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ReachIvy Exclusive: Top College Series – An Interview with McCombs School of Business

Posted on Sep 17, 2019
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Adcom McCombs Business School

Name: Stacey Kammerdiener
Designation: Senior MBA Recruiting and Admissions Officer
School Name: McCombs School of Business (University of Texas at Austin)

Could you please provide a short description of yourself?
I have worked in admissions for the Texas McCombs Full-Time MBA Program since 2015. I supervise our student ambassador group, oversee campus visits and interviews, and focus on increasing our female population. I am very passionate about higher education and love interacting with our students, who come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and are so collaborate and fun to work with.

1. Many of our students are curious to know the kind of profile you seek in applicants. So can you tell us: who should be applying to Texas McCombs MBA School?

The Texas McCombs MBA Program is an extremely collaborate and tightknit community, made up of individuals from all around the world who are focused on making the program, and the world, a better place. Our program has over 20 concentrations that help guide our students’ experiences. Some of our more popular concentrations are management consulting, entrepreneurship, clean tech, innovation leadership, and supply chain and operations management.
The MBA Program does require at least two years of post-undergraduate work experience; the average number of years of work experience of our students is 5.8 years. 

2. What according to you are the most interesting classes or professors at your college?

New Venture Creation is a fantastic course for individuals with a business idea or have an interest in entrepreneurship. In the course, you will be learning how to start a business and working on a potential business idea. Actual companies have been started as a result of this course!

John Doggett is a popular professor in the MBA Program; he has his JD from Yale and MBA from Harvard. He focuses on international entrepreneurship, global competition and Sustainability and Energy.
Our Global Connections courses are also very popular, as you will take a course focusing on a specific topic in a particular region of the world, and then travel to that area over spring break!

3. Can you share any updates/interesting changes on your campus or any new programs you have introduced/will be introducing?

In March of 2018, our MBA Program moved to Robert B. Rowling Hall, a beautiful new facility housing the University of Texas MBA and MSTC Programs. The building is thoughtfully constructed, with open spaces meant for facilitating conversations and interactions amongst the community. It’s also located on the corner of campus, which makes our MBA program extremely accessible for both the Austin business community and the rest of the UT campus.

4. What are some of the facilities/resources available to students who want to explore cutting edge careers, or pursue entrepreneurship while in the program?

Texas Venture Labs is housed in Rowling Hall, which is an Accelerator that matches early-stage Austin-area startups with cross-functional student teams from across UT’s graduate schools to help solve business problems. At the conclusion of each semester, TVL also hosts an Expo to showcase the startups. In addition, there are TVL Investment Competitions, where they give away more than $58,000 a year in prizes.
Our students also have the opportunity to participate in and attend South by Southwest (SXSW), a large three-week event held in Austin each March that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Start-ups are a big focus of SXSW; our Entrepreneurship Society hosts PitchTexas, a graduate startup pitch competition at the conference that is very popular.

5. There is a lot of curiosity among our students on what a classic day would be like in the business program at your college? Could you describe it for us?

Our MBA Students have very busy schedules! On a typical day, we see students attending class and meeting with their study teams in one of our over 40 study rooms. In the evening, our students will often be attending a company information session or networking event. While Texas McCombs students don’t have class on Fridays, this day is typically reserved for group work, internships in the city of Austin, or catching up on homework.

5. For international students:

a. What assistance does your school provide to help them chalk their career paths?

We have a dedicated career team for our MBA students, all of whom are familiar with international recruitment. Most of our international students, with the exception of those who are sponsored by their company or returning to a family business, have the intention of staying in the United States post-MBA to work. Our team understands the needs of the international student and helps them navigate the H1-B sponsorship process. I would say that the majority of our international student population is recruiting for technology or consulting positions as those industries are still open to sponsoring H1-B visas.
We also have peer advisors, who are hired second year students charged with assisting first years through the internship search process. There are specific peer advisors for international students, who are great resources.

b. Is there any financial aid available to international students? If yes, who according to you would be the ideal candidate?

We do award merit-based scholarship funding to international students. These scholarships are based upon your application for admission and vary from $5,000 per year up to full tuition. Merit-based scholarships are competitive (around 25% – 35% of our students enter with a merit-based scholarship) so my best advice for being considered is to submit a strong application!

6. Your final word for students:
Attending events and chatting with our current students and alumni is the best way for you to learn more about our program, so I encourage you to reach out to our student ambassadors at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu, and to look for online events or events in your area at www.mccombs.utexas.edu/mba/events. Best of luck in your MBA pursuits!