Category: Diversity & Inclusion (page 1 of 4)

Diversity Weekend 2019 Recap

This October, the MBA program welcomed 84 future MBA students to Austin for our annual Discover McCombs: Diversity Weekend, which focuses on increasing underrepresented populations in business school. The two-day event brought attendees together to meet current students, alumni, and McCombs faculty and staff to see first-hand all that Texas McCombs has to offer. 

McCombs pop up banner that reads "powering positive change."

Networking in the Heart of Austin

The event kicked off on Friday, October 25th at Facebook Austin for a welcome reception filled with food & drinks and networking. Partnering with Facebook was integral to delivering an authentic Austin business experience for our guests.

Kyle Johnson, MBA ’21 and a student ambassador for MBA admissions, shared his thoughts as an event co-lead at the networking reception:

I am excited to be here at Diversity Weekend. This was a pivotal event for me last year when I was deciding what school to come to. I had a great time interacting with prospective students and giving them a candid view of what life as a Longhorn is like.”

The fun didn’t stop there. After the reception, attendees received glow sticks in different colors and were invited to hang out at Upstairs at Caroline, a popular Austin nightspot, for a casual night out with current MBA students.

Getting to Know Texas McCombs

group photo of current students at diversity weekend.

Current MBA students gearing up to welcome attendees.

On Saturday, October 26th, starting in the morning, attendees gathered for breakfast and were warmly welcomed by McCombs’s Assistant Dean of the Full-Time MBA Program, Tina Mabley. Then, panels of students shared their experiences in the program and MBA Career & Talent Development Consultant, Scott Brownlee, presented our globally-recognized Career Management team and resources. An alumni panel closed out the morning with a discussion about navigating post-MBA life.

 

“I think it’s really important to have events like these because there’s a lot of stereotypes about business school,” said Kathie Xiao, MBA ’20, “Someone might look at the stats when they’re applying to business schools and feel like they don’t see themselves in those statistics. We’re really making an effort to make everyone feel included and have a good experience.” 

At noon, attendees joined a networking lunch with current MBA students. Complementing the student panel, this is where MBAs were able to offer more personalized, candid insight and valuable tips for applying to McCombs. Among the topics discussed in conversations were “class culture,” “commuting to campus,” and how the cost of living prices compare across Austin. 

After lunch, we were proud to spotlight two of our professors for Mock Class Breakouts: Professor Badolato from the Department of Accounting, and Professor Murphy from the Department of Management. These class breakouts gave applicants the opportunity to immerse themselves in student life by highlighting classes from our core curriculum, which every student takes during their first year in the program.

Alumni Panel at Diversity weekend

Texas McCombs MBA alumni panel at Diversity Weekend, 2019.

Diversity Weekend came to a close with several speakers sharing insight on why getting an MBA is a worthwhile venture. First, Executive Communication Coach, Nadina Sandlin, led a workshop on understanding and communicating your value and personal brand. Similarly, our keynote speaker and Microsoft’s Head of Global Talent Optimization, Monica Pool Knox, spoke about her professional journey after getting her MBA at Texas McCombs, and how the program helped shape both her career and the way she thinks about the world around her. Finally, if there were any lingering questions, a second panel of first and second-year MBAs discussed their paths to pursuing their degree, the culture and community at McCombs, and what life in Austin is truly like.

“Austin is very diverse in every sense of the word: Diversity of thought, experience, backgrounds,” said Kyle Johnson. “You can be who you want to be here, and I love that.”

Diversity weekend organizers

MBA Admissions staff Jaden Felix and Rebecca St. Nicholas, and students Carmen Kuncz, Lola Sholola, Vicky Wu, and Kyle Johnson.

Texas McCombs is grateful to all that attended, and to the teams of people that made this event so successful. The event might have ended, but our commitment to fostering a welcoming space for our community is constant.

“It’s two years of your life,” said Kathie. “You really want to be able to give back and leave the place hopefully better than when you came.”


If you have any questions, please reach out to MBA Admissions. For more information on our community and programs, check out our website. Hook ’em!

Discover McCombs Events

This fall, we invite you to join us for our biggest and most exciting events of the year: Discover McCombs Weekends. These two-day events are designed to offer you the opportunity to learn more about the Full-Time MBA, visit our home, Robert B. Rowling Hall, and meet members of the Texas McCombs community while enjoying a fun weekend in Austin. Register now!

 

Discover McCombs: Diversity Weekend

Diversity Weekend is designed for all prospective Full-Time MBA students who are passionate about diversity, belonging, and inclusion, and are committed to increasing the number of underrepresented communities in business school and management.

Friday, October 25 – Saturday, October 26, 2019

Register for February 11 event

 

Discover McCombs: Women’s Weekend

Women’s Weekend is designed for all prospective Full-Time MBA students who are committed to the empowerment of women in business. You will connect with MBA students & alumni to learn about the experiences of women in the program. 

Friday, November 15 – Saturday, November 16, 2019

Register for February 11 event


If you would like to visit us but are unable to attend a Discover McCombs weekend event, please see our MBA Event Calendar for other visit options. 

Questions? Please contact us: TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu

Texas McCombs Community: Pride 2019

Last week, Austin held its annual Stonewall Riots Rally at the Texas Capitol to raise awareness about violence against the LGBTQ+ community and to celebrate Pride in a safe space. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots in 1969 where members of the LGBTQ+ community fought against a police raid on June 28 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York. A year later, the very first Gay Pride Parades in America took place in New York, California, and Illinois. Since then, cities all over the country host Pride marches and celebrations to highlight LGBTQ+ identities and allies in the community during the month of June.

