Real Humans of the SMU Cox School of Business

SMU Cox School

Chhitiz Basnet, SMU Cox PMBA

Age: 30

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

Why business school? Why now? Getting an MBA for me was important because I firmly believe that seeing the global business world through the structured format of an MBA program is the best way to build a solid foundation in many aspects of the business environment like finance, strategy, operational efficiency, and organizational behavior all at once. I chose to do my MBA at this age because I wanted to ensure I would be able to offer substantial real world experience to the classes.

Chhitiz Basnet, SMU Cox PMBA

Why the SMU MBA program? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? The SMU Cox MBA was my ultimate choice as I lived and worked in Dallas. It offered great flexibility through the Professional MBA format to attend classes, while allowing me to continue working. The campus location right in the heart of Dallas and the reputation it earned in producing great business professionals over many years did play a great role in my selection.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to your MBA class? I bring eight years of global experience to the classroom. Working in consulting positions at a Big 4 firm, I was able to closely gauge the business world in Asia and Europe. I often find myself in a unique position to contribute when international business issues are the subject of discussion.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I am a big politico-economy enthusiast, an avid follower of geo-politics and its influences on businesses and financial markets. I occasionally contribute op-eds to national journals expressing my views on general or specific issues on politico-economic topics. Apart from that, I love to ski and play soccer and cricket. Thinking that I might go off on a tangent and mindful of word count restrictions, this side of me didn’t get much or any spotlight on my MBA application.

Post-MBA career interests? Leveraging my skills and experience with the depth and breadth of my SMU Cox MBA, I want to work as a Private Equity Associate. This is a position where I believe my experiences and interests greatly align and would allow me to harness all my potential.

Advice to Prospective MBA Applicants

One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? While making sure that I best conveyed my personality to the admissions committee, I asked my wife, mentors, co-workers, and close friends to read my application. Their feedback allowed me to assess what aspects I needed to stress more and which ones I should ignore.

One thing you would change or do differently? I regret that I spoke less with the admissions counselor prior to my application process. I spoke to the admissions counselor only after I completed my application process. Speaking with admissions gave me great insights about the school, courses, professors, etc. I firmly believe that one should speak to the admission counselors prior to starting the application and leverage that communication to frame a great application.

Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? Hands down it’s GMAT. Finding the right amount of time and energy while working full time for me was a great challenge, but then I slowly I figured out that GMAT is just like your hour long gym that you need to do on a daily basis. That helped me get a decent score on my GMAT.

Greatest highlight so far at SMU Cox? This fall, I was accepted to the portfolio management practicum class. We work with Bloomberg terminals in SMU Cox’s state-of-the-art Kitt Investing and Trading Center. Working in those high-end terminals for financial analysis is still absolutely surreal for me.

One thing about SMU Cox that you didn’t expect before arriving? Not just one, there are many–the Cox mentorship program, the Cox Business Leadership Center, access to the world of resources, and the amazing alumni network are some of the many surprises that I wasn’t even expecting from the program.

Thing you were most anxious about in your first year? Time management, of course. I am working full time and having to balance my work and study made me anxious. But the SMU Cox PMBA program with its structure and flexibility made things relatively easy for me to navigate my academics with my work.

Thing you were most excited about in your first year? Being in a class full of smart people, and being able to contribute the real world experience in the best way possible for a meaningful classroom experience keeps me going and excites me about the SMU Cox PMBA program.


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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