Rice Jones | Mr. Carbon-Free Future
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
Harvard | Mr. Software PE
GMAT 760, GPA 3.45
Kellogg | Mr. Social Impact Initiative
GMAT 710, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
INSEAD | Ms. Spaniard Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 8.5/10.00
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4

The MBA Gatekeeper At UT McCombs

Rodrigo Malta, director of MBA admissions, UT-Austin McCombs School

Rodrigo Malta, director of MBA admissions, UT-Austin McCombs School

For applicants at the University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business, there’s such a thing as “too much” –  but not always. A would-be McCombs MBA might badger the admissions office too much, crossing the line from diligence to harassment. An applicant may spend too much time applying at too many other schools, diluting the power of their application.

But you can’t have too much Longhorn pride. When McCombs MBA admissions director Rodrigo Malta says “we bleed burnt orange here at McCombs,” he means it: passion for the University of Texas-Austin Longhorns runs deep in the business school, and in its admissions office.

Now, lest the idea arise that arriving for a McCombs admissions interview dressed as Longhorns mascot Bevo the steer would guarantee admission, it must be stated that an affinity for burnt orange is only one among several important criteria evaluated by the school’s admissions team. Undergraduate GPA and GMAT score are, naturally, key elements of admissions decision-making, as are work experience, personal qualities, interpersonal skills, and leadership abilities.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO A COMMON ADMISSIONS PROBLEM

However, one obstacle looms up frequently between applicants and admissions officers: applicants don’t always do the most effective job in presenting themselves. Fortunately, says Malta, there’s a simple solution: tell the team, honestly, who you are and what you’re all about, rather than telling them what you think they want to hear.

UT-Austin mascot Bevo with handlers    - Wikimedia Commons photo

UT-Austin mascot Bevo with handlers – Wikimedia Commons photo

Malta himself is a McCombs MBA, having studied there from 2005 to 2007, after spending four-and-a-half years as a senior auditor for Sprint. Directly out of his MBA program, he worked for Dell in Texas for 16 months as a product consultant, then returned to McCombs, as associate director for MBA admissions, working in that position for just under two years before receiving a promotion to MBA admissions director in 2010.

Students at McCombs, by the numbers:

School dataClass of 2016Class of 2015
Enrolled students270 275
Women32%26%
U.S. minorities21%20%
International students25%20%
Average undergrad GPA3.4 3.39
Average GMAT694 690

Source: McCombs School

In the following Q&A, Malta discusses what it takes to get into the McCombs MBA program, and how applicants can best navigate the process – without spreading themselves too thinly, or becoming admissions-team stalkers. He offers advice on admissions essays, and video submissions. He discloses that while some admissions officers at McCombs have received painted portraits of themselves from applicants, he has not. And he answers the burning question, “If I send the McCombs MBA admissions director a cake to sweeten up my application, is he likely to eat it?”

NEXT PAGE: Q&A WITH MCCOMBS SCHOOL MBA ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR RODRIGO MALTA

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