The entire room perked up the moment Dr. Hemand Desai announced to the inquiring audience that a student received a $10,000 signing bonus after completing the Cox School of Business Summer Business Institute (SBI).
“No matter what your discipline at the end of the day, having a basic range of business principles is critical,” said Desai, the academic director of the program. “Having this on your resume will set you apart and open up job opportunities.”
Since its beginning 16 years ago, the SMU Cox School of Business Summer Institute has grown to be one of the most prestigious programs in the nation of its kind. Students from Harvard, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke and 64 other elite universities compete to be one of the 30-35 students admitted to this intensive four week long business program.
The opportunities SBI provides to students are invaluable. The program works to enhance skills in all aspects of the business world by providing coaching on resumes and interviews to the ins and outs of how to plan, finance and manage a startup while working alongside Cox’s top professors.
Networking luncheons and field visits allow students to integrate into the bustling corporate dynamic of Dallas during their time at SBI.
“Most of the students we hire are out of the SBI program,” said Program Manager Sheri H. Moore. “We know they will work hard and have the business skill set we need.”
Hannah Taylor, the current assistant program manager and SMU alum, was a member of the program herself. Taylor assured the audience that while being in class for six hours a day, five days a week may seem daunting, it was the best experience of her life.
“I really wanted to be able to add this to my resume and also take some of the classes I didn’t get to in Dedman,” Taylor said. “It’s a lot of hard work but it’s definitely worth it.”
With no prior knowledge needed about business, this program is great for engineering, music, journalism, political science majors, and everything else in between.
“I was interested in this program because I want to get into the music business and I want to have a business background to know what is going on,” said Rodman Steele, a music and art entrepreneur major at SMU.
The program is currently taking applications for the summer. Admittance is based off of GPA and two essay questions, but more than anything the admissions committee wants to see sincerity.
“We want to see you are passionate about this program and really want to learn,” said Moore. “It’s more about that then GPA.”