Tag: whymccombs

Catch Up with the Texas MBA on Social Media

Want an easy way to keep up with the Texas MBA Program? Follow us on social media for program news, event information, application updates,  and all the reasons #WhyMcCombs!

 

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See What We’ve Been Up To This Summer

#TXMBA Consortium Class of 2018 #WhyMcCombs Photo by @chelleschenk

A photo posted by Texas MBA (@utexasmba) on

Photo Credit: www.launchandhustle.com

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Key, Texas MBA ’16

Despite having just walked the stage two months ago, recent Texas MBA graduate Justin Key is already well on his way to leaving his mark on the tech world. Prior to his time at McCombs, Justin entered the Texas Venture Labs Scholarship Competition with the idea for an app that would allow friends to compete against each other while watching Netflix by answering trivia questions pertaining to a specific show or movie. His idea won first place and after being accepted to McCombs as a part of the Class of 2016, Justin was able to make Plot Guru a reality. AAEAAQAAAAAAAAR4AAAAJDRmZGE5Zjc3LWI1YjctNGViYi1hMGZhLTJmOGQ3ZjUwZmRkOAHe and the rest of the Plot Guru team launched the app in November 2015 and have already had tremendous success. In order to continue to develop his entertainment tech skills, Justin recently made the move to Seattle, WA to embark on a new exciting adventure and join the team at Amazon.

We recently caught up with him to see what he’s been up to since graduation and to learn about his reasons  #WhyMcCombs.

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

After six years in consulting I was ready for a change. I had been working on a startup idea on the side for some time, and was looking for a program where I could pursue a top-tier graduate education while also pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. I found the experiential opportunities at McCombs to be just what I was looking for. After visiting the campus and getting a sense for the student culture I was hooked – no pun intended!

What were you doing before you came to McCombs for your MBA?

I was a strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers for about six years. I spent the latter three years based in their Zurich, Switzerland office, and was based in Washington, D.C. prior to that.

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

Two things: The value of hands-on experience and the importance of networking. Both are instrumental in getting a job and succeeding once you’re there.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?

The Texas MBA Program gave me the opportunity to explore new career paths, including entrepreneurship, while I was still in school. The classroom experience was important, but the opportunities that McCombs gave me outside the classroom really helped prepare me for the next stage in my career.

Tell us a little bit about Plot Guru. How did you come up with the idea for it?

Plot Guru is all about making the television-viewing experience more interactive. Our app syncs with the show you’re viewing online and sends you games and trivia in real-time based on what you’re watching on-screen. The idea for Plot Guru started during a weekly gathering of friends to watch one of our favorite shows. Before the episode started we would always compete to see who could guess what would happen next in the show. At some point my wife suggested, “What if we made a game out of this?” The rest is history.

What is your role at Amazon and what will you be working on?

AmazonVideoDirect_200I recently started a new job as a Sr. Product Manager at Amazon. I’m working on a new platform called Amazon Video Direct, which is a self-service program for content creators, such as independent film makers, to make their content available to stream online through Amazon Video. I’m really excited to use my experience in strategy, technology and entertainment to help small film producers get their content in front of millions of viewers on Amazon Video.

What else have you been up to since you graduated from McCombs, outside of work?

I’ve been pretty busy with the move up to Seattle, starting the new job and continuing to work on Plot Guru in my spare time. Besides all that, I always make time for travel. In the past couple months I’ve visited seven states and two countries!

What advice do you have for future Texas MBAs?

Figure out what you’re interested in and get as much hands-on experience in that area as possible! Take on MBA+ projects, fellowships, internships, and independent studies. You’ll never have a better chance to try out new things like you will during your time at McCombs.

Austin: The City with Something for Everyone

Life in the Texas MBA program goes beyond the cohort classrooms. The city of Austin is integral to our experience in the two years that we spend at McCombs. The best thing about Austin is that there is something to do here for everyone. From race-car enthusiasts to live music connoisseurs, everyone in the program takes a little bit of this city wherever they go. In this blog, we wanted to touch upon three different types of events that are truly unique to Austin’s soul.

