Nov 202014
 

Meaghan MurrayBy Meaghan Murray, PT MBA student in the DC Weekend program

Hello everyone!  I wanted to reach out to the community with some thoughts about the weekend MBA option.  I am currently a student in the Saturday cohort at Smith School of Business at University of Maryland.  I had originally planned on doing the evening program because it was the only schedule I’d ever heard about from friends already enrolled in MBA programs around the country.

During the application process I attended as many information sessions as I could so I could make a well-informed decision about where to earn my MBA.  At one of these sessions I met a second year student who did his first year in the Weekend MBA program; as he described the benefits of the program, I realized it fit perfectly with my life and I instantly discarded the idea of doing week day classes.  It is really SUCH a good deal and I’ll tell you why!

Now, as a student, I never have to rush to DC from work or deal with work week traffic, I can determine my weeknight schedule and when to study, I only have one day of class per week instead of two, I get to bed at a reasonable hour before early morning meetings (not possible for 40% of the work week doing the weeknight option), and I get all of this with the exact same professors and quality instruction!  Another important point is that, in addition to students with families, Saturday classes attract folks that have busy work weeks that may include after-hours functions and networking events.  For week days that after-hours events are not occurring, weekend students still have the option of taking classes on a week night if a conflict comes up on a Saturday.  The professors are INCREDIBLY accommodating of packed schedules and understand we are busy people who have to make hard choices.

One of the criticisms of the weekend program is that people don’t want to lose their weekends… which I find really silly frankly.  To the contrary, we have students who are single and others who have families that prefer this schedule… not to mention the weeknight students will have to study on weekends anyway so they may as well get course credit while they’re at it!  Classes start at 8:40 am which allows me to sleep in until 7:45 if I want and still enjoy ample time to get to class.  Bottom line: the weekend option for a part-time MBA offers the best of all worlds and I personally would choose the weekend option ten times out of ten.

One last thought is that Smith is the only school in the DC area that offers such a convenient option!  This is a hugely distinguishing characteristic that sets Smith apart from its competitors and is a significant point I personally used to make my decision.  Fortunately, there is room for growth still in the Weekend MBA at Smith so if you know someone interested in the program, share this information with them!  It may help them as much as it helped me!

Good luck!

Meaghan Murray was born in Laguna Hills, CA where she lived until graduating from Laguna Hills High School in 2004. She moved to Annapolis, MD to attend the United States Naval Academy where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics and a commission in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. Meaghan moved to San Diego, CA to serve two tours on warships at the head of an Engineering division on USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52) and later the Combat Systems Department on USS SAN DIEGO (LPD 22). Her qualifications include the Surface Warfare Officer pin, two Officer of the Deck letters, two Combat Information Center Watch Officer letters and Gas Turbine Engineering Officer of the Watch. Her significant operational activities include humanitarian assistance in Haiti and missions with the Chilean, Peruvian, Argentinean and Russian navies. Now, Meaghan works for United States Cyber Command as a Cyber Planner. Her interests include current events, politics, running, Notre Dame football and exploring Washington DC.

(This article was originally posted on December 12, 2013)

 

Nov 132014
 

Geremy BassBy Geremy Bass, Baltimore PT MBA graduate

I left Smith’s PT MBA program with a shiny new degree, a great strategic consulting job with a large, national firm, some very close friends who attended my wedding one week after graduation, and several strong relationships with professors and faculty. I feel smarter at work, more well-rounded at home, and am proud to have put in the significant effort required to successfully complete the program. Though everyone’s experience is different, I can only hope that most students share in my sentiment. If not, they should take a long look at their approach, because the problem likely stems more from themselves than from the program itself.

So with that, I’ll leave you with 10 crucial tips I gathered from my 26 months in the Smith program:

  1. Get to know professors – these relationships will prove to be extremely valuable both during the courses and after graduation.
  2. Be honest with groupmates – it’s perfectly fine if a classmate can’t contribute much, but he needs to make that clear from the get-go.
  3. Embrace change – it will continue to happen well after students leave the program.
  4. Go to the gym before class – there’s a nice gym in the BioPark building that’s free for students, and that extra energy can be essential for case discussions that push up until 10 p.m.
  5. Volunteer to present in group projects – people will get to know students’ personalities, talents, and abilities if they are visible.
  6. Take weekend classes in DC – knocking out a few credits in a handful of class sessions is worth it every time.
  7. Consider taking classes over the summer and winter breaks – maintaining a consistent schedule keeps students in the same mindset, and less break time translates into graduating faster.
  8. Attend as many social events as possible or arrange your own – even with hectic schedules, networking with classmates over beers is often the most valuable use of time (my core group went to Camden Pub at least once every two weeks).
  9. Engage guest speakers after they present – businesspeople who come to share their knowledge with classes are usually good networkers by default, and getting their contact information and a putting a face in their heads can only be positive.
  10. Reach out to alumni and take advantage of all we know – whether it’s professors, logistics, or job contacts, we are current students’ best resource.

