Academics Ambassadors Careers

Why I Decided to Study Management Science

When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to study engineering in college, and after some basic research, I decided on civil engineering. As I visited colleges, I was sure to ask lots of questions about the engineering school and more specifically, civil engineering. Because of this, I didn’t actively seek out other major options that I hadn’t considered.

Flash forward to the beginning of freshman year: I was bright-eyed and excited to dive into what I thought to be civil engineering. I wanted to be sure I knew about the other types of engineering, though, so I enrolled in ENGR 1101: Engineering and Beyond to learn more about all the engineering disciplines offered by SMU. After several weeks of classes, hearing stories from people who had jobs in different fields, and learning from professors in each engineering field, I had the realization that what I had previously been set on studying was probably not actually the best fit for me.

Now enter management science. When I tell people I’m a management science major, most people either immediately ask me what it is, or assume it is the same as management, both of which are fair responses. In fact, when I first heard about it, I didn’t know what it was either! I first learned what it was in the very same class where I discovered why civil engineering wasn’t for me. Management science is in the engineering school, and it has a lot of similarities to industrial engineering, operations research, or other related fields. The management science curriculum combines many different types of classes. In my two and a half years as a management science major, I’ve taken a couple computer science classes, business classes such as accounting and marketing, and traditional engineering classes. The goal of a management science major is to make things more efficient, whether it be processes, networks, or teams of people. Essentially, we make things better, cheaper, and faster. In one of my classes, we looked at a problem related to a supply chain network of monitor manufacturing. This network consisted of multiple parts coming from multiple sources traveling to 2 different factories where the parts were used to make the monitors. The goal of the problem was to identify how many parts should go to each of the factories to minimize the cost or maximize output. This is just one example of something you could be finding solutions for!

One big perk of majoring in management science is that there is a broad assortment of job types or industries you could go into. Last summer, I interned in the engineering department of one of the top transportation companies. The engineers on my team worked with some of the company’s largest clients to see how their trucking network could be made more efficient. Sometimes this was solved by adjusting the drivers’ weekly schedules or rerouting trucks to other distribution centers, among various other creative solutions. One of the projects I worked on was aimed at saving engineers’ work time by automating a process that previously took a few hours of manual work.

After several semesters in management science and a related internship, I’m so glad I found the major that is right for me. There will always be something new to work on, learn about, and optimize, and I think that’s part of what makes this field so exciting. Remember that it is okay to change your major, or to come to college not knowing exactly what you want your career path to be. Just like me, though, I hope you find your perfect fit.

Academics Ambassadors Campus Life Careers

Why I Chose SMU!

SMU has given me…

an outstanding education.

inspiring friends who will make a difference in the world.

the opportunity to push myself to higher achievement.

experiences with a variety of accomplished people in the world.

travel to gain education in various locations.

connection with the local Dallas community.

internships with top companies, such as Amazon.

leadership capabilities.

the best memories.

an experience of a lifetime.


As an SMU Senior finishing my last semester from home, I am grateful for the time I was able to spend on campus, although I for sure took my time there for granted. I have had the opportunity to reflect on truly what SMU has meant to me over the past 4 years during this global pandemic. I have come to realize that SMU provided me a community that went way beyond the classroom.

Originally, I chose SMU because of the medium-sized student population, the city of Dallas, wide range of alumni community, and the individuals I met while touring campus prior to attending were inspiring and challenged me to choose a school that would help me achieve my dreams. Little did I know when I made the decision to attend SMU the benefits have totally gone beyond my initial expectations. SMU has really pushed me to define my values and understand what I want in life. This has enabled me to seek employment in areas that really matter for a long-term career. As a whole, the SMU student body is a community of leaders and future world changers. SMU students don’t just sit back and watch as the world changes them… they seek out opportunities to change the world. Dallas is truly a launching point to achieving dreams and making large impacts globally.

