2004 UT McCombs MBA Admissions Chat with Matt Turner


2004 UT McCombs MBA Admissions Chat with Matt Turner

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Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 8:57:28 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's UT McCombs School of Business admissions chat.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 8:57:44 PM)
I also want to welcome Dr. Matt Turner, McComb's Director of International Admissions; Jamie Belinne, Associate Director, Career Center; and Jay Murnick, a second-year student.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 8:58:00 PM)
Hi guys!

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 8:58:03 PM)
Elissa Ellis was supposed to join us, but due to a technical glitch, can't be here.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 8:58:10 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 8:58:16 PM)
Hey folks!

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 8:58:50 PM)
I would like to start by asking Jay to post a brief bio so that we can all learn a little about his interests and background.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 8:59:18 PM)
As Linda said, I'm a 2nd year student.  My background is in real estate--I worked in NYC for 5 years prior to coming back to school.  I'm looking to stay in Real Estate Finance (one of our strengths) and am currently looking for employment all over the US.  I worked this summer in New Jersey for a residential real estate developer.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:00:23 PM)
What's new at UT?

rina99 (Oct 27, 2003 9:00:52 PM)
How are alternative transcripts viewed in the application? Are they beneficial for a person with a GPA that is seeking admission?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:01:02 PM)
The newest feature of the McCombs program is our innovative PLUS program.  This two-week hands-on experience allows students a break from normal classes while providing them the opportunity to get down and dirty with possible job leads and sort of "try on" careers. 

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:01:16 PM)
Rina, I'm not sure what you mean by alternative transcripts....

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:01:34 PM
Jamie, what percentage of 2003 grads have jobs at this point? Were there any relatively strong markets for UT grads this past year?

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:01:38 PM)
Jay, what is the environment like at McCombs? - cooperative, competitive. . .

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:01 PM)
Hello all; how important is work experience?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:21 PM)
Preete, work experience is an integral part of admissions.  We want to know that you have marketable skills that employers will be looking for when you graduate.  Work experience also speaks to your teamwork, leadership and presentation skills....as well as simply what you've been asked to manage.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:34 PM)
Matt, I mean in terms of other components of the application.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:35 PM)
CJ--the environment at UT is great--it's one of the main reasons I'm here. Collaborative & cooperative are the two best words to describe it. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:37 PM)
Linda, about 90% have jobs at this point. Many folks took advantage of the changing economy to explore atypical MBA career paths this year.  The strong markets for our grads are banking, consulting, real estate, asset management and high tech marketing. 

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:42 PM)
It's an application/technical question; I test ran the essay section online and submitted an incomplete essay. Now, I am able to see that an essay has been uploaded, but I am not able to see the essay, and thus to remove it. Please tell me how to delete that uploaded essay.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:02:58 PM)
What kind of atypical career paths?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:03:26 PM)
How many applications did UT receive last year? How does that figure compare to 2002's and 2001's entering class?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:03:45 PM)
Preete, work, GMAT, GPA (and TOEFL for internationals) are 3 major components. No specific weight is given to them.

rina99 (Oct 27, 2003 9:03:54 PM)
MattTurnerUT-I read on another forum that some applicants are creating "alternative transcripts" to boost their GPA's, like taking courses over at a university or taking courses they may have not taken as an undergrad. I was wondering would this have an impact in the application process.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:04:20 PM)
Linda, by atypical careers, I mean more students than ever before chose such paths as non-profit management, government & advertising.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:04:30 PM)
Thanks.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:04:32 PM)
Jack, please contact us with this issue to McCombsMBA@McCombs.utexas.edu We have a team of students that help with these issues. Thanks!

brs (Oct 27, 2003 9:04:41 PM)
How strong is your operations department in terms of faculty, placements, etc?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:05:26 PM)
Linda, we got about 2100 apps last year...compared to about 2600 the year before....but that year was a real "bumper year."  Although application numbers have generally been down at MBA programs across the country, we noted a strong rise in quality this past year, especially in terms of GMAT and work experience.

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:05:30 PM)
Is it more valuable to get an application in early (in next week or so), or to retake a GMAT with a minimal increase expected, taking an extra month to get the application in? 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:05:54 PM)
Matt, is last year comparable to 2002, the year before last?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:05:55 PM)
brs, we have a supply-chain consortium that partners faculty, students and companies to help our students get real world experience & improve placement opportunities. 

