Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Tuiana Omurbekova, University of Texas (McCombs)

Tuiana Omurbekova

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“On a quest to learn every human story in the world.”

Hometown: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Fun Fact About Yourself: Watched my uncle sacrifice a goat in my backyard for my sister’s fourth birthday.

Undergraduate School and Major: Academy of Management under the President Of The Kyrgyz Republic, Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Insense Inc, Marketplace Efficiency Lead

What makes Austin such a great place to earn an MBA? Before moving to Austin, I talked to a friend who described Austin in a way that is 100% true: “Everybody feels young in this city, everybody’s doing something, building a startup or preparing for a marathon, trying out a new kale recipe or taking singing classes”. Austin is a great place to “work hard” and get your MBA because you can’t escape this frenzy of doing stuff: exploring and daring, crashing out of your comfort zone, making friends and meeting new people. Austin gets you in the flow…you find yourself bursting with creative, and proactive energy, to do, to act, to make, to dare. It’s the perfect MBA attitude. And for the “play hard” portion of the week? You’ll find that perfect something, whatever your lifestyle: hiking, water sports, bar hopping, live shows, sports, museums, and of course, eating.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Texas McCombsMBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? As a career switcher, it was crucial for me to know that I would have a wealth of support from a star career team. This ranges from coaching sessions and customized webinars on soft skills, to mock interviews, case prep sessions, and so much more. Every McCombs career consultant I talk to is a professional with impeccable industry knowledge who helps me organize and prioritize my own thoughts. Besides the official McCombs career team, you also have access to a group of industry career consultants! And as if that wasn’t enough, you also have Career Fellows, second year students specifically there to review your resume, answer any questions, or just grab a quick catch-up coffee.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Texas McCombs? It would be ridiculously hard to choose just one but let me try to narrow down the list to my top three. I’m very excited about all the experiential learning opportunities the school provides. One is the McCombs+ project, where students get real hands-on experience of working in teams on micro-consulting projects for various businesses. Just imagine, you get to work on real issues that companies face, all while receiving guidance from the company employees themselves!

I’m also looking forward to being part of the MBA Tech Club, where you meet alumni working in tech, learn about the intricacies of job descriptions, recruitment, and work culture directly from actual employees. Socializing with fellow techies and helping each other with recruitment prep is an important bonus. Last, but not least, I’m thrilled to join the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) community. I’ve already RSVPd to events like their Welcome DInner and Women in Leadership Symposium, and I have received several coffee chat invitations from fellow GWIB members! Every single student here is just a radiantly fabulous achiever with genuine positive energy!

What has been your first impression of the McCombs MBA students and alumni youve met so far. Tell us your best McCombs story. If I had to describe the McCombs community in one word, I’d use “honest”. I’m constantly amazed how honest everyone is about their experiences, hopes, and fears. Nobody tries to sugar coat reality. It feels like everybody wants you to succeed, that’s why they share what they know, and they really hope their information will help you. Every time I meet and talk to alumni, I’m 100% sure that I’ll receive only honest answers and opinions, no reading between the lines necessary.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Upon graduation I took on the challenge of running AIESEC Kyrgyzstan (a branch of an international youth organization). I started the year with 10 people, no office, no strategy, and no partners. By the end of the year, we were one of the fastest growing entities among 120+ countries, with over 100 volunteers and 3 independent offices. We sent 180 Kyrgyz students on volunteering and professional internships abroad (China, India, Europe). After returning home, many of those students joined us to run social projects. Whenever I touch base with my old AIESEC buddies, I’m always delighted to hear they’re still shining bright, navigating through their careers as socially conscious and responsible leaders. Biggest? I’m not sure, but it definitely has been my most meaningful accomplishment.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Interview Hero: How to Ace Your Interviews, Find Your Voice, and Direct the Narrative of Your Life by Angela Guido. It helped me when I was applying to McCombs, and now that I’m starting to recruit, I’m going to reread it. The book is not just endless interview techniques, it’s more about helping you become a much better communicator in all aspects of life. It gently nudges you to think about your own experiences in a holistic way and teaches you how to add your personality into standard “interview responses” to really stand out. I was never particularly scared of interviews, but after reading this book I added an extra layer of enjoyment into the process.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Texas McCombs’ MBA program? Now that I’ve met a lot of my classmates, I see how different we are in terms of our work backgrounds, aspirations, life experiences, and yet so similar in our attitudes, empathy, and professionalism. At the end of the day, it’s all about you fitting into the McCombs community. Reach out to students and alumni, attend information sessions to learn about the McCombs way, find out whether this community fits your personality (don’t be shy, people are very open to sharing and connecting with prospective students). Once you’re sure it’s a match, it’s vital that you make McCombs aware of that. The best way to do it is by telling your story (Resume, Essays, Video). Make sure everything they see tells the same story; I am me. I’m sure McCombs is not looking for reasons to reject you, but rather for enough reasons to accept you. Make sure you give them plenty.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.