Archive for October, 2008

My First Test!

October 30th, 2008 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Monday, September 22nd, 2008 was perhaps the most challenging and exhilarating day of my MBA career.

I woke up at 6am, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out the door.  At this time in the morning there is not much traffic on the road, which makes my commute from
Baltimore much easier.

I arrived in College Park and at 8am and am greeted pleasantly by a few of my classmates.  Their laptops and books are strewn across the beautiful conference tables we have in our MBA specific case study rooms.  Today is test day.  We were taking our first exam, and everyone was chattering about the upcoming Sampson test.

After about an hour of collaborative studying, everyone closed their books and headed to Financial Accounting, where assets, liabilities, credits, debits, EPS and Contributed Capital calculations were discussed and debated.  The tension in the class was palpable, however, as everyone was thinking about the next class.

Then, the test…

I had spent a few days looking over notes, re-reading case studies, and outlining chapters in our textbook and felt prepared for the exam.  However, since I had not taken a “test” in about five years, I was nervous.  Was I still a good test-taker, or would I shutdown under the pressure?  Had I mastered the concepts of profit maximization for monopolies?  These thoughts were spinning in my head…before I knew if it was game time.

Ultimately, the 1 hour and 50 minute exam was trying.  It was challenging, thought provoking, and fair.  And as I closed the answer booklet, just like when I closed a deal or brought in a new client at my previous job, I felt a sense of accomplishment, and I felt like a student.


5 Weeks of Reflection

October 9th, 2008 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I am about five weeks into my b-school career and I love it.

As some background, I spent five years working with a small internet start-up company, where I was in charge of marketing and operations.  More specifically, I was responsible for account management, business development, and strategy for the firm.  During my tenure and under my management, my organization grew revenue nearly 800% and achieved an increasing percentage of the market share.  It was a great first work experience.

You might ask, and I would not blame you for doing so, why did I decide to get my MBA and was it a difficult decision given my on-the-job success?

Actually, it was a relatively intuitive next step for me.  Namely, after the first couple of years with the internet start-up, I began thinking about my career and asked myself, what were my strengths, what were my likes and what were my dislikes.  As everyone should, I evaluated my career path and what I wanted to do when I grew up.  The answer, I found, was “something other than software development.”

So I began thinking about a career change.  Perhaps I would go work on Wall Street, consult, or join a big conglomerate and manage a brand or product line.  These were all reasonable possibilities in my mind, but ultimately, I wanted more “training”.  I wanted to develop my problem solving, analytical, and decision making skills to supplement the real-world experience I developed with my firm.  Business
School was the answer.

Why Smith?

I chose the Robert H. Smith School of Business at theUniversity of
Maryland for the fit.  The curriculum revolves around Enrtreprenuership (which was my background), Technology (I managed a software development company), and the Global Economy (an ever-increasing consideration in business) and all three of these tenets played to my likes and strengths.

Looking back on my decision, I have to pat myself on the back.  I made the right choice.  Three weeks into my B-school career, I have been challenged to think, I have developed new professional relationships with my highly motivated and brilliant classmates, I developed a career plan with the Office of Career Management and my personal career coach, and I joined many different clubs and associations (Graduate Marketing Associations, Entrepreneurship Club, Social and Sports Committee, etc.).  This is just the tip of the iceberg and I look forward to continuing to expand and grow throughout the course of the next two years.

Stay tuned to my journey to get a better sense for the life of a Full-Time Smith MBA.


October 1st, 2008 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

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October 1st, 2008 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed by the student bloggers are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Robert H. Smith School of Business or the University of Maryland or any employee thereof. The Smith School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied in this blog.