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.

Sep 112014
 

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

Here are our upcoming deadlines:
December 1, 2014
February 2, 2015*
April 13, 2015
June 1, 2015

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

 

Sep 022014
 

The August contest winner is…. Nathan Swayne!

Nathan’s number was chosen by the random number generator and he is the winner of a Kindle Fire HD!

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

January: Robert Santos
February: Drew Roberts
March: Leni Schimpf
April: Megan Allums
May: Jessica Gershuny
June: Travis Covington
July: Lisa Davies
August: Nathan Swayne

Congrats everyone!

Aug 282014
 

We are pleased to announce that overall about 45 percent of the 160 students who started evening or weekend programs this month at our DC campus are women — far above the industry average of 30 to 35 percent.

“We mean what we say when we tell people that we want more women in our programs,” said Smith Vice Dean Joyce E.A. Russell, who leads a committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni focused on gender issues. “If we want to impact companies and have more women reach those higher levels in organizations, then we need to help more women have successful experiences in business schools.”

One new option available in fall 2014 is a blended format for weekend students that combines traditional face-to-face delivery with interactive modules, simulations, videos and reading material that supplement classroom assignments. Students in the program, which started Aug. 16, will attend daylong sessions on alternating Saturdays in Washington while completing additional coursework at other times.

“They control when they do the rest of their assignments,” said Edward Lavino, admissions director for Smith’s part-time MBA programs. “They can study in the mornings before work, in the middle of the day during lunch, at night after they put their kids to bed — or any combination of that.”

Monica Bautista, an incoming weekend MBA student, has an especially convenient commute. She works for the U.S. Agency for International Development in the same Ronald Reagan Building that serves as the Smith School’s Washington base. Bautista said the location and flexible format were factors in her decision to start the blended program, but the personalized attention she received from the Smith community gave her the added confidence she needed to apply.

“Something feels really good about the University of Maryland,” said Bautista, recipient of a $20,000 Smith Women and MBA Symposia Scholarship. “There is a good feeling that you get from being around the folks at the Smith School of Business.”

One alumna who shared her experiences with Bautista was Stephanie Cramer, an executive advisor at Avalere Health and a recent graduate of the part-time evening MBA program in Washington. “I speak at recruiting events because it means a lot to me,” Cramer said. “It is totally a pay-it-forward kind of thing.”

Cramer said she makes herself available to answer questions from male and female prospective students, but women are much more likely to reach out to her. “They want to know more,” she said. “They are doing more due diligence.”

One reason, she said, is because women are often reluctant to commit their own resources on themselves, and they need reassurances from current students and alumnae who have traveled down the same path. “Women are not selfish,” Cramer said. “Sometimes they will talk themselves out of applying, but we understand the psychology and are willing to spend more time with them to help them see the value of the investment.”

Aug 212014
 

Richard CampbellWe are so excited to announce that the Robert H Smith School of Business now has a dedicated staff member to help active-duty and veteran students make a smooth transition to the classroom! The school recently appointed Richard Campbell as Director of Military and Veteran Affairs.

“We created this role as a concierge service for our military students,” said Alexander Triantis, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “We love to have these students in the classroom, companies want them, and we just want to make it as easy for them as possible to navigate the military benefits process and assimilate into our strong community. We want to help them while they are here and help them be successful when they leave.”

Campbell will work with admitted MBA students who are prior or current members of the U.S. Armed Services to welcome them to Smith’s strong military community and help them transition to business school and into the workplace. He will work as their personal agent in the corporate arena to help these students land the jobs they want, liaising with companies looking specifically to recruit MBA students with military experience.

Campbell will also guide students through the military’s educational benefits process. As a disabled veteran and Smith MBA graduate himself, Campbell has firsthand experience with the complexities of benefits paperwork and will be able to help students make the best use of their available resources.

Campbell will work with students in Smith’s Full-Time, Part-Time, Online and Executive MBA programs. He will also work with the school’s admissions team to identify outreach opportunities to bring military personnel to the Smith School. With campuses in Washington, D.C., College Park, Baltimore, and Rockville, Md., the Smith School is well situated to serve military students.

Campbell’s priorities include running a school-wide club for military students to strengthen the tight-knit community and provide networking opportunities. He is already heading up a once-a-month meeting of active-duty and veteran students and alumni.

“As a military person, you are really looking for that community and support that you know so well from your service,” says Campbell. “The community aspect is really what students are interested in, and it’s one of the top reasons I landed at Smith as a student myself. My role will ensure that community only gets stronger and that military students achieve their goals while they are here.”