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:06:02 PM)
JSG--you want to submit the best application package you can.  That said, if you're pretty sure your GMAT is not really going to improve, you should probably spend the upfront time putting all of the other aspects of your application in the best form possible.  Submit that and then retake your GMAT. If you do better than your current score, you can always send it to us along the way.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:06:15 PM)
In the rolling admissions process, how is the distribution of acceptances - is it better to apply early?

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:06:23 PM)
How is the recruitment of marketing grads?

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:06:31 PM)
With 2200 applicants applying last year, and 390 enrolled, how many were accepted?

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:06:59 PM)
Thanks Jay.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:07:01 PM)
JSG...it is very important to first obtain your strongest application (scores, etc.)...THEN apply as soon as possible.  Don't rush the application if your GMAT is not representative of your abilities....on the other hand....if you wait until the final deadlines, you are making it harder on yourself.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:07:23 PM)
Preete, it's still pretty good. We have quite a few recruiters. The biggest challenge is most Consumer Package Good firms are in less desirable places to live than Austin, so many of our students don't accept those offers.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:07:48 PM)
Are international students evaluated individually or are they grouped according to their countries?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:08:31 PM)
Preete, it's better to apply early in general...but have your application as strong as you can get it first.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:08:34 PM)
Preete, our students do better than most schools for high tech marketing. Of course, most of those jobs are in the West Coast & Texas.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:08:39 PM)
Jay, what do you like best at UT? What would you like to see improved?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:08:58 PM)
Cjotte...about 825 were accepted last year.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:09:00 PM)
Linda--my favorite thing about McCombs is the overall atmosphere.  As I said earlier, we're not a competitive school--everyone works to help each other out.  What I would like to see improved is more overall responsiveness to the students.  That's probably the same at all schools--let me explain a bit more.  Being a part of a 50,000+ student university means that although McCombs is its own little world (and they take very good care of us) we're still a part of a large administration.  Read that as bureaucracy.  The administration is working to improve our position in that--one of my fellow students and I actually had a conversation with the dean about it a few weeks ago. 

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:09:11 PM)
Matt, I sent my request last Thursday and I have not received a reply as of yet, thought I would ask it here.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:09:17 PM)
I have a science background and have advanced degrees in Chemistry and have 2 years of work experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Do you consider graduate degrees as a handicap or a plus for people who have less years of work experience?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:09:40 PM)
Preete, international students are pooled by their countries...but they are also judged against our usual profile.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:10:00 PM)
Jamie, how successful are graduates of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance in obtaining jobs in PE? It is notoriously difficult to get into.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:10:10 PM)
How about recruitment of marketing students in the Pharmaceutical industry since most of that is on the East Coast and biotech on the West Coast mainly?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:10:28 PM)
Jack, please contact the Asst. Dir. of Admissions: Clare.Seagraves@mccombs.utexas.edu

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:10:48 PM)
Thanks, Matt

brs (Oct 27, 2003 9:10:55 PM)
What is the average GMAT for Indian applicants?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:11:06 PM)
Linda, they do well overall. Having hands-on real-world experience actually investing for a fund is a fantastic way to break into PE. They've also helped us really increase other Asset Management & VC recruiting on campus.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:11:33 PM)
What are some of the Asset Management and VC firms that recruit at UT?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:11:37 PM)
Preete, grad degrees are neither a strong plus nor a negative. It depends on the industry and type of job you are seeking. We certainly look at all graduate work and seek out the relevant skills, etc.

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:12:11 PM)
Is having gone to UT undergrad, is that seen as a plus or a minus?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:12:14 PM)
Brs, 691 was the GMAT average among applicants from India last season.

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:12:15 PM)
What are the major CPG (consumer package goods) recruiters?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:12:16 PM)
Preete, we have some pharmaceutical marketing opportunities on campus -- Eli Lilly and Pfizer come to mind. Off campus recruiting opportunities through us with GlaxoSmithKline & Astra Zeneca.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:12:26 PM)
Thanks Matt.

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:12:48 PM)
What generally separates someone from being waitlisted, from someone who is accepted?

