Student Spotlight: Risheek Kosuri

It's always been part of Risheek Kosuri's long-term plan to pursue an MBA. Read more about why he chose the MBA Direct at SMU Cox.

Headshot of Risheek Kosuri

This blog post was originally published in April 2021, and was revised in June 2023.

It’s always been part of Risheek Kosuri’s long-term plan to pursue an MBA at a top university. He thought about waiting a few years after earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas, but then realized the COVID-19 pandemic was going to drastically change the way America lived and worked. The country’s shift to working from home reset his timeline.

While Kosuri landed a job at IBM soon after graduating from UT Dallas, he was no longer traveling despite being in a client-facing role. He realized he’d be able to take advantage of an online master’s program.

He knew pursuing a MBA would allow him to expand his professional network and ultimately reach an executive role someday, a personal goal he set for himself. So after working for IBM for a year and a half, and realizing he’d have more flexibility in the evenings as his availability opened up, Kosuri decided it was time to pursue an MBA and take the next steps towards advancing his career.

Growing up in Dallas, he was familiar with the prestige of an SMU Cox degree throughout his life, so when it became time to apply for MBA programs at top business schools, he said choosing SMU Cox as his MBA destination was a “no brainer.” The choice made sense to him: A survey of the Full-Time MBA Class of 2018 revealed, on average, that graduates earned 73 percentor $43,000more than they did before completing their MBA degree. The MBA Direct allows young professionals an opportunity to start that upward trajectory earlier in their careers, with the flexibility of online learning.

“One of the main reasons why I wanted to do part-time MBA instead of full-time was so I can get work experience while [completing] my MBA. I can position myself really well in the future. I know I have just started my career, but by the time I graduate, I’ll have a significant amount of work experience, rather than putting work on hold to pursue my MBA.”

I know that I have just started my career, but by the time I graduate, I’ll have a significant amount of work experience, rather than putting work on hold to pursue my MBA.

Appreciating the value of strengthening your professional network, Kosuri is also excited to participate in on-campus activities. The SMU campus offers extensive resources and a robust variety of student groups, available to all MBA Direct students, including full access to career management services and success coaches.

“I want to be really proactive during my time here and join organizations and be as involved as possible,” said Kosuri. He understands the enormous benefit of pursuing an online MBA, but living in Dallas and having the ability to network is an added benefit. “They have a lot of great networking opportunities,” he said. “You get the advantage of getting to meet in person and continuing to build connections.”

After completing two courses as part of the MBA Direct program, he already notices a clear difference from his undergraduate studies. The SMU Cox comprehensive curriculum is designed to challenge students and foster the skills needed to solve real-world problems. “You’re excited to study, learn the subject, and take exams,” he said. “A lot of our classes have been really interactive and hands-on, and they usually apply it to real-world cases.”

The Cox MBA Direct program also offered Kosuri a group of classmates with diverse backgrounds. “People in my cohort come from different professions. Some work in finance, some in tech–so we all deal with different things on a regular basis. Hearing their perspectives and ideas on things is definitely interesting. It’s allowed me to know them better and have more insights into what they do in their various industries.”

The SMU Cox MBA Direct program provides students the necessary tools and skills to become well-rounded business leaders in any field. In the future, Kosuri strives to land an executive leadership role, whether as a business owner or working for a large corporation. He looks forward to continuing to gain hands-on experience in the MBA Direct program by examining the challenges of real companies and applying innovative solutions. “I want to learn more about being an executive at a company and how to manage other people,” he said.

He also enjoys consistently interacting with people in a client-facing role and looks forward to honing his leadership and communication skills to accelerate his career.

Risheek Kosuri’s long-term plan began with an MBA and so can yours. The MBA Direct at SMU Cox is an accredited program designed to transform students into business leaders. With the MBA Direct, you do not have to leave your current job or relocate to access SMU Cox faculty and extensive corporate partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies. At SMU Cox, connection is at the forefront of our MBA programs - online or on-campus. Make your first SMU Cox connection by contacting our admissions team to discover how an SMU Cox MBA can help you achieve your professional goals.