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. …..click here to read more

Why MPA?

Rishnie (another MPA) and I at a football game

Hi everyone!

As the holidays roll around (best time of the year!), I am certain I will be asked my family and friends “Why MPA?” (The switch from MIS was a little bit of a surprise to everyone.) This sounds like a simple question, and I’m sure some of you already have an answer prepared, perhaps in preparation for interviews. But, for me, it took a lot of thought.  I figured I would share my thoughts on this because some of you may be prospective MPAs who are actually asking YOURSELF the question, “Why MPA?” Or you might be current MPAs who have been giving this some thought recently.

My experiences in MPA thus far have led me to believe that there are infinite reasons to join the MPA program, but there are two extremes that you will find are pretty common:

First, is the student that has known for years (might I even say their whole life) that they wanted to be an accountant (or maybe they even knew they wanted to be in the MPA program at UT.) If this is you, congratulations! You did it! Or if you are a prospective MPA then definitely apply- make your dreams come true! …..click here to read more

I really didn’t think I was going to get in…

Grad school admissions can seem like a bit of a lottery.

I express this not only as my own sentiment regarding applying to the MPA program, but also as a common theme among my peers. Not knowing anyone in Austin when I arrived, I was eager and available to get to know others in the program. After classes groups of MPAs often walked to restaurants near campus, like Pluckers or Cain and Ables, to visit. [I’m convinced food is the ultimate ice breaker.] A habitual conversation starter for us was “how and why did you end up coming here” because in our early interactions that was what we knew we had in common.

In response I heard and reheard variations of the story “I didn’t think I had any chance of getting in, but the early response was first, so I applied to see what would happen, knowing that if I didn’t get in I could go elsewhere”. It always surprised me because the people who said these things are so remarkable! I would think “your GMAT is amazing!” or “you were in the top of your class” or “your extracurriculars are so impressive” but the fact remains that many of us who had the option to and chose to attend here weren’t sure we had what it takes.

The mechanics of graduate school admissions are a mystery, a bit like winning the lottery, and we all wish we could find the key.  My admittedly flawed sampling of students probably can’t be used for any truly reliable conclusions about it, but I think that the theme is not an accident. Something about the admissions process seems to slect people who are highly successful yet modest, reminiscent of Jim Collins’s “level five leader”.  Aside from that, from what I can tell the secret to getting in to this program is not being deterred by probability; it’s taking the initiative to pursue something with an uncertain outcome.


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. …..click here to read more

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.