Wash-(wow)-ington D.C!

The Washington Monument

The past few weeks have been eventful. For the first half of my spring break I was in Austin. I watched a Shakespeare play, went to a Broadway show ‘Wicked’ playing in Austin (enjoyed every second!), went to the graffiti park (one block from my apartment), spent time with my husband who was visiting me from California and simply relaxed. For the second half of my spring break, I went to Washington D.C. for the Washington Campus Study Program. And yes, I am more than excited to share details about that trip!

It was my first visit to DC and all the narratives I had heard from others, about it being a beautiful city with lots of things to do, were all true! It is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. The best part is its public transportation system that allowed me to traverse from Point A to Point B without a rental car or taxi. But first let me tell you about the campus study program. It was an opportunity to learn about the public policy making process in the U.S., how the policies are framed, influenced, changed; who are the key players; what challenges they face; why is it difficult to reach a consensus; how does the government function. The speakers were experts in their fields with a long track record of public service.

Main reading hall in the Library of Congress

What stood out for me was how accessible the institutions are to the common man. I went inside the Capitol, saw the Senate Gallery, and attended a voting session in the House. The Supreme Court was equally accessible and open to public and The Library of Congress was one of the most beautiful libraries I have seen so far. I also attended a hearing where Secretary of State John Kerry was reading his opening statement to the Appropriation Committee. All of this was truly phenomenal. Read more ›

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Posted in Academics, Full-Time

Auf Wiedersehen Switzerland!

Hook 'Em! From the Texas group!

I know I’ve said this at the start of other blog posts, but wow – time has flown! Ten weeks in Switzerland zipped by and I’m done with all the coursework for school. I’m about to embark on three weeks of globe trotting and then return to Austin for graduation festivities. Below are my reflections on my time abroad.

Spreche nicht gut Deutsch

Hook 'Em! From the Texas group!

Hook ‘Em! From the Texas group!

Translation: I don’t speak German well. One of my three favorite lines I learned in German. The others were “I don’t understand” and “I don’t know.”  I was actually pleasantly surprised that I was able to get around the German speaking countries with limited language skills. I took German while here and learned enough to order in restaurants and maneuver through shops and train stations. People often responded to me in English – probably because my German pronunciation or the deer in headlights look if they responded in German. I’ve grown accustomed to not understanding 90% of conversations around me although I still am looking forward to going to the grocery store without staring at food products forever. Overall though I’ve found it easier than I expected. Read more ›

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Posted in Full-Time

True Appreciation!

A recurring thought that does not leave me is that it’s my last semester at UT. Yet another situation when I exactly understand, true to every alphabet, what bittersweet is. While on one hand I am waiting for assignments, exams and my long distance with my better half to be over, on the other hand I know it’s going to be a very different life once I graduate and move to California. But I will think about that when it’s time. Right now, I am truly appreciating UT. How exactly?

The first three semesters keep you on your toes, literally, all the time. Networking, coursework, getting to know classmates, making sense of it all, interviewing for internships, interviewing for full-time jobs, being involved in extracurricular acivities – it’s all a haze, a time-devouring daze. After the winter break I thought, this being my last semester and all, I want to go to new places in Austin and truly enjoy the rich experiences the school and the city have to offer. Coincidentally, I was also advised to ‘make use of all the rich resources, to experience all the great things about school’ at about the same time, thus reinforcing my earlier commitment to explore new things. Read more ›

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Hindsight is 20/20 – Looking Back at 3 Underrated Pieces of Advice

Bright Idea

I’m so close to graduating from EMBA and wanted to share three areas of the program that I underrated in the first 18 months.

#1 TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITY OFFERINGS
What? I know, you’re thinking, “How could you be serious?!?” There are literally daily opportunities to go to different events, watch others present (like TVL and MSTC), network or volunteer. “My brain is completely saturated and the email invitations are too long!” Now, I’m not saying that everyone can do everything or that everyone will enjoy everything, but there is something for everyone. Not only will this expand your experience in the program, remember – it builds your network. I always prioritized work and studying before these events and I know I missed out on a few I still regret. Remember, that test is just a single event over the course of your entire career, while the relationships you make in this program can affect you over your lifetime. Read more ›

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Posted in Academics, Executive

This Class Isn’t Meeting My Expectations

Surviving finance from Dr. Rao

It’s safe to say that, in the course of any degree, a student is probably going to encounter a class or two that simply didn’t measure up to what he or she had expected or hoped to learn. Early in my second semester in the Texas Executive MBA experience, I’ve encountered one such class.