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:13:17 PM)
Thanks Jamie- I actually worked for Pfizer in the R&D.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:13:40 PM)
Linda, Fidelity was here last week, AIM, Pinto Ventures, Blue Sage VC; I'd need to look them up to give the full list. They're on our web page.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:13:52 PM)
Thanks, Jamie.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:13:53 PM)
JSG, neither really. What matters is the quality of your education....and a UT degree is good...but so are undergrad degrees from many other fine colleges around the world. The largest single undergrad degree represented among our students is UT.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:14:09 PM)
I am an Indian and usually they have IT backgrounds and high GMAT's - but I have a very different background then most Indian applicants and the only common thing that I have in common with them is being Indian - I have an advanced degree from Ohio State University.  So will a non IT or lower GMAT set me back?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:15:07 PM)
Jay, what is the role of students in the admissions process?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:15:13 PM)
Cjotte: we generally waitlist anywhere from 75-150 applicants. Generally speaking, as the seats fill, the empty seats get more competitive. Waitlisted applicants are usually very solid, but were just slightly late in the season, etc.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:15:25 PM)
Linda--we have an organization here in McCombs known as MAC - the McCombs Admissions Committee. It's made up of approximately 50 first year students and 50 second year students who are selected from a pool of applicants.  The MAC members answer all emails sent to the McCombs Admissions email account, as well as field almost all of the phone calls from prospective applicants.  The MAC Members also review almost all of the applications that come in and make recommendations to the Directors of Admissions as to whether to accept or deny an applicant.  We're sort of the front lines in the admissions process :)  After we receive all the applications and finish all the interviews, the three co-chairs of MAC (I'm one) and the Associate director of admissions get together and make our final decisions. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:15:34 PM)
Jack, are you including food & beverage under CPG?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:16:13 PM)
Preete, no one specific background will set you back (IT, Finance, Marketing or otherwise).  In fact, it might set you apart that you are not like the others! GMAT is a factor...but it is always weighed against many criteria...everyone is evaluated thoroughly and individually. You should do your best job with your application and give it a try. There is no one single formula or magic number that makes it. 

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:16:26 PM)
Does a graduate level GPA count in terms of factors for admission?

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:16:28 PM)
Yes, Jamie, and retail too. 

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:16:32 PM)
Thanks again, Matt.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:17:09 PM)
Thanks for your replies guys; you were quite helpful.

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:17:22 PM)
What is generally more appealing to recruiters of UT; someone who specializes in a field or just concentrates in it and supplements it with electives from other functions?

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:17:40 PM)
Is it competitive to join MAC, or can any MBA student join?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:17:53 PM)
CJ--any MBA student can apply.  There is an application (one page) and a brief character interview. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:18:04 PM)
Your job would be very dull if there was such a formula, Matt.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:18:13 PM)
Jack, ConAgra, Frito, Pepsi, Minute Maid, Procter & Gamble, Spectrum, Unilever, Colgate are among those who've asked us to set up on or off campus interviews for them this year. There are more, but that's off the top of my mind. Anyone in particular you're looking for?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:18:31 PM)
Preete, graduate coursework is calculated into the upper division GPA from college. For international students, we tend to look less at this "GPA" since it is very difficult to compare across international lines. We tend to look strongly at TOEFL. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:18:42 PM)
Jack, for retail, Neiman Marcus, Target, The Buckle, Abercrombie & Fitch.

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:19:04 PM)
What is considered a low GPA?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:19:54 PM)
Jamie, how are career changers doing in the current job market?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:19:59 PM)
cjotte, recruiters are looking at a combination of background, skills, education and personal attributes. The answer to your question depends more on the mix of all of those than in just the classes you take. It could be either way depending on your goals & backgrounds.  We do a 2-day "Career Camp" for incoming MBAs to talk about how to select your goals & best prepare yourself to transition into them. 

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:20:08 PM)
JSG...our range last year went from 2.2 to 4.0. I'd say anything below 2.9 is getting on the low side, in general.  We are very careful to consider both the type of degree as well as the school you went to.  Military institutions, for instance, and engineering degree grades very differently than many places.

