The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Cox School of Business looks to offer summer courses for all majors

Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus
Cox School of Business will offer all majors business classes this summer.

Cox School of Business will offer all majors business classes this summer. (Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus)

SMU’s Cox School of Business is one of the top business schools in the nation, but students don’t have to be business majors to reap the benefits.

The Summer Business Institute allows students and members of the Dallas community to gain a basic understanding of business from Cox professors in just one month.

The program results in a certificate, and lectures are taught by the same professors who teach undergraduate and graduate courses. In a time when jobs are scarce, a certificate in business might be what non-business majors need to add a competitive edge to their résumés.

Hemang Desai, the academic director of the Summer Business Institute, believes that students should major in what they are passionate about.

He also feels that knowledge of business concepts will be crucial for students of all professions.

“Whether it is for-profit or not-for-profit does not matter. Whether it is a corporation or your own company, at some point you will be working for a business,” Desai said.

The program gives students in-depth exposure to accounting, finance, marketing and more. Yet the experience is not only about paying attention. It is about making the students more marketable. Résumé writing skills, interview practice, computer skills and the ability to present and hear feedback are some examples.

SMU senior Emily Ciuba, an anthropology major, entered the program to introduce herself to business concepts that her major lacked.

Many students of the Summer Business Institute are from diverse academic backgrounds such as language, social science and engineering.

Ciuba believes the completion of the program will look attractive to prospective employers.

“I knew ahead of time it looked really good because it was coming from a good source,” Ciuba said.

SMU students are not the only people who come to the Summer Business Institute. Some students come from different universities and different places. In fact, many students are recent college graduates or have been working for a few years. A common theme among many is entering the program before preparing for or attaining an MBA or law degree.

“The benefit of business education is that you can add it at any level or any stage in your career,” Desai said.


The four-week program is not easy but covers a lot of ground.

Whether it is a lack of proficiency in Microsoft Excel or confusion in interpreting financial statements, the program addresses it.

At the end of the month, students work in groups to make a presentation.

Professionals from the community come and offer feedback. Students go on field trips to local businesses such as The Richards Group and eat at business luncheons that allow room for networking.

SMU alumna Katie Brattain completed the program in 2009. She still has emails and business cards saved from the luncheons.

“There are contacts that know if I’m going into business I still feel like I have,” Brattain said.

Brattain graduated from SMU in 2010. She currently works for Teach for America. Presentations are part of her everyday routine, and she found part of the program to be very beneficial. The certificate continues to be an important part of her résumé.

She said the days were really engaging but doesn’t deny they were long.

“You gotta have caffeine!” For students on the fence about the Summer Business Institute, it only takes four weeks.

The program runs from June 4 to June 29. Students who register before March 31 get $500 off the tuition.

Information sessions are coming up on Feb. 22 at noon and March 21 at 5:30 p.m. 

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