Category Archives: UT Austin McCombs Advice

Tuesday Tips: The University of Texas at Austin McCombs 2017 MBA Essay Tips

University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business is a globally recognized MBA program, located in the center of technology and creativity that is Austin. Programs like McCombs can provide an especially strong regional …

mccombs school of businessUniversity of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business is a globally recognized MBA program, located in the center of technology and creativity that is Austin. Programs like McCombs can provide an especially strong regional network if you are currently in Texas or plan to settle in Texas after your MBA.

When approaching these essay questions think about the reasons you are pursuing an MBA, particularly at McCombs. Thorough school research will help you come up with specifics, by taking to current or former students, visiting campus, or attending admissions events.

Essay 1. The University of Texas at Austin values unique perspectives and cultivates a collaborative environment of distinct individual contributions. It is the first day of orientation. You are meeting your study group, comprised of five of your classmates from various backgrounds. Please introduce yourself to your new team, highlighting what drives you in your personal and professional life.

Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.
• Write an essay (250 words)
• Share a video introduction (one minute)

For an open-ended essay with a creative option (the video) it can be daunting to think of a topic. Rather than focusing on how you are going to communicate, start thinking about what you want to communicate to the McCombs admissions committee by introducing yourself to your new study group.

The best essays will dive deep into your motivations and aspirations, perhaps getting into your cultural background, formative moments in your life and friends, family and colleagues who have influenced you. To identify one or two key stories you may want to tell, think about those pivotal moments of change in your life.

For many people the transition from high school to college and from college to work led to personal change. Others had formative childhood experiences or experiences that led to shifts in perspective like travel or living outside your home country. Any one of these moments could be a good way to illustrate who you are and what motivates you.

Once you have identified the content of your essay you can decide how to present it. A video could give you the opportunity to add elements of emotion, such as humor, that are harder to convey in writing. A video also allows you to include graphics, photos or other visual elements. If your story fits better into a written narrative you may choose the written essay instead.

Essay 2. Based on your post-MBA goals and what drives you in your personal and professional life, why is the Texas MBA the ideal program for you and how do you plan to engage in our community? (500 words)

This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate strong fit with the Texas McCombs program. As part of your homework before starting this set of essays you have learned as much as possible about the school, now you can bring in your own aspirations and goals to describe what you plan to be part of.

Some of the unique opportunities at McCombs include the Venture Labs, supporting your entrepreneurial dreams, and The MBA+ Program, with opportunities to work with influential companies through a variety of touch points. Austin is another unique benefit to the program that you may want to discuss in the context of your background and goals.

For example, perhaps you are interested in working for a major technology firm to learn product manager skills that you will then take into starting your own business. While at McCombs you can test ideas with the Venture Labs, and also consult for major companies like Adobe or HP to learn how large companies work. These experiences will certainly give you an advantage as your build your post MBA career.

Don’t forget the personal – Texas McCombs has an active and engaged student culture with many student organizations you may be interested in joining.

Optional Statement: Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)

This optional essay provides space for you to add your own context to any information that may hinder your admission prospects. For example, if you have a lower than average test score, any grades below a C on your transcript, academic probation or a significant resume gap, you can explain here. Keep your explanation concise and factual, and focused on context for the issue rather than excuses.

Stacy Blackman Consulting can provide personalized, strategic guidance for your Texas McCombs MBA application. Contact us to learn more.

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Texas MBA’s Perspective on the “Non-Numeric” You

A recent post on the Texas MBA Insider blog at the UT McCombs School of Business drives home a message that we stress with clients on a daily basis: the admissions committee wants to get …

UT McCombs School of Business

A recent post on the Texas MBA Insider blog at the UT McCombs School of Business drives home a message that we stress with clients on a daily basis: the admissions committee wants to get to know the person behind the data points.

Now, this isn’t to say that a strong GMAT score or undergrad academic performance isn’t important…it’s very important to get those components right. In The Non-Numeric You: You Are Not Your GPA, the Texas MBA admissions team simply wants applicants to realize that their numbers do not define them when it comes to applying for a seat in their program.

Convince us that you are not only capable, but that you are special and that we will be lacking something without your presence.–The Texas MBA Program

“Even if you do have a 780 GMAT, this does not, in itself, indicate to us that you will succeed, make good grades, find an internship, thrive in your study groups, or find a good job after graduation,” the post notes.

