Jun 232016

Alley Benton headshotIf you’re a woman who’s interested in pursuing an MBA, or more broadly, a career in business, you should know about the Forté Foundation!

What is the Forté Foundation?
This organization is a consortium of not only top companies but also top business schools, which work together to create business education and career resources for women.

The mission of Forté is to provide resources and education for women, but also to change perception about business careers among women. Forté works to show that women can have flexible and rewarding careers by conveying the benefits of an MBA while also providing resources, information, and networking.

Should I join if I’m thinking about an MBA?
The answer is yes! The Forté Foundation provides many benefits for women in undergraduate programs, pre-MBA candidates, current MBA students, and professionals.

For pre-MBA candidates, there are webinars focused on building competitive applications, interactions with sponsor schools and MBA alumnae, and career resource workshops. Forté also hosts networking opportunities at in-person MBA Forum events throughout late summer and into the fall.

Forté also offers a yearlong MBA preparation program called MBALaunch, which allows MBA candidates accepted into the MBA Launch program the opportunity to work on application skills, prepare for the GMAT exam, and connect with sponsor schools and MBA candidates.

One of the biggest benefits of Forté membership as you’re applying to business school is the opportunity to be awarded a Forté Fellowship. The Part-Time MBA program at the University of Maryland awards Forté Fellowships to select women each year. Besides the financial benefits of this fellowship, you are immediately exposed to top companies in the Forté network, as well as a network of peers that extends beyond the business school you attend.

After I’m accepted to business school, what can Forté do for me?        
The resources available for current MBA students are similar to those for pre-MBA candidates, but with a different focus. There are webinars that include business skill building such as negotiations and delegating along with opportunities to network with other students, alumnae, and employers.

One of the most important aspects of being a Forté member in an MBA program is the opportunity to attend the yearly MBA Women’s Leadership Conference. This Forté event brings both resources and employers together in one encompassing event.  This is a great opportunity to build a network and begin interacting with employers early on in your MBA journey.

How do I become a member of Forté?
There are a few different options for joining the Forté Foundation and the good news is if you are a pre-MBA candidate or a current MBA student, membership is free! You can click here to sign up.

Alley Benton is an Assistant Director of Part-Time MBA Admissions at the Smith School. She has hours at our Part Time MBA campus in Baltimore. You can contact her directly at abenton@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Jun 162016

Meet Samuel (aka Sam), who is currently in our DC evening program!

Where do you work?
I’m a Consultant at Deloitte Consulting.

Why did you choose Smith’s PT MBA program?
Smith had one of the first Marketing Analytics programs in the nation and I felt that Smith had a tech focus with their business programs.

What has been your favorite part of the PT MBA program so far?
Getting to know my classmates and the analytics courses.

Do you belong to any Smith clubs?
I am a member of the Part Time MBA Association (PTMBAA), serving as a Track Rep and as the new President.

What is your best tip for juggling the work/life/MBA balance?
Always schedule time within your week to not work.

What does your typical work/class day look like?
It depends because work can get a bit crazy and clients can be unpredictable, but for the most part I go into work at 8:30AM and get off around 5:30PM. I grab dinner around that time and make it to class by 6:20PM.

Sam - pic for blog

What is your goal for earning your MBA?
My goal for earning my MBA is both career switching and career advancing. I career switched in the first semester of my MBA from a Marketing Analytics analyst to a consultant. I am currently aiming to advance my career life after my MBA.

If they made a movie of your life, who would you want to star as you?
I want to say someone like George Clooney, but I think realistically it is a hybrid of Paul Rudd, Jason Bateman, or Keanu Reeves.

What is your favorite book?
I have so many, but a list of my top five, in no particular order, are probably follows: Man’s search for Meaning, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Desiring God, The Denial of Death, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering.

Do you have a favorite movie?
Besides Lion King, I really enjoy Shawshank Redemption

What piece of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to when you applied for Smith’s PT MBA program?
I would tell myself not to switch jobs and not to purchase a house. And most importantly, breathe.

Jun 092016

Former baseball player, former manager, and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Lasorda once said, “There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens.”

As such, on Thursday, May 12 newly admitted students from the Baltimore and Shady Grove campuses officially became baseball players as they watched the Baltimore Orioles take on the Detroit Tigers and on Thursday, May 26 more newly admitted students from the Washington, DC and Shady Grove campus were christened baseball players as they watched the Washington Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Both games were a great opportunity for admitted students to enjoy watching the game, as well as, getting the opportunity to chat with other admitted students, current students, and Smith staff!







