Austin gave me a friendly welcome with a category four Hurricane Harvey. Although Austin was not affected badly, the Austinites did everything they can to assist people in nearby affected areas. After the storm, I also felt this breeze of friendliness and caring attitude sweeping through the McCombs School of Business.
Austin is the state capital of Texas and dubbed to be the next tech capital of US in the near future. Austinites dearly nick-named Austin as the biggest small town in the US. As a city en-route to becoming the next tech hub, most of the big-name tech companies such as Google, Facebook and non-tech blue chip corporates have established their respective footprints in the city. This synchronises the collaborations for MBA plus business projects and career prospects for McCombs students.
My course choice spectrum at McCombs spans from the birth to the death of businesses. I chose McCombs because I wanted to have the liberty to experiment and test my entrepreneurial aspirations. My favourite course is New Venture Creation. Throughout the semester, students work on teams to craft a viable business plan out of a novel business idea. Eventually, we will have the chance to present to a panel of experienced business professionals for evaluation. Moreover, we are also eligible to take part in the highly-reputed Texas Venture Lab investment competition where we can receive professional guidance and have ample networking opportunities with local entrepreneurs and angel investors.
In contrast to the delivery of a business plan, Corporate Turnaround Management and Bankruptcy course makes me feel nostalgic about my days as a medical intern at Emergency Department of Yangon General Hospital, Myanmar. Similar to an emergency medical officer, a turnaround manager has to make immediate decisions to stop the bleeding of the cash from a company with critical vital stats. After analysing the signs and symptoms of unhealthy balance sheets, he/she has to come up with provisional diagnosis and turnaround management plans to revive the company. The fast-paced and interactive lectures of this course keep us on edge and most of us enjoy the ride.
Now, let’s talk about the fun side of Austin and McCombs. The city proudly boasts numerous lakes, rivers, natural springs and hiking trails for outdoor activities. The live music scene of Austin ranges from local band gigs at downtown Rainy street to international artists such as Jay-Z and Martin Garrix at Austin City Limit Music Festival. You will have a pretty good time and stories to share with your friends after a (probably not sober) walk down the famous Six street district. The tailgate parties of McCombs before every football game and weekly think-n-drink with fellow MBA students are the ones not to be missed.
The school, the city and most importantly, the people that I get to know during my time at McCombs make it all worthwhile for me to participate in the MBA exchange program.
About the Author
Kyaw Zan Wai is a second year Global Master’s in Management student. He is currently studying as an MBA exchange student for fall semester 2017 at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry before studying at LSE and graduated from University of Medicine 1, Yangon, Myanmar. He aspires to become a leader in the healthcare industry.