Aug 272015

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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.

Jul 302015

Alumni Blog_Adrian_Lee_AmazonBy Adrian Lee, DC Part-time MBA Tues/Thurs Program – Graduated: May 2014

Four years ago this fall, I was in your shoes, preparing to head back to school part-time and questioning whether I would be able to balance work, school, and life as well as whether the Smith MBA was the right place. If you asked me then, where I hoped to be after graduation, I would have probably said DC or Dallas (close to family) and probably named off a large consulting firm or bank. However, today, I’m cross country, working for Amazon, and living in a city (Seattle), I had never thought I would live. It’s been almost six months and its still feels a bit surreal, but overall it’s amazing and has been quite a whirlwind.

Reflecting back as I write this, I am so thankful for my time at Smith, the friends and connections I made, the professors and staff, and the in-class and extra-curricular experiences I had. I know for if it wasn’t for Smith and the experiences I took advantage of and leveraged, I would not be at Amazon. It wasn’t just the program coursework, it was the accumulation of many experiences, which I hope you all will take advantage of as well.

As you know, the coursework and the program itself offers a robust foundation to accounting, finance, marketing, supply chain, and whatever path you chose. From my 54 credits, the most important lesson I learned came from my Creativity for Business Leaders class and it actually wasn’t directly related to creativity. Rather it was the idea of getting uncomfortable and doing one thing that scared you. Thanks to this lesson, I took classes that challenged or scared me even up to my last semester, I ran for Part-Time MBA President, and also when moving across country and taking a position with Amazon presented itself, I replied “hey why not”.

I also can’t emphasis enough how much I gained from the extracurricular activities and network. It actually was one of these events that was the beginning of my journey to Amazon. Back last fall, I attended the Women MBA Conference in DC. I had looked at the list of employers and was really not interested in many on the list, however I decided to attend because it would at least be good practice and also because I wanted to see some of my co-hort mates. Amazon wasn’t on the brochure, but they ended up being there and I decided I might as well visit and chat with them. Ultimately, I ended up speaking with a finance manager, who ended up bringing me onto her team two months later. Exhibiting that you really never know what could happen.

Since then, my life in Seattle has had its ups and downs, but primarily up. Amazon is definitely a challenging and fast moving environment. The teams are very much interconnected, so you get a lot of diversity in work tasks, and a lot of ownership due to the fast-moving nature of the business. Within a month, I was looked on to make on-the-spot decisions and lead initiatives. The environment is also quite bizarre, yes dogs do roam the halls, managers wear sweatshirts and shorts to work, and people speak quite candidly. In some ways, it feels like an extension of my MBA, (+dogs) as there is still much to learn.

Good luck to you all and I hope you leverage and create as many opportunities as possible to make the most of your time at Smith. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.


Adrian Lee is a spring 2014 graduate of the part-time MBA program. During her time at Smith, she was part of the Smith SWAGers (aka the Tues/Thurs DC cohort), served as the President of the Part-Time MBA, and had the chance to travel to Brazil and South Africa as part of Smith’s short-term study abroad programs. She spent nine years in DC after college working for various consulting firms before moving to Seattle to take a position with Amazon. She currently works as a financial analyst in Amazon’s transportation division. In her spare time, she is enjoying exploring her new city, making new friends, sailing, and hiking in the PNW.


Jul 232015

Julie Neill headshotBy Julie Neill, Assistant Director, PT MBA Career Consultant

Is advancing your career one of the main reasons you want to get an MBA? If so, then you’re not alone as this holds true for the vast majority of our part-time students. While our faculty will teach you the skills and knowledge required to do that senior level job, our career coaches will teach you everything you need to know on how to land that job!

Part of the value proposition of the Smith MBA is undoubtedly the career-related assistance provided by its Office of Career Services, fondly referred to as “OCS”. While OCS serves all student populations at Smith, it boasts four career coaches dedicated to specifically serving our Part-Time MBA students with a presence at each of our campuses in Baltimore, DC and Shady Grove.

OCS coaches assist students with a myriad of career-related issues including making a career transition, positioning yourself for an internal promotion, job search strategies, resume writing and interviewing. As long as it’s career-related, our coaches are here to assist you! Moreover, we offer appointments during times that are convenient for you, e.g. during the evening right before class, and we provide coaching remotely via phone, Skype and Google hangout in case you can’t make it to campus. We recognize the significant challenges of balancing work, life and school.

In addition to coaching, OCS organizes career-related programming and networking events throughout the year because we know that it’s not just what you know, but who you know that counts! This past year, we greatly expanded our programming for part-time students including hosting our first ever career fair specifically for working professionals, a networking night in DC in which over 100 students and alumni attended and most recently, a hugely successful MBA Career Boot Camp.