Photo of rainbow pride flag in front of the Texas state capitol

Photo Courtesy of Austin Pride Facebook

Austin has many Pride Month celebrations around town in June but for various reasons, its official Pride festival and parade is held in August– this also gives the UT Austin student population, a very active part of the LGBTQ+ community, the opportunity to volunteer and participate. The MBA program is celebrating Pride Month by recognizing the impact, courage, and achievements of our students that are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Elevate: Diversity & Inclusion Conference at McCombs

On February 8th, Texas McCombs hosted its first ever Elevate: Diversity & Inclusion Conference. This event aimed to identity how companies and business leaders create effective strategies to transform their current culture into one where both diversity and inclusion become embedded into the organization’s core values. Texas McCombs students and staff have been participating in more D&I conversations within the program and with the outside business community in recent years with an understanding that MBA community strength and positive growth is fostered through these efforts.

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

The First Conference of Its Kind

Elevate was first conceived by MBA students Ashley Fox and DeAndrea Staes. They identified the diversity and inclusion space as a big opportunity for growth and community outreach for the MBA program.

Through the conference, Ashley and DeAndrea targeted the recruitment of underrepresented minorities as a potential improvement area for MBA programs and created an Elevate Diversity Scholarship to provide support to underrepresented minority students accepted to the McCombs School of Business.

Ashley Fox and DeAndrea Staes at Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference. Photo by Lauren Gerson

“The most impactful part of the conference was seeing what started as a small vision, grow into something phenomenal. Over the course of two days, seeing our sponsors, speakers, students and community come together in a collaborative fashion for a common purpose truly sparked something great for the future of McCombs,” says DeAndrea. “I truly enjoyed seeing participants roll their sleeves up at the design thinking session hosted by IBM to address critical questions like, ‘How do you find acceptance inside a company’s culture?’ and ‘What happens financially when companies are not diverse and inclusive?’ This set the tone for an amazing conference with powerful conversations.”

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

We created this event to evoke change in the McCombs community and create a sustainable, long-term solution that would provide a forum for the University of Texas and greater Austin community to engage and learn about diversity, inclusion, and culture,” says Ashley. “The feeling after the Elevate Conference ended was indescribable. After we gave our closing remarks, we knew that this conference would be a marquee event and change agent for the Texas McCombs and Austin community for years to come.”

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

Elevate Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Rowling Hall on February 8, 2019. Photo by Lauren Gerson DeLeon.

“I am truly proud of what Ashley and I were able to accomplish and know that this is just the beginning,” says DeAndrea. “We are excited to see what the future holds for this dynamic, student-led, electrifying conference!”

The Keynote Speakers 

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Student Spotlight: Taina Schuster, Houston MBA Class of 2020

Taina Schuster,
Houston MBA Class of 2020

Our Houston Class of 2020 welcomed 84 new students this year. Our representation of women in Houston grew from 27% to 32% and we were also excited to see that 29% of these MBAs are international students from 15 different countries.

We recently chatted with Taina Schuster, MBA ’20 and President of the Houston Graduate Business Council. Taina is originally from Brasilia, Brazil and received  her BBA in Marketing at UniCEUB.  She currently works with Houston Eye Associates. 

Taina’s “Why McCombs?”

Taina always knew that she wanted have a strong impact on society. She plans to get her MBA to provide her with a broad and diverse learning experience and to be able to quickly grow her career.

“The key factors for me in choosing Texas McCombs were the strong Alumni network and the school’s commitment to a diverse classroom. I believe that diversity builds a stronger and more creative work environment, especially in the business world where there is still a lot of room for improvement. It was really important for me to find a school that had similar values and was a good cultural fit. Coming from Brazil, where I got my undergrad and where most of my network was, I knew I needed a school with a strong brand and excellent connections in order to succeed.”

Student Leadership 

The Graduate Business Council (GBC) gives student leaders the opportunity to work directly with program leadership on to oversee the development, improvement, and maintenance of a strong sense of community and pride within the MBA program. GBC serves to promote diversity and inclusivity across all MBA programs.

“As GBC’s Chief Student Body Officer, I am working as a liaison between students and administration to make sure the student body is fully represented and involved. The Graduate Business Council is one of many opportunities for leadership that McCombs offers to students. For me, it was a great way to combine my passion for diversity and inclusion and provide the connection to get to know everyone in our class better.”

McCombs Impact

Taina notes that she had to refine her time management skills in order to succeed in the program. She says her favorite experience from McCombs so far was a Business Integrity class with Professor Christopher Meakin.

During the MBA, and especially in the professional program, you will have multiple projects and managing your time efficiently is extremely important in order to succeed. The Business Integrity class approaches one of the most important subjects in business in my opinion, with discussions from ethical dilemmas to corporate social responsibility. It was amazing to see the entire class collaborating, having strong discussions about the study cases and sharing their points of view.” 

Taina’s Advice to You

“Talk to as many people as you can about the program and learn about their experiences and challenges. Definitely reach out to alumni and current students and don’t be afraid to ask questions. One common characteristic I found along the McCombs network is that everyone is always willing to chat, answers your questions or put you in contact with the right person.”


Visit Texas McCombs MBA  to find out more about all our programs, events and community, or join the #WhyMcCombs conversation on Twitter. Hook ’em!

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