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Mar 7, 2023

Clear Admit Podcast: Episode 267: What’s the Secret Behind Record-Breaking SMU Cox Career Placement?

Clear Admit Podcast: Episode 267: What’s the Secret Behind Record-Breaking SMU Cox Career Placement?

Originally published on Clear Admit

The SMU Cox School of Business MBA Class of 2022 found record-breaking success this year, thanks to an innovative approach to employment at the business school. With special guests, Judi Umali-Rajkumar and Jason Rife, this podcast episode explores the symbiotic relationship between career services and admissions that propels MBA graduates’ success.

Judi is the Director of Career Programs for the Full-time MBA & MBA Direct students at SMU Cox.  She is a collaborative, people-centered, career consultant and HR leader with over 15 years of recruitment, training, talent development, career planning & management, and progressive HR management experience within the banking, automotive, consulting, SaaS, higher education, and hospitality industries. She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration and a masters in accounting from the University of Texas, Dallas.

Jason is the Senior Assistant Dean of the Career Management Center and Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox. After earning his MBA at Duke Fuqua, Jason moved into strategy and marketing roles with John Deere and later became a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Co. At both Deere and McKinsey, Jason volunteered to serve on the MBA recruiting teams. Jason made the jump from consulting to higher education, joining the University of Florida as an MBA career coach and eventually leading their graduate business career services team. In 2019, Jason returned to Texas as a part of the SMU Cox team.

In this podcast episode, Judi and Jason discuss:

  • How SMU Cox supports candidates’ career goals
  • The collaboration between career services and admissions at SMU Cox
  • The Class of 2022 record-breaking success

…and more!

Just press play to hear about SMU Cox Career Placement:

If You Like What You’ve Been Hearing, Please Subscribe and Rate Us on Apple Podcasts!
It’s been wonderful seeing the audience for our podcast series continue to grow! Please, if you have enjoyed what you’ve heard, could you rate and review the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast in Apple Podcasts? This is the best way to help more listeners find us. Also, to ensure that you never miss an episode, please subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use.

This episode was developed in partnership with SMU Cox. It was hosted by Graham Richmond and produced by Dennis Crowley. Thanks to all of you who’ve been joining us!

If You Like What You Hear – Register to Learn More from SMU Cox Below!


May 3, 2022

MBA Meaning Explained and How It Impacts Your Career

MBA Meaning Explained and How It Impacts Your Career

As people flock to business schools in 2022, the MBA is as in-demand as ever. You may have a non-business background and not even know what an MBA actually stands for. The MBA meaning is defined as a “Master’s in Business Administration”, a graduate management education for students. Upon graduation, students receive this degree after completion of their coursework.

An MBA Has a Measurable Meaning on Your Career

The impact of an MBA has measurable meaning on your career trajectory, ability to change careers, or ability to change industries. It also will make you a more desirable job candidate! The top five companies that hire MBA students include Amazon, Deloitte, Google, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and PwC according to Career Protocol. Obviously, these companies are desirable among job applicants. Specific industries are also in high-demand for MBA graduates. These industries include Investment Management, Business Administration and Management, Consulting, Energy, and Information Technology.

The return on your investment of pursuing an MBA can be very lucrative. For example, U.S. News identified the Fuqua School of Business (Duke University) to have a 1-4.1 salary-to-debt ratio. The average salary and signing bonus within three months of graduating for the class of 2019 was $167,974, compared to the average debt of $119,125.

What Other Options are Available?

Although an MBA is the most popular graduate management education business degree, there are others gaining popularity. For example, specialized master’s programs offer similar curriculums but specialize in specific concentrations. These include MS in Accounting, MS in Business Analytics, MS in Finance, MS in International Business, MS in Management, and an MS in Marketing, among others. These programs typically cost less than an MBA and are shorter in length. If you want to pursue a specialized master’s degree, check out our Specialized Master’s Guide here.

Nov 11, 2020

MBA Career Coach Advice

MBA Career Coach Advice

What are the Benefits of an MBA Career Coach?

  1. Identify your transferable skills when you are seeking a career transition or seeking to enter a new industry.
  2. Assess your career opportunities based on your personal goals.
  3. Polish your resume as an impartial third-party. Career coaches have experience working with hiring managers across many industries. They are also trained to be experts as resume writers and understand how organizations use resumes to find candidates.
  4. Provide advice on presentation and interviewing skills.
  5. Provide greater personal and career growth.
  6. Show you how to improve your leadership and interpersonal skills. In addition, they help you learn to healthily integrate your work with the rest of your life.
  7. Help you set measurable goals for your journey and create a process to track them.
  8. Motivate you to see how others view your personal skills to help you become a better professional.
  9. Assist in personalizing your resume, cover letters, and interviews.
  10. Provide access to a larger network for job opportunities.
  11. Navigate salary negotiations
  12. Motivate and teach you to gain career confidence, insight, encouragement, and inspiration.

