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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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Meet Your Working Professional and Executive MBA Career Team

This Insider insight comes from our Working Professional and Executive MBA Career Team.

Texas McCombs MBA Career resources are truly unmatched among other top business schools. Our Career Management team‘s vision is focused on the future, adapting and growing to meet the needs of tomorrow’s career landscape. And they understand that the MBA career path for our Working Professional and Executive (WPE) MBA student differs from full-time students, dedicating a team of career support specifically for our WPE students in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Austin (Evening & Executive).

The McCombs Difference

MBA program administrators realized they needed to rethink their approach to career management for part-time students.

“We developed an entirely new career management framework that emphasized students’ strengths and interests and better prepared them not only for OCR (on-campus recruiting), but also for other channels that led to experienced hires and will allow them to continually progress in their careers.” – Joe Stephens, Assistant Dean, Working Professional and Executive MBA programs.

The framework, which can be applied in any phase of a student’s career and is tied to students’ career management curriculum and one-on-one advising, includes a market assessment (self-assessment, career exploration, and network creation); value proposition (your brand and competitive advantage, and elevator pitch); sales tools and channels (resume, LinkedIn profile, interview prep, and network cultivation); and launch (plan execution and offer negotiation).

“This career management framework has served as our WPE team’s vision and mission,” says Janet Huang, Director of MBA Career Management at McCombs. (source: Medium)

Meet the WPE Team

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Examining Your Healthcare Higher Ed Options

Our MBA at Houston program is top-ranked, led by world-renowned Texas McCombs faculty, and positioned at the center of thriving Houston, Texas– the no. 1 city in the country for healthcare jobs. Over 736,000 people are employed at Houston’s world-famous Texas Medical Center alone. Many healthcare professionals pursuing a graduate degree may wonder what an MBA can do for their careers or if an MHA or MBA is right for their goals.

Angela Van Dyke headshot McCombs Houston Class of 2020

Angela Van Dyke, MBA 2020

We recently caught up with MBA at Houston 2020 student, Angela Van Dyke, a healthcare professional who has earned her MHA and is on her way to an MBA, to explore these options.

Angela holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. She currently works at PersonalMed as their National Sales Manager.

On Getting her MHA

Angela is passionate about the healthcare industry and sees herself working in the field long term.

I pursued an MHA to gain a deep and abiding understanding of the entire healthcare industry. I wanted a fundamental grasp of law and economics specifically in their application to healthcare. I also wanted to learn more about public and population health, hospital management, and clinical services.” 

On Pursuing her MBA

Through the MBA, she is becoming more proficient in technical concepts, such as finance, accounting and analytics. So far, her experience at Texas McCombs has exceeded her expectations.

“Pursuing an MBA is like a journey of transformation that allows you to pick up new tools and sharpen old skills. It’s an incredible time in your life to grow personally and professionally. The MBA is well recognized across all industries and empowers you with the credibility, creativity, and ability to add value for any organization in a variety of settings in virtually any industry at any level. An MBA arms you with the necessary expertise to quickly assess problems and determine the appropriate strategy for success. This is why I found it valuable to return to school and pursue my MBA.” 

Why Both Degrees?

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All Testing Options for Working Professional & Executive MBA Candidates

This MBA Insider Insight comes from our Directors of MBA Admissions, Sharon Barrett and Rodrigo Malta.

Preparing for and taking an MBA admissions exam is one of the best ways to get your mind back into academic mode. The most common questions we receive from candidates are about the standardized tests– how to prepare for them and if there are average or minimum scores. (Hint: There are not. Exploring the Class Profiles gives you the best idea of where our students tend to fall.)

Now, the Texas McCombs MBA Admissions Committee is excited to share that Professional or Executive MBA candidates– for Evening, Executive, Dallas/Fort Worth, or Houston— have more options than ever when considering which graduate entrance exam to submit.

Submitting Expired GRE or GMAT Scores

Many of our Professional and Executive MBA candidates come into the program with a master’s degree that was earned immediately following their undergraduate degree. Until now, only valid GRE or GMAT scores within the past five years were accepted from applicants. The reality is, prior graduate education and quality work experience are strong indicators of success in graduate business curriculum.

So if you hold a master’s degree and have your expired GRE or GMAT score report, a current exam score is not required and you may submit your expired scores.

The Executive Assessment (EA)

Three years ago, GMAC (who also delivers the GMAT) saw the need for a new test, tailored to the needs of MBA programs and their applicants who have significant years of work experience. Originally conceived for Executive MBA programs, the Executive Assessment (EA) was created in 2017. Today, over 40 MBA programs, both Professional and Executive, accept the EA. Unlike the GMAT or GRE, the EA is a readiness exam and a benchmark for academic preparedness.

If you have at least 8 years of work experience post-undergrad, you may consider submitting the EA with your Professional or Executive MBA application.

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Student Spotlight: Dara Chike-Obi, MBA Class of 2019

Dara Chike-Obi, Evening MBA Class of 2019

Dara Chike-Obi,
Evening MBA ’19

Dara Chike-Obi is an Evening MBA student from Houston and a new mom who recently shared her experience of being a new parent while in the MBA program. “Unthinkable exhaustion” is the very honest first response that comes to mind when she is asked about her experience, which was also rewarding and very possible with realistic expectations and family support on her side.

On Being A Student and a Mom

“Ignorance truly is bliss. I was naive and had no understanding of the amount of mental, physical, and emotional energy that is required of a new mom. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. As graduation nears, and my child gets older; I feel stronger, smarter, and quicker than I’ve ever felt before. If I can get through this, I can get through almost anything.”

Her Biggest Challenge

My biggest challenge was figuring out how to balance school, new baby, marriage, and a full time job. Many times I had no other option but to put my head down and power through. You soon realize that the toughest parts of your journey are ALWAYS temporary. Take one day at a time, one breath at a time. Eventually, you look up and see how far you’ve actually gone.”

Dara’s Advice

“I have two pieces of advice:

1. Make sure you have help.

This cannot be done alone. Your support system needs to understand that this is an ‘all hands on deck’ situation for the next two years. My wonderful husband rearranged his work schedule so he can be home on class nights to put our son to bed. My mother in-law would drive 4 hours from Dallas with a trunk full of freshly prepared food for my entire family. You must allow people to help you.

2. Accept that there is no balance.

Madeleine Albright said it best:  ‘Women can have it all, just not at the same time.’ You’re going to be pulled in multiple directions by multiple people. Learning to prioritize will get you far.”


We encourage you to review our Parental Accommodation Policy for details on the kind of accommodations it can provide. When you enter a working professional MBA program, we understand that family support is a key element.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need further info.

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