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The Smith Gamble and Game Night Recap

by Andrianne Konstas

On April 4th Smith PTMBAA hosted “Smith Gamble and Game Night” (Smith Gamble). An extension of the widely popular “Girls Gamble” events, Smith Gamble offered a night of networking, food, poker, Wii Sports, and an assortment of board games. It was a chance for all Smith MBA students to take a study break and test their chances at a few hands of poker. Apart from learning the rules of the game, whether that is Texas Hold ‘Em or Wii bowling, Smith Gamble gave students and alumni a chance to relax and catch up with one another.

Guests chatted about family – how they were managing course work with planning weddings or awaiting the birth of their first child; friends – fitting social obligations for work and school at the same time; and personal time – what they were doing when they weren’t working or at school or with family and friends. Playing games and poker gave student a chance to discuss their lives outside of Van Munching Hall, and all the other respective campuses.

This setting of games and friends offered one of the best opportunities for cohort mates – old and new – to network and gather/sharpen some key business skills. Learning to read someone’s “poker face” parallels with learning how to read your audience. And learning when to bluff or when to fold is strikingly similar to assessing risk. Players are not drawing-up decision trees at the table, but more often than not thy are tapping their feet or flipping chips in the hand – assessing their risks – and those who attended Smith Gamble gained greater insight on that.

But, like in so many games some of the players had ulterior motives. Smith Gamble was organized to gather insight on how students were managing their work/school-life balance. At the end of the night guests were asked to fill out surveys, (If you weren’t able to attend you can still use the following link to share your thoughts on the matter.) asking students to identify how much they valued being able to balance work and family when applying to The Robert H. Smith School of Business. The survey further asked if students were aware or interested in using service like; daycare, lactation rooms, or web-conferencing into lectures. The information provided in the survey was confidential and findings will be presented to school administrators regarding some of the challenges MBA students face between balancing school and personal life.

The big take away of the event was that students were able to relax – unintentionally network, play a few hands of poker, and meet outside the class (well actually it was inside a classroom…lets just say outside the lecture). We are all dealing with different “hands of life” and it is great when we can share those hands and gather tips on how we can play those hands. Smith Gamble taught guests how to play poker or to play with a better poker face, but moreover it was a constructive way to network.

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Join a Part-Time MBA Association Committee

Strengthen your resume, work on fun projects, help plan events, gain leadership experience, and expand your network by joining one of our Committees! All applications must be submitted by April 20th at 12:00 pm.

(1) Part-time MBA Appointed Position – Executive Secretary

The Part-Time MBA Association is actively recruiting for an Executive Secretary to join the team and assist the Part-Time MBA Board. This is a newly created position, which will be appointed by the President. Responsibilities will include the following:

  • Scheduling and Calendar Maintenance
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Recording/Submission of Actionable Task Items
  • Organize, Maintain, and Log Records for the PTMBAA Board
  • Maintain and Order Office Supplies for the PTMBAA
  • Responsible for mail and e-mail to the PTMBAA Board and distribution to the appropriate members
  • Leads meetings in the absence of the President-Manage the mailbox and assign emails to board members when appropriate

  If interested, please submit a short statement (no more than 250 words) listing your qualifications, why you are interested in serving as the Executive Secretary, and what you will bring to the position and the Part-time MBA Board to Lucas Horne LucasCHorne@gmail.com 

(2) Community Development Committee

Use your business skills to contribute towards Smith School’s positive social impact in our surrounding area! Lead community service events, help coordinate the new student orientation and cultivate your innovative ideas for social good. This is a great opportunity to exhibit your leadership skills and social responsibility, while building your network within Smith School and the non-profit sector.

To learn more or to become a committee member, please email Rahul.Shah@rhsmith.umd.edu

(3) Professional Development Committee

We are looking for students who would like to help develop and host professional development events at Smith!

Campus Champions – Looking for liaisons to serve as a point of contact in Baltimore and Shady Grove to voice needs or concerns for specific events and to assist in event planning.

