amazing memories along the way.

Check our their adventures and see for yourself #WhyMcCombs, or learn more about the hands-on learning opportunities available at McCombs here.

Texas Evening MBA Global Trips: 
Morocco, Peru/Columbia, Portugal, South Africa, Vietnam/Thailand, Romania/Moldova, Shanghai

TEMBA 2017 Moldova

Class of 2017 Evening MBAs at Orheiul Venchi in Moldova

TEMBA 2017 Johannesburg, South Africa

Class of 2017 Evening MBAs at SuperSport in Johannesburg, South Africa

TEMBA 2017 in Lisbon

Class of 2017 Evening MBAs at Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portgual

Texas Evening MBAs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Class of 2017 Evening MBAs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Evening 2017s in Ko Phi Phi Thailand (Ban Thai)

Class of 2017 Evening MBAs in Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth Global Trips:
Morocco, Peru/Columbia, Portugal, South Africa, Vietnam/Thailand, Romania/Moldova, Shanghai

Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs at The Bund in Shanghai, China

Class of 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs at The Bund in Shanghai, China

Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs in Lisbon, Portugal

Class of 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs in Lisbon, Portugal

Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Class of 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs in Madrid, Spain

Class of 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs in Madrid, Spain

Class of 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth MBAs Prasanth Bathae and Kelsey Leigh on the The Great Wall of China

Texas Executive MBA International Seminar:
Beijing, China

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Class of 2016 Executive MBAs in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

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Class of 2016 Executive MBAs Attending a Business in China Seminar at Beijing University

Class of 2017 Executive MBAs at the Shanghai Hongqiao Rail Station

Class of 2016 Executive MBAs at the Shanghai Hongqiao Rail Station

Class of 2017 Executive MBA Nathaniel Mayfield at The Great Wall of China

Class of 2016 Executive MBA Nathaniel Mayfield at The Great Wall of China

Class of 2017 Executive MBAs at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Class of 2016 Executive MBAs at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Texas MBA at Houston Global Trips:
Morocco, Peru/Columbia, Portugal, South Africa, Vietnam/Thailand, Romania/Moldova, Shanghai

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Class of 2017 Houston MBAs Making New Friends in Morrocco

Houston MBAs at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa

Class of 2017 Houston MBAs at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa

Houston MBAs at Muay Thai Live in Bangkok, Thailand

Class of 2017 Houston MBAs at Muay Thai Live in Bangkok, Thailand

Houston MBAs in front of the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal

Class of 2017 Houston MBAs in front of the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal

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Class of 2017 Houston MBAs at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

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Class of 2017 Houston MBAs in Shanghai, China

Texas Full-Time MBA MAPS Trips:
Galapagos Islands, Tanzania & Austin Day Trips

Class of 2018 Texas Full-Time MBAs

Class of 2018 Texas Full-Time MBAs on the McCombs Adventure Program Wine Tasting Day Trip in Fredericksburg, TX

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Class of 2018 Texas Full-Time MBAs on the McCombs Adventure Program River Tubing Day Trip in New Braunfels, TX

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Class of 2018 Texas Full-Time MBAs on the McCombs Adventure Program BB& & Brewery Day Trip in Taylor, TX

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Class of 2018 Texas Full-Time MBAs on the McCombs Adventure Program in Tanzania where they partnered with Building Bridges Worldwide to construct a new complex for a local school

Tanzania School Photo

Class of 2018 Texas Full-Time MBAs on the McCombs Adventure Program in Tanzania where they partnered with Building Bridges Worldwide to construct a new complex for a local school

Texas Full-Time MBA Summer Internships

Texas Full-Time MBAs Apple Interns

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Apple Interns

Texas Full-Time MBA Delta Air Lines Interns

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Delta Air Lines Interns

Texas Full-Time MBA Taylor O'Brien Interning at EA (Electronic Arts)

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Taylor O’Brien Interning at EA (Electronic Arts)

Texas Full-Time MBA Microsoft Interns

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Microsoft Interns

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Class of 2017 Full-Time MBAs Nicole Smith, Snehin Arambhan & Andrew Hodge Interning at Salesforce

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Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Patrick Swelgin Interning at Google

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Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Karen Madera Interning at IBM

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Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Deloitte Interns at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium

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Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Aaron Huffman Interning at Boeing

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Dell Interns

Texas Full-Time MBAs Moni Jane and Kevin Chen Interning at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBAs Moni Jane & Kevin Chen Interning at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Class of 2017 Full-Time MBA Amazon Interns

The MBA Admissions Interview: How to Totally Crush It

From Julia Campbell, Senior MBA Admissions Officer, Full-Time Texas MBA Program:

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, 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 three different interview types: On-campus with a current student or admissions officer, off-campus in your local city or hub city location with an alumni interviewer or admissions officer, or via Skype with a current student or 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 over a period of a few months. We will inform you of the last date your interview needs to be completed. The only exception to this is that booking your alumni interview off-campus in your local city follows a slightly different process, but we provide the step-by-step instructions if you decide to go that route.

You are not able to choose your individual interviewer, but 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.

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. 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 local cities. Interview hub markets like New York, Seoul, China, India, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and others are among the options. Or maybe none of that works for you and Skype is the only way to get it done. No problem, we’ve got options so you can choose what works best for you.  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 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. Since you can’t always tell who is going to interview you (interviewers can change since we conduct hundreds of interviews in a given round), you can do a little recon based on the name of the interviewer. You can check out our current student and alumni interviewer profiles on our website, or read about our admissions officers in the Admissions Committee section. That way you know what you’re in for.

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!

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