I hope these tips were helpful and the Smith experience is as positive as mine was!

Geremy Bass is a Washington, D.C. native who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland before finishing his Masters of Business Administration from the Smith School of Business in 2013. His extensive background in marketing, strategy and business led him into his current role as a strategic planning and management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Geremy is an outdoorsman, music aficionado, avid hockey fan, fitness enthusiast and Renaissance man who resides in Baltimore and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

 {This article was originally posted on the PT MBA blog on 2/64}

Nov 062014
 

Winstonn Tubbsby Winstonn M. Tubbs, PT MBA Candidate, December 2014

The journey to my internship at Marriott International this past summer started the day I stepped foot on campus in the Fall of 2012. The journey was untraditional but seems to be more common among MBA candidates these days. I started my career by supporting my brother’s boutique digital marketing firm, Digital 21. It was a valuable experience and I could see myself working in the digital space long term. I was forced to wear many hats, which comes with the territory at any small business. I then took an unexpected detour and joined, BB&T. Once I completed the company’s competitive Leadership Development Program I was placed in to the field as a Business Deposit Specialist where I managed the performance of commercial deposit products. I was wedged between several lines of business and was able to learn from some very experience professionals.

After four years of challenging and humbling work it was time to transition in to my true passions, Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. I knew that an MBA could help me accomplish that goal. The Robert H. Smith School of Business provided a strong network and curriculum that would help reinforce my skill set and expand my knowledge. However, I discovered early on that a career change required more than a strong skill set. Employers want to see that you have direct experience in that field and previous accomplishments. I would eventually leave my job in business development and advising jobs to create an LLC and provide freelance consulting work while I pursued summer internships for the Summer of 2014. Marriott has always been one of my favorite brands with in the Travel and Lodging industry. Companies in the industry face so many unique challenges and I wanted to solve them (help provide solutions). I spent over a year networking and was fortunate to receive an offer from Marriott to work in their eCommerce and Global Distribution Strategy groups and support a Global Proof of Concept that would launch later that summer with a purpose of shifting customer behavior to book through direct eChannels.

From my first day I was treated as just another member of the team. To begin I read through stacks of PowerPoint decks and sat through several meetings in order to get up to date on the project. Once I was up to speed I spent the summer wearing many hats again to help ensure the project stayed on schedule. My work ranged from analyzing booking and online display data then sharing my findings and recommendations, producing an animated video, designing surveys, developing training material, and acting as a liaison between several stakeholders.

In addition to the work, I was able gain exposure to several departments. I used each opportunity to meet and learn from people in digital marketing, marketing analysis, consumer inisghts, revenue management, project management, and internal consulting. I was able to learn their responsibilities and understand how they fit in the organization. I was also able to gain great insight in to their function and the overall industry from their perspective.

Throughout the internship I was about to forge great relationships that I knew would last well beyond the term of the internship. I am schedule to graduate December 2014. As I continue my job search, Marriott will definitely be at the top of my list. I hope I am at the top of theirs as well.

 

Winstonn Tubbs is specializing in Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship and is currently pursuing a global career in strategic management and digital marketing. In addition, he is  exploring new venture opportunities. Winstonn also serves as the Vice President of Marketing Communications for the Part-Time MBA Association he is focused on improving both content and delivery of PTMBAA marketing communications. In his free time, Winstonn enjoys playing basketball, traveling the world and pretending to be music and movie critic.

Oct 302014
 

TestudoIt’s the dawn of a new era for Maryland athletics and Testudo will no longer try to out-cheer the familiar Blue Devil or Cavalier.

With Maryland’s move to the Big Ten, he — and the rest of us — should get familiar with a whole new slate of fellow mascots, nicknames and history. So while we won’t be bumping chests on the court or leading the football team onto the field, it’s best to know whom exactly we’re rooting against this fall!

Here’s a guide to our new rivals:

block-i

Illinois
Known as the home of the Fighting Illini, the school retired its mascot, Chief Illiniwek, several years ago and is known mostly by its striking orange “I” on a blue background.

 

Football vs. Bowling Green State University, 09/14/13_Mike Dickbernd

Indiana
This school doesn’t have an official mascot besides its team name, “Hoosiers.” Don’t know what that is? Us either. The term refers to a nickname of uncertain origin for the state’s residents.