To learn more or to become a committee member, please email Megan.Allums@rhsmith.umd.edu

(3) Marketing Communications Committee

Thinking of a career in Marketing? Interested in applying marketing concepts? Or would you like to further your current Marketing experience? Here are the areas where we still need assistance:

  • Newsletter Manager (collect content, format and edit)
  • Blogger (collect entries and edit)

To learn more or to become a committee member, please email Winstonn.Tubbs@rhsmith.umd.edu

(5) Shady Grove Committee

Calling all Shady Grove PTMBA Champions! We are looking for leaders who are willing to serve as the voice for Shady Grove students. You will also be involved in the planning, coordinating and marketing of PTMBAA events. This is a great opportunity to connect with fellow Smith School students, improve your communication skills, and contribute towards a positive experience for all PTMBA students.

To learn more or to become a committee member, please email Patrick.Yu@rhsmith.umd.edu

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12th Annual Monte Carlo Night Gala

by Adrian Lee, 2013-2014 Part-Time MBA Association President

On Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, over 200 part-time MBA students joined fellow full-time and master students, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni for the 12th Annual Monte Carlo Night Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. Sponsored by the Full-time, Part-time MBA, and Masters Student Association, the annual event benefits the M. Scott Lamana and Eric Cranford Memorial MBA Fellowship Fund, two part-time MBA students who perished in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon.

Attendees were dressed to impressed and the evening began with hors d’oeurvres and open bar and the hope of “winning millions.” Many students, faculty, and guests spent much of the night placing bets at the gaming tables and then as their luck ran out later in the night, attendees headed to the dance floor to enjoy live music from the band. For many, the night did not end there, many students “ubered” to the after-party at George, in Georgetown to continue the dance party into the wee-hours of the night.

Click here to view more pictures from the night.

Smith PT MBA Students Volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank

Shabnam-Tehrani-Head-shotby Shabnam Tehrani, a first-year part-time MBA student in the DC campus.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 15th, I gathered with a group of fellow part-time MBA students in a large parking lot in Landover, Maryland. We were starting our highly anticipated spring break in a wonderful, yet unconventional way: volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank’s Mobile Markets to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need. A nonprofit organization, the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) provides 27.5 million meals annually to residents struggling with hunger. The Part-Time MBA Association (PTMBAA) had sponsored the school’s participation in the event and I had the pleasure of organizing it with the help of the rest of the Community Development Committee members.

With this event, the PTMBAA not only had its highest turnout of participants at a community event, but also represented the largest volunteer group that day at the Mobile Markets, which was open to all volunteers in the community. Indeed, a number of students from each of the three Part-time MBA School campuses and their friends and families participated.

Our initial task as volunteers on that breezy, but sunny morning was to setup the mobile market. So we rolled up our sleeves and worked together to assemble the tents and tables and carry boxes of produce to the various stations. We then divided into small groups to provide service and assistance to the mobile markets clientele. One group of volunteers guided families as they entered the market, another group helped them with the registration process, and various groups distributed fruits and vegetables along with recipes for healthy meals. We even had a station where volunteers made fresh smoothies (using a bike-powered blender!) and offered them to families as they made their way around the market.

While helping provide food to residents in need and promoting healthy nutrition, volunteers directly interacted with a diverse set of individuals, including fellow students, other volunteers from the community, and clientele that attended the market. As part-time MBA student Reemberto Rodriguez describes, “It was well worth the early alarm on the first Saturday of our spring break to gather with fellow students to help others in need and promote the CAFB.”

Seeing the grateful and cheerful looks on people’s faces and hearing their positive remarks as we handed out produce and provided them with support made for a truly fulfilling experience. “This really helps my family eat healthier,” a mother commented. “Thank you so much for doing this,” she added. And as two little boys smiled and looked intently at the apples I was dropping in a grocery bag for them, their father commented on how much they like apples. He then looked at them and laughed while saying, “You two boys seem pretty happy!” The feeling was mutual, not just for me, but for all the volunteers who contributed part of their time to help a great cause. Indeed, within a few hours, we had come together and worked as a team to promote healthy nutrition and give out fresh produce to a large number of families in need, making for a rewarding experience for all parties involved.

The PTMBAA Community Development Committee owes special thanks to all the students and their friends and families who volunteered their time at this event. Student volunteers included Adrian Lee, Timothy Mosher, Kristin Nwakobi, Reemberto Rodriguez, Holly Smith, Jessie Sweet, Shabnam Tehrani, and Patrick Yu.

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Maryland Food Bank Campus Challenge

by Jessica Brosch Sweet

Think your campus can outperform the other campuses? Prove it in the Holiday Campus Challenge! Today through December 31st, students from the Baltimore, Shady Grove and D.C. will be competing in an online holiday food drive to benefit the Maryland Food Bank.

