Tag: texas mba students (page 1 of 2)

Student Spotlight: Taina Schuster, Houston MBA Class of 2020

Taina Schuster,
Houston MBA Class of 2020

Our Houston Class of 2020 welcomed 84 new students this year. Our representation of women in Houston grew from 27% to 32% and we were also excited to see that 29% of these MBAs are international students from 15 different countries.

We recently chatted with Taina Schuster, MBA ’20 and President of the Houston Graduate Business Council. Taina is originally from Brasilia, Brazil and received  her BBA in Marketing at UniCEUB.  She currently works with Houston Eye Associates. 

Taina’s “Why McCombs?”

Taina always knew that she wanted have a strong impact on society. She plans to get her MBA to provide her with a broad and diverse learning experience and to be able to quickly grow her career.

“The key factors for me in choosing Texas McCombs were the strong Alumni network and the school’s commitment to a diverse classroom. I believe that diversity builds a stronger and more creative work environment, especially in the business world where there is still a lot of room for improvement. It was really important for me to find a school that had similar values and was a good cultural fit. Coming from Brazil, where I got my undergrad and where most of my network was, I knew I needed a school with a strong brand and excellent connections in order to succeed.”

Student Leadership 

The Graduate Business Council (GBC) gives student leaders the opportunity to work directly with program leadership on to oversee the development, improvement, and maintenance of a strong sense of community and pride within the MBA program. GBC serves to promote diversity and inclusivity across all MBA programs.

“As GBC’s Chief Student Body Officer, I am working as a liaison between students and administration to make sure the student body is fully represented and involved. The Graduate Business Council is one of many opportunities for leadership that McCombs offers to students. For me, it was a great way to combine my passion for diversity and inclusion and provide the connection to get to know everyone in our class better.”

McCombs Impact

Taina notes that she had to refine her time management skills in order to succeed in the program. She says her favorite experience from McCombs so far was a Business Integrity class with Professor Christopher Meakin.

During the MBA, and especially in the professional program, you will have multiple projects and managing your time efficiently is extremely important in order to succeed. The Business Integrity class approaches one of the most important subjects in business in my opinion, with discussions from ethical dilemmas to corporate social responsibility. It was amazing to see the entire class collaborating, having strong discussions about the study cases and sharing their points of view.” 

Taina’s Advice to You

“Talk to as many people as you can about the program and learn about their experiences and challenges. Definitely reach out to alumni and current students and don’t be afraid to ask questions. One common characteristic I found along the McCombs network is that everyone is always willing to chat, answers your questions or put you in contact with the right person.”


Visit Texas McCombs MBA  to find out more about all our programs, events and community, or join the #WhyMcCombs conversation on Twitter. Hook ’em!

Hands-On MBA: Fall Marketing Trek

This past October, the Graduate Marketing Network at Texas McCombs hosted their annual Marketing Trek with the MBA Career Management team. 19 first-year students traveled to New York City and visited the offices of Samsung, Google, Pinterest, Adobe, and ZX Ventures!

Career Treks give Full-Time MBAs the opportunity to learn about their industry to become more familiar with the culture of the companies in a real-world context. The companies provide presentations, Q&A sessions, and opportunities to network with alumni and executive management.

MBA students take New York

New York City holds many business opportunities in hundreds of different markets. We caught up with MBA ’20 students Alicia Mercolino, Xingpin Liu, and Saransh Gupta to hear about their experiences and takeaways from the trek–  Saransh is drawn to the city for tech, Xingpin for marketing opportunities, and Alicia wanted to explore the options with a goal to move to NYC in the future.

“My goal is to move back to New York with a full-time offer in hand. I was interested in learning more about and meeting people at companies with MBA opportunities and McCombs alumni.” – Alicia Mercolino

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Student Spotlight: Lily Yap, DFW MBA Class of 2020

Lily Yap Headshot

Lily Yap, MBA Class of 2020

Our Dallas/Fort Worth Class of 2020 welcomed its largest class ever, with 88 new students. This is also the most international class the DFW program has ever had and the most diverse in terms of companies/organizations represented.

We recently caught up with Lily Yap, a DFW MBA student originally from San Francisco, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Business Management and works on coordinating life-saving programs and operations for animal welfare services in Dallas.

Lily’s “WhyMcCombs?”

Lily was excited to see how passionate the current MBAs in her field are and looked forward to taking leadership classes. She believes classes that refine “soft” skills are extremely beneficial and looks forward to sharing her unique knowledge with other students and organizations.

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Student Spotlight: Guilherme Junqueira, Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

Headshot for Guilherme Junqueira

Guilherme Junqueira, MBA Class of 2020

Our Full-Time Class of 2020 is composed of 284 impressive MBAs from all over the world.  Students from outside the U.S. are a valuable part of the Texas McCombs network, bringing their individual perspective and cultural background to Austin. 24% of our 2020 Full-Time MBAs are international students.

We recently caught up with MBA ’20 Guilherme Junqueira, a student originally from Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil. His journey to Texas McCombs offers insight to future international students wanting to earn their MBA here.

Guilherme’s “Why McCombs?”

Guilherme lived in Sao Paulo for nine years where he attended university to study Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Before coming to Austin for his MBA, Guilherme worked at Oxiteno as a Lead Product Management Analyst.  

When applying to graduate school, Guilherme researched different schools and their admission process online and attended events in Sao Paulo. He expanded his research after taking the GMAT by attending Texas McCombs MBA events, and speaking with current students and alumni via phone calls and emails.

