May 16th, 2013 by jdelling under Contests. 1 Comment.
Battle Williford with his new iPad!
You’ve heard about our social media contest, right?
In order to celebrate our awesome blog and fabulous twitter feed, we’re giving away a prize each month!
If you’ve been checking out this blog, you may have noticed that we’ve announced three winners so far. However, you still have FOUR chances to win!
Winners will be drawn on a monthly basis using a random number generator. The entire list of twitter followers/blog tweeters will be considered the contest pool for the monthly drawing… so the earlier you enter, the more chances you have to win!
To qualify you must complete all three 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
What’s the Prize?
We will be alternating between two different prizes:
Once you win, you will be ineligible to win again until 2014. Each email address will be counted for one entry, so feel free to comment or tweet us as much as you like but you will be entered in the contest only one time (following, unfollowing and following us again won’t help!). Winners will be announced on the Smith PT MBA twitter feed and blog.
Prize specs: Kindle Fire: 7” LCD Display, WiFi, 8GB, value $159; iPad Mini: 7.9” display, WiFi, 16MB, value $329
May 9th, 2013 by jdelling under Leveraging your MBA. 1 Comment.
By: G. Nagesh Rao, a Smith PT-MBA-DC ’11 Graduate
As I trek back and forth between the East and West coasts pursuing my entrepreneurial endeavors I am reminded of a philosophy by famed Smith B-School Professor Haluk Unal about keeping one’s personal “beta-value” low when taking on risky endeavors.
I start off with this opening because, it was that particular class which is forever burned into my head and why I am thankful to have elected to pursue my MBA part-time from the Robert H. Smith School of Business. As many of us know from our Financial analysis class “beta” is that value to which we impart on an asset when comparing it’s risk vs. the rate of return. Thusly Professor Unal preached how it was important as students to understand this concept and apply it towards our personal lives when making decisions be it family, professional, extracurricular, etc…
You see I have an eclectic background and career history having worked on some ground breaking initiatives all the result of my happenstance life of being a scientist turned patent law expert turned startup business strategist guy. Being that kind of person who can function at the cross section of many disciplinary fields, when engaging on big projects working with a diverse array of stakeholders, can really help drive multi-disciplinary projects forward.
Before my adventures over the past couple of years in LA and SF, I spent the last 7 years in DC with the US Department of Commerce’s-US Patent and Trademark Office. The experience molded me into an Intellectual Property Law & Technologist expert, however my personal decision to pursue an MBA part-time helped fine-tune my science and legal backgrounds to be able to comprehend and convey the economic value proposition on cutting edge projects. In a region like Silicon Valley, where everyone is working on crazy cool stuff, having that competitive advantage of understanding business and government policy allows for better comprehension and risk mitigation when evaluating startups and their accompanying business plans.
Diversification of not only my academic credentials but also my skill-sets has paid off in helping me navigate a variety of terrains and drive the creation of “win-win” scenarios, which recently occurred through some of my award-winning prize challenge programs (i6 Green, FLoW, and Patents for Humanity) that have incentivized a lot of movement in the intersection of technology development and the developing world.
Finally when one keeps their personal beta-value low they can afford to take on riskier and creative endeavors as a means of experimenting with untested models and in a way enabling for the advent of disruptive innovation to occur in a manner that hopes to change the world for the better.
G. Nagesh Rao ,a Smith PT-MBA-DC ’11 Graduate, was a former Senior Policy Advisor with the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Currently he serves as Senior Government Affairs & Intellectual Advisor for the Stiefel Family Foundation and as an Expert Interdisciplinary Technology Strategist to a number of cutting edge organizations and councils including Rensselaer Alumni Board of Trustees, Innovation Endeavors, Launch:Energy, and Global Access in Action. In the photo, Nagesh is standing next to Andrew Yang, CEO & Founder of Venture for America.
May 2nd, 2013 by jdelling under Ask Julie. No Comments.
