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#80 University of Texas at Austin McCombs MBA Admissions Interview with Stephen Sweeney

Stephen Sweeney Texas McCombs MBA

“We really want to know how you’ll be involved in the program and in the Austin community. What does that look like to you? How does that align with your career goals? Are you planning to take leadership roles in certain organizations? For example, you can’t talk about venture capital without talking about our Venture Fellows… Have you done the research and what does your trajectory look like here? We want to make sure our students have a path when they get here. We want to make sure they have the drive to start new things.”

About Our Guest

Stephen Sweeney is Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. Stephen got his MBA from McCombs in 2011 where he was the first recipient of the McCombs Social Enterprise Fund Scholarship. Prior to joining McCombs Stephen was a Principal for Infosys and co-founded a beverage start up company.

What is relatively unique about the Texas McCombs MBA? What are its key advantages?

  • Flexibility – students complete most of their core course first semester and then can choose from over 90 electives, 20 concentrations, 11 joint degrees, and 2 classes outside McCombs School of Business; the program is best suited for those with a strong idea about career direction
  • Academic breadth and depth – top-ranked faculty in energy and in almost all specializations listed in US News (#1 for accounting, #5 information systems, #8 entrepreneurship, #11 marketing, #13 finance, #15 international business, #15 operations, #15 supply chain, #18 management)
  • Strong placements in consulting, finance, marketing and tech
  • Texas allows applicants to use LinkedIn recommendations for the application
  • Relatively strong alumni base in Mexico and Latin America for a US b-school
  • Austin is recognized as one of the best cities for young adults – well-known for its live music, food and thriving start-up scene

Listen on for the insider’s scoop…

Touch MBA’s University of Texas at Austin Fast Facts

Program Highlights (2:40)

  • McCombs School of Business established in 1922
  • 1 intake / year in Fall
  • Length: 21 months
  • Campus in Austin, Texas, ranked #2 best city for young adults
  • 265 participants/intake
  • 15-20 nationalities/intake, class is 22% international
  • Students ranked accounting and entrepreneurship highest
  • 20 Concentrations available
  • Partnership with 33 exchange partners in 25 countries
  • Year 1: Take 8 of 11 core courses, Year 2: choose from over 90 electives, exchange
  • Rankings: #40 Financial Times 2015, #32 Economist 2014, #17 US News & World Report 2016, #23 Bloomberg Businessweek 2014
  • Top-ranked in 9/10 US News Specializations; #1 for Accounting, #5 in Information Systems and #8 in Entrepreneurship
  • Accredited by AACSB
  • Double Degree / Dual Degrees with Masters in Asian Studies, Communication, Energy Resources, Engineering, Global Policy, J.D., Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Nursing, Public Affairs, and European Studies

Admissions (17:05)

  • 3 deadlines from Oct – Mar, applicants in Rd 1 get priority for scholarships and fellowships, international students encouraged to apply by Jan
  • 2130 applications received, 608 admitted, 270 enrolled, 28.5% acceptance rate
  • Avg GMAT: 690 (90% range 640 – 730), Avg GPA: 3.4 (90% range 2.84 – 3.83)
  • GRE accepted
  • Avg age: 28, Avg work experience: 5.6, 2 years of work experience is recommended
  • Min TOEFL: 620 (paper), 105 (internet)
  • Blind Interviews conducted by alumni, 2nd year students and admissions team

Financing (33:55)

  • Full-time MBA Tuition: $64,600 (in state), $97,660 (out of state)
  • Recommended budget: $20,000/year so roughly $40,000 USD
  • 25%+ of class awarded scholarships, average amount varies
  • Scholarship amounts range from $2,000 to full-tuition
  • Scholarships are merit-based and awarded with offer; second year merit scholarships also available
  • Int’l students need cosigner for loans

Career (38:55)

  • Texas MBA – Full-time placement report for Class of 2014 (yes)
  • 91.3% of graduates had jobs within 3 months of graduation
  • Average Salary (bonus): $107,272 ($13,445)
  • Graduates in 2011 experienced 88% increase in salary 3 years later
  • Top 5 regions graduates worked in: 64% Southwest, 17% West, 5% Midwest, 5% Northeast, 4% South
  • Top 5 industries: 25% Consulting, 13% Tech-Consumer Products, 9% Consumer Products-Retail, 8% Energy/Utilities, 6% Investment Management, 6% Tech-Internet Services
  • Top 5 functions: 29% Consulting, 27% Finance & Accounting, 22% Marketing, 10% Operations/Logistics, 7% General Management
  • 92,000 McCombs alumni from 100 countries with 12 foreign chapters, many alumni from Mexico

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