A Semester At McCombs

This post is courtesy of guest blogger Arturo Quintana, a spring semester exchange student at McCombs.

Howdy y’all,

My name is Arturo Quintana, a second year MBA student from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, currently on exchange here at the McCombs School of Business.

I have been here for three weeks and I can say that I have experienced a lot of things since my very first day.

I decided to come to McCombs for many reasons:

Eating BBQ

Arturo, right, enjoys a Texas BBQ meal with another spring semester exchange student at McCombs.

  • The high quality teachers and alumni studying here.
  • The strong sports culture in the university, both to watch and to practice.
  • I wanted to experience the MBA life in a big school, interacting with other programs.
  • Austin is one of the best entrepreneurial cities and is one of the cities who “recovered” fastest from the crisis.
  • Austin is a great city; I had been here before on holidays and always wondered what living here as a student must be like.
  • BBQ
  • The weather and of course 6th street (which I almost know by heart hehe).
  • South by Southwest
  • And much more, but I am sure you all know what I am talking about :)

I had been in Texas many times, to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. And as far as I remember, a lot of Texan people told me this is not like any other place in the US, and living in Austin as a student is much better than just visiting on a weekend or holidays.

Regarding my experiences, I can tell you that I have been able to do many things such as riding the mechanical bull at Trophy Room on 6th Street, watching many men’s and women’s basketball games, playing squash both at Gregory Gym and the rec sports center, and of course drinking a Lone Star and a Shiner :)

I have been able to enjoy the delicious breakfasts at Kerbey Lane and eat the famous chocolate tart at PF Chang’s. Even though these places are amazing, I still look forward to eating a real Texan BBQ.

My biggest surprise is finding out my way around the University (in the good way), there are so many things to do and so many clubs to join that you can’t make your mind decide what you want to do when you have so many available and interesting options.

As an international student, I can tell you that some things are very different and others are very much the same. I guess that in the end, both MBA programs have similar objectives.

Similarities: we formed cohorts as well and have classes with them during the first year, case studies, high importance for class participation, a lot of interaction with Program Management and Career Services, clubs.

Differences: we don´t have mixed classes with first and second years, around 45 nationalities which makes a very diverse program, flexible program, people can choose to study their MBA in 12, 15 (with the opportunity to do an exchange or a summer internship) or 18 months (with the opportunity to do both an exchange and a summer internship).

I am surprised about the high quality participations from my classmates in class.

Btw, I would like to mention Debbie Carney’s support; she has helped us in the transition from our schools to UT. I have to tell you that it feels “like home,” and she is a reachable, nice and friendly person. Every time we have a doubt she has been able to help us out, from sports activities to class courses.

I will encourage MBA students around the world to do an exchange semester here in Austin, I am sure their MBA experience will be very enriching and fulfilling if they study here. And why not, I also encourage UT students to go on exchange to ESADE, they will love the school, classes, classmates and of course Barcelona.

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Posted in Austin, Diversity, Full-Time, Student Life

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