John Roeder knows Dallas’s SMU Cox School of Business inside and out as only an alumnus would. A 2003 graduate of the full-time MBA program, he confesses that it might be the closest to his heart, although today he has oversight of admissions for all the school’s graduate programs. These also include a “Fast Track” one-year program geared toward recent college graduates without significant work experience, a Professional MBA program for mid-career professionals who want to obtain their degree while continuing to work and an Executive MBA program for experienced business leaders.
In fact, Roeder’s knowledge of SMU dates back even further, to his time as an undergraduate there. As does his knowledge of admissions—his job out of college was in SMU undergraduate admissions. He would spend a few years after that working in consulting at Arthur Anderson before heading back to business school. (Just in the nick of time, it turns out, mere months before the Enron scandal hit.) But with his MBA and newly honed marketing expertise, into MBA admissions he went—first at Vanderbilt and later home to SMU Cox, where today he is assistant dean of graduate admissions.
If you’re putting the finishing touches on your SMU Cox application—due later today for Round 1!—you won’t want to miss this fun interview with Roeder, which reveals a little more of his personal side. And be sure to check out his video responses, too, to find out more about his own application process, including which part of the SMU application he would have skipped if he could. Our thanks to Roeder for taking part!
Real Humans of MBA Admissions: SMU Cox’s John Roeder
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Beach or mountains? Beach
Morning person or night owl? Night owl
Pet peeve? Close talkers
Guilty pleasure? Ben and Jerry’s Caramel Core ice cream, the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
Favorite virtue? Loyalty
Worst habit? Cutting it as close as humanely possible getting to the airport for a flight. It has burned me, but I still do it.
Happy place? Anywhere with my family
Comfort food? Chicken fried steak
Go-to cocktail? Beer—a pilsner
Proudest moment? When my first child was born
Biggest regret? Not spending enough time with my grandparents because they lived far away
One thing you would change about how you were raised? I would take better advantage of all of the great places that I lived, which included Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, Missouri and Kentucky.
Superpower you wish you had? To be able to teleport
Favorite fictional hero/heroine? Superman
Check out this video for Roeder’s responses to a few additional questions: