Meet The Texas McCombs MBA Class Of 2020

Katherine Rowe

University of Texas, McCombs School of Business

“Former military officer who consistently leverages limited resources in adverse environments to accomplish objectives.”

Hometown: N/A – military child

Fun Fact About Yourself: Moved 17 times in 29 years, legacy of military service in family dates back to the Revolutionary War

Undergraduate School and Major: Clark University, Political Science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Captain, US Army

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment has been the leadership experience I’ve had during my military service, especially through two overseas deployments. I’ve been fortunate to lead some of America’s best in both combat and non-combat situations. What makes me most proud is how I’ve always found a way to shape my team and inspire them to become adaptable leaders in their own right, even in the most stressful environments.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Electrifying – In a short amount of time, I’ve been energized by my classmates and their backgrounds. On our pre-MBA trip to Guatemala, the group worked extremely hard, but grew together every day. We shoveled a lot of dirt and rocks while repairing and renovating a small local school, and made a huge impact on a community of coffee farmers.

Aside from your classmates, 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? McCombs genuinely cares about immersing students in industry to give a better picture of what options exist post-graduation. I learn best through experiences and McCombs offers so many real opportunities to me over the next two years.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Texas Venture Labs

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As I was considering options after leaving the Army, I knew I wanted to receive a well-rounded business education. When I was accepted to McCombs and spoke to veterans in the program, I knew it was the right place for me.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I knew I needed time to explore myself and the opportunities that exist outside of the military, while increasing the breadth and depth of my professional skills.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UC-Berkeley, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and USC

How did you determine your fit at various schools? While deployed near the DMZ in South Korea last year, I went to The MBA Tour in Seoul and met a few of the admissions teams there. Since I was on deployment, I was forced to do most of my research online and by speaking to veterans attending each school. I knew I wanted a fully immersive experience. McCombs’ culture was consistent with my interests.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Last August, one of my soldiers died during a deployment. The past year has been full of moments of self-reflection and self-reliance as I move forward after such a devastating loss, while supporting the troops under my command. As difficult as it has been, the lessons I have learned in the process have been life-changing and have shaped who I am today.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I’ll be exploring a number of options, but I’m leaning towards entrepreneurship or business development and strategy.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Working for an innovative company, developing and delivering impactful, dynamic, and strategic projects.

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