SMU Cox MBA Application Essays and Tips 2021-2022

by Stacy Blackman Consulting, Sep 20, 2021

The SMU Cox MBA application essays focus on getting to know you better. As an SMU Cox School of Business applicant, you will be part of a diverse student body. Indeed, many students are looking to expand their choices beyond the top 10 business schools or have a regional interest in Texas.

Based in Dallas, SMU Cox has ties to a vibrant business community. Companies that recruit from SMU Cox include the major consulting firms, banks, along with consumer companies like Target and Starbucks, and tech companies like Texas Instruments and Amazon.

In general, as you prepare these SMU Cox MBA application essays, keep “Why MBA” top of mind.

REQUIRED ESSAY 1

Please describe your immediate post-MBA career goals, including the target industry, sector, and/or organization. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in this particular area? (250-word limit).

This SMU Cox MBA application essay focuses on your future goals. Therefore, you will need to carefully explain why you need an MBA and describe your career goals. First, evaluate your past experiences and what you learned in your undergraduate education. Next, describe your future career dreams.

If you are unsure about what you want to do after your MBA, perhaps research can trigger some ideas. For example, more MBA graduates are pursuing careers in technology and consumer products than in the past. What areas might you pursue if you consider companies and career paths outside of the traditional MBA feeder industries?

Once you have identified your post-MBA career path, you will want to describe the role in specifics. What industry are you targeting and why? Describe what you consider the most appealing companies. And, which department do you see yourself working within? This is an excellent essay in which to add some resume highlights. Also, use details to showcase specific skills that will explain your accomplishments.

REQUIRED ESSAY 2

Each candidate is unique. Please outline your top expectations for your MBA program and why SMU Cox would be a great partner in assisting you to achieve your professional development and career goals. (250-word limit)

This essay is about why SMU Cox is the right next step for you. As you described your career goals, what are the next steps to get there? For example, think about the classes, activities, and clubs that will help you develop. And make sure you are specific in your answers.

Finally, consider what has drawn you to the SMU Cox community. The goal of this essay is to know yourself and know the school. Do school research by visiting campus or talking to students or alumni. As you learn more about the school, you can tailor your response.

REQUIRED ESSAY 3

One of the three pillars of the SMU Cox MBA program is Data Analytics. We are committed to helping all students develop skills in data analysis and to further develop an analytical mindset. Please answer one of the following prompts and specify at the top of your essay which prompt you are answering. (500-word limit).

a. Please describe how you have used data to solve a complex problem, including how you communicated your solution to others.
If you have limited experience with analytics or quantitative work, please use the following question:
b. Explain how you are prepared to succeed in a quantitatively rigorous program.


There are two options to answer this essay question based on your experience. If you have worked in a quantitative field or experienced school work in analytics, choose option a. However, if you have limited analytical or quantitative experience, you should answer option b.

Specific examples are key to your response to option a. First, brainstorm your successful projects and achievements. Then, consider those that required you to analyze data, crunch numbers, or otherwise use quantitative skills to address a problem.

The analysis may have been only part of what you did, but make sure you are specific. Did you size a market, run financial projections or analyze a survey? What was your process in doing the work? Finally, discuss the result of your work.

For option b, you will want to describe any past coursework or experience that prepared you for an MBA. For example, if you took finance in undergrad and have since worked in a non-financial field, draw on your academic skills.

On the other hand, if you have no quantitative coursework, look at your work experience or test skills. For candidates early in the process, you may consider supplemental coursework to prepare, such as Harvard Business School’s CORe program or MBA Math.

 

REQUIRED ESSAY 4

In the blanks provided, first type three words representing how a coworker or professional mentor would describe you. Type three more words representing how your closest personal friend would describe you.


To address this short answer question, first brainstorm what distinct personal qualities you have. For example, think about what you have been told in your performance reviews and other feedback. Or, when you compare yourself to others, what is different about you?

Try to avoid generic words like “leader” and think about more specific attributes such as “assertive.” Ideally, the list is unique to you and could not be applied to anyone applying to SMU Cox.

As a reality check, consider asking your friends, family, and colleagues for their thoughts. Start with your expanded list, and then you can whittle it down based on external feedback.

 

REQUIRED ESSAY 5

What are your short-term post-MBA career goals? (250-character limit)

Drawing from the work you did to answer essay one will inform this short answer question. Once you have answered your overall career plans, this is a simple question to describe the industry, function, and type of company you will join post-MBA. Because this is a short-term goal, focus on where you see yourself immediately upon graduation. Be as specific as possible.

 

REQUIRED ESSAY 6

What are your long-term post-MBA career goals? (250-character limit)

Long-term goals are the natural result of your experience, MBA, and short-term post-MBA goals. Where will you be in 10-20 years after you start your short-term goal career? Consider what path your short-term goal will lead you on and where you hope to end up. For example, if you start as a marketing manager at a CPG firm, is the end goal to have a CMO role? Consider industry, function, and aspirational level in your response.

***
Stacy Blackman Consulting is the only MBA admissions firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every M7 program and the elite European MBA programs. If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, we can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more.