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:20:20 PM)
If we are granted an interview, should we expect a general evaluative interview or one with specific questions about our application? In other words, if you have questions about someone, do you ask them in an interview? I had a gap in employment that I wasn't able to fully explain given the format of the application.

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:20:27 PM)
Jamie, I am especially interested in the international opportunities to work for a CPG company...What percentage of such job offers are international?

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:20:40 PM)
Does the plus program change every year, or are there options on the topics that you wish to pursue through this program?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:21:01 PM)
Bruin--we have a set of questions that all of our interviewers ask (again, many of the interviewers are 2nd year MAC members).  In addition, the MAC member reviews the resume of the person they're interviewing prior to the interview.  If they have questions about the resume, they're more than welcome to ask it.  Finally, the interviewer does not see the application prior to the interview.  This way, they do not have any pre-conceptions based on quantitative measures. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:21:17 PM)
Linda, it's hard to change careers in a down market. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:21:36 PM)
True, but roughly 50% of MBA applicants are career changers.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:21:47 PM)
Linda, The Plus program offers students real experience in their first semester to help them get real exposure to their areas of interest.   This in combination with a good internship project, is the best way for students to transition. 

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:22:22 PM)
Usually how long after an application is sent in, is an interview granted?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:22:37 PM)
Thanks Jamie.

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:22:53 PM)
Thanks, Jay. What if you have questions about a candidate? Would you contact him/her at all?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:07 PM)
Cjotte: the general structure doesn't change, but students are allowed to engage in different Plus projects.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:21 PM)
Jack, that depends. Where are you legally authorized to work on a permanent basis and do you want a company to sponsor you for a work visa immediately upon graduation?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:28 PM)
JSG--invitations can be offered anytime from the a few days after a completed application is received throughout the admissions process.

Preete (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:35 PM)
Good night you guys. Thanks for your help.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:45 PM)
Bruin--We generally do not contact the candidates.  A good application should tell us everything that we're looking to know.  I have called people who wrote Letters of Recommendation to clarify some of their content. 

cjotte (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:46 PM)
Matt - what are common mistakes applicants make in their applications?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:52 PM)
Hey, that's one of my questions!

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:23:53 PM)
JSG...anywhere from 2 weeks up to 3 months.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:24:21 PM)
Cjotte: common application mistakes are being too general (not giving specific reasons for the MBA), and also not being specific about why you want to study at McCombs.  If your application could have been written for any good MBA program, you haven't quite done enough on the application.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:25:41 PM)
Jamie, what areas have been particularly strong for MBA recruitment?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:25:52 PM)
Also, are you seeing any pick up in on-campus recruiting?

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:26:09 PM)
How many people make the initial read of an application?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:26:46 PM)
Linda, food (particularly snack food), alcohol and tobacco -- all the things you'd expect in a down economy. ;-) But seriously, others include private banking is still recruiting as is real estate & petroleum. VC is hiring more interns than I've seen in a while & tech firms are coming back. We're seeing the highest levels of recruiting we've seen in three years. 

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:26:48 PM)
Bruin12....all applicants receive not only an initial read, but a thorough read!

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:27:03 PM)
Matt, from how many people?

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:27:11 PM)
Is the PLUS Program for group work or can it be an individual project? 

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:27:33 PM)
JSG--PLUS projects are done in groups.  If you have a project that you want to work on (that is, create), you can do that by becoming a team captain (a paid position).  You would then recruit other students to work on the project with you. 

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:27:44 PM)
Linda, generally speaking....applicants receive one read by a member of the McCombs Admissions Committee and then a second, completely blind read from a 2nd member of the MAC.  Then, the application goes for a final review, which involves professional admissions staff, career center folks, professors, and deans.....so many, many applicants receive 3 complete reads before a final decision is made.

jerome (Oct 27, 2003 9:28:31 PM)
How many/few scholarships are available for international students? Do you have specific numbers from previous years ? (eg. 5 full scholarship, 3 in-state tuition etc etc) ..

