Tuesday Tips: Texas McCombs MBA Application Essay Tips for 2023-2024

Texas McCombs MBA application

The UT McCombs School of Business is a globally recognized MBA program located in Austin, Texas—a center of technology and business for the region. When you are getting ready to draft your Texas McCombs MBA application, consider that entrepreneurship is a huge focus.

Along with Management Consulting, Clean Tech, Innovation Leadership, and Supply Chain & Operations Management, Entrepreneurship is a top 5 concentration. The class size at Texas McCombs MBA is small and close-knit, and the students’ backgrounds are diverse.

In an interview with Erika Olson, Managing Director Rodrigo Malta corrected a misconception that most of McCombs’s MBA graduates end up in local careers. In fact, most students go into technology, consulting, finance, and marketing and are placed all over the country. Malta said that McCombs seeks MBA students who are “enterprising, tenacious, curious and authentic.”

Listen to the whole podcast for more insights into the experience and culture of McCombs: B-Schooled Podcast Episode #82: Interview with UT McCombs AdCom MD, Rodrigo Malta

This year Texas McCombs has changed the essay component of the application to only one written component instead of several written essays. The main essay is a cover letter asking you to summarize your background and candidacy for the MBA program. The video essay is required, and there is an additional optional peer interview.

Curious about your chances of getting into a top B-school like UT McCombs? Contact us to talk strategy with a free 15-minute advising session with an SBC Principal Consultant. 

The Texas McCombs MBA Application

Cover Letter

Please write an application cover letter summarizing your aspirations, qualifications, and personal and professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for the Texas Full-Time MBA program. (500 words)

This cover letter is an opportunity to demonstrate your fit with the Texas McCombs MBA program. As part of your homework for the Texas McCombs MBA application, you should learn as much as possible about the school. Here, you can combine that research with your aspirations and goals.

Rather than focusing on titles in your career background, think about the trajectory of your career and how you have grown. Also, describe the impact your work has had on your organization and those around you. If you can highlight key leadership examples that demonstrate collaboration, it will enhance your story.

Texas McCombs is strong in many career areas. Researching the academic options and knowing what you are looking for from the program will bolster your case.

Researching Texas McCombs is Essential to This Essay

To get started, research some of the unique opportunities at McCombs, like the Venture Labs, if you have entrepreneurial dreams. Another great program is The MBA+ Program, with options to work with large companies. Living in the city of Austin is also a draw for many candidates.

Don’t neglect the personal. Texas McCombs is a community that values collaboration and diversity. How will your background enhance the experience of your classmates? Consider adding a personal story that demonstrates who you are as a unique individual.

Texas McCombs MBA application

Video Assessment

Texas McCombs has always been at the forefront of innovation and continuous improvement, consistently seeking new ways to enhance the application process for prospective MBA candidates. In line with our school mission and values, we introduced a dynamic video assessment component as part of the 2022-23 admission cycle, offering an alternative approach to a more traditional essay and interview format. Given all applicants will complete the video assessment, MBA candidates will have increased access to the application process and the opportunity to share their stories with us in their own voice.

Through the video assessment, the admissions committee will have a chance to experience the “real” you, beyond a resume, test scores, and transcripts. Lastly, the video assessment will enable Texas McCombs to reduce bias in the admissions process by providing all applicants with a structured and consistent assessment experience.

MBA candidates with a submitted application, whose application fee has been paid or waived will be invited to take part in our Texas McCombs Video Assessment. Each applicant will have 7 days from the invitation to complete the assessment. The video assessment is asynchronous and will help the admissions committee evaluate your career goals and the following competencies that are crucial for the fit and success of our students within the program and their future careers:

  • Adaptability/Resilience
  • Empathy/Inclusivity
  • Ambition

Each video assessment will start with a fun, non-evaluative question that will help the admissions team learn who you are as a person, then applicants will be asked to use the video assessment tool to record responses to 4 questions, with each response lasting no more than 90 seconds each. Detailed instructions will be provided with the video assessment invitation so you know what to expect, and applicants will have the opportunity to practice as many times as they wish before completing the final video assessment.

This is your time to show us your personality and enthusiasm! We recommend that you prepare for the video assessment similarly to how you might prepare for an interview. Think reflectively about your work experience, strengths, weaknesses, and work on your delivery.

As you think about how to approach this video essay, do some introspection. Evaluate what you may want to describe to Texas McCombs. For example, your cultural background or formative moments in your life. Also, consider friends, family, and colleagues who have influenced you. And don’t forget to consider leadership and career experiences. To identify engaging stories for your Texas McCombs MBA application, think about those pivotal moments of change.

Life transitions can spark your Texas McCombs MBA application essay topics.

For many people, the transition from high school to college and from college to work leads to personal change. Others have had formative childhood experiences or experiences that led to shifts in perspective, like travel or living outside their home country. These types of incidents are an excellent way to illustrate your values and what motivates you.

Texas McCombs MBA application

This video assessment could allow you to add elements of emotion, such as humor, that are harder to convey in writing. Therefore, think about the bullet points you want to cover and any essential points. Before you talk into the camera, make sure you rehearse. Consider having a friend or family member there so you can speak to a person instead of the camera.

Optional: Peer Interview

One of the most vital parts of the MBA application process at Texas McCombs is the human component – “Human-Centered, Future-Focused” is our mantra for a reason. We pride ourselves in getting to know you at a personal level during the admissions process and will continue to provide hundreds of virtual and in-person ways for you to meet our students, alumni, faculty, and admissions team.

We invite all MBA applicants to close out their application process in a human-centered way and complete a short, optional virtual interview. While not required, registering for and completing an interview is highly encouraged.

These interactive virtual sessions present a valuable opportunity for our applicants to connect with Full-Time MBA students, showcasing their collaborative skills, reaffirming their motivation for pursuing an MBA and leaving a lasting positive impression on Texas McCombs.

The optional interview will last 20-30 minutes and are available throughout the round. The student ambassador will introduce themselves and ask you up to 3 questions that focus on collaboration and your motivation. The rest of the time is yours to ask 2-3 questions that are top of mind.

Community is a crucial aspect of the Texas McCombs culture. Therefore, spend the time to get to know the community before you complete your application. When you prepare for the peer interview, think of examples of academic excellence, achievement in your career, and collaboration and leadership. Managing Director Malta emphasized that successful McCombs students are the type of people who have “helped others reach their goals.”

McCombs values engagement with the community in all MBA applicants. Along with engaging with the peer interview opportunity, you can visit the campus, reach out to the admissions committee, and network with current and former students.

For additional information on applying, please visit the McCombs admissions website.

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Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your MBA application needs, from our All-In Partnership to hourly help reviewing your MBA resume. Contact us today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant. Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of the caliber of AdCom expertise on our team.

With deadlines around the corner, you may be interested in the world-famous SBC Flight Test. Once a full set of application materials for your initial school have been drafted, but not finalized, the application will be sent to a former admissions committee member for a one-time review, adcomm style. You’ll have the benefit of a true admissions committee review while still having the ability to tinker and change.  You will receive written feedback within two business days after submitting.

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