A full week of orientation kicked off my MBA education. The atmosphere was like at ComiCon! Alumni, who were representing their (mostly Fortune 500) companies, set up over 60 recruiting booths throughout the school of business. They passed out business cards and company recruiting brochures. It was a can-do business festival atmosphere! The alumni gave us newbies positive reinforcement and asked about our ultimate career choices. All company representatives encouraged us to attend the upcoming mock interview sessions and networking events. They also recommended which professors and which classes to take, according to our interests. The formal lectures featured several alumni now in upper management (at various Fortune 500 companies), and established Texas politicians.
About professors, classes and curriculum
All classes were taught by PhD professors, most of whom are “endowed chairs.” The walls of the halls are covered with brass plaques announcing each professor’s appointment and sponsor company. The books you will read are authored by your professors, so you better have read the assignment -- you will be expected to contribute to the class discussion. This is where work experience will be a definite plus. Real-world experience will flavor class discussion with a bit of “been there, done that,” and “this is how it was done at XYZ, Inc.”
At McCombs, you will be expected to think for yourself and to defend your idea. One professor would, at random, ask students questions based on a front-page article in the day’s Wall Street Journal. Discussions are oral, but assignments are written, hence the GMAT sections that test your reading and writing skills. Example: In my Organizational Behavior class, all weekly assignments were limited to a one-page report. So, a 20-page case study had to be “boiled down” and discussed in 250 words (using 12-point type). This restriction was part of the assignment. Why? In the real world, your boss will already have to read dozens of reports. She needs to have actionable and succinct information. She doesn’t have the time to read your “War and Peace” every single day.
About job placement process
Be sure to join one of the student organizations. During the weekly meetings, you will be able to connect with other students you may not meet in any of your classes. The dean will ask each student organization to help during the recruiting sessions. This may include meeting the company reps at the airport, conduct brief campus tours, and help setting up their booth. This is an excellent opportunity to informally learn more about the reps’ recruiting objectives and their companies’ vision / mission. Be sure to dress for success!
Your will gain points with the recruiter by easing their burden. Example: Back in the day, after talking with several recruiters about their week-long tours through various universities, I learned each recruiter had to read over 100 resumes every night. By the next recruiting session, I had produced a “recruiter’s package” that showcased my club members. The package included a printed booklet and a floppy disk, each with all our resumes. Now, the recruiter could quickly conduct keyword searches and save their eyes. The dean suggested we sell each package for $50. My club earned over $2,000 that year! Lesson: Find a niche and fill it!
During the day, booths showcased the company, while interviews were conducted in various small meeting rooms throughout the building. During the evening, Fortune 500 companies hosted wine-and-shrimp networking events at various downtown hotels. Here, students rubbed shoulders with upper management -- maybe even with the CEO! Be sure to dress for success and have your questions and business cards at the ready.
Great experience! First class education! No wonder, UT Austin ranks in the top 20! Enjoy the perks of a highly-respected and well-funded university. Good luck and be sure to have fun! You can do it! Hook’em Horns!
Overall BSchool experience
Strengths of the program:
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Best fit at this program:
Can be improved:
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