As I sit in my living room at home as an out of state student, I long for the missed days on the SMU campus with my friends. However, at SMU, college isn’t just 4 years… it is truly a lifetime. A lifetime of an education, connections, and leadership abilities that will make great dreams become platforms to greatly impact the world. While my time at SMU is coming to an end, I am truly grateful for the SMU community that will continue no matter where life takes me. Four years ago, I was a lost Freshman searching for a community that would aid in the shaping of my future. As I will soon gain my SMU diploma, I will leave this campus as a strong, independent world changer leaving with a firm foundation of an education and a community that will support me no matter the unforeseen future. SMU has ignited my passions and a drive to achieve my dreams. 4 years fly by so soak up every moment of it!!

Once a Mustang, always a Mustang!

Laura Catherine Harrell

Class of 2020


Careers Life Around Dallas

Now Boarding: Internships

Coming to SMU, one of the things I was most excited for was the opportunity to intern. A mentor in high school told me to think of internships as a trial for a career, and unlike many other trials, you’re the one getting paid to upgrade. My first year here in Dallas and at SMU, I began to fully realize how many companies have their headquarters or base office here in the area. One company immediately stood out to me and was only 10 minutes down Mockingbird Lane: Southwest Airlines. However, with over 20,000 applications submitted and only 150 spots, I knew it was going to be a tough opportunity to acquire.

My sophomore year at SMU, I applied for my first internship at Southwest Airlines. I used nearly all the resources on campus to best prepare myself. I went into the career center and had them look over my resume and perfect every word on the page. At one of the career fairs on campus I actually got to meet my recruiter from Southwest in person, and put a face to my resume. Through other SMU students I got to meet young SMU alumni that currently work and received their input and recommendations. I was able to have two of my favorite professors write extremely individualized recommendation letters for me, because they were able to get to know me so well both inside and outside the classroom. Fast forward a few months, and when I got the interview, I went back to the career center to run some practice interviews. I walked into my interview feeling the most prepared I have ever been and perfectly confident. I ended up receiving the internship on the Customer Experience team and loved it so much that I applied again for the following summer and interned as their first Corporate Strategy & Innovation intern.

My SMU connection was also beneficial while I was there interning. On a daily basis, my academic and extracurricular experiences made me an asset for my team and the projects we were working on. But the SMU benefit didn’t end there. Frequently I would walk down the halls of Southwest’s Corporate headquarters in an SMU shirt and someone would stop me and say they were a Mustang alumni and would love to help me in any way they could. These alumni connections have now become friends who continue to mentor me as I finish my undergraduate time here at SMU.

No matter where you chose to intern, I am confident that your SMU connections will help you professionally. All you need to do is get ready to explore, so buckle up.

Richmond Dewan

Academics Careers Lyle School of Engineering

In the Midst of Internship Applications

My first and second years of college at SMU were full of new experiences and exploration of possible careers—so many opportunities, so much excitement! Now junior year has already rolled around and I find myself starting to narrow in on what I want to do with my life. Mechanical engineering and mathematics—check. Now, I am starting to narrow in on particularly what I want to do this summer. I look back to the summer after my freshman year when I had free time to explore—I studied abroad in Prague, took engineering and Russian Culture courses, and fell more in love with traveling and engineering applications. During the summer after my sophomore year, I began my search for internships.

This journey began when I joined Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and attended meetings each semester. I learned about various companies that came to speak to our organization and became an officer my sophomore year. In addition to networking with companies at SWE meetings and attending the SMU career fair, I was given the opportunity to travel with SWE to Philadelphia in September of 2016 and attended the national SWE conference. At the conference, I handed out my resume and networked with numerous companies that interested me. It was only a matter of time before I received my first interview with one of my dream companies.

Attending the national SWE conference and meeting employers on SMU’s campus connected me with many companies that I was potentially interested in working for. The process continued with personal research, emails and online applications. A blessing through the whole journey was the Hart Leadership Center—an amazing on-campus resource with a wonderful staff that helps with resumes and interning information.

