This post is courtesy of guest blogger Michael Tonhaeuser, a Double Degree student who came to McCombs from WHU Koblenz-Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management in Germany.
I’m Michael from Bendorf, Germany, and I had the opportunity to join the McCombs MBA program for two semesters. After months of great events and challenging projects, I have found that the program unlocked potential I never thought I had. And it was a lot of fun, too!
The community at McCombs has made a real difference throughout my stay. Along with other international students, I got an idea of that community right in my first “onboarding” week. Chris from the MBA Program Office and Bernice from Career Management gave us a nice welcome and introduced us to all things UT – including a refresher about American Football rules! The early cultural immersion process continued at an international student luncheon, where I met my student mentor Angela. A second-year MBA student herself, she shared her experiences of the first year at McCombs and brought me up to speed on student activities. It was so impressive to hear how much students do besides coursework! Before long, I found myself a member of the local American Marketing Association chapter and a registered participant of rhetorical trainings.
Then the classes began. Back in Germany, I had heard a lot about how much professors at McCombs involve their students. And this turned out to be true across the board! The discussions in class with professors and fellow students with so many different backgrounds were more lively and profound than anything I had seen before. At this point, distinguished McCombs lecturer John Doggett deserves a special mention. His two classes pushed the boundaries of an entrepreneurial class by including case discussions about ethics, law, finance, and even the purpose in life. But other classes were quite unique as well: in team projects, I helped Austin restaurants overhaul their pricing, analyzed the market of telephones for the hard-of-hearing, and found clients for a new Internet startup.
In Austin, the Longhorns experience goes well beyond the classroom. Everywhere you go in the city, you are also reminded of UT’s great accomplishments in sports. I was therefore particularly excited to see the atmosphere of Longhorns football at DKR stadium. I went to see the team during a sweeping home victory, which made the experience even more special. On days like this, Austin’s famed sixth street is definitely at its best!
After these two semesters, I leave for Germany with great memories inside and outside of the classroom. The friendly and laid-back people of Austin, the natural beauty of Mount Bonnell and Zilker Park, and many other impressions leave me convinced that I will be back again soon!