Traditional MPA students arrived on campus Tuesday, August 20 to kick-off their first day as Texas Longhorns. tMPA Orientation lasted three days and included information on academics, student life, networking, and recruiting. Let’s take a look at Orientation 2019!
Day 1: Tuesday, August 20
Students arrived at Rowling Hall for their first official day as the MPA Class of 2020. After check-in, a light breakfast with coffee, and receiving NEW BACKPACKS, the MPA Program Senior Director Steve Smith welcomed our 80+ traditional and ECON MPAs into the top-ranked accounting program in the nation.
First, representatives from Student Life presented on their clubs. MPA Council informed students on how they can get involved, and MPA Consulting Club discussed their consulting and advisory organization, including an overnight trek to Dallas this fall to meet with consulting firms.
Raji Srinivasan, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, came by to discuss initiatives UT and Texas McCombs are implementing to:
- strive to create a diverse and inclusive community,
- provide resources and support to promote a culture of inclusion, and
- value and celebrate differences so that all of our community members can be more effective, fulfilled, and happy.
Up next was our faculty panel with Shuping Chen, Jaime Schmidt, and Kristina Zvinakis. Our professors gave insight into the Department of Accounting, talked about their curriculum, and answered questions from students. Afterwards, more faculty members joined us at Orientation for lunch with students.
Professor Lil Mills and a student listen to another classmate during Day 1’s lunch with faculty.
After lunch, Aleks from the International Programs Office explored the study abroad options for MPA students. Five-week programs in Buenos Aires and Prague are offered each summer. Around 25-30 students enroll in each of these programs and have the opportunity to earn six credit hours – one class is taught by a Texas McCombs accounting professor, and one class is with the partner university’s professor. Learn more about the MPA study abroad program here.
Jo Chauvin and Tina Reed from the MPA Career Services team then took the reins and coached students on recruiting and networking tips. This came in handy on Day 2 and Day 3 of Orientation as students met with employers who are actively recruiting for full-time positions. Their presentations included skits on what not to do while recruiting, as well as networking best practices.
MPA students put their networking skills to use as they practice interviewing each other.
Next, alumni from the MPA program shared their experiences in the program and where they are now. The panelists gave their honest opinions on work-life balance while in the program, especially during their first semester while taking a full courseload and recruiting for a full-time job. They also answered questions on their careers and professional growth.
We ended Orientation Day 1 with a class photo. Here they are… the MPA Class of 2020!
Welcome to Texas McCombs MPA Class of 2020!
About half of the class joined us for bowling and pizza at our on-campus bowling alley in the basement of the Union. The pizza went quick, but we sure had a blast!
Day 2: Wednesday, August 21
Students had their first chance to meet employers on their second day in the program. Ten employers attended the MPA Career Lunch to meet MPA students, present on their organizations, and enjoy lunch with students. Organizations in attendance included:
Tina Reed, Director of MPA Career Services, welcomed students and recruiters to the Career Lunch, then asked employers to give their 60-second elevator pitch on themselves and their companies. Afterward, each organization sat with a table of students to network while enjoying another delicious meal.
A representative from FTI Consulting makes connections with MPA students.
After lunch was served, our keynote speaker, George Scott, Chairman of the FASAB, spoke regarding his board, the initiatives they are currently working on, and how students can get involved.
Students and employers then made their way to a dessert reception where MPAs had to opportunity to meet other organizations present at the Career Lunch.
MPA students and employers networking during the dessert reception.
Once the dessert reception ended, Alvarez and Marsal, Texas Instruments, Crowe, and Caterpillar reps answered students’ questions – no topics were off limits. Everything from details on their career path to why should a student choose their company was asked, and the panelists gave open and honest answers. The biggest takeaway all four panelists agreed on was for students to find the company that is the best fit for them, whether that is in public accounting or industry.
To conclude the day, Jo and Tina from Career Services continued their career consulting with more information on recruiting within the MPA program.
Day 3: Thursday, August 22
Students made their way to Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on Thursday for Meet the Firms, a speed networking event. What is speed networking, you ask? Think of it as “speed dating” except that you are meeting employers.
The event was held inside the football stadium, with the perfect view overlooking the field. You couldn’t ask for a better venue to host an event. Plus, breakfast tacos, bagels, and cookies were served for students who worked up an appetite making connections.
20 employers were in attendance at Meet the Firms. Once the event began, two students sat with each employer, and the trio had seven minutes to make introductions and network. When the Texas Fight song played, that prompted students to rotate to the next employer.
A recruiter from Caterpillar talks with students during Meet the Firms, a speed networking event.
Employers present at Meet the Firms included:
On the opposite side of the room, tables were set up for students to open network with organizations they may not have met during speed networking.
Students mingling with employers on the opening networking side of the room.
As if it were on cue, the football team entered the stadium at the end of Meet the Firms, and students, employers, and staff got to enjoy the team do run-throughs on the field. Fellow Texas McCombs’ student and starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger was even spotted taking some snaps!
The Texas Longhorns football team made an appearance on the field at the end of Meet the Firms.
That wrapped up traditional MPA Orientation! Stay tuned throughout the year for program updates, recruiting information, tips for applying, and student profiles.