Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Gabby Stone, University of Texas (McCombs)

Gabby Stone

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“Dedicated, team-player who stands for societal progress and aims to leave the world better for future generations.”

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I competed in the professional Spanish water polo league and lived in a small town called Mataro, located near Barcelona, for a year.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Stanford University:

BA in American Studies, minor in Psychology

Master of Arts in Communication and Media Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Blue Tech Inc.; Marketing Associate

What makes Austin such a great place to earn an MBA? Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and that growth fosters an innovative mindset when tackling business tactics and future strategies. Earning an MBA in the confluence of industry growth and Longhorn collaboration provides a unique opportunity to gain a holistic view when analyzing the current business landscape.

Regarding Austin as a whole, I fell in love with the city’s vibrancy; the music scene, outdoor activities, great restaurants, and welcoming culture create an energetic atmosphere with no shortage of excitement.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Texas McCombs’ MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? In addition to world-class academics and a flexible curriculum, the strong alumni network led me to pursue a McCombs MBA. My sister, Sally Stone ’14, is a McCombs MBA graduate and has seen first-hand the broad reach of the Longhorn influence throughout the business landscape. McCombs’ community-focused emphasis is evident as a student and lasts beyond graduation across the country and industry. I prioritized applying to schools that would continue to foster personal and professional growth throughout my career. In turn, I plan to continue the legacy by giving back to the Longhorn family as a fellow alum in the future.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Texas McCombs? I’m excited to participate in an MBA+ program, which consists of a micro-consulting group project for client companies such as Dell, Deloitte, and Whole Foods Market. Joining this project during the fall semester of my first year is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience that I can apply to summer internship interviews. I plan to pivot my career from marketing to consulting, so partaking in this experiential learning program is an invaluable way to fill a professional experience gap and develop hands-on knowledge with potential employers.

What has been your first impression of the McCombs MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best McCombs story so far. From the moment I entered Rowling Hall, I felt positive energy and excitement from my classmates and alums. McCombs’ reputation for community and collaboration was an attribute that drew me to the program, and the warmth and belonging that I’ve felt since day one has exceeded expectations. With a class of students from around the world, I’ve valued learning from others’ diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. One of my favorite activities thus far was the storytelling event during orientation; classmates dove deep to share personal stories that exemplified a unique passion or value in an effort to bypass standard small talk. This event provided a safe environment for students to get personal and allowed our class to bond that much faster.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The bulk of my professional career was spent in the water playing for Team USA. Though unconventional, my water polo experience taught me invaluable skills that are integral for successful business leaders. Resiliency through hardship, listening empathetically to teammates, and learning how to create an effective game plan with those from differing perspectives were fostered in this high-stakes environment.

One of my accomplishments was leading USA water polo to win a FINA World Championship in Budapest, Hungary, as starting goalkeeper and serving as a reliable backbone to the team’s defense. Though I fell short of achieving the ultimate goal of winning an Olympic gold medal, I view my extensive water polo career as a success that will propel me in the business world. From successfully transitioning to a marketing position at Blue Tech Inc., to securing a spot in the McCombs class of 2024, I’m excited to see what’s to come in my professional journey.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I listen to NPR’s Planet Money and highly recommend this podcast to prospective MBAs, especially those with a humanities or liberal arts background. The hosts explain economic concepts through a humorous storytelling lens and make seemingly complex financial theories accessible to listeners regardless of previous knowledge. For instance, I recently listened to the episode “Investing in Mediocrity” in which the hosts interviewed former bond manager Ben Trosky on his counterintuitive, but successful theory of investing in low-risk, low-reward junk bonds. Personally, as someone who gravitated towards humanities-based classes during university, this podcast has helped me develop an economic acumen and find enjoyment in learning about these quantitative topics.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Texas McCombs’ MBA program? My best advice to potential applicants when applying to McCombs is to be yourself. The admissions team is looking for genuineness, not for a perfect story. Lean into your weaknesses and communicate how those shortcomings have made you into the person you are today and how they give you a unique perspective.



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