SMU COX’s MBA program is 15 months long, with the opportunity to complete it in 10 months. The majority are from Asia; the class is diverse. Students can also participate in a semester-long exchange program with partner universities. SMU is ranked 58th in the world and 31st in value for money, with an average salary of $ 85K.

For such an elite university, the admission process is equally challenging – the biggest one is answering the essay questions effectively enough to express your knowledge and make them convincing. It has three compulsory full-length essay questions and three short ones to give you ample opportunity to present your story to the admissions committee.

Let’s read an analysis of the mandatory questions asked in SMU’s MBA Application-

Essay 1:

Please describe your immediate post-MBA goals, including the target industry, sector, and organisation. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in this particular area? (250-word limit)


This particular question focuses on your long-term objectives. As a result, you’ll need to explain your reasons for pursuing an MBA and your career ambitions. Start the main body on a solid note, demonstrating your existing skills. First, consider your previous experiences and the knowledge you learned during your undergraduate studies. Then, discuss your long-term career goals. If for some reason, you feel that you have not yet actually planned your route after your MBA, then research can help you come up with some options. Because of the limited response time, it should focus on the specific role and tasks you’re interested in.

If you already have a list of companies prepared, any first-hand expertise or experience you can share will demonstrate your devotion to your plans. B-schools prefer to see a solid academic track record, professional advancement, client management exposure, leadership, and international experiences. Highlight your most significant accomplishments with examples; you can also mention awards you may have received. Demonstrate your exceptional performance through promotions, opportunities to lead, or international deputation. After establishing your profile’s strengths, demonstrate how the limitations of your current role and skills are impeding your future career advancement or desired transitions.

Determine the need for self-improvement, which can only be accomplished through an MBA at this career stage. Discuss how an MBA can help you improve your business acumen, leadership skills, and soft skills for communication and presentation and provide you with the network you need to advance your career or business. You’ll want to define the role in detail once you’ve decided on your post-MBA career plan. What industry are you looking to break into, and why? Describe the companies that appeal to you the most. What department do you envision yourself working in? This is an excellent essay to include some resume highlights.


Essay 2:

Each candidate is unique. Please outline your top expectations for your MBA program and why SMU Cox would be a great partner in assisting you in achieving your professional development and career goals. (250-word limit)


This essay aims to explain why SMU is the best next step for you. What are the following steps to achieving your career objectives, as you defined them? Consider the classes, activities, and groups that will aid your development. To respond to the “why SMU MBA” section of the essay, build your argument on three or four points that will help you fill gaps in your skill set and achieve your goals. Reasons for choosing the SMU MBA program should be consistent with your reasons for pursuing an MBA. Be holistic in your way of expression.

The easiest way to structure it is to break it into segments-

  • Inside the class – what excites you the most about the SMU MBA program regarding the academic curriculum?
  • Outside the class – outside of the academics, how do you plan to make the most of the opportunities available at SMU?
  • Outside of campus – show how the overall school brand, and alumni network, which you would carry and be a part of long after your campus stint, can help you build a successful career in the long term.

Lastly, think about what drew you to the SMU Cox community in the first place. The purpose of this essay is to learn about yourself as well as the university. Try to visit the campus, speak with current/past students, or learn some exclusive facts and figures about the school. You can customise your response as you know more about the institution. The fundamental idea is to specify what you wish to gain from the program and integrate a sense of personal improvement with the shared knowledge to be a whole part of society.  Consider what activities or student societies could help you advance professionally—for example, how would arranging a particular event teach you how to motivate others? To write a genuinely appealing essay, applicants must demonstrate an explicit knowledge of how SMU’s program would help them achieve their objectives. 


Essay 3:

Data Analytics is one of the three pillars of the SMU Cox MBA program. We are committed to helping all students develop data analysis skills and an analytical mindset. Please answer one of the following prompts and specify it at the top of your essay. (500-word limit).

  1. Please describe how you have used data to solve a complex problem, including how you communicated your solution to others.
    If you have limited experience with analytics or quantitative work, please use the following question:

2. Explain how you are prepared to succeed in a quantitatively rigorous program.


Based on your experience, you have two possible ways of answering this essay question. Your response to option a must include specific examples. To answer part a, first, list all your successful initiatives, services, and accomplishments. Then think about the jobs where you had to analyse data or apply mathematical abilities to solve an issue and showcase your quantitative skills. Include answering things like – Have you ever tried to estimate a market, make financial estimates, or examine a survey? Lastly, talk about the outcome of your work.

You might want to structure your story using the STAR method:

Situation– Set the scene by identifying the context and a challenging challenge.
Task– Identify the task or project you have set out to complete.
Action– Describe your actions in finishing the project, including how you communicated your solution.
Result– Write a summary of what you think can be the probable conclusion.

Option b requires you to discuss any previous education or work/internship experience that helped you prepare for an MBA. This involves emphasizing any relevant analytics or related experience you’ve had and addressing talents that demonstrate you are the right fit for the program. Draw on your academic skills if you took finance in your undergrad and have since worked in a non-financial industry. If you don’t have any quantitative courses, look at your test skills and other managerial aspects instead.

If you have no experience in the said field, you can speak of other skills that translate to success in such a demanding program. Demonstrate to the admissions committee that you can deal with difficult or new conditions. This is also a good moment to mention any plans you have to improve specific skills before starting your MBA, like taking complete courses or looking for quant-heavy projects at work.


Want to check out more on MBA program?

Best MBA in Singapore: Which MBA Programs to Choose

SMU Singapore MBA: GyanOne Interview with the Admissions Team

Slay your admissions process like a pro! Be a part of our network

Want to work with us? Contact us today

Meet Inspiring Game Changers who beat all odds to get Top MBA Admits.
Impressed? Itching to get started? Email us now: info [at] gyanone [dot] com.

Thirsty for Guidance? Then you cant miss these
Career Counselling | Admission Tips | Scholarships | Executive MBA | GMAT Preparation

About GyanOne

GyanOne is a leading MBA admissions consulting firm with a proven track record of admissions to top MBA programs globally. Knock off all your career and admissions related queries on our exclusively designed platform here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

enter the fold

Join the elite group of other people who signed in on our mailing list.