For Music Lovers: Austin City Limits Music Festival

Move over Coachella, the biggest and best artists in music make their annual pilgrimage to Austin and play in front of 75000 people in the outdoor greens of Zilker Park. The venue is decked up with food and drinks, an art market, kids area for families, while music ranges from rock, indie, country, folk, electronic, and hip-hop. This year, the McCombs group created their own flag and made their presence felt all over Zilker Park.

For Technology Lovers: South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive

SXSW Interactive is focused on emerging technology making Austin the breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. The festival includes a trade show, speakers, parties, and a startup accelerator. This year, Meerkat, the video streaming application, was one of the featured technologies gaining traction due to endorsements from many celebrities including Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Every year, Texas MBA has a booth at the SXSWi Tradeshow promoting new technology ventures supported by our own students.

For Fun Lovers: Eeoyre’s Birthday

It doesn’t get much more Austin weird than Eeyore’s Birthday Party – the annual Pease Park bacchanal known for outrageous costumes and booming drum circles. This event is celebrated on the last Saturday of April, featuring colorful costumes, a trash can of lemonade, honey sandwiches and a live flower-draped donkey.

Eeooyre'sBday

Texas MBA Full-Time Program – FINAL Application Deadline Approaching

The final Texas Full-Time MBA application deadline (for domestic applicants) is March 24th. WThe deadline is March 24e are excited to have seen an increase in both the quantity and quality of applications this cycle so far, and have received applications from over 40 countries. The Texas MBA Admissions team is looking forward to welcoming some of our newly admitted students to our Preview Weekend event in Austin soon!

Discover More Reasons “Why McCombs?” 

If you are applying to our program before the March 24 final deadline, here are some fantastic blog entries to help you complete your application:

Understanding the 2015 Essay QuestionsUnderstanding the 2015 Essays Leveraging the 3rd PersonLetters of Recommendation The WaitlistThe Waitlist: FAQs & How-Tos You’ve Got Application Questions, We’ve Got AnswersTips on the
Application

We’re here to help – If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu and we encourage you to check out our many upcoming events.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

Hook ‘em!

Entrepreneurship at McCombs: TVL Scholarship Competition Recap

Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at UT is a campus-wide initiative to accelerate start-ups in taking their innovations to market. In service of this mission they have created, in coordination with the McCombs School of Business, the TVL Scholarship, a unique program for entrepreneurial students interested in attending business school.

TVL Scholarship Competition 2015

2015 TVL Scholarship Competition Finals

This year’s TVL Scholarship Competition Semi-Finals & Finals were held on February 20th. 16 presenters gave their pitch to a panel of judges in hopes of winning the scholarship. Each TVL Scholarship is worth up to $174,000 and includes:

– $10,000 per year scholarship, as well as in-state tuition (for a total of $25,000 per year scholarship value).

– Consideration for admission of your company into the TVL Accelerator upon graduation.

– Consideration for a post-graduate position as a Venture Partner worth $50,000.

– Continued support from Texas Venture Labs throughout the development of your company.

 

Congratulations to the 2015 TVL Scholarship Winners!

TVL Scholarship Winners 2015

TVL Scholarship Competition Winners 2015 (left to right): Omar Garza & Tenaj Ferguson

Full scholarships were awarded to 1st place and “Best Presenter” winner, Tenaj Ferguson, for Lady Epicure Gourmet all-natural frozen bars & 2nd place winner, Omar Garza, for YouRefund, a tax fraud prevention app.

3rd place was awarded to Phil Trench for VacayBuddy & 4th place was awarded to Patrick Zhang for Concertleaf.

More Entrepreneurship at McCombs

McCombs, ranked #8 for entrepreneurship, offers many unique resources in one of America’s most innovative cities to prepare students for new business ventures. Learn more about TVL or check out these other resources:

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