Advice for first years

September 22nd, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Time flies! Last year around now, I was moving to a completely new city, meeting strangers I would not have otherwise met, and doing lele homework until the wee hours of the morning. No matter how much the 2nd years tried to drill into our heads that jobs are more important, we just refused to buy it. Last night, I was sitting with my buddy Eric in the case rooms applying to jobs. It was dejavu to its max. As I passed by the stuffy hallways, I noticed all the “trees” drawn on the whiteboard. Of course, decision trees! In the spirit of decision trees, I just want to share some 2nd year wisdom with the 1st years. All the things that the 2nd years are telling you right now are for you to not go down that dead node in your decision tree. I understand you all are overwhelmed with information, but take a minute and chew on them. Your ultimate goal for getting an MBA degree is to get that dream job you’ve been longing for. Don’t put off the networking, career coaching until later! When you realize that you have to get back on the job wagon, it’s already too late. I will end with the title of Incubus’s newest album: “If not now, when?”.


International Night

February 10th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Oh man, tonight is the biggest event of the AMBAA. We have a great line-up of student performers and professional performers, each of them bringing a piece of their culture and heritage. On top of that, this entire event is MC’ed by yours truly. I haven’t really done anything like this before, so I’m extremely nervous. Nevertheless I think this is what being an MBA student is about, stepping out of your comfort zone. I see this as a great opportunity to promote the AMBAA’s presence at Smith, and also hone my public speaking skills. Practice makes perfect, I am looking forward to tonight!


International Etiquette Night

February 9th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

This event was hosted by yours truly and Karan Arora (also a 1st Year MBA). Karan put together an amazing video recollecting the two Asia trips that took place this winter. We interviewed the participants of the China Business Competition in Beijing, also the Study Abroad Trip to India and put together a short film describing their experiences. We also had a panel with Julie Mullins, Ken Chen, Eric Choi and Pradeep Suthram, they answered many questions regarding business etiquette in Asia and shared interesting tidbits of their trip. Overall the event was a success, it was both informative and entertaining. Btw, the Vietnamese sandwiches were really delicious!


International Week!

February 8th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

In every spring semester at Smith, we dedicate an entire week to celebrate the diversity of the school. We started the week with a Chinese New Year Party at Mandarin Delight. The main color theme of the night was red, which represents good luck in the Chinese culture. We taught everyone how to sing the Chinese New Years song, everyone was really into it and sang along. It was an honor to have Professor Lele and Professor Bailey each heading a team to participate in the dumpling making contest! Professor Lele’s team prevailed, but I am not sure how many dumplings can survive in the boiling water to be eaten afterwards.


First week is over!

January 28th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

What a week! Two internship interviews, internship search, case write-ups, team project meetings, Graduate Assistant meeting, new markets growth fund applications…Luckily, thursday classes were canceled due to the snow. The most difficult part was adjusting my sleeping schedule from 1.5 months time off. The classes for this semester are really interesting, a lot of case based class discussions. I’m looking forward to the exciting opportunities and challenges ahead!


Back to School

January 23rd, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

After a much anticipated and lengthy winter break, I am finally back to school. The pre-class jitters have occupied my mind for the better part of week. With all the school work ahead and preparations for interviews, I am very overwhelmed to say the least. But I am looking forward to see my friends from MBA, I want to hear about their winter experiences, whether it’s traveling around the world or internship search etc. I am excited and nervous about my own internship interviews as well, I am trying to prepare for two on-campus interviews that are coming up this week. Wish me luck!


Concrete Jungles Where Dreams Are Made of

November 10th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Growing up in New Jersey, I have always been curious about what goes on in the skyscrapers in NYC. The concrete jungles were merely blocks with lights that made up the NYC skyline. My goal is to explore what’s inside of those buildings. Luckily, the Finance Association organized a Career Trek for the finance-focuses MBA students to visit some of the biggest players in the financial industry.

The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park is a 1,200 ft (366 m) skyscraper in the Midtown Manhattan district of New York City, in the United States. It is located on Sixth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street, opposite Bryant Park.

The US$1 billion project has been designed by Cook+Fox Architects to be one of the most efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world. It is the second tallest building in New York City, after the Empire State Building, and the fourth tallest building in the United States. Construction was completed in 2009.

JPMorgan Chase Tower at 270 Park Avenue, New York

One Beacon Court (also called the Bloomberg Tower), is a skyscraper on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It houses the headquarters of Bloomberg L.P. in the lower floors and luxury condominiums in the higher floors. It is located at 731 Lexington Avenue between East 58th and 59th streets. It is currently the 15th tallest building in New York and the 46th tallest in the United States. The building’s zip code is 10022.

