Being part of the MPA has many amazing benefits; one of the greatest is being a part of the larger UT community. The University of Texas at Austin is a place of tradition. Our traditions date back the university’s founding in 1883. I feel it is to every student’s benefit to know all the wonderful traditions our university has. Getting caught up in the spirit of the school is one of the best parts of the experience at UT.
The first thing any prospective UT student needs to know about is the tower. The tower is campus’ best known landmark and symbol. It can be seen from almost anywhere in Austin, and as cheesy as this sounds, I get a swell of happiness in my stomach every time I see it. It is usually lit up in white at night, except on special occasions. We light it up in orange for academic and athletic achievements and it even has a special configuration of lights for when UT wins a national championship.
The tower also has a clock on all four sides and chimes every fifteen minutes. At 12:50 three times a week, Tom Anderson (the university’s carilloneur) plays songs using the bells. He has even taken requests before. One time I heard him play Katy Perry’s teenage dream and just this week he was playing “Deck the Halls”. Continue reading How to bleed burnt orange→
One of the great things about McCombs is that they develop students into professionals while improving the greater Austin community. Serving the community is a huge part of the culture of McCombs and Texas MPA.
Just last weekend, I had a remarkable experience volunteering. I went with MPA Council to help out with a Special Olympics bowling event in North Austin. I had the opportunity to get to know four extraordinary people: Sterling, Kelley, Kyle, and Alaina. All four of them have down syndrome and live at the Down Home Ranch. Sterling and Kelley have been dating for 12 years and plan to get married in 2013, and Kyle and Alaina have been dating for a year. The four of them have been bowling for most of their lives and it is something they are truly passionate about. The four of them are also aggies, which could have led to a sticky situation. Luckily when I told them I was a true longhorn, Kyle came up to me and gave me a big hug and said, “It’s ok, we can still be friends.”
Volunteering at this event is an experience I will never forget. I feel that when you are at a place as amazing and exciting as UT, it’s important to remember how lucky we are. We have limitless possibilities for our future and opportunities to make a difference in the world. I love how MPA encourages us to take these volunteer opportunities to remind us what’s truly important in the world.
Companies also take this idea of building up the community around you to heart. Corporate responsibility is becoming an extremely important aspect of developing a company’s brand.
What makes this exciting is that when MPA students disperse across the world to follow their careers and continue volunteering in the community, the Texas motto of “What starts here changes the world” becomes a reality.
The thing that usually comes to mind with The University of Texas at Austin is Longhorn football. Football is such a huge part of the culture here and is part of the Longhorn identity. Football also illustrates some of the core characteristics that come to define the university as a whole and especially the MPA program. Some of these qualities include teamwork, loyalty and excellence
Sitting in the stands of the football stadium, wearing burnt orange along with 100,000 other people, I feel like I am part of something so much bigger than myself. Although I am not on the field playing football, I feel as if I am part of the team. Everyone on the field and in the crowd wants to succeed as one and conquer all the challenges that face us.
This team-oriented culture is also very prevalent in the MPA program. The curriculum is very team based, so it provides the program a much more collaborative than competitive atmosphere. I was personally very nervous about joining such a prestigious program, and heard that everyone was extremely competitive concerning grades and job offers. However, because of the team-oriented culture my experience has been everyone trying to succeed together and accomplish a common goal. Continue reading Longhorn Nation: the connections between Longhorn football and Texas MPA→