By Debjani Panda, Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth Class of 2014
May 16, 2012
“Texas MBA – Deadline approaching” the subject of the email flashed in my inbox. The mail reminded me – 10 more days to go before the final deadline on May 25, 2012.
I had taken the GMAT, filled in and saved my application, gotten my recommendations, and had a strong will to get my MBA degree from McCombs. I had done enough research on the courses, spoke to alumni, and attended information sessions to make sure it fit me. I hovered on the “Apply” button, but fell short just as I had over the last couple of days.
Mentally, I went through the same set of questions over and over again. They came in strongly without any coherent order.
“How will I make time for a time intensive course like this with a full time job?”
“How will my family survive with me being occupied most of the weekends (now I know it’s not just weekends) for two years?”
“How will I pay for my MBA, can I afford it?”
“I already am a manager, do I really need it?”
“Maybe I can give it another year and then go for it with a clearer mind.” Continue reading
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.
Student and Alumni Panel at Texas MBA Women’s Forum
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.
This post is courtesy of Steve Wiesenthal, a member of the Texas Executive MBA class of 2014.
I have been thinking about pursuing a professional MBA program and in particular one of the UT programs for the last several years. I always knew that I would gain greatly from the classroom learning and networking with my classmates but had trouble justifying the cost, time and commitment based on job insecurity, limited corporate support and an uncertain economy.
After switching roles within my company last fall (a move very much driven by the desire to strengthen job security and enable the possibility of pursuing my MBA) I got more serious about choosing the right program for me. Living near Dallas, there were several possibilities available. I discussed with former co-workers their experiences in the various local programs and quickly realized that I wanted something different – I did not want the stereotypical early 30s financial analyst crowd (I say this as a member of that group!). I wanted an experience where my classmates had very different backgrounds than my own who would force me to think about things in ways I was not used to (and perhaps not even comfortable with).
With this mindset, I found the Texas Executive MBA Program and really liked what I discovered along the way. I attended my first info session last December and quickly decided that the program was worth learning more about – the enthusiasm and camaraderie of the students and alumni present really impressed me. Their dedication to the program (especially from the alums) was evident and inspiring. My interview and class visit only served as reinforcement for my first impressions – this was a program made up of dedicated and interesting people from all backgrounds that would really help me grow and experience new things.
Four months into the program, my hopes have been turning into reality – the seminar and first class weekends were exhilarating and while it has been an adjustment to be back in school while working full-time I am loving the intellectual stimulation, the people I am meeting, and the bonds that are already forming. I previously completed a full-time Master’s in Engineering program at UT and this experience has been entirely different (in a good way!) – the dedication of the professors and staff, the varied backgrounds of the other students, the immediate applicability of the concepts we are learning, the enthusiasm of my classmates.
Driving eight hours back and forth to Austin every other week and being away from my fiancé as we plan our wedding is (and will continue to be) very trying, but I have no doubt in my mind that this was the right decision for me (and she agrees, which is very helpful). I am very happy to be a part of this program and want to do my part to help others discover how truly unique and beneficial it is. If you have questions about commuting for the program, securing corporate support, balancing work and home life, or on any other topics please feel free to email me.
This post is courtesy of Jeanne Arnold, a member of the Texas Executive MBA class of 2014.
In the military, the phrase “Cleared Hot” means you have been given permission to “engage the enemy”. You have prepared for this moment for years, been trained by the best professionals in the military, and are supported by countless dedicated people and systems all coming together in this one point in time. Now I am “Cleared Hot” not to engage the enemy, but to begin my transition out of the military and back into the private sector.
After 29 years in the military, I realized the time was quickly approaching to plan in earnest what the next chapter would look like. There are many decisions to make. Where do I want to live? What do I want to do? How do I get from “here” to “there”? Assuming I have at least 20 more years of productive work left in me, how do I effectively translate the knowledge and skills I have attained in the military to the private sector?
The first question was the easiest. Of course I want to settle in the Austin area, it’s the closest thing to roots I have ever known.
For a while, I considered pursuing a project management professional (PMP) certification as a way to bridge some of my experience. Then I talked to a friend who said, “a PMP is great to have, but why not get the complete education and the MBA?” Continue reading
This post is courtesy of Sandeep Karandikar, a member of the Texas Executive MBA class of 2014.
As I sat down to write my first ever post for this blog, I was wondering on the subject and suddenly it became very obvious. Me and many others like me are trying to make a successful transition over from Engineering to Business. It was not an easy decision to make, and while I was fortunate enough to find someone to seek advice, I realize that not everyone has the avenues to do so and help them assess their unique situation.
Having finished grad school with Masters Degrees in Computer Science and Engineering Management, I have grown into an Enterprise Software Technologist role in twelve years of my professional life. As I started looking beyond what I had accomplished so far, it felt so near to what I had wanted to be and yet so far from where I aspired to be. Would the MBA really be worth the time, effort and money? Continue reading