Meet The UT-Austin’s McCombs Class of 2017

Mike Sarraille

Michael Sarraille 

University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Undergraduate School and Major:

Texas A&M University, BBA in Marketing (2003)

Stanford University Graduate Business School, Ignite Program (2015)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: 

United States Department of Defense (1998 – Present):

  • United States Marine Corps – 1998-2003. Reconnaissance Marine and Scout-Sniper (Rank: E-5/Sergeant)
  • United States Navy – 2003-Present. Navy SEAL (Rank: O-4 / Lieutenant Commander)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE?  ‘Prepare early, prepare often.’ If you struggle with standardized tests, start your preparation as early as possible and seek assistance through tutoring or a preparation courses to improve in your weak areas. Take as many full-length practice tests as possible to continually gauge your progress throughout your preparation. View this as an opportunity to show the MBA admissions staff that you are willing and able to put the necessary effort into improving your scores.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Conduct as much internet research as possible to determine which schools fit your initial criteria or interests.  Following an initial search, engage with admissions officers, current students, and alumni to get a better feel for what the school stands for and if it is in alignment with your personal values and future plans. Lastly, visit your top 3 to 5 schools to rack and stack your top target schools.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? The best question you can address prior to writing essays or preparing for interview questions is ‘How do I differentiate myself from the pack?’ Convince the admissions staff that your past performance qualifies you as a worthy candidate, who will positively impact the school and your fellow peers.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? UT McCombs has one of the largest distinguished networks of business alumni in the nation. Additionally, I have served in the military with several notable leaders (alumni) from the University of Texas. One of those leaders was recently ranked number 35 out of 50 on the Fortune Magazine list of the World’s Greatest Leaders. Given the school’s track record to consistently produce leaders and pioneers in the private sector, I knew McCombs would provide a challenging educational environment to improve as both a military leader and business professional.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I would like to achieve a strong business management foundation surrounded by a group of aggressive, intelligent peers who want nothing more than to make their mark within the private sector.