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2010/08/28

Agos MBA Admissions Interview Series: McCombs

This is the third in a series of postings, each of which will feature a different top MBA program. In our third installment, a member of the admissions team at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin has been kind enough to answer our questions. After reading the interview, look for more information about this program here http://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/

The AGOS MBA Admissions Interview Series Questionnaire

1)What has been the general trend (increase/decrease) in the number of Asian candidates both applying and accepted over the past 5 years? Has this affected the number of Japanese applicants admitted?

The Texas MBA program has seen a slight (less than 5%) decrease in international applicants overall in the past two years. Asia does not stand out as being above or below this trend. This has not affected the number of Japanese applicants who are admitted.

2) A significant percentage of MBA applicants from Japan are sponsored by their company or organization. How do you view sponsored applicants who will return to their companies after completing the MBA?

Generally a sponsored candidate is competitive because s/he has already gone through a vetting process with an employer. These candidates tend to have significant professional accomplishments that have earned them a sponsorship.
McCombs views sponsored and non-sponsored candidates on the same attributes of work experience, leadership and teamwork skills, career goals, the need for an MBA, academic aptitude and professional references.

3) If an applicant has only had domestic professional experience, in what ways can they strengthen their application to show their potential for success in your program?

If a candidate has had no international exposure whatsoever through work, we look for evidence of international exposure in his/her personal experience. Many Asian candidates have spent a semester abroad in undergrad. Candidates can also highlight any international experiences in an optional essay.

4) We encourage applicants to apply to the schools that will best help them meet their goals. How do you assess fit between your program and applicants?

Applicants can define their fit with the Texas MBA by making a connection between the resources/curriculum our program offers and future goals. The essays and extra-curricular activities and the interview provide information on fit as well.

5) What range of speaking and listening sub-scores do you like to see on the TOEFL?

University of Texas requires an ESL screen with iBT TOEFL writing and/or speaking scores below 22. Due to the interactive nature of the classroom in the MBA program, we prefer these scores to be around 25. We offer an MBA ESL course that students can take prior to starting classes. Interview input is also important when evaluating ESL skills.

6) What is the average range of Verbal and A.W.A. scores for admitted, non-native English speaking applicants?

Our average total GMAT score has not been finalized for this year’s incoming student population. Last year it was 680. We do not publicize averages for specific groups or for specific sections of the GMAT.

7) What key areas are assessed in the interview?

Professional presentation in appearance and communication; communication and language skills; communication of goals/objectives and why the Texas MBA is a fit for these; leadership and teamwork skills.

8) Are there any tracks, concentrations, electives or extra-curricular activities that are very popular among your students?

Concentrations: Energy or Real Estate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Clean Tech
Extra Curricular: MBA+ Leadership Development Program – micro-consulting projects, seminars, workshops, exec coaching, and more; MBA Investment Fund; MBA REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Fund
Student Orgs: Venture Fellows, McCombs Admissions Committee, Marketing Fellows – these orgs all involve an application process to be a member and are very popular.

9) What would you like more people to know about your school?

Curriculum is very flexible and students can take courses in other schools on campus if it makes sense for their path.
McCombs School is highly ranked in most major business disciplines (see rankings below):
Departments, Programs, & Specializations: Graduate
#1 Graduate Business School in Texas, Decision Analyst (6/10)
#1 Accounting, U.S. News (4/10)
#1 Graduate Accounting, Public Accounting Report (10/09)
#3 Information Systems, U.S. News (4/10)
#3 Accounting, Financial Times (1/10)
#4 MBA Program for Hispanics, Hispanic Business (9/09)
#8 Best Professors, Princeton Review (10/09)
#9 Entrepreneurship, U.S. News (4/10)
#11 Productions/Operations Management, U.S. News (4/10)
#12 Marketing, U.S. News (4/10)
#15 Finance, U.S. News (4/10)
#15 International Business, U.S. News (4/10)
Top 15, Global Management, Princeton Review (3/10)
#16 U.S., Best Global MBAs for Mexicans, Expansion (2/10)
#19 Management, U.S. News (4/10)
#20 Supply Chain/Logistics, U.S. News (4/10)
McCombs and the University of Texas house the Energy Management and Innovation Center - contributing to a better understanding of the economic, commercial, and policy issues involved in the production, distribution, and consumption of energy.
McCombs established the Texas Venture Labs to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization.
Austin, Texas has earned numerous top rankings as a place to live with access to a high quality of life at an affordable cost of living.


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