By Amber Lyons, Texas Evening MBA Class of 2013
Saturday, January 26th marked the second annual Texas Evening (TEMBA) and Executive (EMBA) MBA Women’s Forum in Austin, Texas. The event was an all-day affair that drew some of the most talented business women in Austin together. The forum gave prospective students the opportunity to network with other prospects, current students and alumni. The day’s events included: a welcome by the program directors, a keynote from Laura Starks, a presentation by Professor John Daly, an MBA+ Leadership Program overview, an alumni and student panel, and a career management overview. We concluded the day with a networking reception that allowed everyone a relaxing atmosphere to interact. This year I had the pleasure of co-chairing the Women’s Forum with Jocelyn Sexton from the EMBA program.
Some of you reading this blog might wonder why it is being posted a month after the event. It is just one example of the challenges and balance required to be a full time employee and full time student. I will not call the program part time, because those of you who have balanced work and the Texas MBA program realize it is quite an amazing feat.
The past three years in the TEMBA program have flown by and it is hard to believe that I now find myself in my final weeks. It feels like only a short time ago I received my acceptance letter and sat in my first class session. Looking around the room I was a bit surprised to realize my fellow women in the class only made up about 15% of the class. Although the women made up only a small percentage of the class, they have become a large voice and hold many of the class leadership positions. Our Graduate Business Council (GBC) president is a woman, as are all of the members of GBC, including me. Also, our McCombs Admissions Committee (MAC) chair is a woman, and so are many of its members. The women of TEMBA 2013 have worked hard, become prominent members of the class, and are some of my best friends in Austin.
It has become clear over the past three years that learning in an MBA class comes in equal parts from the professors and from classmates. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a class that continually challenges each other every day. I became involved in MAC in order to give back to the program, continue to pull in the best students, and help prospective students along the application process. There is value in helping pull the best and brightest students into McCombs, because the quality of the student reflects the quality of the program. I also see value in helping McCombs grow their number of women applicants because if my class is representative of the business world, women have a voice, and even if the women make up a smaller number than men in the working world, women are stepping up in leadership positions and influencing the future. Each year the percentage of women in top MBA programs is growing and I hope that events like the Women’s Forum will help encourage more bright and talented women to continue to apply and realize the impact they can make in an MBA class and in the business world.