Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Undergraduate School and Degree: Yale – B.A. Economics & Mathematics
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Dallas Independent School District – High School Math & Economics Teacher
Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Five States Energy Capital
Where will you be working after graduation? Chevron – Finance MBA Development Program
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School Don Jackson Finance Fellow – TA to undergraduate and graduate level finance classes; Active member of the Energy and Finance Clubs.
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of winning first place in the University of Texas National Energy Finance Case Competition. This was SMU’s first year in the competition and we beat a number of teams from elite business schools.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I petitioned high school leadership for over a year to introduce an AP Microeconomics course. I recruited students to enroll and developed the curriculum following AP standards. In both years of teaching the course, my students’ passing rate was over three times the district average.
Who is your favorite professor? David Croson is my favorite teacher. He teaches a number of strategy and entrepreneurship courses. Professor Croson does a great job of making the cases in his classes engaging and relevant to current business problems.
Favorite MBA Courses? My favorite MBA course is Energy Project Valuation, in which we learned the basics of modeling and valuing various types of energy projects. We discuss everything from buying existing production and drilling undeveloped acreage to the structure and implication of international production sharing contracts.
Why did you choose this business school? I chose SMU Cox for its strong alumni network in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I was a career switcher who was unsure of exactly what role or what industry I wanted to be in, but I was sure that I wanted to work in Dallas. I knew SMU Cox has strong finance, energy, and real estate programs and is well connected to the DFW area.
What did you enjoy most about business school? I really enjoyed the Global Leadership Program at SMU Cox. I was able to meet with a number of companies in Chengdu & Shanghai, as well as Dubai & Abu Dhabi. These experiences really opened my eyes to the global nature of business and the possibility of working internationally.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? I learned how important management skills are when working in groups or teams. This is especially true when working with people from a diverse set of backgrounds and skills. Group dynamics are pivotal to the success of any project.
What was the most surprising thing about business school? I was surprised to learn how willing working professionals are to meet with business school students to help them navigate their career search. Almost everyone I spoke with was incredibly helpful and open to sharing their insights and experiences. MBA students really need to take advantage of the opportunities to network with professionals in the industries or roles they are interested in.
What was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part of business school was searching for a job in the oil & gas industry during the recent downturn.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? My best advice to applicants is to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available to you through SMU Cox. Get involved with one of our industry specific clubs and lean on the strong alumni base for mentorship and networking. Go on as many GLP trips as you can.
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I decided I was ready for a career switch but wasn’t sure what industry or role was best for me.”
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…still teaching and coaching in Dallas ISD, and hopefully working towards a leadership role within the district or working to start my own charter school.”
Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I really admire Blake Mycoskie, an SMU alum, and founder of TOMS shoes. He is a serial entrepreneur who has had multiple successful business ventures and was one of the original social entrepreneurs. I love how his One for One business model has provided for those in need while also creating a thriving company.
What are your long-term professional goals? I would like to work my way to an executive leadership position at Chevron.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife and my parents have been incredibly supportive the past two years, and I could not have gotten to where I am without their help.
Fun fact about yourself: I played football in college.
Favorite book: Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football by Wayne Winston
Favorite movie: Finding Forrester
Favorite musical performer: George Strait
Favorite television show: “The Wire”
Favorite vacation spot: Lake Tahoe
Hobbies? Recreational basketball, softball, and golf, as well as researching sports
What made Ben such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?
“On first blush, Ben Meyer is a school teacher, a football coach, a scholar—a regular guy. However, that’s only part of the picture. Ben has contributed in countless ways to the SMU Cox FTMBA Class of 2016. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale and taught high school for a few years before coming to the Cox School for his MBA. He became part of a winning team that won the Rice Energy Finance Case Competition sponsored by Chevron this past fall. His performance so impressed the judges that they offered him a job post-graduation. Ben was selected and recognized as a recipient of The Texas Business Hall of Fame scholarship, which goes annually to only one or two MBAs from all of the MBA Programs statewide.
If there were a draft, and we were picking teams for the top students, Ben would be a top five pick. Ben is smart without being arrogant; has wisdom when a situation requires restraint; and excels when presented with a need for creative problem solving. For these reasons, Ben is an obvious leader among his peers. He is well liked, well respected, an academic, and a good athlete, too.”
Assistant Dean, Student Services for Graduate Programs
Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business
DON’T MISS: 2016 MBAs TO WATCH