Thank you for all who came out to enjoy some great baseball…and congratulations on both joining the PT MBA family…but also becoming full fledged baseball players!

Jun 072016

Fantastic news for those of you who would still like to apply for our Part Time MBA program starting this fall… we are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis!

We have a limited number of openings for each of our Part Time MBA programs: DC Evening, DC Weekend, Shady Grove Evening, and Baltimore Evening.

Smith’s MBA programs only start classes in the fall term, so our next entry point will be Fall 2017. While we’d be happy to help you with an application for that time as well, starting your MBA at Smith this fall is still an opportunity, but you will need to act quickly.

Good luck with your application and please do not hesitate to reach out to our Admissions team with your questions at mba_info@rhsmith.umd.edu or (301) 405-2559.

Jun 022016

Our Part Time MBA team is here to answer any questions you have about our program and our admissions process.You’ll see our friendly faces popping up at information sessions, coffee chats, and lots of admitted student events leading up until orientation. Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions about our Part Time MBA program!

Julie DellingerJulie Dellinger
Associate Director, Part Time MBA Admissions & Social Media
Email: jdellinger@rhsmith.umd.edu
Phone: 240-565-2117

Julie joined the Smith School of Business in 2012 and has been focusing on Part Time Admissions and Social Media ever since. She earned her undergraduate degree from Shepherd University and continued her education with Smith’s Leadership Academy in 2013. As a Leadership Academy student, Julie was taught by top Smith faculty in the following subject areas: strategic thinking, project management, customer service excellence, financial acumen, negotiations and leadership.

Prior to entering the world of higher education, Julie spent 13 years in marketing and public relations serving as the Marketing Director at various companies. In addition to her current position at Smith, she also works as a freelance Marketing Consultant and runs her own lifestyle blog.

A native of Maryland, Julie lives in Carroll County and loves spending time with her husband, son and neurotic rescue dog. When she’s not blogging, reading, or catching up on her Netflix queue, she is usually devising ways to plan yet another vacation.

Fun Facts about Julie:
Favorite TV shows: Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Orphan Black, Scrubs
Favorite Band: Train
Can’t Resist Dessert: Basically anything combining sweet & salty!

Alley BentonAlley Benton
Assistant Director, Part-Time MBA Admissions
Email: abenton@rhsmith.umd.edu
Phone: 240-204-7377

Alley began working with the Smith School’s MBA Admissions team in 2014, first with the Full-Time MBA program and now with the Part-Time MBA program. Prior to joining Smith, Alley worked in off-campus housing in the Midwest and more recently moved to the DC area where she spent several years working as a senior admissions counselor for the University of North Carolina, facilitating their online MBA program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Spending a lot of time moving state-to-state, Alley has lived all over the Midwest, but now calls Maryland home. When Alley’s not spending time with her husband or crazy dog, Spector, she can usually be found curled up with a book or trying to enjoy the Maryland sunshine.

Fun Facts about Alley:
Favorite Spot in Maryland: Baltimore Aquarium
Last Binge Watch: Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt
Favorite fast food: Chick-fil-a

Edward BempongEdward Bempong, M.A.
Assistant Director, Part-Time MBA Admissions
Email: ebempong@rhsmith.umd.edu
Phone: 240-204-0342

Edward is the Assistant Director of Admissions for the Part-Time MBA program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Washington, DC campus. Edward joined the Smith School in April 2016.

Prior to assuming this position, Edward was the Coordinator of Academic Success Initiatives in the Department of Resident Life at the University of Maryland, College Park where he managed high-quality academic programming for the 9,000 students living on campus. With more than a decade of experience in Student Affairs, Edward has a keen understanding of student needs. He has taught a variety of university undergraduate courses, managed orientation programs and events, and served as a career advisor.

Edward earned both his undergraduate degree in History and graduate degree in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Maryland College Park. When not at work, he can be found volunteering as a Firefighter and EMT with the Hyattsville (MD) Fire Department.

Fun facts about Edward:
Favorite Book: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Favorite Movies: Coming to America, A Bronx Tale
Hobbies: Collecting vinyl records, photography, playing the bass and acoustic guitars

May 262016

Alex photoMeet Alexandra (aka Alex) who is currently in our Shady Grove evening program!

Where do you work?
I’m a manager at Nordstrom Inc.

Why did you choose Smith?
I choose this program for 2 reasons, 1st accreditation of the overall university but specifically the business school, 2nd the format. I loved that the PTMBA program began as a cohort and then continued through electives. That way I was able to build a strong foundation and relationships with my cohort and then meet new people during my electives.

