Category Archives: Clubs/Centers/Offices


2014 Orientation

by Rahul Shah, PTMBAA VP of Community Development

On August 16th and 23rd, Smith School welcomed the newest incoming class of Part-Time MBA students at Orientation in Van Munching Hall. The two days were divided between the DC, Shady Grove and Baltimore cohorts. They were both great days that combined logistical information about the program, experiential learning exercises and opportunities to network among both current and incoming students.

The PTMBAA board opened up both days with a welcome, followed by words of wisdom and advice from Dean Alex Triantis, Vice Dean Joyce Russell and Chief Academic Officer Shreevardhan Lele. The overall message was very positive and motivating, with all parties encouraging students to really take advantage of the opportunities and resources offered at Smith. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions to Smith School’s senior leadership before breaking out into their respective cohorts.

This year’s orientation theme, “Experience the Adventure”, was really about all the experiential learning opportunities offered here at Smith. This is one area that all of the different centers and departments have been particularly innovative in, and is undoubtedly one of the best ways to learn. Students got a glimpse of some of these activities at orientation, from preparing elevator pitches with the Office of Career Services to preparing a business model canvas with the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Social Value Creation and the Office of Global Initiatives. The center’s also explained all of the specific opportunities for part-time students including the social venture consulting program, Pitch Dingman Competition, short-term study abroad trips and the latest Portfolio Management Competition through the Center for Financial Policy among others.

In my personal opinion, it’s really these opportunities that differentiate Smith School from all the other programs out there. It’s really these opportunities that allow students to connect with like-minded students across cohorts and across campuses, and what really adds value to the overall MBA experience. Most importantly, it’s really these opportunities that allow students to apply the knowledge from their coursework, and gain even more as a result.

The day also included the current student panel experience, sessions with the various clubs and closed with a networking happy hour that included snacks and drinks. Overall, it was a great day that prepared students with the information they need to be successful in the program.

On behalf of the PTMBAA, we are very excited to welcome the newest incoming class! We wish you all the best of luck in this new phase of your journey and hope that you make the most of your time here. All students are encouraged to partake in the great events planned for the year ahead as they contribute to the cohesive community that is Smith.

Check out pictures from orientation here.

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.

Oysters & Wine to bring in the New Year

The middle of January can seem quite gray and gloomy and leave many good reasons to just stay in bed; but in Baltimore the recent all-campus event gave plenty of students a reason to get out of bed and provided nice transition to the new semester and the start of classes.

On Saturday, January 25th, a recent wine tasting event brought together all the cohorts of the Baltimore campus together on the same night.  The event, held at Ryliegh’s Oysters, gave students the opportunity to meet and network with other students from at least 3 different cohorts.  Attendees were able to enjoy award-winning wines that paired beautifully with fresh raw oysters that were provided along with other hors d’oeuvres.  As oysters were being slurped and newly discovered wines being praised many students, new and old, were discussing topics of career planning, future classes, and funny winter break stories.  It was great to see interaction amongst different students and everyone left a little warmer than when they came.  The event was a nice ice-breaker to help everyone forget about all the cold weather and get energized for the new semester.

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.

2013 Sunset Cruise

by Joshua Merry, VP of Outreach: DC
A beautiful day gave way to a perfect evening as Smith students arrived at the Capital Yacht charters. All in all, around 90 Smith school students attended the event. The boat left the dock and headed down the Potomac toward the Wilson bridge, offering a great view of the city on both sides. The boat was big enough to offer students many different places to gather and talk.

When the boat left, the PTMBAA welcomed everybody and encouraged people to enjoy themselves and socialize. With the cruise well on its way, the food was served. The Capital Yacht club did an excellent job of the catering, as people enjoyed veggies, wings & meatballs. As the sun went down, people socialized, networked and enjoyed the evening. It seemed like time flew, as pretty soon the boat arrived at the Wilson bridge and turned around.

People continued to enjoy themselves on the way back, and it was almost too bad when the boat docked back up. However, everybody had a fantastic time and it is safe to say this years Sunset Cruise was a resounding success!


Here is a link to the pictures:

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Pitch your business idea to a seasoned entrepreneur at the Washington DC campus this Summer!

Pitch Dingman is coming to the Ronald Reagan Building campus on July 18 and August 13 in the evening! Sign up to meet with successful entrepreneurs to pitch YOUR business idea and get feedback and advice. No advance prep needed, just come in prepared to describe your idea in 3-4 minutes. Sign up here:

Hatch Your Business at Dingman Jumpstart This August!

Jumpstart is an intensive five-day boot camp for University of Maryland students to experience the venture creation process with lectures, workshops and advising sessions led by successful entrepreneurs, business executives, faculty, venture capitalists and angel investors.

When: August 20-24, 9 a.m. 6 p.m.

Where: Van Munching Hall,University of Maryland, College Park, MD


$200 for UMD students

$300 for UMD alumni

(Includes daily lunch and program materials)

Why Participate?

  • Refine your business plan using the Business Model Canvas and develop next steps
  • Learn business fundamentals including financials, marketing and PR, product development, and new venture financing
  • Receive advisory services from experienced entrepreneurs who provide feedback and actionable next steps
  • Tap into the experience of fellow student entrepreneurs at UMD and gain an international perspective by partnering with MBA students Peking University in Beijing, China
  • Advance in the venture creation process and be eligible to receive seed funding through the Dingman Centers E-Fund
  • Following program completion, apply to compete in Pitch Dingman Competitions held throughout the school year and the China Business Plan Competition held in January 2013 in Beijing, China.

Space is limited! To secure your spot please register here:

The “Doing Business with Latin America” Conference at Smith

The Latin MBA Students Association at Smith, along with the Latin American/Hispanic MBA Associations of Georgetown University and the George Washington University, cordially invite you to participate in the first “Doing Business with Latin America” Conference.
This is an unprecedented event at the Smith School and it marks the beginning of a cooperation between Georgetown’s McDonough Business School, the George Washington University School of Business and Smith.

The objective of the conference is to highlight Latin Americas current macroeconomic trends, corporate success stories and its potential to be a growth partner for the world to business, academic and diplomatic interests in the DC region and beyond. Participate in panel discussions with CEOs, experts from multilateral organizations, and members of the business community.

The event will take place at 8:30 am on April 27, 2012 at the Frank Auditorium – Van Munching Hall at the University of Maryland College Park. Please follow this link to register and for event information: Discounted tickets until April 21! Student tickets are being sold for $20 and staff/faculty/alumni/non-school attendees for $40 (lunch and a cocktail reception are included).

Please contact for more information.
We look forward to seeing you there!

The Latin MBA Students Association