Mar 262015
 

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Have you ever been curious about who exactly makes up our Part Time MBA program classes?
Well, here it is by the numbers!

Academic Profile
Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.3
Middle 80% GMAT range: 550 – 650
Employers Represented: 210
Undergraduate Universities Represented: 125
Countries Represented: 32

Demographics
Average Age: 28
Women: 39%
Diversity: 34%
Military: 10%
Average Years Post-University Work Experience: 5 years

Industries Represented
Banking/Financial Services: 13%
Government: 11%
Consulting: 10%
Non-Profit/Education: 9%
Aerospace: 7%
Construction/Real Estate: 5%
Military/Active Duty: 5%
Energy: 4%
Information Systems: 4%
Entertainment: 3%
Healthcare: 3%
Law: 3%
Manufacturing: 2%
Telecommunications: 2%
Human Resources: 1%
Other: 18%

 

* All information is for our 2014 PT MBA Class.

Mar 192015
 

Megan AllumsBy Megan Allums, a second year PT MBA student.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked from prospective MBA students or people outside the program is “How do you do it?” Well it might seem daunting at first to manage a career, classes at night and something that resembles a personal life all at the same time, but it is possible! Here are a few tips and theories I have to juggling it all.

Calendars. Prior to starting school, I was able to manage my social obligations, appointments, etc. primarily by memory. My first fall in the program, I quickly became accustomed to scheduling everything with Google Calendar. I would recommend that anyone with a busy schedule, buy a calendar or get familiar with your phone’s calendar. It is an easy way to get organized!

Prioritize. When you are short on time, you have to make decisions between studying, friends, family, exercising, etc. Often I have to make a decision between studying for class or spending time with friends. It’s a tough balancing act because I want to be prepared for class, but I also need to make time for my life as well. Determine your own personal balance and use your calendar as a check to see if one thing is outweighing the other.

Take some time for yourself. Whether this is scheduled or spontaneous, you have to remember to take care of yourself. Once a month I try to take an afternoon or a morning off to do whatever I want to do. Sometimes it’s working out, getting my nails done or even sleeping in. It helps me relax and recharge. It also helps me be a better student, friend, and employee.

Learn to disconnect. I am definitely guilty of being completely dependent on my phone. For example, checking my email seconds after I wake up and still in bed and having anxiety when my phone dies. I try to turn off my phone before I go to bed and have a cup of coffee prior to checking any emails. Small steps I have found that reducing my dependence on my phone also reduces my stress level. For me, I have found it makes me more productive during the times I am working or studying.

Cut yourself some slack. There are going to be times where it may seem like too much or maybe there are simply not enough hours in the day. Understand that you cannot be perfect at everything all the time and don’t be too hard on yourself about it.

Megan Allums is a second year Part Time MBA degree candidate at the Smith School of Business. Megan is a financial analyst with over six years of experience working for the United States Army. She is focusing on international business, strategy and data analytics in her MBA studies. Megan currently serves as VP of Professional Development with the Part-Time MBA Association. She has used her position to develop long lasting student-alumni networking events like the PTMBA Golf Tournament.

Mar 052015
 

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of February. This month’s winner is… Samantha Houtz!

Samantha’s number was chosen by the random number generator and she is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD6. If you entered the contest in January or February, you still have 5 more chances to win.

Here are some of our favorite #WhySmithPTMBA tweets from February:

Feb - social media 1

Feb - social media 2

Do you want to enter our contest to win a Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet? We are giving one away EVERY MONTH from now until August.

Here’s how to enter:
Step 1: Follow us on twitter at @SmithPTMBA
Step 2: Tweet us a message using #WhySmithPTMBA with why you are applying
Step 3: Leave a comment on any blog post on the PT MBA blog (this post or any other!)

Winners will be drawn on a monthly basis using a random number generator. Once you win, you will be ineligible to win again until 2016. Winners will be announced on the Smith PT MBA twitter feed and blog.

Good luck!

Prize specs: Kindle Fire HD6, Black, 6” HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB, value $99.

Feb 262015
 

Rahul ShahBy Rahul Shah, a third year Part-Time MBA/MFin dual degree candidate.

On Thursday, November 6th, the Global Equity Fund made their annual trip to New York City. The Global Equity Fund is a student-run investment fund made up of 20 PT MBA and MFin students. For school credit, students manage $500,000 from the university’s endowment, investing in Global Equity ADR’s. We research companies, build valuation models and pitch investment opportunities to the team. The objective of the New York City trip was to meet with Asset Managers and other practitioners in the field of investments. It was a great learning experience that all members benefited from.

