Oct 082015

whitehouse - women in business initiative post

A delegate from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business recently visited the White House for meetings aligned with the school’s 50/50 by 2020 campaign launched in spring 2015.

The White House event, focused on best practices for business schools to expand women’s opportunities, brought together business leaders and representatives from several schools. Other participants came from the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

“Drawing more women into the pipelines of business schools can change our companies and get more women into higher levels in our firms,” said Smith School Vice Dean Joyce E.A. Russell, who attended the White House event. “With more women in C-level positions and on boards, our firms will truly be representative of the U.S. population.”

In February 2015, the Smith School announced its commitment to close the MBA gender enrollment gap within five years. While women have closed the enrollment gap in higher education overall, they continue to lag at business schools. AACSB statistics show that about one-third of MBA students are women.

“The White House commitment to best practices is perfectly aligned with the Smith School’s 50/50 by 2020 pledge,” Russell said. “Working together, we will deliver results.”

A White House issue brief says women have become more equal players in the U.S. labor market, but they remain less represented in business careers. In 2014 just 5 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies were female, and in 2013 just 17 percent of Fortune 500 board seats were held by women.

“Girls need to take more business classes in high school and see examples of successful women in business,” Russell said. “They need to be encouraged to take math courses and other quantitative courses, which can help them in business careers.”

Russell and business school leaders from the likes of the Wharton School, Booth School of Business and Yale School of Management signed a White House commitment to implement best practices in four key areas:

  • Ensuring access to business schools and business careers.
  • Building a business school experience that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow.
  • Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students.
  • Exemplifying how organizations should be run.

As part of Smith’s efforts to close the gender enrollment gap, the school also has partnered with the Forté Foundation, a nonprofit consortium supporting women in their business careers. Other Smith School initiatives involve the annual Women’s Week in March. This year’s events included an executive roundtable, where women students networked and learned about topics such as salary negotiation, work-life balance, and finance careers. The week culminated with the annual Women Leading Women, featuring Smith School alumnus Andrea Brody ’87, senior vice president of global marketing at BravoSolution.

Smith also has expanded its portfolio of MBA programs to include full-time, part-time evening, part-time blended, part-time weekend, online MBA, and Executive MBA. The numerous programming options allows aspiring business leaders to have more flexibility in managing their school and personal lives.

The Smith School further administers programs for prospective women applicants addressing career issues, GMAT test taking and admissions issues. “We want applicants to know that the Smith academic community is challenging, yet also collaborative,” Russell said. “We are family.”

This article first appeared on the Robert H. Smith School of Business news page on August 5, 2015.

Oct 012015

Megan AllumsBy Megan Allums,  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 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.

This post was first published on 3/19/15.

Sep 242015

By Edward Lavino, Ed.D, Director of Admissions, Part-Time MBA Programs

Now that fall is here, it’s a great time to start preparing your application for next year’s MBA program! Here are five things you should be doing to prepare.

1. Know your professional goals. What do you want to achieve with your MBA? Why is now the right time? Which schools have the best resources to get you where you want to go? Consider the experience you already bring to the table, a school’s resources, and where the graduates of that program have recently gone to combine your strengths with the school’s strengths to meet your objective.

2. Research your options. What sort of student experience do you want: full time, part time, online, executive format, an in-class experience, blended, etc. Know that there are many options out there and these terms may mean different things at different schools. No format is right for everyone and each format has its benefits and challenges.

3. Test Preparation: Will you take the GMAT or the GRE? Many schools accept either exam. Some don’t require an exam. If your target schools accept either exam, put your best foot forward by taking the exam your practice test scores are the highest in.

4. Select a deadline and treat it like a work project. Don’t sit up until 3AM the night the application is due to finalize it. Set firm dates to have sections complete and review your full application before submission. You will be less likely to include mistakes and/or omissions on your application if you are awake and focused when you hit “submit”. There could be scholarship money available at earlier deadlines, so pay attention to each school’s application cycle.

5. Consider your recommender: You are hand selecting someone to speak on your behalf to the admissions committee about you. You need to trust that they are going to represent you well. Prepare them. Invite your recommender to coffee and give them a copy of your resume. Remind them of important projects that you have completed that are great examples of your strengths and encourage them to mention those projects on your recommendation. Concrete examples always help make stronger recommendations. And make sure you let them know what deadline you are targeting.

This article was originally posted on the PT MBA blog on September 18, 2014.