The MBA Career Boot Camp was a day-long event which featured workshops in the morning that focused on topics related to making a career transition and accelerating your career followed by lunch and a keynote speaker from one of our corporate partners, Gallup. During the afternoon, students had the option of choosing to sit in on one of four functional alumni panels – finance, marketing, consulting and human capital. Each panel was moderated by one of our faculty members and then followed by a mini-case competition in which students worked in teams on a related case. Each team then gave a short presentation to our panel of alumni judges. Given the success of the event, you can be sure it will be repeated in the coming year!

OCS boot camp pic

One of the biggest events OCS hosts each year is our Smith School Business Summit. This signature event aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry by bringing together business leaders and professionals from throughout the region with our students, alumni and faculty to discuss cutting-edge issues facing the business community. This year’s summit will be held in Baltimore on November 13th and aims to be our largest summit yet with the goal of close to 800 participants.

Julie Neill is an award-winning career services professional with a diverse background including over 14 years of experience working in higher education, government and the nonprofit sector in the US and overseas.  Julie’s work has been recognized by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) for innovation in career services, and in 2010, she was awarded a Fulbright Award to Germany for higher education administrators.  Julie currently coaches part-time MBA students at the Shady Grove campus.

Jul 162015

By Monica Bautista, DC Weekend MBA Program & 2014 Forté Fellow

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with excited and driven women MBA candidates at the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference. Attendees ranged in age and experience, and came from many different places including Canada, California, and China. The theme for this year’s conference was Let’s Power Up! Fast Forward your Career with Strength and Character.

The weekend started with a quick welcome session followed by a networking reception for Forté Fellows where new classmates got to meet, and old friends were able to reconnect. The next morning a lively and energetic speaker, Cindy Solomon, welcomed us to the Leadership Conference and inspired attendees with her wisdom and humor. She encouraged us to find and develop our courage, confidence, power, and potential. Cindy recommended that women take time each week to sit and think about their accomplishments and strengths, and how to articulate them to people they meet. She motivated us to use our networks and to create strong relationships with mentors and sponsors in our lives. Finally, she noted that women should take action in spite of their fear, go after what they want, and recognize that they’re already great.

Later in the day concurrent sessions allowed attendees to learn about different industries such as Finance and Marketing, discuss changing career paths, and get advice from women leaders working at companies such as Whirlpool, Chevron, AT&T, Exxon Mobil, and Walmart. Some helpful advice from day one included:

  • Take advantage of all the resources in the Office of Career Services
  • Look at the Vault Guides to research industries and companies
  • Stay true to yourself when making your next career decision
  • Build and maintain relationships
  • Lead authentically

At the end of day one, attendees had the chance to show off their new and improved confidence and networking skills at a career fair with over 20 different companies. Two quick tips for your next career fair: leave your most wanted company for last so you can practice with others, pick one thing that interests you most about each company you plan to talk to.

The final day of the conference was more focused on finding the right career path, and developing the skills needed to have a successful career. Sessions included topics such as communication strategies, negotiation, working globally, leadership presence, entrepreneurship, time management, working with men, and getting ahead in the corporate world. Helpful advice from day two included:

  • Develop your expertise, a core set of skills that define you, know your competencies, and cultivate your brand
  • Be quick on your toes, prepared for anything, and ready to say yes to opportunities
  • Meet people at firms you want to apply to and show your interest in the firm
  • Men are people too, take gender out of it and use open ended questions to find common ground

The conference ended with a panel of women who shared how they used their education, experience, and corporate jobs to do good in the world. From this panel we learned that it’s ok to change what your passion is and it’s normal to give up on a dream and go towards something else that you’re drawn to. Jane Mosbacher Morris of To the Market, suggested a simple exercise to develop your goals: write your bio set five years in the future, what goals do you need to accomplish to make it come true?

Check out some of the goals, dreams, and ambitions of conference attendees in Forté’s video from the conference.





Monica Bautista 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 Analyst in the Bureau for Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development. Prior to her current role with USAID, Monica served as a Graduate Fellow in the Office of Senator Richard Durbin, and at the Health Resources and Services Administration. In her free time, Monica volunteers with HIPS as a Mobile Health Outreach Volunteer. Monica chose Smith because of the wonderful people, the ability to tailor the curriculum to her needs, and the convenient schedule and location. Monica appreciates the welcoming atmosphere created by Smith faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as the opportunity to learn from talented professors, and impressive classmates.

Jul 092015

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 Monday, June 15th we watched the Baltimore Orioles take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Then, on Wednesday, June 24th we watched the Washington National’s play the Atlanta Braves. 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!

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Jul 022015

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of June. This month’s winner is…Ellen Berlinghof!

Ellen’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 June, you still have 2 more chances to win.

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.

Jun 252015

Kindle Fire pic


Do you want to win a Kindle Fire HD6?

Well, you still have a couple chances to be a winner. We’ve given away a Kindle Fire HD6 every month since January and still have THREE more to give away for June, July and 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!)

You MUST do all three steps to enter the contest… so start your clicking now!

Good luck!


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