It was such an eye-opening experience to walk into these buildings and talk with our alumni that work at these perspective companies. Discussing current issues with Senior Bankers and Managing Directors of these big firms seemed surreal, at the same time informative. NY Trek definitely bridged the gap between my goals and reality. I look forward to the challenges that I will face during my internship search in NYC, because dreams are made in these concrete jungles.


Positive Externalities by Adam Kowalsky

November 2nd, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

        I came to business school for many reasons: advance my education and build a new network of friends to name a couple.  However, there has been one benefit that I had not counted on.  It never factored into the equation when I was comparing business schools.  It never made it into the schedule of major events and classes that I made before attending Smith.  It never even entered my mind until orientation.  I can only be talking about one thing: flag football.  Unless I get a scholarship from Maryland to be their punter, it’s the closest any of us will get to a meaningful sporting event for a long, long, long time.  Taking the ride over to the fields, Rick Spadaro (WR, 5’9’’, 165lbs, Drexel University, Strength: Speed, Needs to work on: Humility, Most like: Wes Welker), Anthony Moniello (WR/FS, 6’0’’, 185lbs, George Washington University, Strength: Coverage, Needs to work on: Capturing the Sleeve Monster, Most like: Troy Polamalu), and I (TE, 6’5’’, 250lbs, Washington and Lee University, Strength: Soft Hands, Needs to work on: not making fun of his friends in blog posts, Most like: Antonio Gates) get pumped up for the game by blasting “All I Do Is Win” (that’s right, we haven’t lost a game yet). 

                Once the game starts, we’re like our school: all business (only corny joke I swear).  Something happens when you play under those Monday Night Lights.  The air feels crisper and the turf causes more raspberries.  Our defense is stalwart; our offense, relentless.   As the pressure builds, we keep our composure, but still continue to joke about how we’re adding or dropping each other from our fantasy teams.  After the victory, we hold our own informal team dinner, whether it is at Cal Tort, Chick-fil-a, or the case rooms doing finance homework.  And after our Monday night games, what is there to look forward to the rest of the week? Oh ya, our coed games on Tuesday nights.


Term A Reflection

October 25th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

This week has been one of my busiest weeks here at Smith. The 7-week long core courses had come to an end. We had a final exam in Managerial Economics on Monday and a final exam in Financial Accounting on Wednesday.  Our Human Capital & Leadership professor also had “strategically” sandwiched a quiz in between those finals on Tuesday (Professor Chen, I still like your class!).  Needless to say my sleep to study ratio was disproportionally magnified during those days.  After getting over the post-exam jitters, I had some time to reflect on my first MBA class experience on my drive back to New Jersey. I was astonished on how many topics we covered in those classes. From write-offs, allowance to impairment loss and accumulated other cumulative income (AOCI), Professor Hann has covered the universal language of business. The Swahili-looking balance sheets and cash-flow statements had been translated to meaningful business transactions in my eyes. The asymmetric curves and lines that professor Sampson had drawn in economics class are now tools to describe the market’s supply and demand.  Although I sighed with the feeling of relief after those exams, my curiosity has never been so heightened about the more advanced classes that Smith has to offer. Next week, spring registration is set to start. After looking at the elective schedules, I am faced with another dilemma: there are so many classes that I want to take, but there aren’t enough time in the day to take all of them!


ATTENTION ALL!!! I’m honored to have Adam Kowalsky as my guest blogger this week!

October 17th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Kicking Back

How best to relax?  It was the question I kept asking myself during study breaks the weekend before our Financial Management and Data Models and Decisions tests.  I wanted to do something different, and not just celebrate with the cracking of a beer.  After brainstorming with a classmate, we decided to go to a Terps soccer game.  Initially, I believed this would be a small event, but more and more people kept expressing interest in attending as well, and soon we had about 20 people confirmed.  After the tests, we met in a case room to eat some dinner and collectively exhale after a tough day.  We deserved a break and a reason to act unlike MBA students.  With our brains fried from all the studying, we were in the perfect mood to cheer like hooligans at the World Cup.  And to us, it might as well have been.  I’m sure the other people around did not enjoy our excessive enthusiasm, but we didn’t care.  It was a bunch of people who still didn’t really know each other coming together to root, yell, and (for some) go shirtless in supporting our new favorite soccer team (please don’t tell anyone I still have some allegiances to the opponent that day).  As much fun as the soccer game was, I enjoyed the dinner in the case room more – twenty people in a small case room makes for a lot of intimacy.  I just can’t wait for the next round of tests to come, because I know we’ll do something similar, yet completely different from the norm to collectively relax.

-Adam Kowalsky

Adam is a fellow 1st Year MBA student at the Smith School. He is in the same track as me, therefore we have every core class together. It is great to have Adam in the classroom, his witty and intelligent comments definitely lightens up the classroom. I look forward to more posts from Adam, I hope you are too.