photo by Jenna Stoyanov

Snapshots: Life At The McCombs School of Business

By Jenna Stoyanov

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Each week, burnt x will feature one student from one of UT’s 13 colleges. This week, we’ll feature Mary Urban, a third-year marketing student at the McCombs School of Business.  


photo by Jenna Stoyanov


A bit about Mary:


“Outside of the business school I love to get creative. I go to dance classes, specifically hip-hop and house moves, but I want to try out contemporary dance again. I love to sew clothing, design and style clothing. I caught the travel bug last year when I went to Europe on study abroad, and I like to collect cool knick knacks from places I visit. Not quite sure where I’m going in life, but I prefer to take it one step at a time and see what opportunities come up, I’m fairly ‘go with the flow.'”


What made you want to attend UT?


“There was a lot of pressure for me to go to UT, both my parents went and so did my grandmother, who pays for my tuition. She said she would pay for any state school in Texas, and while I wanted to get out of my hometown here in Austin, I could not imagine living anywhere else in Texas. UT had such great resources and programs that I knew it was the best choice for me. Gotta keep the legacy going!”


Why did you choose your major?


“Business always made sense to me because I usually was able to find ways to make money. When I was a freshman in high school I wanted to go with the marching band to Hawaii. My parents were still feeling the effects of the 2008 recession and they said I would have to find ways to pay for it. I passed out flyers to all my neighbors and I started baking and selling cookies at school. I had the perfect market, hungry classmates during class who were willing to shell out two quarters for a cookie. When I came to McCombs I wanted to be a finance major, but I soon learned I’m too creative and I’m bored easily. I’m a pretty good fit for marketing though, we like to have fun here.”


Mary, wearing a dress she made herself / photo by Jenna Stoyanov


What is your average day like?


“I like to sleep, but I still try and make myself presentable each day. I’m not much of a t-shirt and ‘norts’ kind of person, I like my clothes to help express who I am. I’ll go to class and work during the day. When I have free time I try and study and go through my to-do list. I try to reserve my evenings for something fun. Wednesday nights I’ve been going with my friend for happy hour margaritas. Lately I’ve been all about the mentality ‘work to live’ as opposed to ‘live to work,’ which seems to be the difference between me and the ‘typical’ business student.”


Why is McCombs the best school?


“Because we make the most money.


But really McCombs has so many resources for getting hired and they do a pretty good job at teaching you how to actually get a job. Our teachers care and they really push us. Same with our career counselors, they are really helpful and encouraging.”


How much time do you spend studying per week?


“Depends on the week. Two weeks in a row I spent 5 hours just writing marketing reports, but most weeks it’s probably between 10 to 12 hours. I’m really lucky this semester because all my tests are at least a week apart from each other. I try to use my time wisely and create weekly to-do lists to keep me from procrastinating.”


Mary in San Marino / contributed


Do you think you spend more or less time studying, compared to the average student?


“Probably about average. I study consistently over the semester instead of cramming all in a few nights, I’ve actually never pulled an all-nighter specifically to study. I’ll spend more time on group projects, but I’m usually pretty good at managing those and managing my time overall.”


Are you currently working on any projects that pertain to your major?


“I’m working with a music company and I just created and finished collecting result for a survey that will hopefully give us some insight on how we can better connect to UT kids and the UT community. I’m currently in a market research class, so it’s cool to actually apply my knowledge from that to something that will actually positively help someone. Ideally, I want to use my skills to help people, in some way, shape, or form. It’s very satisfying to see joy and smiles.”


Anything else you wish to add?


“Without marketing, you might as well not have a business. I’m not a fan of all marketing practices, but I’ve come to learn that it is so much more than just advertising a product. I enjoy it and I know that it has the potential to help make people’s dreams come true.”