What has been your favorite part of the PT MBA program so far?
Definitely the relationships I built with my classmates. My classmates and I have built an amazing rapport and I believe that I’ve found not only connections for the future but also life long friends.

What is your best tip for juggling the work/life/MBA balance?
My best tip is to build a routine. Find the days that you’re going to study and the days that you’re going to spend with friends and family and try your hardest to stick with it. If you have the opportunity to get some school work done at work, take it, just make sure it doesn’t affect your professional life.

What does your typical work/class day look like?
My typical day consists of waking up, packing food to last all day (lunch and dinner), grab a coffee (you’ll need it), head to work, then to school (grab more coffee) and head on home! It’s a long day and you need to plan!

Alex pic 2

What is your goal for earning your MBA? (career switching/career advancement/etc)
My goal is to continue to develop my skills and ability in managing people—either within my current company or a new company.

If they made a movie of your life, who would you want to star as you?
Julia Roberts

What is your favorite book?
The Kite Runner

Do you have a favorite movie?
Forrest Gump

What piece of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to when you applied for Smith’s PT MBA program?
I would’ve reminded myself that this was going to be harder than I thought, it would take me away from my friends and family, work might suffer a bit and you’re going to be tired….but on the day of graduation you are going to be so proud of your hard-work and determination and realize that you accomplished this for yourself.

May 192016

Maurice Nick, a current student in our Part Time MBA program had the chance to go to Sri Lanka for a four week program through CIBER. Here are some highlights from his recent interview with BlackEnterprise.com about his experience:

How did you prepare to go abroad? Did your school help you prepare?
All of my programs were associated with a class. This will be true for the vast majority of programs offered by a school. When I went to Sri Lanka we had three meetings prior to going abroad. I was working on behalf of the International Executive Service Corp., so they held an executive meeting with all of the student consultants, and personnel from USAID. These sessions were used to jump start the groups on their projects. I was on a team of two, and we had two clients in two very different industries that needed similar services provided.

We were funded by USAID; they had subbed their program to IESC, who then contracted with the MBA program at my University. Therefore, IESC paid and made all of our hotel accommodations. We worked throughout the entire island; the official travel was made for each team from the capital city where we all landed, and to the cities we would be stationed. If we chose to travel between cities or to meet each other at various sites, then that was an out-of-pocket expense. The flight to the island was also an out-of-pocket expense and that reservation was made by each individual student consultant.

The first thing I did was submit an application for a visa. This step can be burdensome if the instructions for the country are not followed closely. In addition to submitting my applications and passport for a visa, I prepared by learning about the people who called Sri Lanka home. I purchased a travel guide book about a month from my departure date to learn what I could about the culture and cities I was to travel to. These books always have tips on having a great time, signs to watch out for, and things to avoid to prevent offending locals.

The CDC website provided me with the list of shots I needed and additional ways to ensure I stayed healthy while abroad. The last thing I did was call my bank and have a travel note placed on my credit cards to ensure they’d remain functional during my trip.

Did you speak a language other than your native tongue while you were away?
I tried to soak in as much of the language as I could. Natives love to teach you their words and help with your pronunciation and enunciation. (Note: The major languages spoken in Sri Lanka are Sinhalese, Tamil and Sri Lankan Creole Malay.)

Maurice Nick - 1

What was it like to attend classes?
Instead of taking classes, I had daily meetings with clients. One of my clients was a pretty established national dairy farm, the other was a fast-growing furniture store. Depending on the task at hand, we would do a number of things: meet with one in the morning, the other in the evening; or consecutive whole-day working meetings if we were on the cusp of a deliverable deadline. My partner and I never split time between the two clients. We stayed together as a team the entire time.

What’s your favorite memory of your experience?
My favorite memory was after a draining, whimsical seven-hour car ride from the capital city of Colombo to the capital of the North Central Province, Anuradhapura. We finally reached our motel. (This is how I tell the story.) Of course, I packed too much, and now have to face the task of carrying two of the largest suitcases ever allowed on a plane up the three flights of stairs to my motel room.

I walk in my room and, instantly, all is forgiven once I see my view over the Kandalama Reservoir. I walk to the huge, sliding glass door and open it for a breeze. I grab my suitcases that are now keeping my main door ajar and bring them inside. I dig in for a snack and ponder a nap before getting to work. I walk back to my door to ensure its fastened shut and then I notice a sign. It’s the rules of the motel, so I give it a quick skim. No. 4 on the list was “DO NOT OPEN SLIDING GLASS DOOR, AND WATCH OUT FOR ROAMING MONKEYS.” I turned so quick to run back and shut the door before the aroma of my snacks hit the trees and attracted a monkey. Thankfully, I had no intruders.

