Tuesday Tips: SMU Cox MBA Application Essays and Tips 2021-2022

SMU Cox MBA Application

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. Also, think about your own desires for the program. To learn more about the SMU Cox School of Business, visit the program website. If you are considering an MBA admissions consultant, contact us to learn more about how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

If you have an interview coming up, you will want to review SBC’s interview prep services. The key to interview success is practice and we provide you with all the tools you need to do just that.

  • Leverage our video platform to practice, view yourself and improve
  • Work with our experts for live rehearsal and feedback
  • Download a guide for lists of practice questions, tips on how to prep and overviews of interview formats
  • Experience a real group interview before your big day

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