Sep 172015

Going to graduate business school is an important step toward advancing your professional career and most business schools require the GMAT exam as an important part of the application.  Realizing you may have questions about your personal road map to success, Smith invites you to attend one of our introductory GMAT workshops.

This interactive workshop is designed to help alleviate reservations you may have with understanding the GMAT exam and its components. A professional representative from The Princeton Review will familiarize you with the main sections of the GMAT exam, review its delivery format, test your knowledge with sample questions and provide you with some tips. In addition, your host from the Smith MBA & MS Admissions office will help you understand the qualities that are generally sought after in a graduate business applicant.

Shady Grove campus
Tuesday, October 6th
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Register here: http://go.umd.edu/46z

Baltimore campus
Tuesday, November 3rd
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Register here: http://go.umd.edu/46r

As a thank you for attending, you will receive a Smith MBA & MS Admissions application fee waiver. This event is free and space is limited, so please register early!

Sep 102015

You probably already know that our Part Time Admissions Team gives information sessions at each of our campuses throughout the year (check them out here). However, did you know that we also have an online version?

That’s right! If you are unable to attend an in-person session — or if you’d just like a refresher — you can view our full information session any time you’d like!

Sep 032015

Kindle Fire pic

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of August. This month’s winner is… Andrew King! Andrews’s number was chosen by the random number generator and he is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD6.

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest that ran from January to August. Here is our complete list of contest winners for 2015:

January: Sara Galli
February: Samantha Houtz
March: Zoya Awan
April: Vincent Bonasso
May: James Tvrdy
June: Ellen Berlinghof
July: Aaron Tinch
August: Andrew King

Congrats everyone!

Aug 272015

Improvise image

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business welcomed its new Part Time MBA students with a challenge to “do more with less” — through improvisation.

The test: team-improvise a catapult against the clock from a limited supply of office materials including binders, paperclips, rubber bands and No. 2 pencils. A shootout for the farthest shot followed, as the teams competed during Smith’s Part-Time MBA Program orientation on Aug. 15-16, 2015 in the Van Munching Hall atrium.

The contest’s real value, though, was “the challenge to each participant’s mental agility, resilience, ease with ambiguity and the ability to overcome mental blocks of creative problem solving — all qualities of effective business leaders who need to be adept at improvisation as well as planning,” said management professor Oliver Schlake, who devised and directed the activity.

Both orientation days further delivered logistical information about the program and opportunities to network with returning students. Women comprise 46 percent of the incoming, 205-member class. The students’ median age is 29 with an average of five years of post-graduate work experience. Ten percent of them have military backgrounds.

Schlake and faculty colleague Joe Bailey separately engaged the students – about 100 each day — in “mini-mastery” classes. Bailey led “systems thinking” sessions. Schlake opened his activities with a presentation that introduced students “to the art of improvisation” in business.

The mini-mastery concept is a staple in Smith’s EMBA program and debuted in the 2015 Part-Time MBA orientation to give the students “more of a taste of curricular experiences and challenges ahead,” said Brian Bartholamay, associate director of Smith’s Master’s Program office in Washington, D.C., and one of the orientation’s organizers.

Smith leaders including Dean Alex Triantis and Vice Dean Joyce Russell welcomed the students making up cohorts who will study through Smith’s Shady Grove, Washington D.C., and Baltimore centers.


This post first appeared on the Smith school website on August 25, 2015.

Aug 202015

Are you planning to apply to Smith’s Part-Time MBA program this year?

Here are our upcoming deadlines:
November 30, 2015
February 1, 2016*
April 4, 2016
May 30, 2016

Applicants typically receive their decision within 30 days of the deadline. For more information, visit our website.

Also, don’t forget to attend one of our Part-Time MBA Information Sessions before you apply to learn about our program and the application process!


*Priority deadline to be considered for Part-Time MBA Scholarships

Aug 132015

We are so excited to welcome our new Part-Time MBA students into our program! Orientation is this weekend and everyone from our Masters Programs Office is ready to meet our new class.

Incoming Class Profile
Class Size: 205
Average Student Age: 29
46% Women
31% Diversity
10% Military
Average Years Post-University Work Experience: 5

Are you interested in our Part Time MBA program? Stop by an upcoming information session to learn all about our part time options!

Aug 062015

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of July. This month’s winner is…Aaron Tinch!

Aaron’s number was chosen by the random number generator and he is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD6. If you entered the contest in July, you still have 1 more chance to win.

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.