Meet The Texas McCombs MBA Class of 2019

Taina Tebaldi Lajara 

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs Business School. 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A girl called bossy many times growing up who learned that leaders learn to lead.

Hometown: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was in kindergarten I skipped a grade, and after that I was always ahead of my age for one year. The truth is, it was because my sister, who was three years older than me, favorite game was to teach me everything she had learned on a white board, not knowing that I would arrive in the classroom and be bored. And we can all imagine how a bored 5-year-old can be.

Undergraduate School and Major: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Chemical Engineer and Ecole Centrale de Lille, Master in Engineering.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: 


  • Field Engineer Trainee
  • Integrated Project Management Engineer
  • Performance Engineer.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have no doubts that my greatest accomplishment is doing my part to make the oil and gas industry more open to female leaders. I did it either by being accepted as mentor by a new trainee or by standing in front of the Energy and Mines Minister of Guatemala to present my oil well project.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I know all you think is GMAT, essays, recommendations, and interviews but there is one thing that should preceded all that and is the applicant-school match. My recommendation is to find a fit: a program where the applicant can thrive and where there are opportunities for what the applicant wants for its future. When there is this fit, the whole process gets a lot easier.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I came to McCombs MBA program for one thing: the clean tech concentration. I want to make a career change from oil and gas to clean tech. McCombs will offer me a graduate degree in business from one of the best schools in the nation, an opportunity to learn, hands on, about the clean energy industry, and live in a city that leads the way in many areas related to clean tech. I did not doubt to come to McCombs and Austin because of the Austin Clean Energy Incubator, the McCombs CleanTech Group, and the several clean energy companies set up here. And as a cherry on the top of that, I was enthusiastic that the clean tech concentration was initially an idea from students. A school that leads the energy industry in all its forms and listen to its students is a place where I want to be and learn.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I define success as delivering more than is expected of me. I will be successful if I, not just finish the first year with good grades and a good internship but also, participate in extracurricular activities trying new fields, give something back to the school and the community, and remain true to myself by having quality time with my family and keeping up my running training.


Related Stories In Our Meet The Class of 2019 Series: 

The Pioneering MBAs In The Class of 2019

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management

London Business School

University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business

Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business

UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

New York University Stern School of Business

University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business





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