The McCombs MBA: Its Ties to Dallas, Houston (and Beyond)

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 connections to the cities of the Texas Triangle, Dallas and Houston, 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 McCombs and its location. Rodrigo is both the Recruiting and Admissions Director for McCombs and a graduate of the program, so he knows the program from both sides. 

This interview includes:

You can watch more from David and Rodrigo, with videos covering McCombs MBA Admissions (with Video Essay Tips!), and McCombs MBA Employment Reports and Career Center.

Interview with McCombs Admissions Director

Ready to start your application? Apply to McCombs

McCombs’ Affiliation with the Texas Triangle

UT Austin benefits from being in a state that is growing, and has strong economic activity. More than the stereotypical oil and gas industries, Texas has a strong tech, real estate, and consulting sector—all headquartered in Houston, Austin, and Dallas. 

McCombs is a small program: 260 students located within the massive—50,000-student—UT Austin. That means that the university has inroads with Texas-based businesses. The so-called Texas Triangle is home to a number of important international businesses and rising startups.

All in all, the Texas Triangle provides a variety of opportunities in a range of industries to McCombs students through networking connections that the school fosters, and through not only the Austin campus, but Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth campuses that run professional/part-time MBA programs. McCombs, as a result, has recruitment fairs in all three members of the Texas Triangle.  

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Living in Austin

Austin balances opportunities with a relatively low cost of living. But more than affordability, McCombs and UT Austin have a close relationship with the city. Both city and college grew up together which has allowed the university to have strong ties to the many business sectors in the city and feel integrated. 

To this end, UT Austin has recently built Rowling Hall. It’s a building with huge glass windows overlooking downtown, giving students and university business partners the opportunity to come to a nice space that is easily accessible. 

Austin is also geographically small enough that it is easy to traverse. Unlike megalopolises like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and the Bay Area, one can bike twenty blocks from the UT Austin campus to the Google offices.

Austin is also a city with a lot to do beyond the business world.

McCombs & Austin Connect Through Fellows Programs

McCombs Fellows Programs give students the opportunity to be more involved with corporate partners and recruiters while still on-campus. They allow students to go deep in a particular field, and continue learning beyond the classroom

There are a number of fellows programs including marketing fellows for marketing operations, fellows for operations, fellows for venture capital, and others. Students have an opportunity to learn about the various programs during their first semester at McCombs, and explore various opportunities in all of them before applying to be a part of a few of them. Students then do a single program at a time in groups of fifteen to twenty.

During the second semester, students join a fellows program as an elective class. If, say, one chooses the venture fellows program, they end up learning about venture capital deals and how to assess them while simultaneously being placed in a local venture capital firm—helping students build connections with an Austin-based business community.

McCombs’ Job Placement Outside of Texas

Beyond the Texas Triangle, McCombs sent almost 20% of its class to the West coast and 10% to the Northeast. McCombs career placement is done through the Career Management Center for the UT Austin MBA program. Recently called out in a Poets&Quants article for providing superior service, McCombs career management personnel are divided into two teams:

There are many recruitment activities on campus which are attended by regional recruiters interested in finding local talent. However, the numbers and quality at McCombs ensure that a large number of national recruiters are also on hand.

There are typically twelve to fourteen career treks (i.e., road trips organized by the employer relations team). They are often themed by region and industry: a Seattle-centric technology trek, New York-based Wall Street investment banking trek, a Houston energy trek, a Dallas consulting trek, etc. There are even local treks in Austin where students go downtown to speak with startups. 

McCombs uses these treks to not only attract businesses to campus but to showcase students on the road and connect with alumni in locations outside of Texas.

All in all, McCombs provides an integrated experience to the city it calls home while allowing students to venture beyond its borders and explore business opportunities everywhere.