I ended up accepting an internship at a biomedical engineering company the summer after my sophomore year thanks in part to attending the SMU career fair and the SWE conference. As I continue to search for my dream job this summer, I will definitely be utilizing resources on campus to help make my dream a reality.  I am also planning on attending the national SWE conference again which is being held in Austin, TX this year, not too far from home.

Emily Osman

Campus Life Careers Cox Business School Life Around Dallas Student Organizations

Start-Ups Start Here!

Do you have the next Big Idea? Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to be an entrepreneur?

A picture from one of our club meetings.
A picture from one of our club meetings.

During high school, I started my own automotive accessories business and was fortunate enough to make a profit. Naturally, when I came to SMU, my first priority was to find the SMU Entrepreneurship Club. Upon membership, I met many other SMU students who also had entrepreneurial endeavors. I am so passionate about entrepreneurship that I am now, as a sophomore, the Vice President of the club. The SMU Entrepreneurship Club is one of SMU’s 200 student organizations and is one of the best resources available to get real world entrepreneurial experience. Whether you have the next billion-dollar idea, want help with an existing business, or simply want to hang out with cool people, the entrepreneurship club is for you!

The club prepares students for pitch competitions around the country and hosts guest speakers and pitch training events. One of my favorite events we do as a club is Shark Tank analysis. Shark Tank is a popular TV show in which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of notable investors, such as Dallas local and billionaire Mark Cuban. In fact, a few SMU students have pitched their businesses on the show. The club plays the recorded pitches and collectively analyzes the pitcher’s strategy and techniques. The event is both educational and a lot of fun.

Entrepreneurial spirit on campus does not stop outside the club. SMU is one of the most entrepreneurial universities in the country. SMU is ranked #14 on Forbes’ list of “Start-up Schools: America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities 2015.” This can be attributed to our very social, involved, and entrepreneurial student body, and also to the fact that Dallas provides the perfect incubator for starting businesses. Forbes ranked Dallas, TX #7 for the “Best Cities to Start a Business.”

If you answered “No” to all three of my initial questions, congratulations for reading this far. SMU offers 199 other student organizations; at least one will surely make you feel at home. My advice to you: get involved as soon as you step foot on campus.

Pony up!

-David Zimmer


Academics Careers Cox Business School

The Life of an SMU Accounting Major

Although finance is the most popular major within Cox, as well as the most popular major on campus, I personally believe majoring in accounting is the way to go. Let me explain.

Recruiting season for accounting majors in Texas begins at the start of second semester for all juniors who wish to go through formal accounting recruitment. About a dozen public accounting firms, ranging in size from the “Big Four” to middle market and smaller firms, come to campus to start recruiting all interested juniors majoring in accounting. After many information sessions, interviews, dinners, etc., most, if not all, accounting majors walk away with an internship for the spring semester of their senior year.

For those who know they are interested in accounting by the spring of their sophomore year, they can apply to the summer leadership conferences that the public accounting firms offer between the summer of one’s sophomore year and the start of junior year. These all expense paid, two to three day conferences, can and often result in an internship offer for one’s senior year. This way, students can avoid the formal recruitment process.

For those interested in the audit track, the internship starts in January and goes until the end of March, with two accelerated accounting courses taking place during the month of April. For those interested in the tax track, the accelerated accounting courses happen in the month of January and the internship subsequently begins in February and runs until the end of April. Both internships fall within the “busy season” of their respective fields, thus keeping the interns quite busy as the name suggests!

The “Big Four” accounting firms even have a global rotational program as an option for one’s internship. Thus you can apply to spend half of your internship abroad. This all expense paid opportunity not only gives you global work experience before you have even graduated college, but it also gives you an opportunity to get exposure to a different culture. This opportunity is unique to the accounting industry and something I am currently in the process of applying for.

Upon successful completion of the internship, it is likely you could walk away with a full-time offer. Students who accept this offer and go on to work where they have interned love knowing their environment and colleagues before they begin work on their first official day.

This spring I will be interning with KPMG here in Dallas in their Audit Department. I am looking forward to applying the outstanding education SMU has afforded me to real life experiences, as well as learning even more from working full-time in a professional setting for over ten weeks. SMU’s Accounting Department has provided me and my classmates such unique and amazing opportunities!