Our goal is to raise $2,000 across all three campuses and engage more than 100 Smith students to participate or donate.

Be sure to share your campus’ URL with classmates, friends and family!
www.mdfoodbank.org/rhsmithbaltimore
www.mdfoodbank.org/rhsmithshadygrove
www.mdfoodbank.org/rhsmithdc

Q&A session with Mr. Warren Buffett

Q&A session with Mr. Warren Buffett

by Rahul Shah

On Friday, November 15th, twenty Smith School students, including Full-time, Part-time and MS in Finance, attended a Q&A session with Mr. Warren Buffett in Omaha, NE. Professor David Kass, a long time follower of Mr. Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, also accompanied the students as a faculty member. There were 7 other universities present, traveling from as far away as Peru, South America. It was a very unique and rewarding experience for all those who attended.

The day began with a tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary since 1983 that has proven to be a very profitable business in the last 30 years. This was followed by an informational session about their business strategy with Executive VP Bob Batt and finally a Q&A session. It was very inspiring to hear the story of Mrs. B, the founder of Nebraska Furniture Mart. A Russian immigrant, she did not attend a day of school in her life, and only learned English through her school-aged children. As her grandson Mr. Batt stated, despite her lack of education, she knew business and knew how to keep customers happy – and this has remained the cornerstone of their strategy.

After leaving Nebraska Furniture Mart, students went straight to Berkshire Hathaway headquarters for the Q&A session with Mr. Warren Buffett. He did not want to know any of the questions in advance, and encouraged us to ask about anything at all – finance, investments, philanthropy, personal life, etc. It was a very inspirational and motivational session with Mr. Warren Buffett. It was clear in his responses that he is a very wise, intelligent, passionate and hard working individual. I was quite humbled by his down to earth personality, and the humorous jokes he made throughout the session. Although he kept the session light hearted and informal, he shared so much knowledge and wisdom, nonetheless. Most of the questions were about finance and investments, but students asked questions about management, negotiations, politics, family life and marriage, women empowerment and more. After the Q&A session, Mr. Buffett joined and treated us all to lunch at one of his favorite Omaha restaurants, Piccolo’s. Students enjoyed a great meal that ended with his favorite root beer float and group photo’s.

For the remainder of the day, students visited two more Berkshire Hathaway companies – Borsheims Jewelry and Oriental Trading Company. These were both in similar formats, including a tour of the facilities, informational session with their Director of Sales and CEO, and finally a Q&A session. All of the subsidiaries contested as to how great it was to be with Berkshire Hathaway. Aside from no longer having any debt on their balance sheets, they discussed the positive culture and values that all Berkshire Hathaway companies exemplify.

Overall, it was a great educational experience for all the students in attendance. As an MBA/MS in Finance dual degree candidate, I thought it was really great to take all the knowledge I have gained thus far in the program and see it applied at such high levels of strategy and investments. Mr. Warren Buffett was a great guy, and I felt honored to exchange a few personal words with him and shake his hand. This trip will definitely will remain a lifelong, influential memory of mine and I greatly appreciate the opportunity through Smith School.

Fall Ball 2013

by Tiffany Brown

Ticket sales for this year’s Fall Ball set new records and BLEW AWAY all previous year sales – with 335 attendees from the Part and Full Time M.B.A.  Programs, M.S. Programs, Alumni, Faculty and Staff.  This year, the Part Time M.B.A. Association (P.T.M.B.A.A.) returned to the name, “Fall Ball” and returned to incorporating a theme into the event – a Masquerade Ball.  There were hundreds of creative masks floating around the room. Most creative mask goes to Dean Triantis, who wore a joker-themed mask complete with bells! Best group showing goes to the men of Shady Grove!

The evening started off in the atrium room of the JW Marriott in downtown D.C. with an open bar, hors d’oeurvres and plenty of masquerade masks. Attendees then moved to the Grand Ballroom to receive a wonderful speech by the new R.H. Smith Dean, Alex Triantis, about using technology to increase the value of the M.B.A. Next, a three course meal was served… followed by several students getting “served” on the dance floor! This year’s DJ, DJ Big C, was a huge hit, as attendees were dancing in the aisles and hallways. Another new addition this year was the photo booth from Top Hat Photobooth. Between the dry erase board in the booth, the props and the imagination of the attendees – this was enjoyed so much they ran out of photo paper!

