Tuesday Tips: SMU Cox MBA Application Essays and Tips 2020-2021

SMU Cox MBA application

The SMU Cox MBA application essays focus on getting to know you better. As an applicant to the SMU Cox School of Business, 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. If you are considering an MBA admissions consultant, contact us to learn more about how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help!

To learn more about the SMU Cox School of Business, visit the program website.


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 did so in the past. If you consider companies and career paths outside of the traditional MBA feeder industries, what areas might you pursue?

When you have identified your post-MBA career path, then 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.


Learning from one another’s experiences is a tenet of the MBA experience. As a member of the SMU Cox MBA class, how do you plan to contribute to the development of your classmates, whether personally or professionally? (250 word limit)

Your ability to add something unique to the community is crucial, and this SMU Cox MBA application essay focuses on that topic. This is a great place to mix personal and professional angles. Because you concentrate on your career in the first essay, this one can touch upon other aspects.

For example, have you been involved with a volunteer activity? If so, this is an ideal essay to describe what you did. Indeed, one core value for SMU Cox is helping others. For this reason, if you have a particular focus or passion for community service, this is the essay to describe it.

Finally, 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 contributions to be a fit with the community.


Growth is often the product of experience. Please discuss a time when you experienced professional failure. How did this event impact your professional outlook or affect your future work? (250 word limit).

At Stacy Blackman Consulting, we have observed that, above all, character prevails. As a result, part of showing character is persisting through failure. Often, you discover your true nature by your reaction to difficulty. Think about the moments you can remember with clarity over the past three years.

In many cases, failure leads to success. Can you think of a time when failure triggered a critical change? For example, your failure may have been with a team at work. As a result, you learned more about how to lead or be effective in a team. Ensure you take the time to talk about lessons learned from the failure.

In conclusion, as you draft this essay, think about micro-stories you can craft vividly to bring your story alive. What did your failure feel like? What did you hear, smell, or say? Those details will help the reader understand your perspective.

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