Tips on Gaining Employer Support

Talking with your Employer

Where to begin? Start searching for support in general– not just financial support for the MBA. Are there others on your team or in your office who have gone back to school? Is there someone in your office who has encouraged you to pursue the MBA? Begin discussions with them on the support you might have in the work place as far as flexibility and your timing in beginning your studies.


Do your research! Find out if your employer has an official policy for those going back to school for the MBA and understand the guidelines. For example, some companies design their reimbursement structures based on the grades you achieve or the number of years you have worked for them. Others might contribute a certain percentage of the tuition per credit hour or a set amount each year/semester. Furthermore, some have an annual contribution cap. Understanding this will help guide your discussions and determine how you plan your education.


Focus on how will this benefit your employer! What will you learn and be able to bring back to the company? You will build a new network and be exposed to new companies and industries in the area. You will learn real time in the classroom and have the ability to bring your experiences from the classroom back to the office the next day and vice versa. You have so much potential! Also, don’t be afraid to discuss your success and work experience so far. Your successes and dedication to the company can be a great factor in gaining support.


Know the strengths and selling points of your new program! You can show your employer concrete examples of what you will learn, how you will grow, and what you can bring back to the office even at the beginning stages of your new education.


So, what does SMU Cox have to offer? First of all, Bloomberg Businessweek ranks Cox #7 in the nation for part-time MBA programs. You would be studying at the only top ranked part time program in the DFW area! Furthermore, please see some of the main selling points on the next page and don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the admissions team with questions.

      The Business Leadership Center (BLC): While MBA Programs traditionally focus on classroom lessons, textbooks and case studies, the BLC develops MBA students by fostering conversations and addressing leadership challenges through Seminars, Executive Speaker Series, Programs and Coaching. The BLC offers more than 90 seminars annually taught by business practitioners from Fortune 500 companies, medium-size businesses, and entrepreneurial ventures on topics such as effective leadership, conflict resolution, business communications, and executing interactive marketing. Thus, you will develop your leadership and soft skills and in turn bring these developments back to benefit your employer.

      Global Immersion: Leadership in today's business climate includes understanding the nuances of other countries' business dynamics and cultures. Each student has the opportunity to attend a short term (one-week) Global Program. SMU Cox offers a number of trips each year to different regions of the word. Recent trips included Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Europe, and Latin America. There is no other way to gain this international perspective and business acumen which you will bring back to your workplace than through true global immersion.

      Associate Board Mentoring Program: Each fall alums and successful business individuals from both the DFW area and across the country hold networking sessions with MBA students. More than 260 executive mentors, representing national and global corporations as well as entrepreneurial ventures from every major industry currently participate in the program. Students have the opportunity to preference a mentor and thus expand their network of business contacts and resources. The Cox network is invaluable. Find out if anyone in your office is actively engaged with the mentorship program!

      The ability to customize your education: Unlike some other part-time MBA programs, the Cox PMBA allows you to concentrate your studies in Accounting, Finance, General Business, Business Analytics, Information and Operations, Management, Marketing, Real Estate, or Strategy and Entrepreneurship.  Thus, students may concentrate in one of 11 areas of specialization, as well as pursue less time-intensive minors, for a truly customized academic experience. With flexible schedules, including evening and weekend classes, the Cox PMBA lets you continue to work while earning your degree and see immediate results by applying what you learn in the classroom.

      The small size of the program: Both the small cohort and small class sizes give students the opportunity to know and network with each of their classmates. It also provides each student access to his or her professors both through classroom discussions and outside of class. The professors understand that the PMBA students are holding their jobs and careers as first priority, and these professors are often available to meet before or after evening classes or whenever is convenient for the student. SMU Cox has a number of tenured faculty members as well as leading industry experts as instructors. Thus, you will be able to expand your network and learn from the experts in your area of study throughout the program. Again, this expertise and new insight will both increase your potential and improve your successes at work.