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:28:35 PM)
Linda, our interview center has 43 interview rooms & they were overflowing to people's offices & conference rooms with additional recruiters throughout October. Things aren't like the heyday years, but they're definitely improving. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:29:01 PM)
That's great news! I'm sure we're all glad to hear it.

indo (Oct 27, 2003 9:29:16 PM)
If one is in school doing MS (after 5 years of experience )and now planning to go for MBA, how should one distribute his recommendation letters - both from work place or one from school and one from work place?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:30:00 PM)
Jerome, we gave out $375,000 worth of scholarship money/ tuition differentials to 62 enrolled students.  Many of these students were international ....these recruiting scholarships are heavily based on merit.  All applicants are automatically considered for scholarships during the application review process; no separate forms are needed.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:30:04 PM)
Indo--A current professor who can speak to why an MBA would be good for you, is definitely a good idea, as is (and almost more importantly) a LOR from your former supervisor.  This one speaks to what you're capable of (and possibly what your shortcomings are) in the workplace, which is where we all hope to be in the near future.

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:30:53 PM)
Regarding the financial support information required of international applicants, how does that affect the admissions decisions? I believe it's part of the completed application materials.

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:31:06 PM)
Matt - What does a "completely blind read" entail? I'm assuming nothing in Braille?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:31:45 PM)
Jack--the financial support info has absolutely no bearing on an admissions decision what so ever.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:32:01 PM)
Jay, what is housing like around campus?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:32:11 PM)
Bruin12: ha! Blind means that the person reviewing has not looked at what anyone else has said about the file....he/she starts from scratch and considers all criteria on his/her own.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:32:12 PM)
Linda--that's a great question for the real estate guy. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:32:36 PM)
I'm talking about apartment rentals, not major development and construction. :-)

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:32:38 PM)
Linda, it's a varied hodgepodge of very nice private homes, private dorms and apartment complexes and on-campus housing.  With the real estate market where it is, many students are living farther out in nicer places because those complexes are offering cheaper rents to stay full.  The undergrads all live right around campus while the grad students tend to live slightly farther out. 

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:32:49 PM)
I grew up and went to school in Texas, but have worked/moved out of state. Is it possible to get in state tuition in at least the second year, if not both years?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:34:09 PM)
JSG....usually the definition of a TX resident is 12 months employment in Texas prior to admission.  Sometimes, if you have been raised most of your life in Texas and moved away only for a few years,  then you can obtain instate residency in your second year, but usually not in your first. 

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:34:10 PM)
What is the typical range for a one bedroom apartment around the campus?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:34:18 PM)
Jack--it varies greatly.  It could be between $400 and $800 depending on amenities, etc.  I'd say if you plan to spend around $600 for a decent place, you'll be in good shape.  Many admitted students wind up hooking up and becoming roommates through our accepted student chat board, which allows them to find nicer places than they would alone.

CindyTokumitsu (Oct 27, 2003 9:34:35 PM)
Are there any industries or sectors from which you would like to see more applicants?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:35:38 PM)
Residency is complicated....we have a click through to the residency officer on the Common Questions portion of our website: www.mccombs.utexas.edu.

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:35:46 PM)
Who were some of your favorite professors in your first year?

indo (Oct 27, 2003 9:35:50 PM)
Thanks Jay, in that line only...should I send the third recommendation from the professor after the second recommendation from the workplace?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:36:05 PM)
Matt, how do you use the letters of recommendation?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:36:38 PM)
Indo, and Linda....letters of recommendation should speak to your work experience whenever possible.  That means, you should obtain them from people who know your work best, and not from high-titled people who are not so familiar with your work, usually recommendation letters from direct-line supervisors are good.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:36:38 PM)
Jamie, how does full-time recruiting interest differ from internship recruiting?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:36:42 PM)
Bruin--I would definitely try to take an accounting class with Eric Hirst (on sabbatical this year) and a stats class with Stathis Tompaidis (on sabbatical this year) -- I believe both will be back next year.  You should also look to take a class with Lennie Sullivan if you have any interest in real estate at all.  Second year is generally where you get the rock star professors-- Nolen, Salbu, Doggett to name a few.

