Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Christopher Blanton, University of Texas (McCombs)

Christopher Blanton

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“Hard working, dedicated, MD/MBA student aspiring to improve lives through clinical practice and healthcare innovation.”

Hometown: Katy, Texas

Fun Fact About Yourself: My wife and I had our second and third child during my first two years of medical school.

Undergraduate School and Major: Undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University: Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Current 3rd year medical student at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Texas Health Resources: Emergency Department Registered Nurse

What makes Austin such a great place to earn an MBA? Having grown up in the Houston area and spent the past 10+ years in North Texas, I am a Texan through and through. When I moved to Austin two years ago, I realized that this city has a different feel to it than many other big cities I have lived in or around. In Austin we have the surrounding natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, a diverse culinary scene, and friendly people. With multiple major tech companies in the “Silicon Hills” and the rapid growth of Austin over the past few years, there are many career opportunities that can be sought out locally for our MBA students.

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? Many aspects of this program drew me to choosing McCombs. There are so many opportunities provided for the students here to gain unique hands-on experience with studying abroad, micro-consulting projects with McCombs + projects, and the option to do fellows programs. There are ample opportunities to develop a new skill set to propel you forward in the career path you are seeking.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Texas McCombs? I am most excited about the opportunity to apply for the Healthcare Innovation Fellows program. As a current dual degree MD/MBA student, I believe the opportunity to dive in and learn more about health technology, healthcare systems, and learning how to lead within the complex structure that makes up our healthcare here in the US will help me to be a better provider in the long run.

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. So far, I have had a great experience getting to know many of my classmates. Within our class, there is such a rich diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and professional experiences. McCombs does a great job at emphasizing that a person is more than their work experience. They encourage us to get to know each other on a more personal level during orientation. This has been a great experience and allowed me to find out how much I have in common with so many of my classmates.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Through my years as an emergency department nurse, I played a role in a large interdisciplinary team that came together to provide the best care possible for the patients we cared for. I frequently reflect on previous patient encounters where rapid recognition or intervention helped play a role in preservation of life-or-limb for our patients. Outside of my previous career in nursing, I would say my biggest accomplishment so far is being accepted into medical school as well as to McCombs to pursue a dual degree.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? The book that I would highly recommend is The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. Though it is written from primarily a medical perspective, it is extremely translatable to any field. He includes anecdotes from multiple career fields illustrating the importance of structure, how to manage uncertainty, and prevent latent errors.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Texas McCombs’ MBA program? Invest some time and do the work to really research and get to know the program through their website and websites such as this one that can provide a wealth of knowledge. It is important to know why McCombs is the right school for you and be able to verbalize what is the specific draw for you individually. Overall, be yourself in the process and don’t try to conform to the image of what you think schools are looking for.

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