I finally had my first Texas Longhorn football experience a few weeks ago. Even though I went to a school where the football game is the focus almost every weekend in the fall, I must say that they do things bigger in Texas.
The gameday experience started with the MBA tailgate out in front of the business school. Although it’s a little off the path from the rest of the tailgates on campus, it was nice having a large area to see classmates and meet more of the 2ndyear students.
This isn’t an ordinary tailgate with the typical hamburgers and hot dogs, either. In true Austin fashion, the Graduate Business Council brings in different food trucks for each game to provide the food. They bring in some really great stuff, and it’s nice to try the food trucks out from the convenience of the tailgate.
Of course, all of this was a prelude to the big game. It was a little strange for me going to a Longhorns game since I went to a rival school, but the experience was still great. The stadium is huge (it seats over 100,000 people!), and it’s a neat experience to feel connected with the greater university community while cheering for the team.
Several of my classmates went to smaller schools, and they all said getting to experience major college football was one of the opportunities they looked forward to when coming to McCombs. With all the changes coming to the sport through a playoff system, conference realignment, and television contracts for conferences and schools, it’s cool to be at a place that is going to have an important voice in the discussion of how it all plays out.
While the university is known for having an excellent athletics department, I will say that the city of Austin has so much more to offer than I thought it would. There’s an abundance of outdoor activities, with more hiking trails than you can shake a walking stick at and what seems like a kayak and stand up paddleboard rental shop on every block around Town Lake. There’s even a 10 mile outdoor running trail around the lake that has quickly become a favorite destination for my wife and me. With the music and art scene, the food trucks and growing number of eclectic restaurants, and wealth of outdoor activities, there’s a lot more to the Austin culture than just the football. I couldn’t be more excited to be spending two years getting an MBA in such an amazing city.