Carly Fiorina is the Most Famous Smith MBA
Ever since I started working at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2000, Carly Fiorina has been our highest profile MBA alumna. She graduated in 1980. She’s visited the school numerous times for events, meetings, etc… and every single time I’ve seen her speak or interacted with her, I’ve been very impressed. I always come away thinking: she is so smart, she is such a great speaker, she is so well put together! I think that she’s the total package when it comes to professionalism. All politics aside, how can you not be impressed with the way she handles herself?
I’ve never been a huge fan of watching political debates this early in the process, but I’ve watched both GOP debates very closely this election, mainly because I’m such a fan of Carly. (#CNNDebate) I like to think I know her – in the broadest sense of the term. I mean she did sign a copy of Tough Choices to me, so that counts for something, right? I watched her on CNN this morning – the TV was on that channel from last night and I resisted immediately turning to The Today Show when I saw Carly’s smiling face on the screen when I turned it on. She got up very early to talk with them, even after debating late into the night. She is a class act.
She and I both have our MBAs from UMD-Smith, which is one of the top business schools in the world. #GoTerps. We both have Rudy Lamone, former Smith School dean, as a friend and mentor. I feel like we could be friends, even if we don’t share the same opinions on some issues.
Politics & Social Media
But, I didn’t start this blog post to show what a fan-girl I am of Carly. I started it to talk about social media and politics. I always recommend staying as far away as possible from politics on your professional social media accounts, unless you are “in” politics. Same goes for religion and other potentially controversial topics, like sports. For example, whenever I tweet about my beloved Ravens, I lose followers… but I figure who really wants followers who are Steelers or Patriots fans? [Are you offended? See sports is a very touchy subject!]
Earlier in the year, the Smith School posted a story about Carly Fiorina announcing her presidential run. That was obviously newsworthy because she is an alumna. But once you post too much, does it look like an endorsement? Obviously, we are proud of her… but it’s a delicate subject. Fortunately, we had a great media tie-in earlier this week that was easy for us to promote. Rudy Lamone was interviewed by NPR about Carly’s time at UMD (Listen). So it worked out perfectly, we were able to highlight the Rudy connection and the resulting social media posts were very politically correct — in this case, not political at all.
Personally, I’m pretty cautious about making any potentially controversial social media posts, but I love to tweet. So I created a separate anonymous Twitter handle so I can freely tweet my opinions.
Writing this blog post made me look back to the story I wrote in 2006 about Carly’s Tough Choices book signing event. Read more.