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2nd Annual Sunset Cruise – Recap

by Winstonn Tubbs

On August 14th, current PT MBA students, alumni, and significant others had the opportunity to fellowship for an open-bar cruise of the Potomac River on the private yacht, Virginia’s Jewel. This event was an excellent opportunity for incoming students, current students and alumni relax, eat, drink, network, and enjoy good music.

Take a look at a few pictures from the cruise http://goo.gl/6QrJgj

Sunset Cruise 2014_v1

Shady Grove Summer Picnic- Recap

by Patrick Yu

On Saturday July 12th, 2014 the Shady Grove Campus held their first annual summer picnic at a park in Gaithersburg, MD. 35 people attended which consisted of Shady Grove current students and their families, DC students, and newly admitted students starting this Fall. Burgers, dogs, and other picnic fare were served while everyone socialized, played lawn games, and talked about all things from Smith School of Business to the World Cup. The weather was beautiful, food and drink bountiful, but the best parts were socializing with each other outside of the classroom.

 

Smith Commencement Highlights

Congratulations to all of the Spring 2014 Smith MBA graduates. An enthusiastic crowd gathered in Comcast Center on May 22 and May 23, 2014, to cheer on a brand-new crop of proud Smith School alumni. The Smith School celebrated the commencement of 850 undergraduate students, 230 MBA students, 220 MS and MFin students, and 10 doctoral students.

For the first time, the school held separate ceremonies for undergraduate and doctoral students, MBA students, and MS and MFin students. This allowed students and their families to participate in shorter and more intimate ceremonies. Read more about the commencement on the Robert H. Smith School of Business News page.

Click here to watch a recording of the 2014 Smith MBA Commencement

State of the Union Address

UncleLucasBy Lucas Horne, Part-Time MBA Association President | 2014-2015

Dear Part Time MBA students, as your newly elected President, I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you all know what the new Board is planning to accomplish over the next year. As many of you know my platform for running was based on establishing a new Smith ‘art’ that we can get printed to expand our Smith gear collections. I’ve been working with Smith Marketing in order to realize that vision.

I’ve also been working very closely with the Full-Time MBA Association President, Jamine Gallman, to make some drastic changes that will align our programs and ensure that we have the opportunity to share many of our resources in both directions. I believe they have a lot to offer us in terms of time availability for club and social events, but we also have a lot to offer them in terms of corporate connections and experience. If we can establish a two way street sharing all of these resources I think we’d all have a lot to gain from each other.

My Board has already been incredibly busy with other undertakings that would greatly improve our Smith experience. Scott Graham, our VP of Finance is working with myself and the Full Time VP of Finance to figure out how we can collaborate more closely to not only align social resources but financial resources as well. Winstonn Tubbs, our VP of Marketing is researching how we can communicate more effectively with students so that we’re all aware of events and opportunities as early as possible. Megan Allumns, our VP of Professional Development is working closely with the new satellite campus OCS staff to ensure we maximize their positive impact on each campus. Rahul Shah, our VP of Community Development is working with Smith’s Community Development resources to make their programs more readily available to us, the part time community. Drew Smith, Lisa Derr, and Patrick Yu, our VP’s of Outreach are on a new undertaking which involves building a clear path of communication from students all the way up to the PTMBAA and then to the Smith School when appropriate, something that hasn’t happened before. This will ensure that each of you has the voice you deserve, that your track reps know exactly how to communicate, and that we’re listening and responding appropriately to all of the students, not just those that are already close to the board.

2014 – 2015 will be a big year that I believe will present substantial positive changes. I am fortunate to have such a great and driven Board and I’m confident will get a lot done to improve the experience of the part time students. I think I speak for my entire Board when I say that we look forward to working both for and with the entire Smith community.

Lucas Horne is the President of the Part-Time MBA Association. As President, Lucas serves as a voice and sounding board for Part-Time MBA student concerns. He also works with University officials, MPO, and Centers as appropriate to represent student’s interest and ensure student’s voices are heard. For questions or comments, email Lucas at LucasCHorne@gmail.com

OCS Tip of the Month

dave_gentMake Networking Work For You!

