2017 Best MBAs: Timothy Carreon, University of Texas (McCombs)

Timothy Carreon

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“A Texas-born, California-raised son of immigrant parents who loves music, making cocktails, and building spreadsheets.”

Age: 28

Hometown: I was born in Dallas, TX, where I lived for 11 years before moving to the San Francisco Bay area.

Fun fact about yourself: I was in a band for over four years – I played guitar, sang backup and lead vocals, and played the cowbell. We played charity battle of the band concerts in Los Angeles and cumulatively raised over $200,000 for local charities.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Southern California, B.S. Business Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? DLA Piper, LLP; Economist

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Nordstrom, Inc.; Seattle, WA

Where will you be working after graduation? Amazon, Inc.; Finance Leadership Development Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Class President
  • Co-Founder of the Social Impact Internship Fund
  • McCombs Ambassador Committee member
  • Sole Recipient of the Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholarship at UT Austin
  • Sord Scholar Award (> 3.8 GPA in core MBA curriculum)
  • Dean’s Award (> 3.8 cumulative GPA)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my role as co-founder of the Social Impact Internship Fund (the “SIIF”) at McCombs. As class president, I had the privilege of working with three of my classmates who were also in student government to create the SIIF. The mission of the SIIF is to enable MBA students to pursue social impact careers with organizations in the non-profit, public, or social enterprise realm. The SIIF accomplishes this through fundraising campaigns, including the cornerstone “Give-a-Day” campaign, in which students donated a day’s worth of their internship salary to the SIIF. In its first month of existence, my team and I were able to raise roughly $40,000 and provide fellowships to four McCombs MBA students in their pursuit of internships in the social impact and sustainability sectors.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Before coming to business school, I had the privilege of traveling all over the world in a consulting role. My proudest and most fun achievement was when I went to Tokyo, Japan, to help a major footwear client save millions of dollars in tax court. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about a new culture and experience a completely different business environment.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite MBA course has been “Strategies for a Networked Economy,” taught by Professor Prabhudev Konana. The class has helped me to think critically about the exponential increase in the interconnectedness of our world. Companies, customers, suppliers, and partners are evolving through information technology and platform-mediated networks, and it’s our job as future managers to extract the most value out of this complex network.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose McCombs because the students with whom I had interacted were so open, authentic, friendly, and helpful. When I visited Austin for my admissions interview, I was blown away by the vibe of the city, the hospitality of the people, and the ambitions of the students.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The relationships that I have made, both professionally and personally, while at McCombs are invaluable to me. Many people will refer to this collection of relationships from business school as a network – I call it a second family. I would not have achieved the same level of success without my classmates, my mentors in the McCombs program office, and my amazing professors.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? I was most surprised at how the city of Austin is such a valuable asset that contributes to the camaraderie of the McCombs Full-time MBA program. I tell prospective students that it’s a “big little city” – you can hike the Texas hill country, have some of the country’s best BBQ, watch the most valuable college football team in America, and catch a live band all in the same day, and within a 10-mile radius. Yet, because Austin is still small enough, all of my classmates live close to each other, so there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t grab a drink or a bite to eat with a friend.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? McCombs is all about its “famously friendly” culture. Applicants should show that they have culture fit by demonstrating how they care for the community, how they have helped their peers to succeed, and how much they value personal and professional relationships.

What was your biggest regret in business school? My biggest regret was not taking more advantage of the entrepreneurial programs at McCombs. The school’s unique placement in context of the Austin start-up scene provides unique opportunities for students with entrepreneurial ambitions. I’ve only started to explore Austin’s and McCombs’ start-up environment and wish I started sooner!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my successor as class president, Joey Martin, for his ability to juggle student government, his family, and recruiting for his dream consulting job. To top it all off, Joey served in the U.S. Navy before coming to McCombs.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I was an undergraduate studying business at USC. My role models followed a similar path – work for several years, pursue an MBA to learn from other ambitious, creative students and professors, and then become influential leaders in the global business community.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…traveling the world as I took a break from work – most likely in Southeast Asia or on a cross-country road trip.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would provide additional opportunities to meet the faculty in more informal settings. McCombs has amazing professors in a wide variety of fields, and although they have open-door policies, some students may not have the courage to approach them and learn from their experience and research.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To return to Austin and be CFO of several emerging start-ups.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents and my sister. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines before my sister and I were born. My parents have always encouraged me to pursue whatever makes me happy and have never pressured me into a decision that I wasn’t comfortable with. My sister has always been my guiding rock through the ups and downs of my career.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I hope my peers will remember me as a generous, caring classmate who gave his time to make McCombs better than he found it.

Favorite book: Moneyball

Favorite movie or television show: Game of Thrones

Favorite musical performer: Mumford & Sons

Favorite vacation spot: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Hobbies? Hiking, tennis, racquetball, CrossFit, making cocktails, playing guitar, and playing the cowbell.

What made Tim such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Tim Carreon was elected by his peers as the president of the Texas MBA Class of 2017.He leads his class with humility, dedication and passion. The three guiding principles he chose as president of the Graduate Business Council were philanthropy, community and legacy. Tim has honored those principles through his actions. As a co-founder of the Social Impact Internship Fund, he worked to inspire his class to contribute a portion of their summer salary to support fellow classmates who were seeking not-for-profit or social impact positions over the summer. And, as an engaged member of our McCombs Ambassador Committee (MAC), Tim has hosted more prospective students than any MAC member over the past two years which has had a direct impact on the legacy of the Texas MBA program.

Most importantly, Tim has taken his role as president of his class to be of service to the school, his peers and our greater McCombs community. The McCombs’ director of student affairs describes him as, “an inspiring leader of leaders, and a positive force on the Texas MBA community. Whether it’s personal interactions with classmates or making strategic decisions for the program as GBC president, Tim affects everything and everyone around him for the better.” I have no doubt he will continue to do the same wherever he goes in the future.

Tina Mabley

Assistant Dean