A Look Inside McCombs MBA Admissions (with Video Essay Tips!)

At Menlo Coaching, we’re fans of the UT Austin McCombs School of Business. Its extensive ties to the city of Austin and its deep business relationships with members of the Texas Triangle make it an ideal place to explore a wide variety of industries. Hook ‘em horns!

David White, our Founding Partner, sat down with Rodrigo Malta, the Managing Director of MBA Recruiting and Admissions to get the inside scoop on Admissions at McCombs.

This part of the interview includes:

You can watch more from David and Rodrigo, with videos covering McCombs and its Ties to Dallas, Houston, (and Beyond), as well as McCombs MBA Employment Reports and Career Center.

Interview with McCombs Admissions Director

Ready to start your application? Apply to McCombs

Who does McCombs admit?

In addition to wanting driven, results-oriented applicants, UT Austin McCombs values students that are willing to be collaborative and community-oriented. Much like the unofficial slogan of the city in which it operates—“Keep Austin Weird”—McCombs looks for applicants that are a bit open to taking unconventional routes to the final product, unafraid to make some mistakes, willing to tinker with good ideas, open to feedback and curious. 

As an institution with small classes, McCombs tends to be uninterested in applicants that are looking at the MBA as a way to arrive at a specific, predetermined job, or to check a box and get a credential. Likewise, the business school is not interested in admitting applicants who are not open to working with others.

Diversity and Profile of the McCombs Applicant

Often discounted as a regional school, the fact that McCombs sends 20% of its class to the West Coast and 10% to the Northeast, means it is eager to send their students all over the world and are happy to accept applicants with career goals outside of the Texas Triangle. 

A typical McCombs class is made up of about one third business students, one third technical engineering and computer science students, and one third liberal arts students. All of them go through the McCombs MBA core curriculum no matter their background and previous experience. This means that there can be community focus: a CPA taking an accounting course helps an engineer succeed, just as an engineer taking a tech-focused course helps a CPA succeed.

The McCombs Video Essay: Content and Authenticity

McCombs uses a video essay option for their applications which can be daunting to consider. It is important to remember that applicants can still make a charming submission without high production values and bells and whistles. McCombs is focused on the content more than the format. Successful applicants have even made their videos in a hotel room using a laptop or iPhone.