Category: Student Life (page 2 of 9)

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!

Student Spotlight: Natalie Tyrrell, MBA Class of 2019

Many Working Professional MBA students, given their average age range and typical experience, may also be contemplating starting (or expanding) a family. Texas McCombs has an official Parental Accommodation Policy in order to support your family choices during your MBA, whether that means a pregnancy (you or a partner), adoption, or other specific family circumstance requiring leave.

We recently chatted with Natalie Tyrrell, Texas McCombs Evening MBA 2019, about her experience becoming a new mom while being in business school. She navigated this transition within our parental accommodation policy and hopes her experience can help future students face this challenge. Natalie is originally from St. Louis, MO and in addition to school and family, she currently works as a Director of Talent Development for a school district. She had her daughter, Edith Marie Tyrrell, in October 2018. Congrats, Natalie!

MBA Student Natalie Tyrrell and her family

The Tyrrell Family

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Student Spotlight: Lily Yap, DFW MBA Class of 2020

Lily Yap Headshot

Lily Yap, MBA Class of 2020

Our Dallas/Fort Worth Class of 2020 welcomed its largest class ever, with 88 new students. This is also the most international class the DFW program has ever had and the most diverse in terms of companies/organizations represented.

We recently caught up with Lily Yap, a DFW MBA student originally from San Francisco, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Business Management and works on coordinating life-saving programs and operations for animal welfare services in Dallas.

Lily’s “WhyMcCombs?”

Lily was excited to see how passionate the current MBAs in her field are and looked forward to taking leadership classes. She believes classes that refine “soft” skills are extremely beneficial and looks forward to sharing her unique knowledge with other students and organizations.

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Student Spotlight: Guilherme Junqueira, Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

Headshot for Guilherme Junqueira

Guilherme Junqueira, MBA Class of 2020

Our Full-Time Class of 2020 is composed of 284 impressive MBAs from all over the world.  Students from outside the U.S. are a valuable part of the Texas McCombs network, bringing their individual perspective and cultural background to Austin. 24% of our 2020 Full-Time MBAs are international students.

We recently caught up with MBA ’20 Guilherme Junqueira, a student originally from Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil. His journey to Texas McCombs offers insight to future international students wanting to earn their MBA here.

Guilherme’s “Why McCombs?”

Guilherme lived in Sao Paulo for nine years where he attended university to study Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Before coming to Austin for his MBA, Guilherme worked at Oxiteno as a Lead Product Management Analyst.  

When applying to graduate school, Guilherme researched different schools and their admission process online and attended events in Sao Paulo. He expanded his research after taking the GMAT by attending Texas McCombs MBA events, and speaking with current students and alumni via phone calls and emails.

“I wanted to join a top MBA program located in a small to mid-size city and with a small class; these were important factors because I wanted to develop close connections with my classmates in a more focused program environment. After submitting my applications, I came to the U.S. to visit five schools that I had applied to; this definitely was the best way to confirm that McCombs was the best fit for me.”

He attended business school events in Sao Paulo and multi-school events such as the MBA Tour. For him, events offered clarity to understand the similarities and differences of each program. After being admitted, he attended company-sponsored pre-MBA events in both Brazil and the United States. The A.T. Kearney Bootcamp helped confirm and narrow his career priorities post-MBA. He found that he enjoyed participating in national career fairs, such as Prospanica, in career treks and entrepreneurship events.

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The Non-Traditional MBA Candidate

The following was written by Samantha Frapart, Texas McCombs MBA ’17, and originally posted in June of 2017. 

I thought I couldn’t get into business school. With my double-major in English and Ecology, five years in non-profits, and my natural aversion to words like “Nasdaq” and “synergy,” how could I convince admissions teams that I belonged in their MBA programs? Well, after graduating from McCombs in May of 2017, I’m here to happily debunk one of the greatest myths of business school: The non-traditional candidate.

Contrary to popular belief, business programs aren’t looking for human calculators. They are looking for students eager to foster strong teams, willing to negotiate & compromise, and ready to share diverse perspectives. In management classes, I was able to add a unique viewpoint to discussions on anything from government regulations to corporate social responsibility. Though I looked to my study-team for help with my finance homework, I was able to offer equally important business lessons like proper brief-structure and design thinking.

We all have something to offer, it’s just a matter of figuring out what that is and letting it shine through.

Though I assure you “non-traditional” is a thing of the past, I know this process can feel daunting. So with the Full-Time MBA application currently open for the next class, I’d like to share some helpful tips from my experience (before and during business school) in hopes that it might ease your worries about applying and prepare you for the fantastic two years ahead.

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