McCombs has been on the up-and-up consistently over the past decade, and is now considered THE powerhouse business school in the southwest region. A big part of what sets the program apart is its innovative MBA + Leadership Program, which combines small, 4-10 week consulting projects to real-world clients while providing direction, executive coaching and informative seminars that help students develop their personal leadership style. If this program appeals to you, make sure to articulate that, as it’s the very essence of what McCombs stands for: real-world application of business concepts and development of your personal leadership style and strategy.

How to Demonstrate Your 'Fit' for

University of Texas at Austin (McCombs School of Business)

McCombs has been on the up-and-up consistently over the past decade, and is now considered THE powerhouse business school in the southwest region.  A big part of what sets the program apart is its innovative MBA + Leadership Program, which combines small, 4-10 week consulting projects to real-world clients while receiving direction executive coaching and informative seminars that help students develop their personal leadership style. If this program appeals to you, make sure to articulate that, as it’s the very essence of what McCombs stands for: real-world application of business concepts and development of your personal leadership style and strategy. 

McCombs has also worked hard to build its brand as a teamwork-focused school with a collaborative environment and culture.  First year students take core classes in cohorts and do most of their work in small teams.  Collaboration extends beyond just student-to-student teamwork; McCombs has amongst the lowest student to faculty ratios amongst top programs.  Students regularly report on the supportive environment this presents, and how they grow extremely close to faculty members during their time in the program.  In your application to McCombs, be sure to present a persuasive case for how you have succeeded in team environments and how teams you’ve been a part of have been successful in delivering value.  And if the opportunity to work closely with faculty is attractive, be sure to make that known as well!

McCombs offers a general management curriculum that champions innovative, hands-on learning.  It offers an extensive menu of concentrations (rather than majors) and about half of the student body chooses to pursues one of these concentrations. 

McCombs also offers many unique programs tailored to entrepreneurship-focused students, including its Venture Labs Investment Competition, the Texas Venure Labs, and the Venture Fellows program.  It also hosts the Venture Labs Investment Competition, which attracts student teams from prominent business schools from around the world and offers the winning team $100,000 and support from the Austin Technology Incubator as it starts to design its business model and strategy.  If you have entrepreneurial aspirations, demonstrating an awareness and passion for these programs is a great way to demonstrate enthusiasm for McCombs.

Make sure to spend a lot of time and effort looking into specific McCombs programs.  Each year, the school asks applicants to articulate why, specifically, they want to go to McCombs.  It’s important to describe what opportunities interest you, and even better, how you can help make specific programs better and higher value-add for students.  Visiting the school is also very important and is an important signal of interest that McCombs finds important.  Winning applications are those that show genuine, unique passion for the program and its many student activities.  The more effort you put into finding specific ways you’ll benefit from, and add value to, the school, the better position you’ll be in.  So do your research, talk to students, and really spend time crafting a specific “Why McCombs” argument.

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