Numerous members of the EMBA Class of 2014 had warned us about Financial Management, taught by Dr. Ramesh Rao. “Get ready,” one student warned. “Finance consumed me,” said another. “It’s a seriously hard class,” said yet another. One suggested we will likely do something like this at the end of the semester:

Surviving finance from Dr. Rao

So when we started the class a few weeks ago, I went in with an attitude normally reserved for a visit to the dentist. This has to be done, I reasoned, so let’s do it. Read more ›

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Posted in Executive

Forum Encourages Women To Apply To Business School

Student-Panel

Written by Jocelyn Sexton, MBA ’14

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of co-hosting the Texas Executive and Evening MBA Women’s Forum. We welcomed prospective students to an extended information session, as well as a panel discussion with alumnae and current students from both programs. We ended the event with a networking reception to continue answering questions about these programs for working professionals.

Professor Violina Rindova gives presentation at Texas MBA Women's Forum

Our goal with the Women’s Forum was to provide information to prospective students about the culture, curriculum, and experience at McCombs, as well as to encourage future leaders to apply to the program. The percentages of women in top leadership positions and women applying to MBA programs are both low, and we’re hoping to play a big part in increasing these.

I can’t help but wonder if the relatively low number of female applicants is due to the fact that many women lack mentors. Or perhaps it’s because Read more ›

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Posted in Evening, Executive

MBA How To’s: Networking

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So as you can tell my last post was written quite some time ago about how grueling midterms can be. If you are curious about where the heck I was after that, just imagine a rinse and repeat of that last blog post as finals snuck up on me out of nowhere. After finals were over, I completely checked out of school mode for the five week program holiday break. Trying my hardest to avoid any extra mental exertion, chores went undone, bills unpaid (don’t worry UT, I got that tuition check in the mail), and blogs went unattended. My brain practically exploded when I realized I needed to create a Christmas shopping list (problem solved easily – everyone got alcohol). But moral of the story is: here I am, nearly two months later, finally starting to get back into the flow of school, work, homework, friends, and blog posting. It’s been GREAT getting back into the routine and seeing everyone in the program again. And while there were some sporadic meet-ups during the time off, I realized how much less we saw each other when the program and the Graduate Business Council weren’t facilitating the meet-ups. There are just a TON of networking opportunities between weekly happy hours, luncheons, program events, and just generally fun-loving students who like to play host (here’s lookin’ at you Ben K.). Some of these events are with prospective employers or other MBA programs within Houston – think Rice, Tulane – so if you are on the market for a new job you can take full advantage of the social time to make connections. Read more ›

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Posted in Houston, Student Life

When MBA Students Go Goofy

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It’s a new year!  A new semester.  One I am determined to complete with a little more balance than the last one.  Back to school means back to blogging and while I could tell you all about the fun I had over break in the spirit of New Year resolutions I’d prefer to discuss a topic I’m sure all MBA students struggle with:  full-time work, part-time school and…

Fitness.

Ah working out.  There never really seem to be enough hours in the day.  Or it’s too cold outside.  Or too hot.  Or your pjs just look too comfortable.  Or you have way too much reading to do.  But if you are determined not to gain another “freshman 15” (I have no desire to relive that experience ever again) allow me to give you hope.  It is completely possible to work full-time and go to school and maintain a workout schedule, even one as crazy as training to run 39.3 miles over the course of a weekend.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Read more ›

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Posted in Dallas/Fort Worth

Gruezi from Switzerland

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P1020127

Gruezi! That’s Swiss-German for greetings! I’m writing this post from St. Gallen, Switzerland where I am finishing my last semester. I’ve been here for two weeks and it’s been such a whirlwind! Read more ›

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FACE/OFF

faceoff

Happy New Year, everyone! As we start off on a brand new semester, my classmates and I are soon approaching the end of our MBA journey. There’s no better time than now to ask two of my classmates to reminisce and provide you with some different perspectives on the Texas MBA at Houston experience.

Without further ado, I present to you: FACE/OFF, starring Andrew Limmer (AL, aka John Travolta) and Tim Carmack (TC, aka Nicolas Cage)! Read on…

Texas MBA at Houston FACE/OFF Poster

TXMBA: Tell us a little bit about yourself…

AL: I grew up in Houston area and went to UT Austin for undergrad where I double majored in engineering and liberal arts. I interned at Exxon in their Commercial group during my last summer in school in their gas marketing organization Read more ›

Posted in Houston
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