Ethics: The Lele Strikes Back!

April 9th, 2012 by under Education, Everything!. No Comments.

Professor Shreevardhan Lele

My second ever post for the Lighter Side centered around Math Camp, an orientation experience that both prepared me and frightened me for what lied ahead for me at Smith. The three day crash course was taught by Professor Lele, a man, strike that, a mainstay…no…a epic figurehead, better, a myth among mortals at the Smith school. While Lele walks amongst us, seemingly mocking our mortality with his presence, he is usually calculating every regression model or decision tree that is optimal for the upcoming situation. His genius brought many to tears in his Data, Models, and Decisions core course, including your truly who scored a 38% and 54% respectively on his two exams. So it was a no-brainer for me to avoid his (apparently rewarding and thoughtful) Game Theory course and follow-up. Yet, when I was faced with my mandatory Ethics requirement, I had to face the harsh reality once again that I would suffer at the hands of THE Professor Lele.

While it may be too soon to speak to the grade I received in this class, Lele did, as is par for the course, set the standard for educational excellence by engaging our class in some of the most polarizing ethical quagmires of our day and from the past, across all nations. We then in return taught the class, as each student was responsible for broaching other current tough topics and stimulating their peers through any means necessary. Battle royals, Jeopardy, and mock cases just scratched the surface of how we engaged each other in the spirit of ethical debate centered around International Climate Change Negotiations, Equal Rights Initiatives and much much more.

 

The Jedi Lele strikes again, as this Master Yoda of Smith showed us once again how to use our Force for good.

Yoda, Lele...Best Friends?

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Redemption Road Leads To Championship Spoils

March 28th, 2012 by under Everything!, Smith Lettin' Loose, Sports. No Comments.

Yours Truly Shooting some crunch time free throws!

If you have kept up with The Lighter Side over the years, you would notice a trend when it comes to our intramural basketball squads. While we have captured one championship in the 3 on 3 league this year, we have come up short despite having superior squads multiple times dating back to our losses in the semi-finals last year in Co-Ed and 3 on 3, to losing in the finals in the men’s league last year, to two heartbreaking tournaments at Georgetown. Yet, the Road to Redemption was paved by the RH Smithers 2012 squad who would not take “Lose” as an option. After entering the playoffs as a mere 5-seed, we ran through our first three opponents, the 12, 4 and 1 seeds respectively before meeting up with the 2-seed in the Finals.

 

The Finals took place at the old House that Lefty Driesell built, Cole Field House. Warm-ups came next, and were followed by starting line-up introductions and the National Anthem. But we didn’t notice, because we were in the zone. We started with a massive full-court 2-2-1 press, and while we weren’t scoring well, we turned them our opponents over throughout the evening and set a physical tone for the game. An early barrage of deep threes by our opponents had us down one by halftime. Yet, cheered on by our Smith cohort in attendance rooting fervently, we rallied back to capture the Championship T-Shirts on the back of Adam Kowalsky who led us with a huge three-pointer from the left corner and a couple tough buckets in the paint down the stretch.

 

While this isn’t the best journalistic depiction of a triumphant victory you will ever come across, it is another example of how much fun my classmates and I have at Smith and another example of why this author is starting to already prematurely miss his cohort.

Your 2012 5 on 5 Men's Champions!

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Spring Break

March 14th, 2012 by under Everything!, Smith Lettin' Loose. No Comments.

Just a heads up that I will gone for the week, enjoying the relaxing sights and sounds of Las Vegas. John Gravel and Danny Christian will be joining me, but unfortunately our girlfriends could not make it. Shucks!

Oh well, I hope you all have a great week, and please, don’t wait up for me!

 

Yup...just catching up on some Z's...

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Networks & Influences: An MBA Story

March 12th, 2012 by under Education, Everything!. No Comments.

In my second course showcase of the semester, I bring to you an MBA miracle, almost. Led by seasoned professional Professor and Doctor Kathyrn Bartol, Networks and Influences is a class created to help develop networking skills and to learn how to develop power and influence in those circles. While the class was a blast and great learning environment chock full of guest speakers, great readings and interactive class assignments, the MBA story was born out of our final project.

Through a vague course assignment allowing you to host any event that promotes a networking environment, three classmates decided to team up, utilize their networks, in efforts to get one Kristine Adey a job. Kris desires an opportunity to work in corporate real estate development and her classmates suggested they make their assignment expanding their various networks to help Kris realize her goals.