Dear Julie: I’m working on my application and have gotten to the part where I need to submit my essays. Do you have any tips I should keep in mind? – Ready to Write
Dear Ready: The Smith application requires two required essays and one optional essay. When you sit down to start writing your essays, think about the fact that the admission committee reads hundreds of responses to the same question as they’re reviewing applications. Don’t try to tell them what you think they might want to hear – use this opportunity to introduce the real you, the person behind your resume and GMAT scores!
Once you’ve written your first draft, review your essay as many times as you can and be sure to have another person (or two, or three) review it as well. This is one instance where you’re going to want to edit yourself. Although some essay topics could easily run the length of a novel, the Smith admissions team prefers that you keep your submission to about 500 words, or two pages double-spaced. Be clear about your career goals and why you want to get your MBA degree.
When determining whether to submit the optional essay, think about whether there is something in your background that might be an issue for the admissions committee. For example, did it take you longer than normal to complete your undergraduate degree? Do you have large gaps in employment? Do you have below the recommended GPA (2.80/4.00)? If so, use the optional essay to your advantage and address the subject.
May 1st, 2013 by jdelling under Contests. No Comments.
The April contest winner is…. Battle Williford!
Battle’s number was chosen by the random number generator and he is the winner of an iPad Mini. If you entered the contest in February, March or April, you still have 4 chances to win. If you haven’t entered yet, you can check out the contest information here and then enter today!
April 25th, 2013 by jdelling under Global Studies Trips. No Comments.
By Natalia Markova, first year DC-weekend part-time MBA student.
In the light of increasing globalization of the business environment, undertaking a short-term study abroad program is a great way to gain exposure to international projects, expand your skill set, and build network. My fascination with emerging markets and opportunities growing economies present along with the desire to experience different cultures made Brazil my destination of choice this spring. Although I have previously visited twenty countries around the globe, this program proved to be an extremely rich and exciting experience that is quite different from ordinary tourism. The trip schedule was fairly intense, so if you are envisioning getting credits for sipping caipirinhas on the beach, this is not the case. Our days in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro were filled with company visits, meeting with businesses for a consulting project, cultural activities, and of course enjoying breath-taking scenery that this beautiful county has to offer.
During the company visits we met with Brazil’s leading multinational companies enjoying incredible growth and success in both domestic and international markets. Managers of these organizations shared their experience of operating and succeeding in this fast growing economy, insights on economical and political situations in the country and challenges they present for the business environment. They described the infrastructure, rapid emergence of the middle class, changes caused by approaching World Cup and Olympics and their impact on businesses, specifics of relationships with government, sustainability efforts, and effects of globalization. These emerging global companies represent a wide range of industries, such as agriculture, pharmaceutical segment, food processing, telecommunications, energy, construction, and investment management.
Another part of the business experience the program provides is the consulting engagement with local start-ups. These businesses are a part of an entrepreneurial incubator aiding innovative companies with a social touch. Based on preferences, student teams are performing consulting projects for businesses in social and eco tourism, fashion, IT, social media, arts, crowdfunding, and design. This project presented us with a unique opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired during the MBA studies while helping a growing enterprises cope with their challenges.
Participation in this program was a phenomenal learning and professional experience. Yet, what made this trip truly unforgettable were the people that I shared this adventure with. While it may be challenging for the part-time students to find time to meet their MBA counterparts, spending ten days abroad together helps to get to know each other. On this trip I have encountered remarkable people from different programs and campuses with incredible personal and professional backgrounds, who made every day in Brazil fun and exciting.
Doing Business in Brazil course is one of the most popular programs Smith Office of Global Programs offers. This year due to its tremendous popularity, the University offered an additional section in May in addition to the usual March trip. So if you are considering participation in a short-term study abroad program, register soon.
Natalia Markova is a first year DC-weekend part-time MBA student. Photos by Natalia Markova, Anna Trudel, and Alicia Thomas.
