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Texas McCombs Hosts Annual Women’s Weekend for MBA Students

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The Texas MBA program at the McCombs School of Business in Austin hosted 55 MBA students along with alumni and faculty for their annual Women’s Weekend. The event seeks to support the empowerment of women in business, and as current student, Jessica Reese-White MBA ’21, said, it really gives a sense of the supportive culture at McCombs:

“A lot of programs tell you they have a very welcoming culture for women, but you want to actually see that in practice. McCombs prioritizes diverse classes and having strong representation. It’s still mostly men in the world of business and I think it’s important for me as a queer woman of color to be here and show women that they have a space here in the program, and that there are other people like them here.”

The gathering kicked off with a reception at The Riveter, a co-working space designed by women, and was sponsored by Austin-based company Bumble Bizz.  During the reception, attendees mingled with current students and members of Graduate Women in Business (GWiB), an organization that focuses on advocacy, workplace conflict resolution, gender identity, and allyship.

Current Texas McCombs MBA students

The second day of Women’s Weekend featured several speakers, including Assistant Dean Tina Mabley, Assistant Dean of Graduate Career Management Janet Huang, and current MBA students Claire Austin, Presney Blackman, Sophie Roane, and Vicky Wu.  The day’s discussion focused on avenues to build careers and help advance women in the workplace. Attendees learned about McCombs’ highly ranked Career Services and benefitted from attending mock classes with professors Marissa Epstein and Julia Coronado.  MBA and Communication Coach Amira Pollock led a workshop on leadership presence, the secret to improv, non-verbal communication, and the difference between confidence and courage.

Before wrapping up the event, current students shared their experiences as women in business and offered insight into life as an MBA at McCombs:

“All the Fellows programs have female presidents — that just really speaks to the caliber of women we have at McCombs.”— Maria-Paula Muñoz Carley, MBA ’20

“You’re definitely going to need an environment where you feel supported and like it’s okay to fail and grow. Knowing that McCombs had a strong group of women that were so invested in each other’s success was really inspiring to me, and really made me feel confident about the decision I was going to make.” — Catherine Laclede, MBA ‘20

Hosts Kathie Xiao and Caroline Okocha offered attendees the following advice:

  1. “Don’t panic. Focus on your goals; you don’t have to have it all figured out.
  2. “Celebrate your own accomplishments, but also those of all the amazing people around you. We’re all competitive people, but we all want to help each other. This is your community.
  3. “Have fun and make the most of these two years. Find your people, find your place.”

For more about the event, see here.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.