jerome (Oct 27, 2003 9:37:00 PM)
Regarding the essay questions, in the last part, we are required to choose  a defining moment or anything else we want the admissions officer to know. What if I have a good story to tell in the defining moment question while at the same time, I have some issues I want to address that are not mentioned elsewhere .. can I answer both questions?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:37:04 PM)
Cindy, any background that shows increasing leadership, teamwork and problem-solving leading to concrete results is highly desirable. The industry isn't as important as your ability to succeed in it.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:37:44 PM)
Linda, I suppose you mean more that most full-time happens in the Fall and most intern recruiting happens in the Spring?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:38:06 PM)
I mean are companies hiring more for internships than for full-time or vice versa?  Is it easier to get an internship than a job?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:38:23 PM)
Jerome, you are certainly welcome to answer the defining moments essay and then, as an afterthought, you could add a separate short note on something extra you needed to tell us. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:38:33 PM)
It's actually harder to get an internship than a full-time job in many ways. Despite that, our students did much better in the internship search process than the full-time search process this year, so it's another sign the economy is improving.

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:39:22 PM)
Can you usually tell the difference between someone who really wants to go to UT, and someone who says they really want to go to UT?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:39:34 PM)
JSG--Absolutely!!  Someone who really wants to come to McCombs makes sure that we know that.  Those people have done their research about not only the academic side of things but also the social side of life at McCombs.  They tell us all the things that make McCombs the right choice for them across all levels.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:39:53 PM)
Linda, you will see more companies doing on-campus interviews for full-time jobs than for internships, but many more companies were advertising for off-campus internship interviews this year (due to reduced recruiting budgets.) Our students took full advantage of that.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:40:09 PM)
Jamie, are there actions applicants can take before they start b-school that improve their chances of obtaining an internship and full-time job later on?

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:40:22 PM)
Matt - Since I've already turned in my application, would it be possible to relay that extra information to you via the interview (if I'm granted one)?

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:40:25 PM)
Good!

indo (Oct 27, 2003 9:40:59 PM)
Thanks Matt.  Can I send a third recommendation letter from a professor even after the deadline and my application will be considered complete, as I will have already sent all the rest documents?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:41:14 PM)
Linda, ABSOLUTELY! We talk about that in the summer Career Camp. Spend the time BEFORE school learning about potential careers and meeting people in them. The ROI is amazing. I've have students start the MBA program with internship offers each year because they did this so well.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:41:24 PM)
Bruin12: yes, you could relay that info in the interview. You could also email Carolyn.Davis@mccombs.utexas.edu,  and request that we add the attachment to your file....let me say, however, that this isn't the best method of getting materials to us ...for the rest of you who haven't applied yet! 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:41:33 PM)
So information interviews are useful, right?  Internships before you start sound pretty good.

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:41:55 PM)
Linda & Jamie--I'll pipe in on that one...

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:42:06 PM)
I got my internship last summer through an informational interview.  At the end of it, the person I was interviewing with said that he thought I would be a great fit at that company and that they'd like me to work there for the summer.  In fact, I'm in negotiations with them now for a full time gig. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:42:25 PM)
Linda, tt's beyond useful. Networking and informational interviewing is the key to success. We spend a lot of time working with students on how to do this well. We bring lots of companies to campus, but if you're not clear on your goals & have folks in that field supporting you, it is SO hard to compete if you're a career changer.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:42:31 PM)
Linda, our interviews are behavioral and they are not just an admissions thing...but also an opportunity to meet face to face w/ an alumnus or a student and determine "fit" and "culture" between the applicant and the program. 

jerome (Oct 27, 2003 9:42:56 PM)
Assuming I retook the GMAT after I submitted my application, and I got a higher score, would it be considered?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:43:22 PM)
Jerome--Yes, your higher GMAT can be considered.   You would need to send us an email (McCombsMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu) letting us know you are sending a higher score our way.  We'll then pull your application and hold it until we get that higher score.  Note that this does hold up your application slightly but since GMAC sends the scores over within a few weeks, it shouldn't be too big a delay.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:43:37 PM)
Linda, I'm talking GOOD internships are happening by September -- Merrill Lynch, Hewlett Packard -- real companies! That's why we like to get to folks after they're admitted and before they start. It makes their lives easier. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:44:12 PM)
That's great, Jamie and Jay.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:44:29 PM)
Jamie, what percentage of applicants get full-time job offers from internships?

jerome (Oct 27, 2003 9:44:36 PM)
Thanks Jay.

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:44:41 PM)
It's great to know about the Summer Camp opportunity!

