Career Coach: You Can’t Find a Greater Network

August 14th, 2014 by under Choosing a Path. No Comments.

harrigan picBy Erika Harrigan, Assistant Director, PT MBA Career Coach, Baltimore campus

Are you interested in a certain field, but would like to learn the inside scoop before making the transition?  Perhaps there’s a particular company that catches your eye and you’d like to learn more about its corporate culture.

As a Part-time MBA student at the Smith School of Business, you have the opportunity to meet with people who work in many different functions, fields, and companies – including some of the functions, fields and companies that you might be considering.  I’m not referring to faculty, alumni or even the companies that recruit from Smith even though those are, of course, very valuable resources.  What I am referring to is the vast network of working professionals who will be sitting in your classes at the Baltimore, Shady Grove, and Washington DC campuses, as well as the students in the cohorts before and after you.

Add this network to Smith’s world-class faculty, its staff, alumni and business partners, and you will have an incredible amount of connections that you would never have had if you did not come through the doors.   Make the connections early on and maintain them for a lifetime.   You never know where you or your colleagues will be in three, five, or ten years.  That’s the beauty of the Smith network!

Not a fan of networking?  Your career coaches are here to help you build this important skill that will benefit you throughout your career.  Feel free to schedule an appointment with us once you start.


Having a Ball with our PT MBA Admitted Students!

August 7th, 2014 by under Smith events. 1 Comment.

by Julie Dellinger, Assistant Director of Part-Time MBA Admissions & Social Media

We’ve had a busy few months with our newly admitted Part Time MBA students – s’mores roasting, classroom visits with Experience Smith, baseball games and more.Well, in July we strapped on some rented shoes and went bowling!

Our DC students hung out at Lucky Strike, our Shady Grove students bowled at Bowlmor and our Baltimore students knocked down some pins at Mustang Alleys. Each event was a fun chance for the new students to get to know each other before orientation, as well as chat with current students and recent alumni.

Thank you to everyone who rocked, rolled and bowled with us. Good luck to our new students on their upcoming orientation and first semester!



Announcing the July PT MBA Contest Winner!

July 31st, 2014 by under Contests. 3 Comments.

The July contest winner is…Lisa Davies!

Lisa was chosen by the random number generator and she is the winner of an iPad mini. If you entered the contest in January, February, March, April, May, June, or July you still have ONE  more chance to win. If you haven’t entered yet, you can check out the contest information here and enter today!

How to enter in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Follow us on twitter at @SmithPTMBA
Step 2: Tweet us a message!
Step 3: Leave a comment on any blog post on the PT MBA blog

You must complete all three steps in order to be entered in the contest!

Here is last month’s winner, Travis Covington with his prize:

Travis Covington - June kindle winner


All About Smith’s Math Camp

July 24th, 2014 by under Surviving Your First Year. No Comments.

By Bob Goodman, 2012 Graduate of the PT MBA program. This post was originally published last year.

So, Math Camp — what is it? Do you need it? Is it painful? Just to give you an idea of where I stood when I took it, I’m a software engineer, so I had a quant background. But I hadn’t taken a math class since college, so I felt a little rusty.

After taking it, I felt it was a pretty good overview of the math you’d need for your MBA classes. There’s a quiz included with the flyer on Math Camp, it’s worth looking at, since it’ll give you a decent idea of the kinds of things that are covered.  Even if you can’t make Math Camp, you should probably at least study up.

The kinds of topics they cover are:

  • Arithmetic, Sets, Counting Rules
  • Probability
  • Random Variables
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Differential Calculus I
  • Differential Calculus II
  • Compounding and Discounting
  • Annuities and Perpetuities

Annuities and Perpetuities are especially important; they probably weren’t covered in your undergrad math class, and they’re used a lot in your MBA classes, so pay attention to that one.  Your professors in the core classes you take first semester are going to assume you know the things from Math Camp, so be ready.  Camp last for three days, and costs $350.

Bottom line, if you don’t do a lot of math in your day-to-day work and don’t want to have to jump into things cold, Math Camp’s a good idea. The lectures are done by Professor Lele, who’s a good guy that you’ll probably have classes with.

There are a few things they don’t tell you that you’ll want to know.  Firstly, if you’re not familiar with College Park campus (which is where Math Camp is held), it is not within walking distance from the Metro. There’s a shuttle usually, but over the summer it doesn’t run on weekends, so check the Shuttle-UM site to see if you need to make other arrangements.  Also be aware that the building where they do the classes has the air conditioning turned down when they do Math Camp, so dress for summer. By the last day even Lele was in shorts and sandals.  By the way, if you’re wondering what kind of calculator you need, they say you need a financial calculator, but I was fine with the TI that everyone uses in high school.  The work load isn’t bad, some lectures followed by a few problems they give you to practice.

Overall it’s a class worth taking. Even if you have a math background, it’s better to know you’re ready than to hope you’re ready; when you start in on a finance class you’ll want to be straight on all your math skills.   And you’ll make some great contacts with your fellow Smiths from the other cohorts that will last through the program and beyond.

