2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Taylor Dilbeck, University of Texas (McCombs)

Taylor Dilbeck

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“Optimist; eager to empower others; resolved to improve healthcare access.”

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Fun fact about yourself: I once landed a 737 MAX flight at the San Francisco airport, but to be clear, it was in a Southwest Airlines’ simulator while I was an intern there in college.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Northwestern University; B.S. in Social Policy; 2010-2014

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Deloitte Consulting LLP; Human Capital Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Amgen; Commercial Leadership Program Value & Access Intern; Thousand Oaks, California

Where will you be working after graduation? Amgen; Commercial Leadership Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Health Innovation Fellows, Co-President
  • Co-Founder of University-wide Graduate Student Healthcare Case Competition
  • Career Fellow (Selected by the MBA Career Management team to mentor 1st-year students through the internship recruiting process)
  • McCombs Ambassador Committee Member
  • Graduate Women in Business; Undergraduate BBA Mentor
  • Runner-up at the 2019 World’s Leading Healthcare Case Competition at Kellogg School of Management. We were one of 11 teams selected to participate out of 59 applications from top business schools around the world.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?

I chose McCombs in part for the opportunity to leverage the immense resources in Austin as well as the greater UT community in the healthcare field. Thanks to support from many classmates, faculty, and staff, I took full advantage of the opportunity, and I made it a goal to improve the healthcare concentration even further as a Health Innovation Fellows Co-President. With that goal in mind, fellow Co-President Emma Blumstein and I started the first healthcare case competition for graduate students across The University of Texas. The inaugural competition had nine teams of five students from programs across UT’s campus including Dell Medical School, College of Pharmacy, Cockrell School of Engineering, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. We fundraised the competition by winning a pitch for $10,000 from the MBA Endowed Excellence Fund and through a campaign to our passionate McCombs healthcare alumni. I’m extremely proud of this effort because the competition leveraged McCombs’ greatest assets – its alumni, the broader UT campus, and the city of Austin – to better the student experience. It also gave me an invaluable opportunity to build up my leadership skills.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While at Deloitte, I worked directly with nonprofits in Nicaragua to scope eight different virtual projects and planned a week-long trip to Nicaragua for 25 Deloitte practitioners to do pro-bono consulting work. It was fulfilling to have the time and support to give back by using my professional skills outside of traditional client work, but even more so to help worthy organizations reach their full potential. Thanks to that experience, I have continued to seek ways to give back not just with my time, but also with my unique skills as a businesswoman.

Why did you choose this business school? Initially, I was overwhelmed by all the choices of business schools to attend. After visiting the campus and meeting students at Texas, the decision was easy. I sat in on a marketing class taught by Professor Raji Srinivasan and was blown away at the engagement in the classroom. At certain points, it felt that students were leading the class by discussing the case reading and delving into their personal work experiences so comfortably. Professor Srinivasan expertly weaved in key concepts, while still allowing the discussion to flow freely. After class, students huddled and chatted with the professor, which reinforced the evident passion for learning. There was so much to love about McCombs – the new building, the city of Austin, the class size which allows for meaningful interactions – but it was the intelligence and vibrancy of the students that made me choose the school.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Get to know some of the students – reach out to us through the Texas McCombs website or find us on LinkedIn. It makes a big difference when you can demonstrate in your essays and interview that you have done your research on our community. There is no better way to prove that you know about us than by learning from current students and just as importantly, to learn if Texas is the right place for you.   

What is the biggest myth about your school? Some prospective students that I have talked to seem to think that graduates only end up in Texas. Of course, quite a few do, given that Austin, Dallas, and Houston have strong job markets. Still, almost half of our students go to other parts of the US and the world (myself included)! This is a big selling point for the program because wherever I interviewed for jobs, no matter the location, there were Texas McCombs MBA alumni who eagerly wanted to help me, whether it was answering questions about their company or even coming down a few floors from their office to say hello in person.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why?