Taking an early train from Union Station, our first meeting was at BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm. Students met with the Global Head of Event Driven Equity Strategies, Mark McKenna. This new division of BlackRock focuses on global events including M&A arbitrage, divestitures and management changes to lock in a profit. Mr. McKenna shared a presentation highlighting the investment strategy, historical returns and examples in practice that was very educational. We also discussed his professional career, starting as a Nuclear Engineer, and how his path led him to where he is today.

The next day, students woke up early and went to the New York Stock Exchange for the opening bell. We first met with John Tuttle, NYSE Head of Corporate Affairs, and learned about the history of the exchange. I was amazed to learn about how operations, the building and surrounding area had evolved since their inception in 1817. After the opening bell, students had the opportunity to speak with different market makers on the floor of the exchange. The market maker we spoke to explained her functioning role in the NYSE, how she carries out her tasks, and different challenges in her position. Having been on the floor for 20 years, she witnessed a lot – the rise of technology, multiple crashes, and a work force that went from 5,000 on the floor to less than 500.

After leaving the NYSE, students went to Annaly Capital Management, the largest Mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust firm in the world. We first received a presentation on this specific type of investment firm, learned about the mortgage securitization process and other aspects of the industry. We then met with multiple employees, including their Capital Markets Manager, Portfolio Manager, Head of MBS Trading and Chief Technology Officer. It was very interesting to get such a broad perspective on their operations. We were also able to ask questions and received great tips on how to advance our professional careers in investments.

Global Equity Fund Picture

Group Photo 02

Overall, it was a very educational weekend. I met with top practitioners in the field, built a stronger relationship with my fellow Global Equity Fund members and enjoyed a wonderful weekend in New York City. It was great to see the knowledge from my coursework applied at such high levels of strategy and investments, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this experiential learning opportunity.

 

Rahul Shah is a third year Part-Time MBA/MFin dual degree candidate at the Smith School of Business. Rahul currently works in Finance at Aetna Healthcare, but is fully committed to a career in the non-profit sector after finishing the program. After graduating from undergrad, Rahul worked for an NGO in the urban slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Since returning to the US, he has been active in community engagement efforts and a wide variety of DC area non-profits. Rahul currently serves as VP of Community Development with the Part-Time MBA Association and as Community Service Chair for NetSAP-DC.

 

Feb 192015
 

AndreaWoodHeadshotBy Andrea Wood, first year PT MBA student at the DC campus.

Our week-long global experience in Professor Bennet Zelner’s course, “Doing Business in Chile,” began with immediate immersion on our first full day with a cross cultural learning activity and scavenger hunt, how to shop like a local at La Vega Central market. We were divided into randomly assigned teams with an intermediate to advanced Spanish speaker from the cohort as the team lead and a local guide from the walk, bike, and wine Chilean tour company, La Bicicleta Verde.

Each team was provided a list of locations or stores inside the vast colorful market to photograph or fresh ingredients to purchase during the allotted time. Following completion of the scavenger hunt, teams gathered at Huelquen winery to try our hand at creating two items we came to see frequently during the week, pisco sours, a traditional Chilean cocktail, and pebre, a Chilean condiment resembling salsa, made from spices, olive oil, tomatoes, and other vegetables.

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View of the market stalls in La Vega Central market, the perfect location for a cross cultural learning activity and scavenger hunt in Santiago.

With only one full semester of coursework completed, the global experience contained a few revisions to the second year experience, primarily switching from the consulting project to a company brief and video presentation of a particular company with a group of peers. Our group was selected for Fundación Origen, a sustainable education center, offering a unique opportunity for at risk youth to study at the agroecologial school, learning not only about agriculture and the effects of agricultural practices on the environment, but also about the whole self, bettering oneself for a peaceful, fulfilling life.

The success of the school is demonstrated in its zero percent dropout rate, revealing the commitment of the teachers and administrators to the mission of the organization and the students who enroll. The research aspect of the global experience course created excitement for our group as we anticipated visiting the school and learning more about their other projects, including the Peace Institute and Villa Virginia Hotel.

Upon arriving at Fundación Origen we saw beautiful fields with vegetable gardens, chicken and goat pens, and mountains in the background. At the end of the tour of the facilities, our cohort enjoyed a delicious meal made from many of the ingredients found on site, including goat cheese and fresh greens.