Robert Goodman is a 2012 graduate of the Smith PT MBA program.  A project management and IT professional, he has worked in both the financial and government contracting arenas in the DC area.  He currently is a managing director at Advanced Valuation Analytics and CTO of MBA Cocktail, a start-up focused on bringing together MBA students and alumni for networking and career advancement.


Leadership and Smith: Through the Eyes of a New Smith PT MBA Student

July 17th, 2014 by under Choosing a Path. No Comments.

Aisha HasanBy Aisha Hasan, first year PT MBA student in the DC Weekend program.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt’s words hold true in all aspects of my life, especially my professional and educational leadership experiences. I have been blessed with tremendous leadership opportunities where I conquered my fears and pursued my goals. Through the guidance of phenomenal mentors, and the immense support of family and friends, I have gained strength, courage, and confidence in my pursuit of public service. These qualities have bolstered my aptitude for public service leadership opportunities, including being the President of Young Government Leaders-Bethesda, and the founding President of the UMD Federal and Global Semester Alumni Association.

Recently, I was named a finalist for the Next Gen Public Service Award in the Exemplary Leadership category. There are an incredible amount of government leaders doing exceptional work, so I feel truly blessed and humbled to be a finalist for this award!

The Next Gen Public Service Awards are presented for superior public service and achievement, and the Exemplary Leadership Award recognizes a public service leader under 40 who has demonstrated benevolence, competence, integrity, dedication, and commitment to improve and inspire communities at the local, national, or international level. This individual embodies what the next generation can do in public service. The Next Gen Public Service Award in the Exemplary Leadership category will be presented at the 2014 Next Gen Awards Ceremony on July 23rd in Washington, DC. I am honored to be considered a leader and be a finalist for this prestigious award!

Leadership and learning go hand-in-hand, so I am really excited to begin the Robert H. Smith School of Business Part Time MBA program next month. I look forward to the commencement of my Part Time MBA studies for many reasons. I am especially excited to continue developing and improving my leadership skills through the numerous inside-and-outside of the classroom leadership opportunities that Smith provides students. The school wholeheartedly supports their students, so I know I will have a remarkable experience earning my MBA at Smith.

Smith cultivates extraordinary leaders, so I’m truly excited to begin my business education tenure at this prestigious business school. At Smith, I’ll continue to gain strength, courage, and confidence while conquering my fears and improving my Executive Presence!

Aisha Hasan is a policy professional at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Secretary where she specializes in policy development and implementation.  Aisha has also held a policy position at The White House Office of Management and Budget where she focused on federal procurement policy. She earned her B.S. degree Cum Laude in Community Health, concentrating in health policy, from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is thrilled to begin Smith’s PT MBA program in the Washington, DC Weekend Program in August 2014. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and friends.



Announcing the 2014 Smith Women & the MBA Symposia Scholarship Winner!

July 10th, 2014 by under Admissions Announcements, Financing your MBA. 2 Comments.

MonicaAt Smith, we recognize and value the voice, leadership, and potential that women bring to the classroom and to the boardroom. It with great pride that the Smith School awards the 2014 Smith Women and the MBA Symposia Scholarship to Monica Bautista. The scholarship, valued at $20,000, recognizes Monica’s achievements in the professional world and community and her potential as a future business leader and member of the Smith’s student community.

Monica graduated Magna Cum Laude from Portland State University with a BS in Health Studies: Community Health Education. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and works as a Program Assistant in USAID’s Global Health Bureau. Monica is also the President of the Hispanic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies (HECFAA) at USAID. Prior to her current roles with USAID, Monica served as a Public Policy Fellow at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In her free time, Monica volunteers with HIPS as a Mobile Outreach Volunteer.

Monica will be joining Smith’s 2014 Washington, DC Weekend Program this fall. Welcome to Smith!

To learn more about Smith, women’s leadership at Smith, and the Women and the MBA Symposia, please visit the Smith School of Business website.


Last Chance to Apply for our 2014 PT MBA Program!

July 9th, 2014 by under Admissions Announcements. No Comments.

Did you know that Smith’s Part-Time MBA program only enrolls students in the fall of each year?

We have very few seats remaining in our Evening MBA program at our Shady Grove, Baltimore and Washington, DC campuses for fall 2014 admission. If you would like to earn your MBA at Smith, there is still time to apply, but you need to act quickly or wait until the class entering in the fall of 2015…

Our admission committee will review applications for fall of 2014 that are complete by 11:59PM on Monday, July 28th. If you are taking your GMAT on Saturday July 26th, you can scan a copy of your unofficial score report and email it to us to meet this deadline. (Please note that GRE will not provide you with a printed unofficial score report at the test site. While Smith does not have a preference of tests, you will need to take a GMAT exam if you plan to meet this last opportunity to start this fall).

Please feel free to reach out to our admissions team with any questions by emailing or calling (301) 405-2559.


Announcing the June PT MBA Contest Winner!

July 3rd, 2014 by under Contests. 1 Comment.

The May contest winner is…Travis Covington!

