Smith Highlights Women Business Leaders by Hosting the “Sass, Class & Compassion Tour”

April 17th, 2014 by under Smith events. No Comments.

Samantha_Samarasinghe_headshotby Samantha Samarasinghe, Baltimore PT MBA first-year student and Track Rep

On March 14th, University of Maryland, Smith School of Business in Baltimore hosted the Sass, Class, and Compassion Tour featuring Mandy Hale and Jaime Jamgochian.

The tour showcased strong business minded women, Mandy and Jaime who spread their message of faith, hope, dignity, positivity, compassion, and self-love to audience members.

Mandy built “The Single Woman” from the ground up after surviving an abusive relationship. As an outlet, she started blogging and created a twitter page, which through word of mouth has amassed millions of followers. She inspires her followers to “never accept less than what you know you deserve: in career, love, and life.” With the help of Kim Kardashian, she landed her first book deal, and thanks to her solid fan base on Twitter, her book sold millions of copies.

In March, Mandy released her second book, “I’ve Never Been to Vegas: But my Luggage Has,” which details her personal story. She empowers women to “Never let someone or something with the significance of a speed bump become a road block in your life.” Since creating The Single Woman, Mandy has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post and has even recognized by Oprah Winfrey.

Jaime Jamgochian is a Christian singer-songwriter. After struggling with self-esteem issues when she was younger, Jaime created “Modest is Hottest.” The message encourages women to “walk and dress with dignity and class.” Ultimately, she would like to see “Modest is Hottest” as an anthem for this generation of teen girls.

Mandy and Jaime promoted a positive mindset and working hard to achieve goals and dreams.







Samantha Samarasinghe grew up in Holmdel, New Jersey. She earned her BS in Environmental and Business Economics from Rutgers University – New Brunswick. In 2011, she relocated to Maryland for her job as a Program Control Analyst at CACI.  She currently works at ACSYES. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, volunteering, and tennis.


Executive Presence & the MBA

April 10th, 2014 by under Leveraging your MBA. 1 Comment.

Ken WhiteBy Ken White, Ph.D., Associate Dean for MBA & MS programs

What image do you project? How do people react when you enter a room or walk down a hallway? Do you possess that intangible quality known as executive presence?

It’s somewhat easy to spot but not so easy to define. Executive Presence is a mix of skills that helps you send the right signals. Among other things, executive presence is the ability to project self-confidence and to make tough decisions. People who exhibit executive presence seem to have everything under control.

For some people, it takes years to develop a positive presence. It sometimes comes with position and age. But who has the time to wait? You need to work on your Executive Presence rather than waiting for it to come to you, especially if you desire a future in leadership.

The Smith School Part Time MBA program provides countless opportunities for you to build your Executive Presence and your personal brand.  As a student here, you will be given chances to shine in class discussions and presentations, at networking events, alumni events, social gatherings, company briefings, mock interviews, interactions with faculty, and the list goes on. Take advantage of the opportunities here.

When doing so, consider the following elements:

People with executive presence are excellent communicators and they value communication. They share information and knowledge as effectively as possible in order to empower others. They are dynamite public speakers. Their writing is excellent. They are active listeners. The key to their success is their audience-centric approach to communication. From a non-verbal standpoint, they move purposefully. They send all the right non-verbal messages.

Those with executive presence look good. Their clothing fits properly. It’s clean and pressed. They look polished. They know what to wear and how to wear it. They take care of their hair, skin, teeth, and nails. It’s not about being flashy. It’s about being professional. They realize they represent others and they take that role seriously.

Executive presence is not an act or a role to play. It all begins with substance. Before tackling any of the elements listed here, you have to know your stuff.  Be the go-to person. Be prepared for class. Participate and lead discussions. Ask questions. Show others that you are prepared and passionate about the MBA program, the Smith School and the University of Maryland.

Poise is a major building block of executive presence. When others are losing their tempers or adopting negative attitudes, those with executive presence are poised.  Be the person who takes a breath in tough situations, weighs the options, and calmly determines the next steps. Your poise is comforting to those around them and it positions you as a leader.