Traits of a Great Career Coach

Regardless of where you choose to look, keep an eye out for professionals who have several years of experience, certifications, and strong client testimonials.  There are many MBA career coach options, but the most important factor is making sure your relationship is the right fit. Take into account their coaching style and personality. Finding the right fit maximizes your potential to have a successful experience.  It is also important to find a coach who has had actual experience in your preferred industry or career.  These coaches will have larger networks within those industries and also understand the nuances of your career choice.  Lastly, it is important your career coach has strong coaching experience and training. Anyone can claim to be a great career coach, but their experience is one of the most important credentials of them all.  Certificates can also enhance a coaches skill set, but should not be prioritized over experience.

Difference Between a Career Coach and Career Services

MBA Career coaches are provided to students within a school’s career services department.  Career services have a broader range of resources. They also provide larger-scale resources such as job postings, recruiting events, and research specialists.  Career coaches work within the career services department. Some schools offer personal career coaches, while others provide coaches for a cohort of students.

For example, if you’re a student in the Full-Time MBA program at the Kelley School of Business, you will take part in their unique Me, Inc. program before you even start classes. Me, Inc. will help you better understand your skills, your interests, and the types of careers and companies that are a good fit for you. Me, Inc. shapes your personal brand, dives into career development, and understand your leadership style.

Identifying Bad Coaches

With so many benefits to hiring an MBA career coach, students also need to be aware of low-quality coaches. The industry has a wide range of quality coaches, some good, some bad. The most important factor to consider is coaches who promise a ‘one-size-fits-all-approach’ – a coaching relationship should be extremely personalized. Any coach who promises a basic working relationship will not provide the individualized personal development you should be seeking. Secondly, career coaching is a process. It takes time, energy, and commitment to be successful. Coaches who promise a quick fix to your goals or problems should raise suspicion. Lastly, make sure your financial agreement is transparent. If you are a student seeking career coaching, research how involved your coach will be and the number of students they work with. When hiring a career coach outside of your program, make sure the relationship is clear and concise.

Feb 13, 2020

Investment or Tech: Which Industry is Right For Your Career?

Investment or Tech: Which Industry is Right For Your Career?

Job hunting between a career in investments or tech is a good problem to have. Each one, especially with an MBA under your belt, has enormous earning and growth potential, job security, and perks.

Continue reading…

Feb 5, 2020

Top 5 Business Schools for Investment Banking Careers

Top 5 Business Schools for Investment Banking Careers

If you’re hoping to land a high-paying investing career, not just any business school will do. You have to attend a top business school that has a history of employing graduates. Even then, you’ll most likely need to be near the top of your class or have an impressive background/internship to land the job you want.

Continue reading…

Feb 4, 2020

Get a Jump on These NYC Finance Careers

Get a Jump on These NYC Finance Careers

Money moves around faster than ever, making it an exciting time as many companies are preparing themselves for their futures and figuring out where the market will go next. This week, we will focus on five of the many NYC finance careers to the quants out there.

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Dec 24, 2019

The Best Careers in NYC to Ring in 2020

The Best Careers in NYC to Ring in 2020

It has been a while since this column checked to see what opportunities are available for MBA students in the Big Apple. A global center of finance and culture, New York City offers many opportunities for ambitious MBAs. This week’s dispatch only covers jobs that have been posted within the last week.

Continue reading…

Nov 26, 2019

Top Paying Business School Careers: Hospitality & Travel

Top Paying Business School Careers: Hospitality & Travel

Pursuing an MBA concentration in hospitality and travel can lead you down an exciting career path in a popular industry. In the United States, travel and tourism accounts for roughly $1.1 trillion in annual GDP and over five million jobs.

Continue reading…

Oct 10, 2019

Starting a Career in Sports with an MBA

Starting a Career in Sports with an MBA

None of what I’ve written so far will come as a surprise to sports management students. They have been tracking the rise of these leagues and witnessing audiences expand along with their international reputations. The more pressing question is about how to get in on the action. In this article, we will shed some light on the various ways that MBA students can find a sports career supporting the game that they love.

Continue reading…

Sep 26, 2019

The Highest Paying Healthcare Careers for MBAs

The Highest Paying Healthcare Careers for MBAs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare management careers have a remarkable projected growth of eighteen percent over the next decade—a much faster rate than the national average for all surveyed occupations.

