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Real Humans of SMU Cox’s MBA Class of 2024

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smu cox class of 2024Shrey Chhajed, SMU Cox MBA Class of 2024

Age: 26
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years of Experience at Wipro as a Data Analyst

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I feel that my role at Wipro had helped me enhance my Technical Domain Knowledge but relegated me to a certain space where I am not a part of the strategic decision-making process. I aspire to pursue an MBA in Business Analytics so I can sharpen my decision-making skills and develop technical skills such as Statistical Analysis, Statistical Modelling, and Machine Learning and supplement my knowledge of Data Analytics to pivot to a Product Manager role.

Why did you choose SMU Cox? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
While shortlisting universities, I knew I wanted to advance my education in a university with transformative research centers and symbiotic partnerships with the industry. I decided to go to SMU Cox because of the Next Gen curriculum, which focuses on Experiential learning and Analytics. A deep and updated curriculum like this will help me to learn, understand and research multiple streams of technology.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I think my technical background and industry knowledge will be a differentiating factor. Plus, a good sense of humor helps 😊.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I love to cook and play sports.

Post-MBA career interests:
Product Management

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would love to write the SOP and application essays again. I feel that those essays made me scrutinize myself profoundly. I feel that those essays helped me to delineate my post-MBA goals.

What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I wish I talked to more MBA Alums and current MBA students who have walked the same path.

What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I wished I could have skipped the pre-recorded video interview.

What is your initial impression of the SMU Cox students/culture/community?
I really like the community at SMU Cox. The whole university has been welcoming. The students and teachers have really made the transition of moving from a different continent very convenient for me. Cox really helps their students to leverage their alumni network and work towards their goals.

What is one thing you have learned about SMU Cox that has surprised you?
I was really surprised by how friendly people are at SMU. The Alums are very supportive and helpful.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Well, I am anxious about Time Management. I am starting to develop this new skill set and want to fair well.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am excited to meet new friends and build relations with companies through networking.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
During Covid, I stayed home and started to prepare for my GMAT. I was able to balance my time between studies and work which helped me get my desired score. In a way, Covid turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.