By David Gent, Part-time MBA Career Consultant / DC

Your best next job(s) will come from networking (and HireSmith!) For many, though, the question is how. That is, how to turn a networking conversation into a lead for your next opportunity. The answer: help the person see how you will drive the business and/or organization forward.

Every organization and every manager has a problem, something that “keeps them up at night.” When networking, listen for those problems and then speak to your ability to help resolve the issue.

If you aren’t hearing any problems, ask. Ask questions focused on the competitive landscape and strategic decisions; companies always want to know more about their customers and stakeholders. There are countless questions. But, you have to ask.

Even more powerfully, help that leader see what he or she can’t. Some refer to this as problem finding. Your Smith MBA enables you to frame a problem – or, even better, opportunity – out of ambiguity. Offer that.

Once you discover the what, link it to your experiences, knowledge (hint: your Smith coursework) and competencies. Having a strong elevator pitch is a good starting point to making your case. Another is to offer possible resources you might bring to the situation…with you being the primary one.

Of course, there is some art to the conversation. You have to let the problem unfold and then subtly weave in the ways in which you will add value to that manager and to that company’s go forward strategy. You must listen closely and with focus on what you can bring to the problem. Don’t worry about how you are being perceived (we all do) but rather think like you are in a presentation making a case for a new approach.

But how will you know your networking is working? A key turning point in any conversation is when the person says something like, tell me about when you led that project team. Or, what do you think of this market trend. These questions and ones like them signal that the person is starting to see you as someone who will help; a networking conversation is shifting to an interview.

To learn more about the art of the networking conversation, please schedule a coaching appointment with Dave, Erika, Jeff and Dana, your career coaches, through HireSmith.

Glass Globe on Euro Notes

New Global Equity Fund Members

by Doug Wink

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School Global Equity Fund is managed by 19 students in the school’s part-time MBA and Master of Science in Business: Finance programs. The global fund was established in 2009 and holds investments primarily in companies outside the United States.

The limited-enrollment fund gives students the chance to research companies and manage and invest money from the school’s endowment fund. The fund managers’ goal is to outperform the MSCI All Country ex US Index, though it’s equally important that each member learns the processes by which investment decisions are made in a professional asset-management setting.

In a course that meets once per week for an entire year at the Smith School’s Washington, D.C. campus in the Ronald Reagan building, students gain unparalleled financial knowledge and skills, including asset management exposure, quantitative portfolio management experience, and financial modeling skills. They develop skills using and applying tools from Smith’s extensive suite of financial databases and information systems.

Participating students are assigned roles in operating the fund, either as portfolio managers or equity analysts specializing in a specific geographic area or industry such as technology or telecommunications. Participants are chosen through an application process and selected on several criteria including analytical abilities and communication and leadership skills.

The outgoing members (2013 – 2014) are:  The incoming members (2014 – 2015) are:
Yingmei Liu
Elie Rizk
Kyle Blackman
Douglas Wink
Xianzhen Li
Xuejing LI
Zili Zhou
Yuan Ji
Ruowen Du
Xijing Xie
Yingchun He
Mengge Pu
Yungjing Qiu
Ting Gu
Weiwen Zhang
Di Zheng
Ronald Martin
Vaibhav Thadakamalla
William Cole
Haiyi Wang
Luyao Chen
Kaixiang Fu
Yan Zhang
Xiadi Wang
Rahul Shah
Suhui Yan
Ram Medavarapu
Roy Smethers
Stephan Jerabek
Blair Harris
Battle Williford
Joel Gill, Jr.
Chris McGrath
Christopher Niemira
Justin Shannon
Mingfei Dai
Panjun Wang

You can contact the Global Equity Fund through the incoming 2014-2015 Project Managers, Chris McGrath (cmmcgrath10@gmail.com) & Ram Medavarapu (srmedava@yahoo.com). You can read more about the global equity fund here.

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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.

joincommittee

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

UMD-Business-Casino-Night-DVS-002_2187

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.