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Sep 24, 2019

The Newest NYC Business School Careers

The Newest NYC Business School Careers

New York City is one of the world’s major financial hubs, and the many companies that keep offices in it are always looking for new talented MBAs. All of the jobs in this week’s listing have been posted within the past seven days and are located in Manhattan. Get ahead of everyone and apply now if you see something that you like.

Continue reading…

Aug 1, 2019

The Top Supply Chain Management Careers for MBA Grads

The Top Supply Chain Management Careers for MBA Grads

If you’ve got your MBA in hand or if you soon will, a supply chain career is worth exploration. This article will look at how you can launch a supply chain career, the typical salary ranges for supply chain management (SCM) and supply chain design roles, and some of the top MBA programs if you seek to develop or begin a career in the field.

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Jul 29, 2019

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Insurance

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Insurance

Insurance is a fast-growing career field. In the next 12 months, 63 percent of insurance companies plan to increase their staff numbers, according to a recent industry trend report.

In fact, by 2020, almost 400,000 insurance jobs are projected to be available. When combining that with the fact that millennials aren’t very interested in working in insurance—only a third demonstrate any interest—it’s a great career field to consider.

There’s a wide range of jobs, across a broad spectrum of career paths, within the insurance industry, and compensation is higher than average. Entry-level professionals can expect to earn more than $50,000 a year, and that number only increases as you gain experience.

In this article, we’re breaking down the highest paid insurance jobs, the companies where you’ll earn the most money, the top MBA programs, and where you should live. Continue reading…

Jul 25, 2019

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Marketing

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Marketing

MBA graduates in marketing can experience exponential career growth. According to Payscale, graduates in marketing often earn a starting salary of $55,700, which may double to $116,000 by mid-career. As the job is links to sales success, bonuses can also be lucrative.

Those who relish the thrill to sell might be curious about what positions can maximize their salaries. The benefits of these positions can vary by location, experience, and company.

Continue reading…

Jul 22, 2019

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Consulting

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Consulting

Consulting still is one of the top career choices for MBA graduates. Part of the reason is because consulting firms are very open to recruiting MBAs from a wide range of backgrounds.

According to the 2018 Prospective Student Survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), consulting is the most sought-after postgraduate industry. An estimated 34 percent of applicants consider consulting their career of choice.

Salary is a crucial factor in that choice. Although consulting salaries depend on a lot of factors—time, location, office, and position, to name a few—the pay is relatively high across the board.

Below, we’ll break down the highest paying jobs in consulting, where to work to earn the most money, what MBA programs are best for the career, and the top companies to work for. Continue reading…

Jul 8, 2019

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Tech

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Tech

In recent years, there has been a major shift in where MBAs end up after graduation, both in terms of geography and career paths. While plenty of MBA graduates still pursue traditional Wall Street careers in finance and marketing, many more have begun making in-roads into tech havens like Seattle, Austin, and, of course, the Bay Area.

Continue reading…

Jul 5, 2019

Building Your Bayer Career with an MBA

Building Your Bayer Career with an MBA

The pharmaceutical and biotech industries are rife with opportunities for b-school students. Competition among brands and rapid technological development make can make having an MBA an exceptionally worthwhile advantage.

Continue reading…

Jun 19, 2019

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Finance

Top 5 Paying MBA Careers: Finance

Finance, no surprise, is an extremely popular field among MBA graduates. According to Payscale, finance is 4.7 times more popular among MBA graduates than other fields. The reasons for this are rather uncomplicated: its pretty lucrative.

The starting median salary for those with up to five years of experience is $62,100. After ten years, the reported median salary jumps to $120,000; a 93 percent increase. Given that it is finance, the bonuses that employees can earn are massive, making the field even more lucrative.

With such high salaries and the prospect of massive bonuses, those interested in finance might be curious about what the best positions are for them. These can vary by company, experience, and location.

Companies Recruiting Finance MBA Graduates

The firm you work for can affect how much you make. Larger firms tend to offer more than smaller houses. The following are the top five employers in terms of average salary for those with an MBA in finance.

Morgan Stanley: $136,500

Deloitte: $132,656

Microsoft: $123,684

Amazon: $123,678

Citigroup: $121,346

Finance MBA Experience

As one might expect, the more experience one has in a field, the higher their salary will be. According to Payscale, this is a breakdown of average salary based on years of experience.

  • Up to 11 Months: $58,517
  • 1–4 Years: $65,589
  • 5–9 Years: $86,086
  • 10–19 Years: $113,775
  • 20+ Years: $135,016

Finance MBA Location

Along with company size and experience, location is the other major determinant of salary for finance MBA graduates. Given the fact that finance tends to be centralized in major cities, it is reasonable to assume that the largest salaries are to be found in cities with large, well-populated metropolitan areas. The following are the five cities where MBA graduates can earn the most.