April 18th, 2013 by jdelling under Smith events. 2 Comments.
By Alla Corey, Program Manager at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
While there are plenty of business plan competitions, the Cupid’s Cup Business Competition is the only one of its kind – students must be beyond writing a plan and have an operating business. This raises the bar significantly and makes the competition a lot more interesting.
Judged and sponsored by Kevin Plank’96, founder and CEO or Under Armour, Cupid’s Cup was launched in 2006 and has grown from a small event in Van Munching Hall to a national competition and showcase with 1,000 attendees.
This year the event was held April 5 at UMD’s College Park campus, hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Six finalist startups from across the nation had six minutes to deliver a business pitch to Plank and a panel of five other judges in front of 1,000 attendees at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The audience also heard Plank’s words of inspiration on building a business as he rallied the entrepreneurs in attendance.
The University of Maryland’s Earth Starter, maker of the Nourishmat modular garden kit, took home $52,500 as the Grand Prize Winner and Audience Choice Award Winner. Earth Starter will also benefit from exclusive access to Plank’s professional network, one of the added bonuses of winning this year’s expanded competition.
Here is the breakdown of all winners:
$50,000, 1st place: Earth Starter LLC, University of Maryland – maker of products to accelerate and simplify growth and yield for garden
$15,000, 2nd place: CoverPlay LLC, University of Virginia – maker of an ultra-thin Bluetooth speaker for mobile devices called the Mojo
$5,000, 3rd place: Diagnostic anSERS, University of Maryland – maker of ink-jet printed sensors for detecting trace amounts of chemicals, from explosives to narcotics
$2,500, Audience Choice Award, decided by text voting during the event – Earth Starter LLC (sponsored by Sam Medile ’80, a successful entrepreneur and former Terp student athlete)
Medile also sponsored a $5,000 prize for the University of Maryland company who best leveraged all of the university’s resources in launching their company, which went to Diagnostic anSERS. UMD applicants who made it to the semifinal round of Cupid’s Cup were eligible.
The day also included the Business & Innovation Showcase, sponsored by BB&T, highlighting more than 50 campus and regional startups and entrepreneurship organizations in a lively tradeshow format at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center
Cupid’s Cup is named for a Valentine’s Day rose delivery business Plank started as a student at the university. As an athlete, he wasn’t permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship. Plank worked with the Dingman Center to start a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship.
The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities who are running companies that have generated at least $5,000 in revenue or have a version 1.0 product with proof of traction. Entrepreneurs from 25 universities in 16 states entered the competition. The finalists received intensive coaching from successful entrepreneurs to prepare for the final competition.
Other Cupid’s Cup finalists were Hole Patch LLC from Case Western Reserve University, a developer of a new method for patching potholes; Moolaguides.com from Florida State University, provider of a service for college students to buy and sell class notes; and Neural Analytics from the University of California Los Angeles, a developer of a portable non-invasive medical device to diagnose traumatic brain injuries on the football field or the battlefield.
Interested in competing in next year’s Cupid’s Cup? Visit www.CupidsCup.com for updates about the application deadline and other details.
April 11th, 2013 by jdelling under Leveraging your MBA. 1 Comment.
By Stephanie Cramer, Vice President Professional Development (PTMBAA), Track Representative for the 2015 Evening Cohort in Washington, DC and 2014 MBA Candidate
I have to admit, I am a chronic “fixer.” If something is broken, I fix it without hesitation. If something is in perfect working order, I often find myself looking to improve it, by better aligning resources and streamlining efforts. Throughout my career, employers have benefited from my natural tendencies as I have implemented efficiencies in the workplace, increased profitability, and reduced bottom line expenditures in every role I’ve held. Now, as a graduate student, these skills have helped me identify ways to better the graduate school experience as a whole—which is what I wish to share with you now.