The truth is, a lot of people have a 700 GMAT and 3.8 GPA. What is critical for applicants is conveying their own unique story in a compelling way.  “This story can go a long way in convincing us that a so-so GMAT or GPA is nothing to worry about in the long run, because you have a clear sense of who you are and what you are capable of,” the admissions team adds.

In our work here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, we find that countless applicants undervalue their uniqueness. Prospective students often shy away from sharing small but important details about themselves that can help them stand out from the crowd. They think, “Admissions committees don’t want to hear about that side of me,” or “Business schools don’t want people who are interested in that.” Or, “If I talk about this, it will sound like I’m boasting.”

It’s time to get over all of that. If you want to do well in the admissions process, you have to communicate who you are, not just what you do. Click on over to the original post for tips on how you can stand out and land a spot at McCombs over an applicant with the exact same numbers.

You may also be interested in:

 3 Ways to Stand Out in a Competitive B-School Applicant Pool

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Tuesday Tips: UT Austin McCombs School of Business Essay Tips

UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business offers students a diverse community and world class academics. In addition, the school’s focus on the four key pillars of leadership (1. responsibility/integrity, 2. knowledge/understanding, 3. collaborative/communication 4. worldview …

UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business offers students a diverse community and world class academics. In addition, the school’s focus on the four key pillars of leadership (1. responsibility/integrity, 2. knowledge/understanding, 3. collaborative/communication 4. worldview of business and society) also provides students with opportunities like the Plus Program to connect their academics with real world projects and leadership training.

With only three core essays to communicate your candidacy to McCombs, you will want to remain focused on your application strategy and choose examples that demonstrate that you are well rounded and fit with McCombs’ focus on integrity, understanding, communication and a global perspective. Think about how you have demonstrated these qualities across your personal, professional and community life.

Fall 2009 Admissions Application Essay Questions
Please define your short- and long-term goals and objectives, your career progression to date, and how an MBA fits in at this time. What makes the Texas MBA the perfect fit for you? Limit: 900 words

This is a classic career goals question, and it will be helpful to refer to some of the advice provided for Wharton, Columbia and Kellogg. Note that McCombs is asking you to answer the question “Why Now” for your MBA, and you will need to have a solid reason to pursue your advanced studies at this point in your career and your life. In addition, spending a significant amount of time to answer “Why Texas?” will be important. As McCombs is often a back up school for programs that are a bit higher in the rankings, your sincere interest in the program is an important element to your application strategy.

Understand the curriculum, professors, programs and McCombs’ culture by visiting campus, interacting with current or former students, and by attending admissions events if possible.

The Texas MBA is built around four key pillars of leadership. Describe an experience that you have had that clearly demonstrates your leadership as it relates to one of our four pillars: 1) Responsibility/Integrity; 2) Knowledge/Understanding; 3) Collaborative/Communication; or 4) Worldview of Business and Society.

In choosing which of the pillars to focus on, think about your overall profile and what areas may need more explanation. You can use this essay to show that you are an expert in your field, that you are a strong team player, that you have a global perspective and that you are ethical in your dealings. Overall it will be important to demonstrate your impact on the community around you ”“ whether personal, professional or extracurricular.

This essay calls for a specific example that will relate to one of the pillars and illustrate your leadership style. In addition to describing the situation and what you did, you will want to comment on the pillar and it’s importance in your life. Be sure to involve McCombs in the commentary, and use this opportunity to reiterate your fit for the program.

At the McCombs School of Business, you will be part of an active and diverse community. How will you use your personal strengths and unique experiences to enrich the McCombs community during your two years in the program?
Limit: 500 words

This essay is quite similar to the Kellogg and Tuck essays on the same theme. This is an ideal essay to differentiate yourself from your fellow applicants. You can easily pull from personal, extracurricular and/or professional experiences for material, and be sure to weave in how you will use your experiences and strengths to contribute to the McCombs community.

Specific understanding of what clubs and activities you will be involved at when attending McCombs will be useful here, and provide a third opportunity to show your overall fit with the program.

Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will ultimately be beneficial to the committee in considering your application.
Limit: 350 words

As with all optional essays, use it if you have an area of genuine concern. Focus on explanations rather than excuses, and clearly demonstrate why this area of concern is not an issue for your candidacy at this point in your life and career.

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