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SMU / Cox MBA Essay Topic Analysis

SMU / Cox MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the  Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business (Cox) MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

SMU / Cox MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2019-2020

Let’s take a closer look at each essay.

Essay 1 

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 is a fairly standard, albeit brief, career goals essay, requesting one’s plans immediately after Cox.   Due to the short length, the response should be concise in covering the particular role and responsibilities you are interested in.  Should you have target companies in mind already, any direct knowledge or experience you can relay would underscore your commitment to your plans. For instance, perhaps you’ve already spoken with people you know at your target firm, or the HR departments.  Once you define the specific role and industry or companies, you should have room to comment on why you wish to pursue the short-term role.  While you should prioritize fully developing your goals upon graduation, you may comment on your intended impact and even explain how it’s a stepping stone to your long-term vision if you have room.

Essay 2

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)
Think about how you can translate your experience and related lessons into involvement on the SMU campus, and indicate specific contributions that you would like to make. Creating a link between your past and your potential future at the program will enable you to present a consistent and clear picture of your candidacy, as well as your professional and personal interests. The more information you can provide about how exactly you would contribute (playing a certain role in organizing a particular annual event, for example), the more reason you’ll give the adcom to admit you.

Essay 3

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).
This prompt about learning from a failure represents a fairly conventional b-school essay topic.  However, it does require introducing negative information about your candidacy, when, overall, you really should be putting your best foot forward.  Another word of caution: Be wary of simply presenting a veiled strength (or humble brag).  Make sure the professional failure is truly embodied.

As is common practice for this sort of response that requires candidates to introduce negative information, you’ll want to summarize the situation and the failure itself in relatively few words.  The bulk of the essay should be reserved for your post-failure insights and actions.  Once you have summarized the failure, move onto what you learned and how you ultimately applied that successfully.  Assert how the event improved your professional outlook or changed your approach to work, then account for the actions related to this improvement.  You can then expand on a successful situation in which you applied what you learned from the initial failure.

If you have room, you may comment on how you would bring this attitude of resilience and accompanying skills to the SMU campus.

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