-Maggie Poxon


My Advertising Internship

 This summer, I interned at Publicis HCG. I wouldn’t have gotten the internship if it wasn’t for the support and guidance of SMU’s faculty. The Temerlin School of Advertising definitely made sure my application and recommendation letters were of the highest caliber. From 9-5pm, I’d work on projects at my internship. This ranged from planning social events for the office, to writing copy for clients, and even working on an unbranded depression app for the Apple Watch for our intern project. At 5pm, I’d go home to grab dinner and would continue to work from 6-10pm, sometimes even later on passion projects.

My first day in New York was a scene right out of a movie. I managed to get myself to Target via subway, but had no idea how to get back home. The Uber driver who picked me up not only offered me his mixtape and a date the following weekend, but also dropped me off no where near where I needed to be. My phone died and my friends that I somehow managed to find accidentally put me on the wrong train home. When I finally made it back, I realized that between lugging my purchases from Target around town, and grabbing dinner, I had lost my ID to get into my room. I was feeling discouraged, but was hopeful for better days to come.

As the summer moved forward, I became more acquainted with the city and the people that came with it. The one thing that I loved most about interning in NY was the variety of people I befriended and how people were always willing to help me move forward in my career. I also found a friend group that doubled as my family away from home. We made each other laugh, cooked dinner when someone was too busy to feed themselves, and always made it a point to keep each everyone motivated. As interns, we learned to work hard, but to also save some time to play hard as well. We filled our free days with visits to Coney Island, stuffing our faces with delicious food at Smorgasburg, and appreciating all of the art that NYC had to offer. New York was a life changing experience, and I can’t wait to go back for good!

Tien Dang-Tien Dang


Career Fair at SMU

Evan Giacomini

A couple weeks ago, I got to participate in career fairs brought onto SMU’s campus by the Hegi Family Career and Development center, as well as the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership. Because it is my junior year, I spoke to tons of recruiters about the prospect of interning with their firms this upcoming summer. I was able to connect with over 15 companies including State Farm, Credera, Insight Global, Deloitte and many others. Better still, I was able to see some of my good friends, that had recently graduated, come back to SMU to recruit our students to their companies as well. Additionally, it was so incredible to see how forward thinking our students are, with a good percentage of students in the room being first year or sophomore level students. So far, I am still applying and looking for positions, both in the Dallas area and elsewhere. So far, a company has already contacted me and set up an interview in mid-October for an intern opportunity which I am very excited about. The career centers on campus deserve to be commended for their hard work and success on such wonderful career fairs because they really helped me get my name out into the corporate world with such ease.

-Evan Giacomini


Spring Internships and the Allure of Employment

School is fun. While the work may be difficult at times, the other side of the scale containing the opportunity for increased knowledge, lifelong friendships, and a foundation for the future far outweighs the stress of finals. In some ways I wish it could go on forever, but as with many things in life once the end is near the anticipation of what lies ahead tends to consume us. So it has been with “real world” work – a job, a more adult life, and financial independence (for better or worse). It is an itch that I was growing increasingly anxious to scratch, and while I have done some summer internships before, this spring I finally got the chance to do one instead of school.

pwc logo

Within accounting this is actually a pretty common path. The program is set up so that seniors can do an internship with a firm the second semester of their senior year in addition to two condensed accounting classes that only last for a month. Since you can get 6 hours of credit for the internship, it is actually possible to remain a full-time student throughout this process. Most accounting majors take advantage of it, and while being away from school for part of senior year can be frustrating, the experience is a great taste of what the future holds. The frequent full time job offers that come out of it aren’t too shabby either!

