Student Spotlight – Randy Zmuda

Quickfire Questions

Name: Randy Zmuda
Year: First
Campus: DC Weekend
Company: Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
Hometown/Current Town:  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alma Mater: Radford University
Family/Pets: My wife, Teryn and our baby boy, Cannon Zeyn
Favorite D.C. Area Restaurant: Iron Gate (“Oh, he fancy!”)
Favorite Baltimore/D.C. Area Tourist Destination: Love me a good ol’ Big Bus Tour but it’s gotta stop at the Lincoln Memorial!
Favorite Travel Destination: On our honeymoon we started in Paris, France and drove through the country stopping at AirBnBs along the way — that was incredible!
Favorite Book: Of Mice and Men
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
Favorite Song/Artist: Anything ‘90s
Currently Binging on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon: Bouncing between The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel & Schitt’s Creek, but apparently I need to see Black Mirror.
Dream Job: Owning the Pittsburgh Steelers
What’s your Guilty Pleasure? What can’t you live without? Guilty Pleasure – SURVIVOR, yes it’s still on and if you know anyone in the casting department… (wink-wink!)
Can’t live without my family or friends. Also, water.

Let’s Get to It

Tell us a little bit about the Ambassador program? How long do you serve as an Ambassador, can anyone become an Ambassador, etc.? The Ambassador program is designed to offer prospective students insight into the various programs, schedules, and otherwise opportunities offered within the PT MBA program. It provides a current student perspective. For me this offered a little bit more of a candid conversation. It is a one year commitment. Any current student can apply for the opportunity. I believe one student from each program location is selected. I am very grateful for the opportunity!

Why did you decide to become an Ambassador? The decision to commit to a PT MBA program is massive. For me, coming to that decision ahead of having a baby and working full-time was very daunting. I was quickly alleviated of that concern and stress by all the wonderful people I met in my journey selecting a school, applying, attending information sessions, Super Saturday, orientation, etc. The Ambassadors that I had the privilege of meeting had a huge impact on my decision. They were informative and inspirational. I knew, should the opportunity present itself, it was the perfect fit for me. That made it all the easier to “pay it forward”. It really is an impressive community!

How do Ambassadors support the PTMBA program at Smith? Ambassadors serve as another resource for the PTMBA program. We are a resource to the program in any information sessions, events, orientations, etc. More so, we are a resource to prospective students. We offer insight and often, candid conversation, from a real-time, we’re in the mix of it as we speak, perspective. The questions and concerns prospective students may be facing, are more than likely, the very same questions and concerns we had this time last year or two. Being able to speak to that is very valuable.

Have you volunteered to support the PTMBA program in previous capacities? If so, how? Also, What advice do you have for students who are hoping to get involved within the PTMBA program? I signed up during orientation to get involved with one of the PTMBAA committees. There are also Track Reps for your cohort and later we’ll have the opportunity to run for the PTMBAA Board. From my experience, those who want to get involved tend to ask questions and exert that extra effort to make it happen. But even without that, you are very informed. My advice to anyone interested would simply be to talk to people. Connect. Ask questions. I am happy to serve as your resource, your champion.

What have you learned so far as an Ambassador that can be valuable for your classmates to know? I’ve learned a great deal. I have had great phone conversations, email exchanges and in-person introductions from class spectators. Additionally, sitting in on Information Sessions has afforded me the insight into what questions students are asking, what they are looking for, where they have concerns, and in some cases, what they will bring to the table. The value in that is knowing the caliber of prospective students for the PT MBA program is high. I am confident our already wonderful network will continue to thrive.