Here is a link to the photobooth photos:TOP HAT PHOTOBOOTHS – DC MASQUERADE BALL

Here is a link to the photos from the photographer: PTMBAA PHOTO GALLERY

 

The Part Time M.B.A. Association would like to THANK everyone who attended!! We were so pleased to see how much everyone enjoyed themselves. We would also like to thank those who helped execute the event… The Fall Ball Committee: Megan Allums, Tiffany Brown, Adrian Lee, Thomas Luginbill, Simone Mack, Gina Reilly, and Anne Ruchman. Marketing Committee Member: Winstonn Tubbs.  And the Masters Program Office, Dean Alex Triantis, Smith Part-Time MBA Association, and the Smith Full-time MBA Association.

Dog Adoption Event Benefiting LDCRF

By: Kime Wills

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On November 24th the Robert H. Smith School of Business Community Development Committee partnered with PTMBA students in a Leadership Development class to put together a great volunteer event. Students worked with the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCFR) to help in the adoption process of over 20 homeless dogs.

Students spent time recruiting potential adopters and spreading the word leading up to the adoption event. They then met at a local PetSmart and spent the afternoon playing with the dogs, walking them, and talking with potential adopters. The rescue group can only have as many dogs as handlers for these events, so every volunteer is a possibility for another dog to be adopted.

The event was a successful and by the end of the afternoon four dogs were able to find a “forever home” with the help of Smith School volunteers. Smith school is looking to continue it’s relationship with the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation as a way to give back to the community.

It’s Official! Girls’ Gamble a Smith Legacy

The Girls Gamble 11.15

by Maria Caceres

The ladies of Smith did it again! The second annual Girls’ Gamble event, led by our own Gina Reilly, PTMBA DC student, was a complete hit. It was an evening filled with poker, a little vino (a special thanks to SAWMBA group for keeping us hydrated), delicious food and new found friends! I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know several fellow MBAers from our Shady Grove Campus as well as our Baltimore Campus. Our various DC cohorts (1st year, 2nd year and 3rd year) were also well represented, and we had over 15 alumni in attendance!

 

Now, whether it was your very first attempt to a perfect poker face, or you were last year’s World Poker Tour winner, FUN was the name of your game that night. This year’s Girls’ Gamble included various professional poker dealers and instructors, not only providing a night of exciting casino style play, but a thorough teaching of the art of poker. Throughout the evening, each player had the opportunity to run through several live hands, and compete for some fantabulous prizes. What’s poker without the winnings piece, right?

 

After awarding our lucky winners, we were treated to a wonderful and empowering presentation by Sharon Strange Lewis, Director of Graduate Alumni Relations, a fellow Terp, and a 2005 graduate of the Smith EMBA program. Sharon pointed out that our learnings of Poker should be applied to our approach in the business world. In poker, as in business, tenacity, focus and confidence is key when figuring out what is necessary to be the night’s big winner.  

 

A very special thank you to the PTMBAA for all their support and to all those extremely creative and determined Smith women who made this night possible. This was an unforgettable event, and a brilliant reminder of our fellowship and robust presence as women MBAs at Smith.

Donation Drive for Children’s National Health Systems

Looking for a way to give back? For Leadership Development (BUMO758L), a student group led by Justin Knapp is collecting essential items for 100+ “Comfort Bags, which will be given to Children’s National Health Systems (Childrens National) in Washington, D.C. These bags will help families of children admitted to the NICU and PICU. When parents find out their son or daughter is going to be admitted to Childrens National, they are often not prepared on many levels. The donation box will be on the DC campus from October 30- November 14th. To assist these families and provide them with some comfort, we are collecting the following items:

Toothbrushes, Toothpaste and Dental Floss
Hand Lotion
Healthy Snacks (excluding items with possible allergens, such as peanuts)
ChapStick
Tissues
Travel-size Shampoo
Travel-size Conditioner
Shaving Cream and Razors
Deodorant
Socks and Undershirts (any sizes for small children up to adults)
Stress Balls

If you prefer to make a financial donation, please visit our fundraising page athttps://fundly.com/comfort-bags-4-children-s-national-hospital-l#more-info

Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!