In my internship I was put right onto a team in a firm’s forensic advisory office and learned a ton about business that I simply wouldn’t have been able to get from a classroom environment. However, without the foundation that came from my courses I don’t believe I would have been ready to absorb nearly as much. The internship really made me appreciate the classes and my time in school; it is a synergistic relationship that I believe has done a fantastic job of preparing me for life after college.

cox school

I have signed a job offer and will be working for the same firm after completing my education, but first I have one more year of classes. I am returning to SMU next fall, this time as a graduate student, to complete the Master’s in Accounting Program. I am excited to get started there as well, and while I can’t say that the allure full-time employment won’t remain in the back of my mind, I do know that I am going to make the most of my time in the MSA program. It has a lot to offer, and I know it will prepare me well. Also, like I said before… school is fun. Why not stop to enjoy it for a while?

By Ryan Herrscher

Ambassadors Careers

Making an Impact at SMU

At the end of last semester I had the incredible opportunity to attend the annual Net Impact Conference in Minneapolis with students and business professionals from all across the country. SMU sent 5 students to the conference to explore fields such as corporate social impact, entrepreneurship, clean energy, international development, impact investing, and many more. After realizing my personal interest in pursuing a career that incorporates business and sustainability, this conference was the perfect way for me to explore opportunities with businesses nationwide as well as network with potential employers and fellow peers with similar interests.


Going to the conference opened my eyes to how many sustainability issues our global population is facing, but at the same time I was motivated to further educate myself about these issues and learn what I can do to help. We all come to college looking for ways that we can make an impact on the world through our careers, but one of my favorite things about SMU is the amount of opportunities there are provided for students to explore whatever they’re passionate about! This conference was just one opportunity SMU has given me to think outside the box and expose myself to tons of unique careers and prospects in order to determine what I’m most interested in. The SMU network is incredibly far-reaching and even all the way up in Minneapolis, I ran into the Executive Director of Philanthropy for AT&T who recognized me from an event she had spoken at on campus – a true testament to the positive reputation SMU has nationwide!

Nikki 2

By Nikki Carenza

Ambassadors Careers Life Around Dallas

The Method to my Madness

Dallas coffee shop, Method: Caffeination and Fare, has become a second home to me and immediately came to mind when I was tasked with finding a client for a news writing class’ semester-long project. The young, energetic owner Louie Corwin and his staff of expert baristas were already familiar faces, and I was excited for the opportunity to bring them publicity.

Over the span of this semester, I am volunteering to create a media kit, consisting of items such as a backgrounder, news story and press release for the coffee shop. From the project’s writing and publishing side to the shop’s main focus—the “method” behind coffee making, I am eager for all that I will learn. Already, I have had the chance to interview Corwin and have attended one of Method’s occasional, weekend brewing classes where I learned to brew my own cup of pour over coffee. DSC_0155

In pursuing this assignment and working to get my writing published in local papers, I am so grateful to SMU for affording me engaging, real world experiences that push me to learn beyond the classroom. Because of SMU, I am not just another statistic or name muttered during roll call but rather a “World Changer.”

By Austin Whittle

Ambassadors Careers

Career Center Help Leads To Internships

It was a busy fall semester full of football games, boulevards, tests, quizzes, RC banquets and deadlines for summer internships. I spent just about every Saturday in September applying for summer internships online and through the Cox Career Center Luckily by the end of the semester I had a bit of good news.

I was invited to interview with four of my top choice firms for a summer internship in New York, NY, Chicago, IL or San Francisco, CA. I immediately had to schedule some interview prep in the Cox Career Center. I met with my career counselor about 7-8 times before I flew out for my first round on interviews in New York, NY.

New York was amazing and the prep I had done in the career center more than prepared me for the Wall Street Style interviews. I was able to network with students across the country, visit the city, and dine with associates and managing directors from various departments within the firm. I interviews in January and thought it was incredibly cold, until I flew out to Chicago and realized just how windy, the Windy City really is.

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Walking around in -15 degrees Fahrenheit (with wind chill) was something this Louisiana boy had never done before. I stayed in Chicago for three days and really utilized my mock case preparation I received from the career center. The cases we reviewed at Cox was very similar to what I encountered in Chicago, however, the weather was not.