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:44:58 PM)
Can you give some more information on the Washington Campus Summer Program?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:45:21 PM)
Linda, many of our internships are not intended to be for full-time offers. They're short-term projects with companies that help the student add value & build a "story" to help them switch to a new career in full-time interviews.  That said, the offer rate is about 3/4. Most students want to keep exploring their options after their summer experience for a little while, though.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:45:28 PM)
JSG...Washington Campus is an opportunity (I believe one week long) for MBA students to see how government policy affects the business world.  I believe it's in the Spring and again in the Summer. Our students have to apply and we send many students every year.

indo (Oct 27, 2003 9:45:28 PM)
How is the job placements for job switchers who come from manufacturing?

baybay12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:46:07 PM)
Is the two-year full time work experience the minimum requirement? And how do you calculate the time? Is it time accumulated until I enroll in the MBA program or until I apply for the MBA?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:46:26 PM)
Baybay--the two year work requirement is the minimum.  And it's calculated based on the date that you would start our program (late August). 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:46:39 PM)
Thank you Jamie.

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:46:47 PM)
Each year, how many students participate in the foreign double-degree exchange program?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:46:50 PM)
Indo, it depends on what you're going into & what you were doing in manufacturing.  The actual industry isn't that big of a deal. Of course, it helps if you're just changing career fields but staying in the same industry.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:47:06 PM)
Jack, inbound there are about 15-20 incoming each year.  Outbound double-degree students are usually more like 4-6 per year. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:47:26 PM)
Jay, how is the work load at McCombs?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:47:36 PM)
Linda--heavy!!  Just kidding--it's enough that it keeps you busy but also allows some time to socialize and have a life outside of campus. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:48:00 PM)
So you're not bored. ;-)

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:48:10 PM)
Bored? There's no time for that !!  First year (as I'm sure you've already heard from colleagues and friends) is not designed to be touchy-feely.  The professors throw work at you--more work than you're capable of doing on your own--in the hopes that you learn how to rely on your teammates to share the workload. 

baybay12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:48:22 PM)
Jay, can an engineering contractor position be considered as the full-time work experience?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:48:46 PM)
How do you view family business experience? Where should applicants in family businesses get their recommendations from?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:49:06 PM)
Linda....yes, family business counts!  Family business is the norm in many countries.  Recommendation letters from family business usually come from clients or other non-family members familiar with your work. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:49:22 PM)
Does it count as much as corporate experience?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:49:29 PM)
Baybay--I'm not sure what exactly you mean. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:49:31 PM)
baybay12, it depends on what the experience looks like. Was it full-time experience over an extended period of time? Did you have a full client load? Can you document significant results & leadership? These questions are more important.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:49:59 PM)
I think he means he was working on a contract basis on a project and not as a full-time, regular employee.

Bruin12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:50:10 PM)
How do you form study groups your first year?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:50:23 PM)
Bruin--they're actually assigned to you in your core classes.  The core classes are all taken within your cohort (a group of about 60+ students), that are then broken down into your study groups.  The powers that be do a great job of making sure that the different study groups are all very diverse--both ethnically and professionally.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:50:51 PM)
Linda, re: family business, it's still important to be able to show leadership, continuous growth & documentable results that you achieved.  It's probably even more important for a family business because recruiters want to know nobody was carrying you.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:50:57 PM)
How do you perceive changes in a reapplicant's goal between the last and current applications?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:51:14 PM)
Thanks Matt and Jamie.

indo (Oct 27, 2003 9:51:24 PM)
Thanks Jamie.  Can you throw some rough estimates of job placements for international students at McCombs?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:51:29 PM)
Linda...reapplicants should do everything in their power to show how hard they are trying to improve on their previous application.  So, by all means, redo the essays, update the resume, etc.  We provide written feedback on denials during the summer months....you can request feed back anytime after a denial and up until the following Sept. 1. We do not accept these requests after that date.

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:52:14 PM)
Indo, at 3 months I believe it was 60%, but I have trouble getting full data on international students, so that's a minimum.

baybay12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:52:17 PM)
Jay, I had been a software contractor for a company, but I am not their full time employee. Could this experience be counted within the two-year full time work experience?

