Meet the MBA Class of 2020: Catherine Post, University of Texas (McCombs)

Catherine Post

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“I am a curious adventurer, excited by what I can learn from the people I meet and experiences I have each day.”

Hometown: Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fun Fact About Yourself: After graduating from college, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I spent the last seven years building my life and career before moving to Austin. The country and its culture will always be special to me. Unfortunately, I did not master the tango, but you can find me in Texas drinking Malbec and eating empanadas!

Undergraduate School and Major: Tulane University, International Relations and Spanish

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Consultant, KPMG Argentina

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Beyond the unbeatable Austin location and notoriously supportive students, the Texas McCombs program stood out to me because of its emphasis on career management and the vast alumni network. As someone interested in exploring career opportunities, the wide range of strategic tools, industry contacts, and one-on-one mentoring offered by the Career Management department are invaluable to me. The coaching begins early in the summer before first year and continues through the Strategic Career planning course. These efforts, complemented by an accomplished and proud network of “Texas Exes” eager to support students, were an important part of my decision to attend Texas McCombs.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am excited to participate in an MBA + consulting project, a Texas McCombs program that connects students with companies and organizations to solve real business challenges. It will be a fantastic way to gain firsthand experience and explore functions and industries while still in the first year of my MBA.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My proudest accomplishment is to have launched my career and successfully integrated into a foreign professional culture. Leading diverse teams and working with clients in a non-native language as a woman in a male-dominated field has taught me a level of self-awareness and resilience I can’t imagine achieving through any other experience. I value above all the relationships I have built and the perspectives I have exchanged along the way.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In my career in consulting, I had the opportunity to work with executives across a range of industries and countries at the forefront of reimagining and optimizing their organizations. Participating in the challenging and exciting work of strategizing and navigating an uncertain world have taught me that to achieve the level of long-term impact I hope to have in my career, I needed to become the most well-rounded and dynamic professional possible. An MBA will equip me with “hard” business skills as well as the tools and experiences to successfully lead, make decisions, and innovate. Learning from my business school classmates’ diverse backgrounds and building my network will also be invaluable as I pivot my career to the United States.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Texas McCombs and Rice.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The entire business school application process was an exercise in introspection that helped me define in more clear terms what I am looking for in my career beyond just a specific job title or industry. The question “What are your plans B and C?” challenged me to imagine different scenarios for my life that I would find fulfilling and helped me understand my underlying values and goals.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I was looking for a school with solid rankings that would provide the network and career opportunities I was looking for from my MBA. Beyond those objective criteria, the school culture and my personal fit were a top priority. I attended traveling MBA fairs and met with admissions staff of different schools, reached out to local alumni for coffee chats, and had phone conversations with current students with similar career goals. Many of the contacts I discovered by simply searching LinkedIn or school websites and sending out messages. I found students and alumni to helpful and candid in sharing their experiences.

These conversations gave me a sense of which programs’ values and culture aligned with what I was looking for. Ultimately, every student and alumnus I spoke to from Texas McCombs highlighted the sense of community they found among their classmates. When I was able to visit Texas McCombs for my interview, the laid-back, Texas warmth was manifest as soon as I stepped into Rowling Hall (no doubt looking a bit lost) and a friendly student walked up to me, introduced herself, and took the time to show me around the building.

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? It has been hectic time with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic in the lead up to business school, but I have been doing my best to prepare for my MBA by strengthening my quant skills through online courses, keeping up with relevant business publications, and networking virtually with alumni and organizations of interest to me.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? As a consultant at KPMG, I was able to connect with professionals from around the world in the consulting network. On one occasion, a particularly fascinating woman and leader in the Healthcare industry traveled to Buenos Aires from Europe for a conference. I had hoped to meet her, but learned there was no room in her busy schedule. Encouraged by my manager and mentor, I boldly emailed her, introduced myself and asked if I could meet her first thing the morning at her hotel for breakfast.

To my surprise she graciously agreed, and I was inspired to hear about her work expanding access to healthcare in developing countries through operations and workforce optimization, partnerships, and innovation. The experience was both a lesson in putting myself out there and a meeting that confirmed I was ready to apply to business school and take my career to the next level to deepen my impact. I am also grateful to my mentor for her encouragement and am committed to doing the same for others in business school and beyond.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Mercado Libre is a company I find exciting. From humble beginnings in Buenos Aires, Mercado Libre is now valued in the billions and is the most important player in Latin American e-commerce. The company is an example of understanding your market and its challenges, identifying an opportunity, and adapting a business model to thrive locally.




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