This unselfish investment by her fellow Terps is seemingly paying dividends. By the end of the semester Kris is on her way to realizing that goal, with second round interview with CBRE and two other major companies realized through the networks of her peers and we will continue to watch this story as it unfolds!

More importantly, this story speaks to the type of students Smith boasts at our School of Business: Unselfish, caring, teamwork oriented, compassionate, winning.

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The 2nd Annual MBA Basketball Tournament

March 5th, 2012 by under Everything!, Smith Lettin' Loose, Sports. No Comments.

Every year, our neighbors to the South, Georgetown, hosts a basketball tournament for a host of MBA programs including Booth, Wharton, Darden and others. Of course, the Smith powerhouse is also always an entry and this year was no different. After a good showing last year where we went 2-1, losing only to Booth while beating local rivals McDonough and Darden, we were poised to excel in this years tournament. That’s where our positive vibes ended.

The only positive highlight of our tournament...

After a spirited victory over Wharton in our first game, our squad that ran ten deep led by veterans Jess Petit, Adam Kowalsky and myself could now overcome Tepper or Booth in back to back routes to finish a paltry 1-2. While I often come on this blog to brag about our many successes, I must be fair and take this one on the chin. Not only did we stink up the joint, but we did it in front of Jess and Adam’s parents, many a girlfriend, and despite having Capri Sun between games.

Graduating in just a few short months I must now plead and beg with our Office of Admissions to recruit some height! So if you are a potential Smith student with any height or skills please email me at Anthony.moniello@RHSMITH.umd.edu and I’ll lean on them for you :)

Alumni Shout Out: Andrew Garthoff for showing up to our games with orange slices!

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Monte Carlo V2.0 – The Updated and Extended Version

February 20th, 2012 by under Everything!, Smith Lettin' Loose. 1 Comment.

A year ago, I shared with you some of my most fond memories, amongst them being an incredible evening last February at the Omni Shoreham called Monte Carlo night. If

Professor Faulkender and 2nd Years Galore at Monte Carlo Night 2012!

you look back on my blog, you will see a fun post about how Smith showed off their sexy as the glitz and glamour evening with a live DJ, open bar and gambling tables was an admittable great time. Yet, it was just a “great time.” Not epic, insane or earth shattering… just a “great time.” In comparison, I have a great time doing a lot of things, including showering for longer than eight minutes, eating brunch, and playing Ipad Monopoly. Great times sometimes just won’t cut it.

In came Danny Christian, a Maryland boy with High Life roots and a vision to change the way Smithers everywhere percieved “fun.” With nothing but an average budget and his animal insticts, Mr. Christian designed a Steve Jobs type masterpiece never to be outdone – think the Ipad without the existence of an Ipad 2…bad example…um…better yet, the original toaster. Yeah, Monte Carlo V2.0 was the toaster of inventions, never to be outdone by these average fly by night bread toasting wannabees we’ve seen over the years.

The scene was set at the Mandarin Oriental, the canvas in which Mr. Christian painted with his booze brush eight elegant bars serving all you can drink high-end (mostly delicious Diageo brands such as Captain Morgans, Johnny Walker and Tanqueray…mmmm…makes you want to go buy some right now!) liquors starting at 8:00pm and stopping only when the fat lady sang…and Mr. Christian made sure that that could not happen by booking a band, not only sans a fat lady but also sans a horrific lead singer who thinks they can be as cool as the Fresh Prince and as vocally inclined as Celine Dion. You heard it right, no cool joe who thinks you should belt out

Danny, Taylor and I enjoying all 8 Open Bars!

“My Heart Should Go On,” with the same voice he rocks Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Yes, it’s no myth, Mr. Christian booked a band with a DJ that covered the vocals, pure Christian (Danny- not Jesus…even though some have confused the two around here recently) genius.

Table games flooded the rooms as did passed hors-d’ourves, food stations, and Smith Alumni. Gambling furiously were our broke co-hort, only to be distracted by a packed dance floor and Dr. K’s “Oh” face. The grandeur was in the air, and for one epic night, exams, jobs, internships, group projects, final papers, interview preps, weddings, moving arrangements, student loans and whatever other stresses in the life of an MBA were pushed to the side, and in its place was awesomness. Pure, unadulterated awesomness.

 

 

 

For this we say, thank you Danny Christian, you are the man.

 

The man, the myth, the legend, Danny Christian.

P.S. I will never say this again, and I will also constitute this niceness as your birthday gift- so soak it up!

