Real Humans of the SMU Cox School of Business

SMU Cox School

Jessica Groshek, SMU Cox PMBA

Age: 31

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Why business school? Why now? In looking at where I was in my career compared to what I wanted to achieve, I felt a bit stagnant, and I knew I had to take some action to advance and develop my financial proficiency and grow my network. I completed a Certificate of Finance Program through SMU, per a friend’s recommendation, which I utilized to assess if I was interested in continuing my education and whether I was capable of working full time while attending class in the evenings. Finishing the certificate program solidified my desire to get my MBA and to do it now.

Why the SMU MBA program? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? When comparing SMU Cox to other MBA programs in the Dallas area, the two biggest drivers were the network and reputation that SMU carries in Dallas, as well as the ability the program gives me to choose my concentration and classes, which in turn allows me to tailor the program to my interests.

Jessica Groshek, SMU Cox PMBA

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to your MBA class? I worked for a non-profit before transitioning to a corporate position. Having worked for both types of organizations provides me an opportunity to share a variety of experiences in discussions. It also shapes how I define success, assess motivation factors, and evaluate culture.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? More of a surprising fact about me is that I do NOT like ketchup.

Post-MBA career interests? I recently accepted a new job, Investor Relations Manager for Vistra Energy, just over a year into the MBA program. I have been able to apply my MBA knowledge immediately to this role and new lessons I’m learning in my business classes continue to complement the role well.

Advice to Prospective MBA Applicants

One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? One thing I would absolutely do again is to attend the info session and reach out directly to the admissions team. I think creating a relationship and meeting the admissions team face-to-face helped ease any concerns I had.

One thing you would change or do differently? I would start earlier! I was a late applier to the program and only had about one month from committing myself to the application deadline and taking the GMAT. In short, I really had very little prep time before taking the GMAT.

Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? I would skip taking the GMAT! I knew it had to be done so I just powered through it.

Greatest highlight so far at SMU Cox? The greatest highlight I’ve had so far is the people I have met. I knew I would be building my network in a professional sense, but I didn’t realize it would have a personal impact as well. I am enrolled in our Global Program and will be traveling to Malaysia for class. I will be extending the trip with classmates and traveling elsewhere in Asia after the class ends. Post this trip, I am sure it will be the highlight of the program! But again, it will be because of the people I am traveling with and the experiences we share.

One thing about SMU Cox that you didn’t expect before arriving? The diversity of the class…I know it sounds strange but almost every school touts diversity. I really didn’t expect the variety of backgrounds: undergrad education, current careers, life experiences, etc. that my class has and the value it brings to discussions.

Thing you were most anxious about in your first year? I was very anxious about whether I’d have enough to time to study. Eventually you learn to prioritize and determine how much time to dedicate to certain tasks.

Thing you were most excited about in your first year? I was most excited about seeing the final grades for the first two classes. It helped confirm that I am capable of mastering the PMBA program, which then set the mood for the rest of my two years.


About the Author

Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is a writer on MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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