I first heard the term ‘opportunity recognition’ being referred to as a practical business platform during an International Entrepreneurship course. Professor Sanders outlined how successful entrepreneurs were able to visualize and attack problems through their ability to recognize solutions and opportunities in their everyday surroundings. Drawing parallels from this discussion, I realized that as students at The Robert H. Smith School of Business, we are located in the heart of a business community that encourages and develops entrepreneurs. Every day, we learn skills that are vital to bridging the divide between the “thinking” and the “doing” phases in business. We learn this so that, as leaders, we can transfer concepts from case studies to applications and solutions in the corporate setting.
Now, I would like to encourage my fellow classmates to take advantage of the many opportunities to take initiative and create solutions while at Smith! There is no need to wait for graduation to roll around for you to become an agent of change—and a leader.
If you notice an area within our MBA program that could use strategic or programmatic improvement, then take lead in developing the solution. Personally, I have found that Smith faculty and administrators truly want to encourage the entrepreneurial aspirations of students willing to lead, especially since we are at the epicenter of so much change-making talent. Let me get specific.
- If you notice that a club doesn’t yet have a Part-Time liaison, offer to fill that void.
- Volunteer to be on a Senate Committee for The University of Maryland and help shape policy decisions within our university.
- Reach out to administrators and invite them to speak to your cohort prior to class if you notice an opportunity for their expertise to be leveraged.
These suggestions may seem small, but through these small actions each and every member of our class can contribute to the university right now. Remember that change can start with you. You are the solution! You are capable. You are a TERP!
Stephanie Cramer is the Vice President of Professional Development for the PTMBAA, Track Representative for the 2015 Evening Cohort in Washington, DC and 2014 MBA Candidate. After graduating Cum Laude from The University of South Florida in 2006, Stephanie moved to Texas where she managed the Recruitment Program for the largest law firm in Austin and worked cross-functionally to advance business development initiatives. After moving to DC in 2010, Stephanie served as a Dedicated Advisor at The Advisory Board Company, a ‘Top 50 Consulting Firm,’ specializing in health care. There she managed a $6 million dollar portfolio and consulted with executive teams at leading biopharmaceutical companies, IT companies, and Venture Capital firms. Currently, Stephanie serves as the Director of Operations & Administration at a private lobbying firm in Washington, DC where she develops strategic initiatives that support growth, account retention, and internal operational efficiencies.
April 4th, 2013 by jdelling under Smith events. 2 Comments.
by Julie Dellinger, Manager of Part-Time MBA Admissions
Fun Fact: I have a little obsession with marshmallows. It’s true. There is just something about a marshmallow — whether it be gourmet, a peep, large or small — that makes my heart go pitter-patter… which is where the idea of Learn S’more about Smith was originally born!
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 enjoy some gooey snacks, while chatting with admission staff and current PT MBA students.
A great big “thank you” to everyone who made it out!
April 1st, 2013 by jdelling under Contests. 2 Comments.
The March contest winner is…. Margaret Merritt!
Margaret’s number was chosen by the random number generator and she is the winner of a Kindle Fire. If you entered the contest in February or March, you still have 5 chances to win. If you haven’t entered yet, you can check out the contest information here and then enter today!
March 28th, 2013 by jdelling under Ask Julie. 1 Comment.
Dear Julie: I noticed on the Smith website that you will accept both the GMAT and the GRE. How do I decide which one to take? – Trying to Decide
Dear Trying to Decide: First things first, take a practice test! Both the GMAT and the GRE have practice tests available – take them both to determine which test works best for you. While the tests are similar, some people simply score higher in one format than the other. Also keep in mind, some employers (usually consulting firms) will only employ people who exceed a certain GMAT score. However, for dual degree applicants, a GRE is a more general graduate school exam. You may want to do some research before committing to a test to be sure that you’re covering all the basis at once.
The costs of the tests vary as well. The current cost of the GMAT exam is $250 (US). Click here for additional information on the GMAT. The current cost to take the GRE is $175(US). Click here for additional information on the GRE.