At a recent Graduate Management Admissions Council Leadership Conference, the keynote speaker said there are now over 12,000 business programs in the world, including thousands of MBA programs. The Smith School’s part time and full time MBA programs are ranked among the best one-percent in the world. That’s incredible! Be proud of that. Tell others. Speak up for Smith. When you demonstrate self-confidence and pride in your organization and school, it adds to your presence.

Your executive presence is a major part of your personal brand. In today’s world, a strong personal brand is an extremely important asset. So, building your executive presence is worth the effort.  Take advantage of all the opportunities here and start building your Executive Presence.


Ken White, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for MBA & MS programs at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. In addition to his leadership role there, he teaches communication in the MBA program and to executive clients. Before joining the Smith School, he served as Vice President for Communication & Marketing at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. His doctorate is in Communication from the University of Missouri.


Smith PT MBA Students Volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank

April 3rd, 2014 by under Smith events. 2 Comments.

Shabnam Tehrani Head-shotBy Shabnam Tehrani, a first-year part-time MBA student in the DC campus.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 15th, I gathered with a group of fellow part-time MBA students in a large parking lot in Landover, Maryland.  We were starting our highly anticipated spring break in a wonderful, yet unconventional way: volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank’s Mobile Markets to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need.  A nonprofit organization, the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) provides 27.5 million meals annually to residents struggling with hunger.  The Part-Time MBA Association (PTMBAA) had sponsored the school’s participation in the event and I had the pleasure of organizing it with the help of the rest of the Community Development Committee members.

With this event, the PTMBAA not only had its highest turnout of participants at a community event, but also represented the largest volunteer group that day at the Mobile Markets, which was open to all volunteers in the community.  Indeed, a number of students from each of the three Part-time MBA School campuses and their friends and families participated.

Our initial task as volunteers on that breezy, but sunny morning was to setup the mobile market.  So we rolled up our sleeves and worked together to assemble the tents and tables and carry boxes of produce to the various stations.  We then divided into small groups to provide service and assistance to the mobile markets clientele.  One group of volunteers guided families as they entered the market, another group helped them with the registration process, and various groups distributed fruits and vegetables along with recipes for healthy meals.  We even had a station where volunteers made fresh smoothies (using a bike-powered blender!) and offered them to families as they made their way around the market.

While helping provide food to residents in need and promoting healthy nutrition, volunteers directly interacted with a diverse set of individuals, including fellow students, other volunteers from the community, and clientele that attended the market.  As part-time MBA student Reemberto Rodriguez describes, “It was well worth the early alarm on the first Saturday of our spring break to gather with fellow students to help others in need and promote the CAFB.”

Seeing the grateful and cheerful looks on people’s faces and hearing their positive remarks as we handed out produce and provided them with support made for a truly fulfilling experience.  “This really helps my family eat healthier,” a mother commented.  “Thank you so much for doing this,” she added.  And as two little boys smiled and looked intently at the apples I was dropping in a grocery bag for them, their father commented on how much they like apples.  He then looked at them and laughed while saying, “You two boys seem pretty happy!”  The feeling was mutual, not just for me, but for all the volunteers who contributed part of their time to help a great cause.  Indeed, within a few hours, we had come together and worked as a team to promote healthy nutrition and give out fresh produce to a large number of families in need, making for a rewarding experience for all parties involved.







The PTMBAA Community Development Committee owes special thanks to all the students and their friends and families who volunteered their time at this event.  Student volunteers included Adrian Lee, Timothy Mosher, Kristin Nwakobi, Reemberto Rodriguez, Holly Smith, Jessie Sweet, Shabnam Tehrani, and Patrick Yu.  

Shabnam Tehrani is a first-year part-time MBA student in the DC campus. After obtaining her degree in Finance, she worked at Accenture, first as a Financial Analyst, then a Financial Specialist.  She currently works as an Analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  In her spare time, she enjoys writing, practicing yoga and martial arts, and discovering new places.   


Announcing the March PT MBA Contest Winner!

March 31st, 2014 by under Contests. No Comments.

