Real Humans of SMU Cox’s MBA Class of 2021
Allie Rubenstein, SMU Cox MBA Class of 2021
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Northwestern University, B.A. in Political Science
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Management Consultant at Credera in Dallas, TX
Why business school? Why now?
Business school was the right move for me for three reasons. First, I did not study business as an undergraduate. While I learned a tremendous amount during my four years in management consulting, I have always loved classroom learning, so I elected to enhance my business acumen in an academic environment.
Second, business school presented an opportunity to develop myself as a leader. Like many of my classmates, I aspire to lead my own company someday, and an MBA is a valuable tool and catalyst along this journey.
Finally, I was drawn to the exposure to different industries, companies, leaders, and peers that business school would provide. Already, I have learned so much about and from the opportunities and people around me.
Why SMU Cox? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
SMU Cox provides students with a vast amount of unique opportunities, like the Disney Institute, international travel opportunities, and resourceful research institutes, unlike anywhere else. Moreover, the small class size at Cox makes for a noticeably tight knit, community feel from the get-go.
Finally, Cox’s location in the heart of Dallas is tough to beat, given Dallas is both a thriving, opportunity-rich business hub and my hometown.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
I am a lifelong teammate! I grew up playing team sports, and I look at everything I do as a team effort. In my two years at Cox, I am excited to team up with my 115 classmates and provide whatever help, leadership, and encouragement I can to make sure we all achieve our goals.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I can name and identify just about every breed of dog (excluding the many variations of doodles).
Post-MBA career interests?
I am working toward a role in marketing or innovation in either the Consumer Packaged Goods or Sports/Recreation industry. After all, I am passionate about snacks and outdoor activities.
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I had the opportunity to meet with several current students – both first and second years – throughout my application process. While the Admissions Teams across all business schools are fantastic, I found that informative resources and current students can provide very candid insight into the student experience. They are your best sources of information and insight as you decide which school is right for you.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
I visited several schools all in one fell swoop, back-to-back. While this was the most time-effective and cost-effective approach, it was an exhausting trip. The many back-to-back school visits made it difficult to remain as excited and engaged when visiting the last several schools. If you have the opportunity to space your visits so that you can wholly invest in each visit and ensure each is a unique, standalone experience, I highly recommend it.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Studying for the GRE or GMAT when you are working full-time is a tough endeavor and takes a great deal of motivation. No one wants to come home from a full day at the office only to tackle several hours’ worth of integrated reasoning problems. Fortunately, setting a study schedule, which included a few weekends dedicated to taking practice exams, helped make the process more disciplined and manageable.
What is your initial impression of SMU Cox’s students/culture/community?
Every day, I am amazed by how friendly and collaborative the Cox community is. Not once have I felt an air of competition among my classmates; rather, we are all in this together. There is always someone willing to help you study for an exam or prepare for an upcoming interview.
One thing you have learned about SMU Cox that has surprised you?
Aside from the fact that there is an Einstein’s Bagels located on the ground floor of the business school, I am surprised by how quickly our module system (i.e., seven-week terms) moves. Without a doubt, the fast-paced nature of the course schedule requires you to be very disciplined around your work and study habits, as exams are always just around the corner!
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am most anxious about ensuring I take advantage of all the right opportunities without overloading myself. Each day, I learn about a new opportunity at Cox – a leadership seminar hosted by a prominent CEO, a trip to Seattle to meet with marketers at Fortune 500 companies, an experiential learning project with American Airlines, the list goes on! Without a doubt, no one can take advantage of all of these amazing opportunities, but I hope I can strike the right balance and partake in many of them.
Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am excited to learn more about myself and what makes me tick. Already, in my first month, I have met new people, learned about new topics, and heard about new industries, companies, and roles. These new encounters have given way to new passions and ideas as I determine my next step.