Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Ray Tang, University of Texas (McCombs)

Ray Tang

The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

“Unapologetically authentic, loyal and empathetic. Loves all humans and sees the best in everything.”

Hometown: Hong Kong

Fun Fact About Yourself: I didn’t have the chance to travel until I was 22. Armed with more dreams than dollars, I chose to backpack and couch surf alone across Europe for six weeks! It was filled with wild adventures – from a night’s stay in a Berlin train station to being scammed by an elderly man in Florence!

Undergraduate School and Major: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Cathay Pacific Airways; Digital Enablement & Analytics Manager

What makes Austin such a great place to earn an MBA? Coming from Hong Kong, a vibrant international city with 7 million people, I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that Austin is surprisingly similar in all the best ways. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, Austin provides us with many opportunities across all sectors: tech, energy, healthcare, and beyond. With a strong startup culture, I find Austinites incredibly driven and entrepreneurial, but at the same time extremely friendly and welcoming. With campus being just a stone’s throw from downtown, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy with my fellow classmates – my favorites are the weekly “Think and Drink” gatherings and weekend explorations in the Texas Hill Country!

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? One main criterion I prioritize in my school selection process is the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. While experiential learning isn’t exclusive to McCombs, I firmly believe that we offer some of the most comprehensive and well-designed programs. These range from receiving 1:1 coaching from industry experts to participating in one of our seven Fellows programs! As someone interested in consulting but lacking hands-on experience, I’m especially excited about the opportunity to take part in a McCombs+ project. This initiative allows us to collaborate with a company on a micro-consulting project, where we get to apply our learnings from the classroom, while gaining invaluable real-world experience and receiving feedback from industry experts.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Texas McCombs? I’m really looking forward to joining eQual – McCombs’ Engaged Queer and Ally affinity group. When I was talking with one of the co-Presidents during my application last year, I was blown away by the support and advice he offered. Spending two years away from our “normal life” is a huge commitment. Being a queer international student, finding a sense of belonging and community is crucial for my MBA journey. It meant a lot to receive that even when I was a prospective student. Now that I’m part of the McCombs family, I’m excited to pay it forward, to keep building an inclusive and friendly community for our fellow students and anyone considering McCombs for their next chapter!

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. I find the authentic connections and willingness to help one another incredibly inspiring among our students and alumni. Each day, I witness classmates staying after class to assist with coursework, and there’s a multitude of kind-hearted folks offering their cars and apartments to support newcomers during our first month. One of the highlights of our orientation was a storytelling session, where we shared our life stories within our groups. It was a truly unfiltered experience, with everyone being open and vulnerable, despite having met only a few days prior. These are the conversations that cultivate the strongest friendships, and I’m honored to be surrounded by such powerfully authentic characters!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Back in 2016, I had the privilege of organizing and hosting Cathay Pacific’s inaugural 24-hour hackathon – the only aviation-themed event of its kind in Hong Kong. We welcomed over 200 external participants and it was a huge success. Over subsequent years, we consistently received over 1000 applications, solidifying the hackathon as a cherished community-wide event that celebrates innovation and travel.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience at McCombs successful? The MBA experience is all about embracing challenges with an open mind. I see the two years ahead as an incredible privilege, allowing me to explore my identity and aspirations, and to reinvent myself through the wealth of knowledge and resources available. McCombs is a truly collaborative learning environment where everyone is genuinely interested in helping each other succeed. I hope that with the help of my fellow classmates – that by the time I graduate – I’ll be able to look back and say that I consistently stepped beyond my comfort zone and was truly intentional about every decision I made. I want this to be true whether it was the student organizations I led, the electives I chose, or the internship experiences I undertook.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Texas McCombs’ MBA program? Don’t hesitate to share your own story! Many folks tend to envision the “perfect candidate” image and might be tempted to tweak their stories to match what they think the admissions team wants to hear. I urge you not to go down that path. Our program is incredibly diverse and one of my favorite aspects is learning interesting new facts about my classmates every day! Bring your authentic self to the table and show the admissions team what makes you special. Our strength lies in our diversity and openness to share and learn, and that’s what makes the MBA experience transformational.


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