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Exploring the farm at Fundación Origen.

While I greatly enjoyed visiting the organization our group had researched, further excitement came when learning about the other companies through videos prepared by our classmates prior to our arrival in Chile and through the company visits or guest lectures. The other companies included Tasty Beat, a prepared foods grab and go restaurant, which many of us tried one evening for dinner;  Banchile, a Chilean bank and financial services company; Karun Shades, creator of wood framed sunglasses, originating from fallen Patagonian trees; Mondelez International, a snack food company; Agrosuper, a producer and distributor of pork, poultry, salmon, and processed foods, which we visited for a tour of the facilities; Verano Capital, a renewable energy developer; and Kingston Vineyards, a Chilean winery located in Casablanca, which was a beautiful location for the farewell lunch.

After hearing from professionals from each of these companies, our class gained insight into some of the challenges of doing business in Chile and the growing industries and new opportunities in the country, including Start-Up Chile, which is an entrepreneurship and innovation promoter through the Chilean government.

chile 3

Relaxation and learning at the family ranch of Kingston Family Vineyards in the Casablanca Valley.

 

The last day and a half was spent in Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, coastal cities with a unique artistic culture. The walking tour of Valparaiso immediately revealed the differences between the capital city of Santiago and the seaports, taking us along winding cobblestone alleys, passing local artisans and jewelers, and up graffiti streaked stairways, eventually leading to panoramic views of the hills and the water.

chile 4

Graffiti and colorful houses spotting the neighborhoods of Valparaiso.

 

This short visit to the coast marked the end of the global experience as a cohort; however, a few of us continued our Chilean adventure to Patagonia, complete with treks, a glacier tour, and horseback riding.

chile 5

The beginning of our Patagonian adventure.

 

Andrea Wood is a first year part-time MBA student in the weekend program at the DC Campus. She works as a Financial Analyst at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Prior to moving to the Washington, D.C. metro area, she completed a dual master’s at Carnegie Mellon University in arts management and the University of Bologna (Italy) in innovation and organization of culture and the arts. Previously she worked in marketing, communications, and graphic design. Andrea is intrigued by data and people analytics and is excited to expand on this knowledge base through experiences at the University of Maryland. 

 

Feb 122015
 
DC career fair pic

 

More than 115 of Smith’s working professional students and alumni from all 3 Part Time MBA campuses attended the inaugural 2014 Working Professional Networking and Career Expo at the DC campus on Friday, December 5th.

The companies in attendance included Deloitte, Under Armour, Oracle, McGladrey LLP, Hewlett Packard (HP), FINRA, Raytheon, Global Trade Strategies LLC, Xerox and more! The employers were excited to tap into the Terp Talent that exists within the Part-time MBA, Executive MBA, and Online MBA populations at Smith and look forward to continued future engagement.

Companies were impressed with the talent of our students they met during the expo. One recruiter remarked “I met at least 25 people here today that we are interested in talking with to learn more about how they might fit with our company.”

According to student survey and coaching feedback as of January 31st, more than 40 students had been contacted by employers. Many students have been interviewed as a direct result of the career expo. Students were excited to meet companies right here on the D.C. campus with one participant commenting “The event was great. The companies that showed up were reputable companies that had a wide variety of positions.”

This is truly a building block for many great opportunities to come for our Part Time MBA students. Companies and students are excited to engage with one another and we look forward to our next career expo event!

Feb 052015
 

Bethany BiskeyBy Bethany Biskey, First Year PTMBA, DC Campus

With my first semester of business school coming to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on my experience and hopefully outline what to expect for prospective students. Here’s my list of what to expect from beginning business school:

1. Be prepared to be inspired.
2. Be prepared to be challenged.
3. Be prepared to make connections.

Inspiration
From the hardworking professors to the wonderful support staff at the local campuses, free tutors, career coaches, and even the dean, everyone at the University of Maryland is dedicated to connect and work with you. It’s really incredible to have this kind of support and I’ve found it extremely helpful in my first two terms here. Some of the ways that professors have given of their free time is by hosting an online final review with some online software that allowed us to see a whiteboard while discussing it over an online chat room. Another professor held office hours on our DC campus 2-3 times during our 8 week course. I even had a tutor help me with some homework and he met me in DC on the weekend so that it would work for my schedule.