Travis was chosen by the random number generator and he is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD. If you entered the contest in January, February, March, April, May or June, you still have 2 more chances to win. If you haven’t entered yet, you can check out the contest information here and enter today!

How to enter in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Follow us on twitter at @SmithPTMBA
Step 2: Tweet us a message!
Step 3: Leave a comment on any blog post on the PT MBA blog

You must complete all three steps in order to be entered in the contest!


Hanging out at the ballpark with our Newly Admitted PT MBA students!

June 26th, 2014 by under Smith events. 1 Comment.

by Julie Dellinger, Assistant Director, Part-Time MBA Admissions & Social Media

We love hanging out with our newly admitted Part Time MBA students. We also love hot dogs and baseball games… so we really loved this year’s Nationals and Orioles games!

On Tuesday, May 20th we watched the Washington National’s take on the Cincinnati Reds. Then, on Tuesday, June 24th we watched the Baltimore Orioles play the Chicago White Sox. Both games were a great opportunity for admitted students to enjoy watching the game, munching on some ballpark food and chat with other admitted students, current students and Smith staff!

A great big “thank you” to everyone who made it out!

ashley and student


erika and student


Global Studies: Doing Business in Brazil

June 19th, 2014 by under Global Studies Trips. No Comments.

HeadshotBy Ashley Reynolds, MBA Candidate 2014 (Baltimore Campus)  

The short-term study abroad trip to Brazil with Professor Paulo Prochno was the most rewarding experience I’ve had so far during my time at the Smith School. Not only did we get the opportunity to thoroughly understand the complexities involved with doing business in Brazil through our consulting project and company visits but we were able to fully immerse ourselves in Brazilian culture during our time in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janerio.

My team did a consulting project for Bolacha Discos, a start-up Brazilian record label focusing primarily on indie/alternative music. Since the market for this music is very niche, our group determined that it was necessary for the company to expand internationally in order to become a sustainable business.

To serve this purpose, our group developed a United States expansion strategy for Bolacha that included specific methods for gaining the attention of U.S. college radio, determining appropriate promotional tools, recommending festival appearances to reach the target audience, and finding suitable labels, commercial partners, booking agents and venues for the company.

Our group worked rigorously for four months leading up to our presentation which was held at Bolacha’s office in Rio de Janerio. The owners were thrilled with our deliverable as we validated many of their ideas in addition to offering unique, yet executable recommendations. After the meeting, we celebrated with Bolacha over a traditional Brazilian lunch and beers!

Picture 1

Meeting with Bolacha Discos

The company visits were very informative and covered a very broad range of topics; from the Brazilian tax structure to consumer products. We visited the Brazilian Stock Exchange (BMF&BOVESPA) in Sao Paulo and received a presentation on an expatriate’s view of cross-cultural differences between the United States and Brazil. Overall, the variety of company visits ensured that we came away with a thorough understanding of how to do business in Brazil.

Picture 2

BMF&BOVESPA (The Brazilian Stock Exchange)

Additionally, Professor Prochno encouraged us to get the full Brazil experience by engaging in the culture. We visited all the top tourist spots (Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches) but we also took advantage of activities that locals would do!

For example, I sat through a football (soccer) game in the pouring rain, paddle boarded at Copacabana Beach during sunset, ate a chicken heart for the first time (good, but salty and very chewy) and danced to live Samba music. Each of these unique places and adventures contributed to the overall remarkable experience in Brazil.

View of Rio from Christ the Redeemer

View of Rio from Christ the Redeemer

Lastly, by far the most eye-opening experience of the entire trip was my tour through Santa Marta favela with a small group of other Smith Students. Favelas are the slums of Brazil and up until recently were mostly ruled by drug traffickers and dealers. The communities have little to no government support; therefore, most favelas have very poor infrastructure and sanitary conditions. Many are forced to steal their electricity from adjacent neighborhoods and have no trash pickup services.

Knowing this information about favelas, I had no idea what to expect on the tour. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that our extremely friendly tour guide, Sheila, was a resident of Santa Marta. She was open and engaging about the hardships they face economically and socially. For example, in Rio, residents of favelas are very discriminated against and frequently lie about their address just to secure a minimum wage job.

However, despite these difficulties, I was in awe of the passion Sheila felt for Santa Marta and the sense of community within the favela that I observed. Sheila would stop every so often throughout the tour to hug or talk to a neighbor. One of her friends even welcomed us into his home and served us caipirninhas (Brazil’s national cocktail). The entire 2 ½ hours we spent in the favela was a humbling cultural experience that I will never forget and contributed to the overall amazing study abroad experience in Brazil.

Santa Marta favela, Christ the Redeemer in the background

Santa Marta favela, Christ the Redeemer in the background

Ashley Reynolds is a second year part-time MBA student at the Baltimore Campus. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2008 with a degree in Economics. After spending 5 years in the finance sector, Ashley recently made the switch into Marketing and Communications. She currently works for the Department of Defense as a Customer Outreach Advocate, specializing in event management. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, traveling and wine tasting.