 

Iowa - square

Iowa
The Hawkeyes nickname is traced back to “The Last of the Mohicans,” and the school’s athletic events are roamed by mascot Herky the Hawk. The black and gold bird was hatched in the 1940s by a journalism instructor.

 

Michigan

Michigan
Theories abound for how the Wolverines got their long-held nickname, but an attempt in the 1920s to bring real-life versions into the football stadium was quickly abandoned. The school does have its well-known winged helmets and block M design.

 

Michigan State - square

Michigan State
A newspaper editor took it upon himself 78 years ago to call this school the Spartans when he disliked the other entries in a contest. Since then, the armored, puffed-up mascot named Sparty flexes his teams on.

 

Minnesota - square

Minnesota
The Golden Gophers’ name combines the state’s official animal and the color of a championship team’s football jerseys. They are represented by smiling, buck-toothed Goldy.

 

Nebraska - square

Nebraska
The Cornhuskers also earned their name from a newspaper writer, once he decided Bugeaters had run its course at the turn of the century. Herbie the Husker has been an official symbol of the school since the 1970s.

 

Northwestern University Football against Vanderbilt September 8, 2012  in Evanston, ILL.

Northwestern
This school has gone from the Purple and the Fighting Methodists to the Wildcats, cribbing the name from an article that described the spirit of the football team in the 1920s. Willie the Wildcat was originally a much less huggable bear cub.

 

Ohio State - square

Ohio State
Like Indiana, the Buckeyes moniker is derived from a nickname for Ohio residents, but this school has an anthropomorphic version. Brutus the Buckeye is one of the country’s most well-known mascots.

 

Penn State - square

Penn State
The Nittany Lions nickname was born on a baseball trip when a student wanted to one-up the Princeton Tigers. The mountain lion, which once made a home in Pennsylvania, is the costumed symbol for the school.

 

Purdue - square

Purdue
Purdue Pete, complete with spike hammer, is the human representative of the Boilermakers, but the school’s official mascot is actually a replica train honoring its engineering and farming heritage.

 

RUTGERS ATHLETICS: MBB: Rutgers v. Caldwell

Rutgers
Teams at Rutgers, the other new kid on the Big Ten block, were once symbolized by a fighting rooster called the Chanticleer, but became the Scarlet Knights in the 1950s.

 

Bucky Badger

Wisconsin
Located in the Badger state, the school adopted the animal mascot even though the name was meant to describe how miners lived in the winter. The original live badger, which occasionally needed to be tackled as well, was replaced long ago by Bucky Badger.

 

Source: Between the Columns (btc) newsletter, September 2014

Oct 232014
 

Patrick StandingBy Trey Standing, PT MBA Candidate Spring ‘14

I just returned from my MBA Study Abroad Course in South Africa and it was a great opportunity to meet with many companies from various industries as well as experience the diversity the country has to offer.

In total we met with seven different companies from two main business areas of the country: Johannesburg and Cape Town.  In Cape Town we met Olgivy & Mather, a marketing firm; SACD Freight and Maersk/ Damco, companies involved in shipping/freight; and Metrorail, the state-owned commuter rail service.  In Johannesburg we had the opportunity to meet with officials from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and leaders from a local pharmaceutical company called Glenmark.  Our last company visit was with the Chief Economist from FNB Bank, Sizwe Nxediana, who gave a very insightful presentation on the economic history of South Africa.  Every company we met had its various challenges but one main theme that stuck with most of the companies was dealing with the vast diversity that exists in the country.

In South Africa there are 11 official languages and about 80% of South Africans are of black African ancestry, from which 9 of the 11 official languages are derived from various sub-ethnic groups (the other 2 are English and Afrikaans).  There is also great class diversity.  Though there is a rising middle class in South Africa, one cannot help notice the immense poverty that exists in the country.  From the many beggars on the streets of Cape Town to the townships and “ghost city” of downtown Johannesburg, it is a sight that one cannot be prepared for until you actually experience it.  There is also plenty of wealth in South Africa, as witnessed in Sandton City, and it was interesting to watch both classes exist on the same streets.  With class struggles there are also lingering effects of racism from apartheid.  Though you see improvements of integration throughout the country, there are subtleties one can catch while eating dinner, walking the streets, or drinking at a local bar that give a glimmer of the issues that still exist.