  • New York, NY: $120,962
  • Los Angeles, CA: $111,727
  • Boston, MA: $109,490
  • Chicago, IL: $108,421
  • Houston, TX: $101,643

Image result for nyc skyline

For finance savvy MBA graduates, New York City offers the best average salary opportunities in the United States.

Top Paying Finance Careers

While there are many careers from which a finance MBA can choose, the following offer the highest salaries. To maximize a potential salary, one should consider the variables mentioned above when searching for a position.

#1: Vice President, Finance ($135,000–$195,000)

As a vice president of finance, your primary responsibility will be to direct finances and coordinate the budget. The VP of finance also sets goals and oversees lower-level employees in the financial department. Other responsibilities include engaging in accounting, operations, and finance management.

Common tasks include the following:

  • Ensuring company financial plans are carried out
  • Coordinating, preparing, and reviewing annual reports
  • Directing accounting operations

The average salary of a VP of finance is $134,919. In addition, MBA graduates can earn an average of $24,430 in bonuses, $24,566 in commission, and $8,757 in profit sharing. The salary on this job can raise these numbers higher depending on where one works. Look for these positions in the following cities, where you can earn more than the average:

  • San Francisco, CA: 28 percent more
  • Los Angeles, CA: 16 percent more
  • Boston, MA: 15 percent more

#2: Finance Director ($110,000–$160,000)

Finance directors are responsible for managing the goings on in the finance department of the company. In addition, effective finance directors can see problems and risks and design necessary solutions as needed.

Common tasks include the following:

  • Overseeing the preparation of regulatory and financial reporting as required
  • Developing policies and procedures to control and report financials
  • Managing budget, forecast, and accounting preparations

The average salary of a finance director is $111,384. MBA graduates can expect to earn an average bonus of $18,556, $33,000 in commission, and $5,113 in profit sharing. According to Payscale, the following are three highest paying companies for this position:

  • Nike: $150,000
  • Lilly: $130,000
  • CBRE Group: $128,000

#3: Investment Banker ($99,000–$207,000)

As an investment banker, your primary responsibility is to grow wealth for your clients. This can be through either strategic investing or raising capital. Investment bankers look through all of the financial information of a company to develop the best strategy for addressing its concerns and reaching its goals.

Common tasks include the following:

  • Constructing financial models to aid in transactions and communications
  • Performing valuation analyses
  • Conducting industry and company research

On average, you can expect to earn an average of $98,831 in salary. Investment banking is rather lucrative, so it is not impossible to double your salary in commission alone. However, because if this, the salary scale can widely vary. The average commission for this position on Payscale is $90,000. To make that possible, you’ll need to go to a city where capital generation is needed. These three places pay more than the average, according to Payscale:

  • San Francisco, CA: 52 percent higher
  • New York, NY: 12 percent higher
  • Dallas, TX: 5 percent higher

Image result for san francisco skyline

Investment bankers would do well to look into a career in the Bay Area. San Francisco-metro investment bankers make nearly 50 percent more than the national average, according to Payscale data.

#4: Finance Manager ($90,000–$124,000)

Finance managers are expected to watch departmental budgets. Their primary responsibilities include making financial forecasts for their company, working with other departments to establish future budgets, and keeping excellent track of the money going in and out of the company.

Common tasks for people in this position include the following:

  • Identifying areas for cost reduction
  • Providing analyses to the operations team
  • Preparing informational analyses

Given the importance of this position, MBA graduates who pursue it will be compensated well. The average salary for a finance manager is $89,636. In addition to the base salary, an MBA graduate can expect an average of $9,959 in bonuses, $25,006 in commission, and $3,982 in profit sharing.

Because this position is so important, companies are willing to pay excellent candidates well. The following offer the three highest average salaries according to Payscale:

  • Boeing: $119,000
  • Amazon: $112,000
  • Johnson & Johnson: $111,000

#5: Portfolio Manager ($84,000–$140,000)

Portfolio managers are responsible for investing their clients’ money, whether those clients are businesses or individuals. They work to get the highest return possible for their clients’ money.

Common tasks for this position include the following:

  • Consulting with clients to develop investment goals
  • Reporting on investment performance
  • Managing portfolios to maximize returns

Portfolio managers earn an average of $84,443, with $10,274 in bonuses, $10,113 in commission, and $4,000 in profit sharing. According to Payscale, these positions tend to be centered in financial institutions and investment firms.

The following three banks offer the highest average salaries to their portfolio managers.

  • Blackrock: $115,000
  • S. Bank: $99,000
  • Citizens Financial Group: $97,000

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