The February contest winner is… Leni Schimpf!

Leni’s number was chosen by the random number generator and she is the winner of a iPad mini. If you entered the contest in January, February or March, you still have 5 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!


Admitted Students Learned S’more About Smith!

March 27th, 2014 by under Smith events. 1 Comment.

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

When is the last time you toasted a marshmallow?

Well, for some of our newly admitted Part Time MBA students, they made their own s’mores at our Learn S’more About Smith events this month!

We had three marshmallow toasting networking events during the month of March, one at each of our part time campuses. The s’mores events were great opportunities for admitted students to chat with admissions staff and current students.

As an added bonus, our event attendees were able to take home a little treat of Simply S’mores gourmet marshmallows… so that they could continue the fun (and sugar-high) at home!

smores supplies

Plush Puffs

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Baltimore smores event 2014


Career Coaches: Partners on Your Career Journey

March 20th, 2014 by under Leveraging your MBA. 3 Comments.

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

The needs of working professionals differ from that of traditional students. First, you are often balancing a full-time position, family, and other obligations in addition to school. Second, because of your busy schedule, you may not have the opportunity to meet with someone during traditional 9 to 5 work hours.

Good news! We recognize that. At the Smith School of Business, once you are a student you have the benefit of meeting with a career coach who understands your needs and has the flexibility to meet with you in the evening, over the phone, or even on a Skype appointment over lunch. We are dedicated to the Part Time MBA population and are available at all three campuses (Baltimore, Shady Grove, and DC) to help you with your career development needs, whether it is securing a promotion within your current company, making a transition to a new field or function, or obtaining a position in a new company or region.

Not quite sure what to do with your MBA? We are here to help you figure that out as well. If it’s a simple resume or cover letter critique, we are here to fulfill that need too!

Career coaches are an added benefit to your education at the Smith School. We encourage you to take advantage of our services while you are here. Once you are a Smith student, meet with us early and often to determine your career objective and to create a strategic plan to get there. While on your career journey, you can drive as quickly or as slowly as you like. It’s up to you! We look forward to partnering with you to help you get there.


Register Today for the Smith School Business Summit!

March 13th, 2014 by under Smith events. 2 Comments.

Discover ways to jump-start your innovation strategy in 2014 and beyond. Join us for the third annual Smith School Business Summit, presented by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, March 28 at the Marriott North Bethesda.

The Smith School Business Summit will feature a keynote by Dean Alex Triantis, who will be speaking on the topic of decision making under uncertainty. The summit will also feature a series of cutting-edge panels moderated by Smith faculty.

This complimentary afternoon event is a great opportunity to gain knowledge and share new insights about key industry trends and strategies around the topic of innovation in business.

The Smith School Business Summit is hosted by the Office of Career Services.

Innovation: An Essential Building Block for Organizational Prosperity and Survival

Friday, March 28, 2014
2:00 – 7:30 pm
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Rd.
Bethesda, Md. 20852

Free Registration:


Announcing the February PT MBA Contest Winner!

March 6th, 2014 by under Contests. 1 Comment.

The February contest winner is… Drew Roberts!

Drew’s number was chosen by the random number generator and he is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD. If you entered the contest in January or February you still have 6 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!


Announcing a Smith PT MBA Blended Learning Program Option!

February 27th, 2014 by under Admissions Announcements. 1 Comment.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, Smith’s Weekend MBA Program located at our Washington, DC campus will undergo an exciting curricular transformation!

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Classes will take place on alternating Saturdays and incorporate a blended learning component to enhance learning objectives, reinforce instruction topics, and increase flexibility for our students.  Students attending Smith in this format will take part in a Global Study Experience in both January of 2015 and January of 2016 and have the opportunity to complete the entire 54 credit Smith MBA in two years.

To apply for the inaugural Smith Saturday MBA program beginning in the fall of 2014, just choose DC Weekends as your program option when filling out your online application!


Visiting South Africa: An Eye Opening Experience

February 20th, 2014 by under Global Studies Trips. No Comments.

Patrick StandingBy Trey Standing, 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).