It was great to have a chance to meet so many companies and experience a new culture but I can’t forget to mention the fun stuff!  South Africa is full of fun activities for all types of tourists: safaris, vineyard tours, beautiful beaches, landmarks, great hiking, whale watching, and excellent food and drink (especially with the exchange rate), but my personal favorite was shark diving with Great Whites.  If you ever go to South Africa be open, be hungry, and enjoy all it has to offer.

Trey Standing - Africa pic

Not Trey, but another tourist enjoying being on top of Cape Town from Table Mountain.

Trey Standing grew up in Virginia Beach, VA.  Before moving to Baltimore to pursue his MBA, Trey worked for Ferguson Enterprises for 8 years holding positions in sales, training, & operations management where he worked in Chicago and Richmond, Va.  In his spare time Trey enjoys being with his wife and two young daughters.  And is in his spare, spare time he enjoys anything outdoors, particularly biking, swimming, and surfing (when he can get to a beach).

(This post first appeared on the PT MBA blog on 2/20/2014)

Oct 092014
 

GMAC pic

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) recently released their 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report. This report contains the summary of findings from the 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey conducted in February and March of 2014. GMAC conducts the Corporate Recruiters Survey in conjunction with EFMD and the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA)

Here are some of the findings from this year’s report:

Hiring Demand Up for Business Graduates
Employer demand for graduate business students across all candidate types is on the rise this year, both globally and by world region. More companies report plans to hire recent business school graduates in 2014 compared with actual hiring in 2013. Four in five (80%) companies plan to hire MBAs, up from 73% in 2013.

Employer Hiring Trends Mirror Growth and Productivity Goals
In 2014, as economic conditions worldwide have recovered, more companies are increasingly focused on improved performance and productivity and hiring business graduates to sustain and strengthen their goals. Regional hiring trends mirror organizational goals.

Communication Skills Top Sought-After Proficiencies in New Hires
New this year, employers were asked to evaluate not only which skill sets are most important when considering job candidates to hire, but the level of skill proficiency they require for placing candidates in a mid-level job.

  • Employers seek recent graduates who are highly proficient in communication skills, specifically oral communication, followed by listening and writing skills.
  • On average, employers ranked communications skills twice as important as managerial skills.

If you are interested in more findings from the 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, you can access the full report here.

Source: 2014 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Oct 022014
 

Julie teaching session

Are you starting to research MBA programs in the area? Are you getting confused on which school is which? Are you totally unsure of which school’s evening or weekend program is the best fit for your life?

Sign up today for one of our Part Time MBA Information Sessions!

Our Part Time MBA Information sessions offer prospective students an overview of our evening and weekend MBA programs. Our sessions are available at all three of our Part Time campuses: the University of Maryland Biopark in Baltimore, the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, and the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. It’s a great chance to learn about our program, our application process and also see the campus that you are interested in attending.

Click here to register for an upcoming Information Session!

Sep 252014
 

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

When was the last time you had an interview? If your next employer called, would you be ready? If you had an opportunity for a promotion at work, would you have a strong updated resume readily available? If you ran into a corporate executive at your target company, would you know what to say?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” there’s a chance that some bad luck might be headed your way. Opportunities come around all the time, but we have to 1) recognize them and 2) be prepared for them in order to create the luck we want – Good Luck!

Good luck is not something that’s out of reach or reserved for a special few. It’s something we all can take advantage of if we follow a simple formula.

Good luck = Opportunity + Preparation*

At Smith, there are many opportunities that you can leverage to build your skills, fill in gaps on your resume, gain global experience, and meet key people. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, you must first be aware of them.

Once you begin your course of study, be sure to check your Smith email for important messages. Read the weekly MBA Career Terp Talk to learn about upcoming events, open positions, visiting employers, and advice that will place you on the path to career success. Check out the plasma screens on campus. Develop relationships with your classmates, professors, and Smith staff. Interact with your track reps, or better yet, become one! Be aware of opportunities outside of Smith as well. Maintaining your network, reading business journals, and joining professional associations are just a few ways of doing that.

Be prepared for opportunities by meeting with your career coach to learn how to create an effective results-oriented resume, receive a mock interview, or practice your pitch. Let us help you learn how to network effectively, research your area of interest, contact alumni, or build your own personal board of advisors who can provide you with industry insight and information. With proper preparation, you can even create your own opportunities and tap into the hidden market of opportunities not publicized or even created yet!

So, are you prepared?

 

* The formula is a variation of an original quote attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca (ca. 4 BC to AD 65).

Sep 182014
 

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

While it is likely too late to start in an MBA program in the fall of 2014, it’s not too early to consider your application for the fall of 2015. Most MBA programs open their applications for fall 2015 in early September. 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 (part in class, part online), 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.