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:53:10 PM)
3 months as in 3 months after graduation, Jamie?

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:53:25 PM)
Jack, yes, for international students.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:53:27 PM)
Baybay, are you working 40 hrs/ week for them? If not, we'll consider it, but it is hard to count against a template of full-time work applicants.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:54:05 PM)
Another note about reapplicants; they have a slightly higher rate of acceptance their second time through...due to the fact that they've made improvements and due to the fact that they are showing how determined they are!

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:54:13 PM)
Do you have any advice for older applicants/younger applicants?

Dykoski (Oct 27, 2003 9:54:34 PM)
How much does it help to get online recommendations submitted from current students or alumni? And, if it is helpful, how many submissions are appropriate?

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 9:54:56 PM)
How does the adcom look at applicants who are currently unemployed?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:55:24 PM)
Linda....the issue is not older/ younger....it's how much experience you have...and why you need an MBA.  Those with extensive (beyond 10 years) work experience should really be considering strongly an executive MBA or at least outline specifically in their applications why they are pursuing a regular MBA at this particular point in their life.  As to younger applicants, the issue with younger applicants is to be very specific about their work experience...skills learned....things managed, etc. 

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 9:55:46 PM)
OK, than let's say more and less experienced applicants.

baybay12 (Oct 27, 2003 9:55:53 PM)
Well, the contractor is based on the project and I worked for them around 30 hours per week!

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:56:50 PM)
Dykoski--recommendations from current students or alumni help flesh out the application.  The formal letters of recommendation tell us about the professional side of you, your overall character, while the supplemental recommendations speak to your personality and fit here at the program.  If the people submitting the supplemental recommendation really know you, having several is not a bad thing (as long as they don't all say the same thing).  But look to two to three recommendations as a good goal.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 9:56:53 PM)
We are always willing to let QUALITY of work override mere quantity. 

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 9:56:54 PM)
Jack, it's important you have something to show for your time even though your unemployed. --volunteer, working part time. Do something to show leadership, community service, growth, something more interesting that a full knowledge of the current TV lineup. ;-)

JSG (Oct 27, 2003 9:59:39 PM)
Thanks guys for everything; I really appreciate your insight, and look forward to sending in my application.

Dykoski (Oct 27, 2003 10:00:00 PM)
Thanks Jay, one more question... How competitive are the positions for the MBA Investment Fund?

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 10:00:10 PM)
Dykoski--Very!!  There are probably about 60 students that apply for the Fund, of which about 30 get interviews, and about 10 get selected.  The interview process is a tough one--testing both your finance knowledge and your analytical skills through a stock pitch. 

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 10:00:20 PM)
How soon will one hear a reply after submitting his application?

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 10:00:32 PM)
We look forward to getting applications from all of you!...If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us at McCombsMBA@McCombs.utexas.edu.  We have a team of 50 students waiting to help answer you.....our main phone is 800-658-9227.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:01:05 PM)
That's pretty selective.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:01:17 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Matt, Jamie, and Jay for joining us this evening.

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 10:01:42 PM)
Alright, thank you McCombs Adcom and Linda!

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:01:44 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats:                                                                                           Cornell - Nov. 3 CMU -- Nov. 11 MIT - Nov. 20 USC - Dec. 9

jamiebelinneut (Oct 27, 2003 10:01:54 PM)
Goodnight!

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:02 PM)
Linda, how soon will this transcript be posted online?

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:11 PM)
Jack, later this week or early next week.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:12 PM)
Jack...you normally receive your reply usually 12-13 weeks later (not counting Xmas).

JayMurnickUT (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:15 PM)
Feel free to email us with any questions--mccombsmba@mccombs.utexas.edu. Speak to you then.

Dykoski (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:23 PM)
Thank you for your help.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:26 PM)
Please check http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.htm#mba for exact times and details on the chats.

MattTurnerUT (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:40 PM)
Thanks to all of you! Good Night.

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:41 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

Jack (Oct 27, 2003 10:02:52 PM)
Thanks!

Linda Abraham (Oct 27, 2003 10:03:00 PM)
You're welcome.

CindyTokumitsu (Oct 27, 2003 10:03:04 PM)
Thanks everyone from UT for a very informative chat. Good luck to the applicants!



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