Maurice Nick - 2

Would you recommend studying abroad to others?
I think studying abroad is an essential part to one’s matriculation. The lessons learned while studying in another country are invaluable and cannot be replicated in your own country.

If you’d like to read the full interview, you can find it here. You can learn more about CIBER consulting projects here.

May 122016

Thank you to everyone who has entered our PT MBA contest so far!

If you haven’t entered yet, its super easy… you just have to do THREE things:
Step 1: Follow us on twitter at @SmithPTMBA
Step 2: Tweet us a message using #WhySmithPTMBA with why you are applying to our program
Step 3: Leave a comment on any blog post on the PT MBA blog (this post or any other!)

In August, we will pick two winners to win an Apple iWatch. It’s that easy!

Here are some of our favorite #WhySmithPTMBA tweets so far:

May 052016

Zain headshotMeet Zain Aijaz, a first year student in our DC Evening program!

Where do you work?
I’m an investment Advisor at Hawthorn – Family Office (PNC Financial Services Group).

Why did you choose Smith?
The interaction with the admission committee was impressive. Smith is also a very well respected school and the program is well diversified in terms of what path you want to choose. Most importantly, Location. I am studying in the heart of the Political Capital of the World. The biggest conglomerates, companies, consultants have their presence in Washington D.C. The networking opportunities are immense, if you are willing to take advantage of them.

What has been your favorite part of the PT MBA program so far?
My Cohort. It is a very nice blend of people from different professional and geographic backgrounds. In less than a year I have learnt so much about things more than just the course material that it is phenomenal. From things like Consulting to Technology to Digital Business to Entrepreneurship and from personal global experiences of folks. When you are spending approx. 8 hours a week in a class and then getting together over the weekends for assignments and study group, you develop relationships which go beyond just the business school.

Do you belong to any Smith Clubs?
Yes, I’m a Cohort Rep on the Part Time MBA Association.

What is your best tip for juggling the work/life/MBA balance?
Just focus towards the end goal and go for it. Look at the rewards; professional, monetary and self-actualizing and no task is difficult. You will get burned out, you will have to pick and choose and prioritize your social life, there will be days when you will just feel like “why did I get into this” but then when you look at the outcome and the fact that this is just a short hurdle, you will get through it. I personally read for a couple of hours a night when I don’t have class, and I will spend 4-6 hours either on a Saturday or Sunday towards assignments/projects etc. Stay on top of the lectures and you will be fine.

Zain golf

What does you typical work/class day look like?
I wake up between 5:30-5:45 and start with the newspaper (I know I am still old school). I reach the office around 7:30 and update myself as to where Asian markets closed, what European Markets are doing and what is going on in the US pre market activity. Then there are the regular everyday tasks ranging from (talking to clients, updating the spreadsheet models, on average a meeting regarding one thing or another a day, dealing with compliance issues and the regular everyday tasks. Sometimes I will read the case study while having lunch. Leave the office at 4 and head to D.C. Will grab dinner before class and before you know it, you are sitting in a very invigorating lecture.

What is your goal for earning your MBA?
I have a very strong Finance background (Undergrad and Grad degree as well as a 9 year career as an Equity Analyst), but I am confused as to what I want to do with my career. I feel it is ok to be confused. I started this program with the mindset that by the time the first 2 semesters are over, I want to have a clear idea of what I want to do. Speaking to folks in my cohort, attending networking events and talking to career services, I feel that now I am very close to a decision regarding whether I want to stay in my career and look for advancement or I want to switch my career. So going forward I can tailor my electives accordingly, which will help me towards my goal.

If they made a movie of your life, who would you want to star as you?
Edward Norton

What is your favorite book?
Harry Potter & the Barbarians at the Gate

Do you have a favorite movie?

What piece of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to when you applied for Smith’s PT MBA program?
I did a lot of due diligence when selecting my program but now been through approx. 2 semesters, I feel I made the right choice of accepting the offer from Smith. I would tell myself, don’t be skeptical, this is the perfect fit, just go for it and stop wasting so much time on research, because research is what you will be doing for the rest of your program, be it case studies, or projects or assignments.

Apr 282016

The 2016/2017 tuition rates for the University of Maryland were just announced and we are pleased to say that the tuition for our Part Time MBA program will stay the same as last year! Part Time MBA students in our Evening and Weekend MBA programs will continue to pay $1,610 per credit.

To give PT MBA students an idea of their expected costs, here is a tuition and fees breakdown for a typical 8 credit semester:

tuition chart

For more information on our tuition and fees, please click here to visit the Smith school website.