Challenging
Classes here are challenging but engaging. Be prepared to professors to push back and have lively debate from your fellow student body. Everyone I’ve met in my classes is extremely intelligent and brings a diverse knowledge base into the classes with them that enriches our learning experience. I look forward to these discussions and have found others in my cohort also find them as hilarious as they are valuable.

Connections
Career fairs, happy hours, holiday parties, group projects, study groups, student government are just some of the many ways that you’ll be able to interact with fellow students. One of the most valuable connections I’ve found has also been the cross-cohort connections from other students a year or two ahead of me. The bottom line is that Maryland offers a number of outstanding opportunities to improve anyone’s personal network.

While I’m not looking forward to finals, I am looking forward to continuing to learning together with my fellow part-time MBA-ers for the next 2 ½ years to come.

Bethany Biskey is a marketing and digital communications professional with over 7 years of experience working for the government, not for profits, NGOs, and private companies. Currently, she is the Social Media Manager at EVAS Digital.

Jan 292015
 

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of January. This month’s winner is…Sarah Galli!

Sarah’s number was chosen by the random number generator and she is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD6. If you entered the contest in January, you still have 6 more chances to win.

Here are some of our favorite #WhySmithPTMBA tweets from January:

January tweet 1

January tweet 2

January tweet 3

January tweet 4

Do you want to enter our contest to win a Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet? We are giving one away EVERY MONTH from now until August.

Here’s how to enter:
Step 1: Follow us on twitter at @SmithPTMBA
Step 2: Tweet us a message using #WhySmithPTMBA with why you are applying
Step 3: Leave a comment on any blog post on the PT MBA blog (this post or any other!)

Winners will be drawn on a monthly basis using a random number generator. Once you win, you will be ineligible to win again until 2016. Winners will be announced on the Smith PT MBA twitter feed and blog.

Good luck!

Prize specs: Kindle Fire HD6, Black, 6” HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB, value $99.

Jan 222015
 

Shabnam Tehrani By Shabnam Tehrani, a second-year part-time MBA student in the DC campus.

This past fall, a group of Smith Part-Time MBA students and alumni served with GrowingSoul at a community service event organized by the Part-Time MBA Association (PTMBAA). GrowingSoul is a non-profit organization that addresses food sustainability and hunger issues in the Washington DC metro area. The organization has a holistic approach to eliminate food waste through composting, local food production, preparation, and preservation, all of which are fueled by renewable energies.

Seventeen students and their friends and family participated in the event, representing all three Smith School satellite campuses. As volunteers, we divided into small groups to help prepare and cook various food items, including applesauce, cabbage soup, and banana muffins. All volunteers also ensured that proper composting and recycling took place during the process. Students also packaged the prepared food items, which would go on to food agencies that serve those at risk for hunger.

This was part of the PTMBAA’s monthly community service event and gave Smith School students an opportunity to learn about the hunger needs in the community and play an important role in bridging the hunger gap. Students also used their time to meet and network with fellow classmates from other cohorts and simply have fun on a nice Sunday afternoon.

The Executive Director of GrowingSoul was very appreciative of the team’s time and effort and will actually be collaborating with the Smith School again. Through this community service event, the PTMBAA introduced GrowingSoul’s leadership team to the Center for Social Value Creation’s social venture consulting program, ChangeTheWorld.org. This program matches talented Smith School students with high-potential non-profits to help in their strategic initiatives. The Center for Social Value Creation will be matching GrowingSoul with a team of students in the Spring 2015 semester for a social venture consulting project.

Overall, this event allowed the Smith School to contribute towards building a stronger community and initiate what will likely be a continued collaboration with a wonderful non-profit organization.

GrowingSoul6

GrowingSoul5

GrowingSoul2

The PTMBAA Community Development Committee owes special thanks to all the students and their friends and family who volunteered their time at this event. Student volunteers included Aarti Bansal, Alexis Garcia, Jessica Gershuny, Sarah Gordon, Scott Graham, Laurel Johnson, Deepa Jonnagadia, Solagq Majoks, Mark Porter, Jose Reyes, Sophie Richard, Reemberto Rodriguez, Rahul Shah, and Shabnam Tehrani.

Shabnam Tehrani (Shabi) is a second-year part-time MBA student in the DC campus. After obtaining her degree in Finance, she worked at Accenture as a Financial Specialist.  She currently works as a Management Analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), mainly focusing on human resources analytics work. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, practicing yoga and martial arts, and discovering new places.