2020 MBAs To Watch: Wesley Wilson Clingman, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

Wesley Wilson Clingman

Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University

“Goal-oriented, compassionate, relationship-driven, adaptable, curious, and an animal lover.”

Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama

Fun fact about yourself: I am a member of the United States Hunter Jumper Association and compete regularly in horse shows throughout the year.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Virginia, B.A. in Government

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Stephens Inc. and Jim Wilson and Associates.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I worked on an entrepreneurial idea I have in the education and baby product space. Below is a brief summary of the business concept:

Overview: The idea behind TeachE is to create a consumer goods company that specializes in providing baby products that serve as educational supplements to families. TeachE’s educational products will include sippy cups, bibs, and containers that encourage learning throughout daily activities. TeachE combines the baby product industry with the educational product industry, creating a dual purposed consumer product that benefits kids both practically and intellectually. Educators have told us that children benefit greatly from learning outside of the classroom, and we understand that supplemental educational products can be costly. TeachE will seek to empower families with at-home tools to promote learning. We hope that our products lead to enriched learning and engagement during everyday activities while also serving a functional purpose.

TeachE’s primary goal is to help bridge the education gap in the United States. We believe that by empowering families with the necessary at-home tools to engage children in learning, we can make strides towards a brighter future for our kids. TeachE plans to donate a portion of proceeds to community-oriented, educational outreach programs.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working for Jim Wilson and Associates as an Associate. I also plan to spend time pursuing the TeachE idea.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: 2019 Recipient of the Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholarship for Entrepreneurial Spirit; Volunteer at Project Transformation Dallas; Captain of Cox’s Intramural Soccer Team; and a Cox Athletic Club Officer.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I was incredibly humbled and honored to have been nominated and chosen for Texas Business Hall of Fame’s Entrepreneurial Scholarship Award. It was a privilege to meet other MBA students across the state of Texas who share an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as to meet many Texas Business Hall of Fame legends who have been successful business and community leaders.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The relationships that I have made along the way in my professional career are what make me most proud. I am forever grateful for my teammates’ support and camaraderie, along with others who took the time to teach me new concepts and ideas.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is a difficult question because we are so fortunate at Cox to have many high-quality professors. I have had the privilege of taking two of Professor Marcus Butts’ well-designed management classes. His passion for the subject matter inspires his students, and his curriculum offers students a variety of engaging ways to learn. The best part about Professor Butts’ classes is that they foster learning from other classmates. Professor Butts is the reason that I chose to take on another concentration in management.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Cox Coffee is one of my favorite Cox traditions. Every week, we meet for coffee and breakfast, such as, fingers crossed, breakfast tacos. It’s a great time to catch up on upcoming events, Cox news, and connect with friends. I think that this tradition reflects the friendly, community environment that SMU Cox School of Business emulates. We value spending time with one another inside and outside of class.

Why did you choose this business school? I choose SMU’s Cox School of Business because of its excellent reputation, the caliber of its faculty, and the location. In addition, I was particularly drawn to the student-to-professor ratio. The Cox School also offers an extensive alumni network both locally and globally. My experience at Cox has far exceeded my expectations.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Take the GMAT or GRE early, visit the campus, and reach out to current or former students.

What is the biggest myth about your school? While SMU is located in a big city, SMU has a small school feel. SMU is unique because it has all the benefits of a school located in a metropolitan area, which it is, yet it feels like a close-knit community.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would not have focused so much on grades. While grades are important, I think the overall experience matters more. Learning life lessons from professors or classmates and sharing ideas that might not be on an exam have proven to be more valuable than grades.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This question is extremely difficult, I admire many classmates for different reasons. One classmate whom I have been particularly impressed by is Brian Washington. Brian served our country as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Navy, conducting search and rescue missions off the coast of Japan before pursuing an MBA at SMU. He is an extremely courageous person and an excellent teammate.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My Dad once told me, “More education is never a bad thing.” When I was debating about whether or not to go back to business school, this piece of advice influenced my decision and has stuck with me.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? To organize a community service program within an existing organization and to witness the promotion of someone I have played a role in mentoring.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a person who operates with integrity, dependability, thoughtfulness, and someone who is always a team player.

Hobbies? Horseback riding, reading, running, and most of all spending time with family and friends.

What made Wesley such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Wesley is the kind of student that makes my job as a professor such a pleasure. In other words, she is an excellent student—always well-prepared, constantly thinking out-of-the-box, and inevitably going the extra mile on any assignment. Her contributions in class add significantly to the discussion because she brings up new thoughts, makes new points, and challenges respectfully. She includes references to detailed quantitative and qualitative analyses, as well as concepts studied in other lectures/classes. When it comes to classroom learning or case examples, it sometimes takes students a while to grasp the benefits of their own experience, but Wesley instantly understands the relevance of both her personal and professional experience and she helps make lectures/case studies relevant for her classmates. Naturally proactive, Wesley has a clear plan for her own business, an entrepreneurial business idea that would empower families to promote learning for the youngest. Determined and creative, Wesley’s entrepreneurial spirit will drive her career inside and outside of strong organizations. I am convinced we will hear of Wesley Clingman’s professional development and the positive mark she will make on the world very soon after she completes her MBA.”

Helmuth Ludwig
Clinical Professor for Strategy and Entrepreneurship
SMU Cox School of Business


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