Archives for Student Life

While you were sleeping…

W. A. Mozart (1756-1791) Any place named after a virtuoso like Mozart gets my stamp of approval!

…I was probably drinking coffee.

Therefore, we have the theme for my first official blog of the 2011-2012 school year.

It’s great to be back in this mode too! If you have read my blogs before, I profoundly apologize. If you haven’t, now you get a double shot from me as you read my thoughts about life and the Texas MPA Program.

Favorite Coffee Places
Those that know me know I love my coffee in the morning…and with lunch, in the late afternoon, with dinner, in the early evening, and in the late evening. I have my favorites—I’m not gonna lie. Here they are and why, in no particular order:

Mozart’s—especially after interning, I got into the glorious habit of studying outside. Whether it was on the roof of the SAC, at George’s Patio Café, or at Mozart’s.
Mozart’s is great because it is conducive to both studying and socializing, something I can’t say for all coffee places. Nevertheless, I’m always in favor of being able to soak in the sight of Lake Austin, drink some hot coffee, and either chat or read.

Bennu Coffee Shop—this is definitely in the hipster neighborhood, and they definitely have some hip coffee! In addition to having an entire menu named after literature, this place is open 24/7, which makes it a very convenient place to crash for a loooong time. Try the Raven or the Don Quixote! Oh, and yes, those are power strips coming out of the ceiling for your laptop!

 Epoch—this is the North campus version of Bennu; open 24/7. Come here and do some “epoch” studying! (Bad pun? That’s my  forte…)

Spiderhouse Coffee—this is one of my favorite places, but not for studying. This is undoubtedly the place to chill on old-school metal patio furniture and reminisce with an old friend. The lethargic pace of service makes this perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

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My First Blog!

Bevo, the UT Longhorns mascot, on campus

Hello All – I am very excited to write my first blog as an MPA blogger!  I want to write about some of my experiences thus far as an MPA at UT.

I got here in August, when the Austin heat was blazing in record high temperatures, eager to start classes and get into the swing of things.  Orientation was the first step, which is still one of my favorite events so far.  I was able to meet all the new people I would be spending the next year or so with, and we all took to each other very well! We had a few administrative speakers welcoming us to the MPA program as well as more informational speakers, such as Kathy and Jason (two advisors whom you will get to know very well as an MPA).

We were also thrust into the career recruiting process right away, with an etiquette dinner, a “speed dating” event, and the career fair.  It was helpful being able to meet perspective employers and the recruiters at both the etiquette dinner and the speed dating event before the career fair so that a relationship was already built.  Orientation week was finally over, and I was able to take a bit of a rest before my classes started.

Orientation was a great way to get introduced to the program, UT and my fellow MPA’s.

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New Batch of Bloggers

 

Meet (back row) Paul,Alexandria,Valerie, Xinmiao, (front row) Karen, Melissa, and Allison.

We are happy to welcome our newest batch of student bloggers. As MPA students, they have a unique perspective of the college experience. Being a part of the top program for accounting can be very challenging but it is also very rewarding.
Follow them as they share their visions of what it means to be a part of McCombs MPA, live in Austin, and balance the tricky world of fun and education. For new students and old, these writers have tons of helpful tips and real world experience for you to learn from.

Welcome Paul, Melissa, Karen, Allison, Valerie, Alexandria and Xinmiao. You can learn more about each of the writers in their profile pages.
   

With so much going on in Austin and in Accounting, there is certainly a lot to blog about. 

 

 

Summer Review III

Welcome back to school! Congratulations to a new class of about 350 Traditional and Integrated MPA Students! I’m sure that you all will have a great time in this program.

The question that probably remains is why am I blogging about summer review even though school has started. Three reasons: (1) You can still take a look at these blogs as you study for your classes;  (2) Another summer will come for which to review by (seeing as the blogs are archived, they’ll be accessible for a couple years); and (3) We’re still in the triple-digits, so by my standards, it’s still summer.

First, some thoughts for this week.

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New to UT: III. How Do I Get Football Tickets?

I once heard that the athletic budget at UT was larger than the GDP of a small country. If there is anything bigger than MPA on campus, it is the football team. I remember Vince Young edging into the end zone like it was yesterday, and I still get chills every time I see the replay too. Needless to say at this point, the football team was a big part of why I attended Texas, and if there is any benefit to being a student here, it’s that you get to see a team in the upper echelon of college football royalty play for only a marginal cost.

First though, some thoughts for the week:

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally “Decoration Day,” was first celebrated in 1868 to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg, although the date was intentionally chosen to not coincide with the date of the battle. As time progressed, however, Memorial Day’s scope increased to honor the fallen of all American wars. Congress made the holiday official in 1968 under the Uniform Holidays Bill, which also established Washington’s Birthday and Veterans’ Day as official holidays. As someone who treasures freedom, I could not let this holiday pass without giving a space in my column to those who have died for me to have it, for it takes true courage to put your life on the line for this ideal. (Imagine the lifestyle in which the rights that we consider “unalienable” can be taken away for merely disagreeing with those in authority.) Thus, I leave this paragraph to honor those who gave their lives for my freedom generations later and to support those who answer the call to protect the threat of that freedom when needed. 

The Fifty Best Burgers in Texas

The Stodg, found at The Porch in Dallas, is cooked over hickory wood. It's hard to fathom that this behemoth is only No.6!

In my very first blog post, I mentioned how I have been trying to complete the AFI Top 100 movies. Well, another one of my lists is based on an article published in Texas Monthly nearly two years ago. This article ranks the fifty best burgers in the state. (Seeing as how most public accounting firms have a mandatory retiring age, I figure I’ll have time to open a restaurant once my auditing days are done.) Perhaps not my healthiest endeavor, it is interesting to see how these different establishments set up their businesses and to see the many different ways there are to just cook a burger. Personally, I find that I am partial to those cooked over a wood flame, but that can be compensated for if the quality of the meat is top notch. Thus, I realize that not all of my readers may like the aforementioned classic films, so hopefully curiosity to try a solid burger would be more relatable…and palatable.

Do you really go around trying different kinds of burgers?

Yes, even if it is just for business purposes. As a business student, I like comparing strategies of different companies to see what works, what doesn’t, and why. For example, what qualities distinguish Wal-Mart and Whole Foods even though both fundamentally sell groceries? Similarly, it is interesting to see a chain like Jack-in-the-Box with an incredibly diverse menu that extends to tacos and egg rolls succeed at the same time that the local Mighty Fine thrives on having a menu that nearly consists of only its burgers. Thus, for me it’s not only to taste awesome food, but it’s to see what simplicity can do for metrics such as throughput, quality, training costs, economies of scale, etc. 

But you really want to hear about how to get football tickets… 

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