I would have spent more time attending speaking events around campus. Though I did get to go to a taping of Jimmy Fallon and hear Brené Brown speak about leadership in sports on campus, I still felt that I could have done more! UT is an incredibly diverse academic community that has hosted many powerful speakers and I wish I had taken more time to hear more of them!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Priscilla Weninger. We met at the Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Leadership Conference and prepped case studies before school even started – she was my first McCombs friend and before even stepping on campus, I knew she would be a leader (a few months into school she became a Graduate Women in Business Co-President!) Priscilla is admirable because of her impressive leadership, her support of underserved communities, and her invaluable insights in the classroom. Given her background leading talent acquisition for Austin-area public schools, I gained perspective on the importance of diversity and inclusion when we discussed leadership decisions in our Corporate Restructuring and Wage Inequality classes. She is one of the many classmates who makes me proud to be part of Texas McCombs.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Watching my brother go through law school was my biggest motivation for pursuing business school. He used the education to improve his ability to improve the patent world as a former engineer-turned-patent-litigator. Hearing his excitement about being in the classroom invigorated my desire to go back to school, though I had apprehensions about the financial sacrifice it might entail. He reassured me, however, throughout by reminding me that pursuing higher education allowed even more doors to open than shut.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • As a corporate leader, collaborate with the public sector to effect meaningful improvements to healthcare access through policy changes
  • Support innovative vendors, either through funding or consulting, to enter the market to enable improvements to our current healthcare system

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a friend who was supportive in and out of the classroom and encouraging to all through both words and actions.

Hobbies?Taking free fitness classes in Austin (I have a knack for finding them!), listening to biotech podcasts while riding the Capital Metro bus, and reading self-improvement books

What made Taylor such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“From day one, Taylor Dilbeck’s path through business school was characterized by her intentionality, drive, and selflessness. Taylor never shied away from stepping forward for leadership positions but also willingly worked to support others behind the scenes, whether helping her peers or mentoring undergraduate women in business. In her application to business school, she shared her long-term career goal to achieve a leadership position at a global health organization that would allow her to inspire others to affect meaningful healthcare policy change. Based on her two influential years in school, Taylor has created a dynamic launchpad for her career goals and the long-term impact on the future of healthcare.

As Co-President of Health Innovation Fellows, Taylor and her fellow teammates (Emma Blumstein, Rupal Desai, and Kate Galloway) proposed, planned, and executed the first UT-wide Graduate Student Healthcare Case Competition, a cross-campus competition that hosted graduate student teams from nine UT colleges/programs, including Dell Med, Public Policy, Engineering, and Pharmacy.

Dr. Kristie Loescher highlighted Taylor’s contributions to Healthcare at McCombs: “Taylor Dilbeck demonstrated leadership and initiative in planning and executing the first healthcare case conference for McCombs. This conference reconnected McCombs Health Innovation Fellows (HIF) alumni with current students and offered opportunities for networking and mentorship in addition to providing insight and coaching on the current healthcare environment. In addition, Taylor acted as a peer advisor for first-year Health Innovation Fellows and helped them choose classes from our Healthcare Series that would be most beneficial. Taylor was a tireless advocate for HIF, creating a community for students interested in the healthcare field, and facilitating conversations to improve resources and understanding among McCombs leadership for this group. She has also invested her time and talent in planning meetings for the Healthcare at McCombs MBA program. Her ideas were instrumental in getting approval for an employer market study to increase the number of employers recruiting for healthcare talent at McCombs. She has created organizational scaffolding for the HIF group to continue building upon into the future. Taylor’s passion and commitment to her fellow students is exactly the kind of Human-Centered. Future Focused approach we hope to inspire at McCombs!”

Our McCombs team performance in the Kellogg Biotech & Healthcare Case Competition is a testament to the drive and momentum Taylor has fostered while in school. Last year, Taylor and our Texas McCombs team participated for the first time and won 2nd place. This year, Taylor and her peers mentored the first-year team who brought home 1st place!

While Taylor does not actively seek recognition, her fellow classmate and Navy SEAL, Travis Miller, summed her impact up best: “If I was building my team from scratch, Taylor Dilbeck would be one of my first calls. Her leadership and inclusive personality attract the best out of those around her and any organization would be blessed to have her on their team.”

It is a pleasure to nominate Taylor for this distinction.”

Tina Mabley
Assistant Dean and Program Director, Full-time MBA Program

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


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