All in all, it was a very interesting journey. Earlier this semester, I planned on going abroad for the summer to Bali, but now it looks like I will be working stateside, which I couldn’t be any happier about. The Cox Career Center went above and beyond in training and preparing me and i couldn’t be anymore grateful.

By Kaleb Lee

Ambassadors Careers

Prepping For The Working World

As a Junior Finance major at SMU, I have recently been in the throws of formal summer internship recruitment. Daily, sometimes twice daily, Banks held information sessions and formal recruitment fairs. “Thank-you-notes” became routine, phone interviews were second nature, and the employees at the local dry-cleaners even knew me by name.

I don’t mean to overwhelm anyone reading this. College, especially at Southern Methodist University, will be four – hopefully only four – of the most fun years of your life. There will come a time, however, when you have to put on your Sunday best, pack a fancy folder full of resumes, and awkwardly introduce yourself to well-versed professionals who don’t have the slightest idea who you are. This can be a daunting process when you sit back and take it in for the first time. I know when I came to SMU as a freshman from Greenville, South Carolina, thoughts of future internships and permanent job offers never crossed my mind. All I could focus on was how to make my dorm room better than everyone else on my floor! Times have changed and as first semester Junior year rolled around, I was deep in the throws of formal preparation.

As embarrassing as this is to write, I honestly did not know how to tie my own tie coming in to SMU. I didn’t own my own suit. I didn’t even have a formal, presentable resume to hand to potential employers. I knew I had to make a full-fledged effort to get my act together, so naturally I visited out university Career Center. We prepped for interviews – phone, in person, and via Skype. We monotonously scanned every letter of every line in my resume until I began to refer to it as a piece of art. I bought two suits and began to frequent the local barbershop. Replacing the flowing, red locks with a short, professional dew was slightly devastating at first, but I’ve grown to appreciate the business look.

It would take multiple pages to summarize all the Career Center has done to hold my hand throughout the process. Now, as a second semester Junior, I am proud to say I have signed as a Summer Investment Banking Analyst with Citi Group in Houston, TX. Never in a million years would I have envisioned so much success. That is, until I immersed myself in the driven, passionate culture found in SMU’s students, faculty, and alumni who all played such an integral part in my personal and career development. It’s truly amazing what can happen when you find yourself in the right environment around like-minded, success-oriented individuals. SMU has given me the tools to succeed going forward, and I can’t wait to see where they take me.

By Whit Rasmussen


Opportunites Abound in PR

prssaBy Kelsey Buttrell

PRSSA is one of the many amazing academic organizations on campus and one that I have the pleasure to be a member of. This past week at SMU, PRSSA hosted Mark Hass as a guest lecturer for all PRSSA students. Mark Hass is the President & CEO for Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world.

hassHe gave the students insight on his company’s research. One campaign Edelman is working on right now is the rebranding of AXE. Their research concluded that AXE is a very dominant product for ages 12-15, but older men find it immature and childish. As a result, Edelman has conducted research observing the interaction between relations of men and women since previously that has been the campaign for AXE. They still want to use this relationship idea but mature the nature of the brand.

This is just one of the many perks of being a member of SMU PRSSA. This program continues to amaze me with the remarkable career fairs and the experience to engage with amazing PR professionals.


My Summer with Mercedes-Benz

By Billy Hightower

This summer I had the awesome experience of finding an Internship through SMU at Park Place Mercedes Benz. I found my internship through an SMU career fair, at which one of the members of the HR department was a Mustang!

My first day in the office, one of the managers threw me a set of keys to a brand new CL63 AMG and asked me to drop it off to one of his clients. From there my experiences as an intern only continued to grow, from sitting in meetings with full departments to helping devise strategies for process improvement techniques throughout the dealership. By the end of the summer I even got to drive a Bentley! I also got a discount and was able to buy a new car!

There are so many opportunities for our students through the SMU Hegi Career Center. SMU is able to set its students up with these wonderful internship experiences by being the only show in town when it comes to being a university directly in the city of Dallas.