“I wanted to join a top MBA program located in a small to mid-size city and with a small class; these were important factors because I wanted to develop close connections with my classmates in a more focused program environment. After submitting my applications, I came to the U.S. to visit five schools that I had applied to; this definitely was the best way to confirm that McCombs was the best fit for me.”

He attended business school events in Sao Paulo and multi-school events such as the MBA Tour. For him, events offered clarity to understand the similarities and differences of each program. After being admitted, he attended company-sponsored pre-MBA events in both Brazil and the United States. The A.T. Kearney Bootcamp helped confirm and narrow his career priorities post-MBA. He found that he enjoyed participating in national career fairs, such as Prospanica, in career treks and entrepreneurship events.

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Farewell, Spring Break: An Ode to Global Connections – Colombia

Imagine, if you will:

A balmy, salt-spiced breeze saunters down the street as you step into an alley lined with exotic fruit vendors displaying colors and flavors yet to be discovered by your senses. Lively salsa music emanates from around the corner, where an enchanting band has set up shop next to street merchants selling alluring handmade arts and crafts in shades of chartreuse, turquoise and emerald. All around, people are smiling, laughing, dancing.

Dream sequence? Possibly. But for the McCombs students who went on a Global Connections trip during the two weeks of spring break, the dream became a reality as soon as finals were done, bags were packed, and flights were boarded.

I had the pleasure of going to Colombia for 15 days with a group of 30 or so classmates. During that time, we visited several cities, including Bogotá, Medellín, Zona Cafetera and Cartagena (for a small, extended sojourn once the program came to an end.) In each city, we had the chance to immerse ourselves in the corporate and cultural sides of Colombia, all while sipping on some mighty good coffee.

Return of the "prom pose"

Return of the “prom pose”

First, let’s talk business. We met with over half a dozen companies, encompassing all sizes and industries. We walked the very fields where owner Jesús Martin harvests the same beans he selected, roasted and brewed into every cup of coffee he served us at his café later that day. We suited up in safety apparel to go inside Colombia’s main 3M manufacturing plants to witness firsthand how iconic products like Scotch-Brite and masking tape are made. We strolled the immense greenhouses of La Gaitana, one of the country’s largest exporters of flowers, and learned how they sustain their large-scale operations with such a nimble workforce. We dined casually at the headquarters of Corona, one of the largest producers of porcelain and ceramic products, with the company’s CEO – before he exchanged his three-piece suit for casual attire and chose to spend the entire day with us as we visited factories and storefronts to review the company’s inventory and supply chain procedures. Every company we met with, we were greeted with open arms, delicious treats, and a wealth of executive-level insight.

Endless appreciation for the substance that fuels my every morning

Jesús Martin: Endless appreciation for the substance that fuels my every morning

A company that's the epitome of strong leadership and values

Corona: A company that’s the epitome of strong leadership and values

When we weren’t off pursuing global business savvy, we were out and about exploring everything Colombia has to offer: local cuisine, live music, and tropical ecosystems in dazzling technicolor. Speaking as someone who thinks the word marathon should involve Netflix and not the great outdoors, I’m proud to say we did it all: descending into the underground salt cathedral of Zipaquirá, conquering the 700+ stairs leading to the top of the rock of Guatapé, ziplining across acres of lush vegetation in Armenia, and flying up winding mountainsides in open-air Jeep Willys on our way to Salento. But alas, every daredevil requires the occasional night off, so we also made sure to indulge in good food, drinks, and dancing when we could. There were spectacular meat/cheese platters, fresh juices from fruits you can only readily find and consume in Colombia, and desserts akin to ambrosia (one dish literally comprised of rich hot cocoa with chunks of creamy cheese melted into it – holy cholesterol.) The ever-present music that permeates the country by day seems to be heightened at night, causing body parts to inadvertently tap, shimmy and wiggle to the beat. Salsa clubs packed with dancers of all skillsets gave us an opportunity to burn some of those decadent aforementioned calories to the rhythm of bongos and trumpets.

Guatapé: Started at the bottom

Guatapé: Started at the bottom

Indescribable feelings

Salento: Unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings

Ziplining over babbling brooks? Don't mind if I do

Ziplining over babbling brooks? Don’t mind if I do

Beautiful, mystical, sprawling far as the eye can see

Beautiful and mystical, sprawling as far as the eye can see

One of the best parts of this experience? Forever creating those memories alongside my fellow MBAs. We had folks from the full-time and part-time programs alike, alongside some who were in entirely different disciplines outside of McCombs, and it was one of the highlights of my trip getting to know these people I might not have had the chance to meet otherwise. Together, we picked up some Spanish phrases (no dar papaya, y’all), learned the importance of cultural differences (I lescant even, y’all), ventured into new gastronomy (aguardiente, y’all!) and even hunkered down for a brief earthquake (…is my altitude sickness kicking in or did the earth just move, y’all?)

Hanging out on a mountain, nbd

Hanging out on a mountain

TL;DR:
1) Colombia, in all its lively, loving warmth, has truly captured my heart
2) Global Connections is a wonderful way to spend spring break doing exceptional things for both your career and your psyche
3) I need a vacation to recover from my vacation

My favorite color: Caribbean blue

My favorite color: Caribbean blue

Sunset over Cafe del Mar

¡Viva Colombia!

Hook ‘em!

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