P.S.S. Special thanks to Hanna for taking such awesome photos, most of which are too amazing to put on my blog :)

More Smith Family

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Consumer Behavior: Receiving Top Marks

February 10th, 2012 by under Education. No Comments.

We are now halfway through Term C (which is the first part of our second semester), it is a great time to reflect on our courses. I’d like to first dissect and give credit to my most interactive and mentally engaging course of my entire second year as a business school student here at Smith, Consumer Behavior.  The course is taught by Professor

Our Professor: Dr. Rebecca Ratner

Dr. Rebecca Ratner, whose extensive background in psychological research and addictive energy carries this course. Her interactive studies during class include but are not limited to; a live market simulation with students actually exchanging their own money for dried plums (aka prunes), mind framing exercises, Pringle “feel” analysis, and the ever so popular Coke taste test! Theses in-class simulations are supported by extremely intriguing cases as well, that are both timely and impactful, including the amazing revelation of how sexy toilet paper can be and how framing to any number, including your own social security number, can alter spending habits. The cherry on top of the classroom sundae is the literature selection. While there are a plethora of consumer behavior textbooks and psychologically based research, Professor Ratner instead relies on the entertaining and educational delivery of contemporary authors Robert Cialdini (“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”) and Dan Ariely (“Predictably Irrational” – a personal favorite of mine and a recommended read for anyone!)

Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational," a must read for everyone!

Developing an engaging learning environment and excitement around obtaining knowledge is how to successfully have a long-term imprint on a student base, and Professor Ratner has found the perfect combination of hard cases, interactive teachings and relevant readings to have that success. It’s a Moniello Must-Take Course! (Working my way up to Oprah’s Book Club…) This, of course, comes as no slight to Business Ethics and Leadership with Professor Lele or Networks and Influences taught by Professor Dr. Kathyrn Bartol, both of whom have put together incredible courses, to be highlighted in future posts.

 

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PepsiCo Interview Prep – Revenge of the Terps

February 3rd, 2012 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

If you have followed my blog, you would know that I spent last summer interning with PepsiCo. You would also know I struggled mightily with deciding where to work full-time between PepsiCo and Diageo. So, when this year’s new class of internship candidates from Smith to Maryland, it was time to get our squad ready for what was to come.

With nine Smith students interviewing for a potential internship we worked together, not in competition with each other, going over the basics of the company, how the company runs, the culture, and the mission. We went over case and behavioral interviews as well as dissected everyone’s resume to make sure our Smith family had a leg up on their Harvard, Wharton, NYU and Georgetown competition.

So now we wait! Root for our Terps in hopes we send a few more to PepsiCo this summer!

 

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Winter Break – How Amazing (or Hard) Nothing Can Be

January 23rd, 2012 by under Everything!, Smith Lettin' Loose. 1 Comment.

On the doorstep of a brand new career, on the cusp of entering a new stage of my life, about to embark on an adventure of seas unknown, I, Anthony Moniello, vowed to do… nothing. With five weeks of break between our Fall Semester and Spring Semester, many of my classmates made grand plans, traveling to China, India, or Italy, going skiing in Colorado, Utah or locally, hitting tropical isles like Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Cancun. Other worked hard on job searches, business plans and business competitions.

Utah Slopes - One of Many Destinations Smithers Headed to this Break

But not me.

No, my plan was to do nothing. Looking at what lies ahead for me; selling my company, finishing school and getting a boss for the first time ever, I could see no other appropriate action than no action at all.

So I did a whole lot of nothing (outside of running my business). I played three full seasons of NCAA Football (winning two BCS National Championships with the Terps by the way), played a lot of Zynga online poker and watched a ton of Sopranos re-runs. But there was an inherent flaw in my plan…I’m not good at doing nothing.

My Winter

I actually suffered multiple meltdowns, often screaming at my dog in frustration over television shows, available food or the fact that it was only three o’clock! So, within two weeks I caved and went to the only place that I knew could save me from my boredom and mental incapacity to do nothing –

Nothing didn't last...

Disney World!

The Magic Kingdom aka Home.

I have since booked trips to Vegas in March, New Orleans in March, Miami for Wrestlemania in April and hopefully China in June! I will never do nothing again!

Wrestlemania Baby!!!! Part of my Revolt of Nothing!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

December 25th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Happy Holidays to you and yours and may everyone have a wonderful time amongst family and friends.

It has been a great 2011 and I look forward to speaking with you all again in 2012.

Sincerely,

Anthony Moniello

 

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