PMBA Student Stories
I chose to attend UT Dallas for my MBA because I wanted to be academically challenged, but I also knew I would get an excellent return on my investment as opposed to other programs in the Dallas area. It was important to me to start enjoying my MBA salary after business school as opposed to continuing to live like a graduate student because I was burdened by large student loan payments.
I knew about the professional MBA program through my undergrad experience. I chose the flex format so I could attend classes around my work schedule, as well as having control over the order in which I took certain classes and selecting my faculty members.
One of the most important skills I learned while in the professional MBA program was how to identify the correct problem, as well as cost-effective and feasible solutions, which is very important when working at a state university with limited resources like I do now.
If I could give some advice to students considering the professional MBA program at UT Dallas, it would be this: Do your research and observe a class so you can meet current students, as well as faculty members. I would also recommend speaking with the Jindal School’s Career Management Center to figure out the likely employment outcomes for you after the program.
My greatest memory of my MBA is how it provided the skills to effectively lead in the corporate world. The typical business courses – accounting, finance and statistics – all provided the business ‘nuts and bolts’ background. However, the additional classes, including global business and operations management, allowed me to put all the pieces together.
From my organizational behavior to strategic management courses, it was all about creating win-win solutions in which all parties leave a situation feeling like they obtained something of value. The case studies and presentations prepared me to think on my feet, under fire from professionals and students, to find the optimal solution for all parties involved. I’ve carried this forward to the corporate world, where my education has prepared me to volley to constant peppering of questions from senior managers and clients.
I’m currently using my degree in my role as an auditor in financial services with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), the world’s largest accounting and professional services firm. The experience provided to me by the School of Management gave me the foundation needed to understand the banks, private equity firms and other organizations I audit. To audit, you must first understand what the business is doing, and without the concepts I learned in my MBA, I wouldn’t have been able to acclimate so quickly. I am also using my MBA in planning and managing my own entrepreneurial ventures.
I was working for a national company in its corporate HR offices. The VP of HR at the time told me that if I wanted to have a seat at the executive table, that’s fine, but I better know what to do with it once there. I knew I needed further education to be of any value once I found my seat. The only option that met my needs for location, a competitive price and strong reputation was UT Dallas.
One of my favorite memories of my MBA experience was founding the MBA Society, which later became the Graduate Business Student organization. I also served as the society president. During this time, the MBA Society worked with the Career Management Center to hold the first MBA Career Fair, the first of its kind exclusively for graduate students. We were trusted by the school’s leadership to design, develop, coordinate, market, solicit to companies and implement the career fair. Over a few short months, I remember meetings with team members, assigning pieces of the project, collecting data and realizing our goal. We could not have been so successful without the trust and guidance from the school’s leaders.
My MBA taught me patience, research and planning – and then planning for those plans to change. Business is always changing and evolving.
Now, I am more of a strategic business partner and I approach my relationship with the business this way. Strategically minded people filter to the top and find their way to the executive table more often than others. I find myself happier in my career and more engaged in projects I take on because I feel like part of the solution and not part of a machine.
The atmosphere in the PMBA program is one for highly motivated students. Nearly all my classes required group projects; UTD does a great job of getting students to work as teams. The format of the PMBA allows you to build your own dream team of classmates and progress through the program with them.
The most impressive aspect of my PMBA experience was the caliber of the faculty. They have impressive pedigrees from the best business schools, and the things they’ve taught me help me in my daily work as an analyst. For instance, the course I took in organizational behavior helps me evaluate management teams in early stage companies that I typically work with. Other professors taught me how to evaluate business plan feasibility and how to best manage the junior analysts on my team.
If I could give some advice to incoming professional MBA students, it would be this: finish, but don’t be in a hurry to finish. Take the time to learn what you’re paying for. And network. Network with everyone, from your classmates to corporate contacts who visit campus. UTD has untold opportunities for networking. Don’t pass them up.
Certain life situations sometimes prevent us from being able to attend courses in the traditional classroom setting. The online MBA program has given me the opportunity to further advance my education while providing the convenience of not having to leave my home.
It has exceeded my expectations in a way that a regular classroom would not. The program has taught me how to be more responsible and how to manage my time efficiently. I highly recommend the online PMBA program if you are a person on the go and have responsibilities that prevent you from attending regular on-campus classes.