Apr 162015
 

Places

Beginning in the fall of 2015, Smith’s Evening MBA Program located at our Shady Grove campus will undergo an exciting curricular transformation and become the Evening Blended MBA!

Core classes taught at Shady Grove will incorporate a blended learning component to enhance learning objectives, reinforce instruction topics, and increase flexibility for our students. The blended curriculum at Shady Grove will enable students to complete 28 credits in the first year of the MBA. They may also take part in a Global Study Experience in January of 2016 and will have the opportunity to complete the entire 54 credit Smith MBA in twenty-four months.

Check out our new Evening Blended MBA compared to our other Part Time MBA programs on this handy chart.

To apply for Evening Blended MBA, just choose Shady Grove Evening as your program option when filling out your online application!

Apr 092015
 

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

In August 2014 I received an amazing email from Maria Pineda notifying me that I was chosen as a Forté Fellow. Smith is a new Forté Foundation participating school and so I was completely shocked and honored to be part of the first class of Smith Forté Fellows. Coming in to Smith I was already aware of the Forté Foundation because I participated in their MBALaunch program that helps women improve their candidacy for Business School.

Being a Forté Fellow has many wonderful benefits including a scholarship, introductions to Forté Foundation Corporate Sponsors, and access to Forté’s webinars, conferences, and other professional development activities. I am grateful for all of those benefits but truly appreciate the opportunity to connect with other women who have the same drive and dedication that I do. The LinkedIn group and Forté’s professional development webinars are particularly helpful because they make connections to real life issues that women face every day both in and outside of the workplace.

Being a Forté Fellow also means you get the chance to work with the admissions office on recruitment activities, as well as professional development activities for women at your school. As a Part-Time MBA student, our opportunities to interact with full-time students are often limited but being a Forté Fellow has allowed me to meet and connect with the full-time Forté Fellows who I might not have otherwise met.

Although I haven’t been able to attend every event because of work or class, I look forward to engaging with future Forté Fellows and working with the admissions team on part-time MBA recruitment activities. I’m extremely thankful to have access to a diverse network of successful women via the Forté Foundation and Smith alumni network. If you have the chance to connect with Forté I highly suggest it!

Congratulations to our 2015 Forté Fellows:

Megan LaBossiere, DC Evening MBA Program

Megan LaBossiere
Lieutenant Meagan LaBossiere is from Germantown, Maryland and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Economics. She was the National Society of Black Engineers, Annapolis Chapter President during her senior year of college. Meagan is now an active duty helicopter pilot, flying the MH-60S Seahawk for the Navy. She has served two deployments in the Middle East, providing logistical helicopter support to US and coalition ships operating throughout the Arabian Gulf. In her free time, Meagan volunteers with Quality of Life, an adult literacy program within the local community.

Rebecca King, DC Weekend MBA Program

Rebecca King
In her current role as Marketing Director at Perennial Sports and Entertainment, Rebecca helps professional athletes pursue their interests off-the-field. She procures and negotiates player appearances, autograph signings and a variety of endorsement deals. Additionally, she works with clients to recognize and execute charitable endeavors to better serve their communities. Rebecca received her M.P.S. in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University where she became a member of WISE (Women In Sports and Events) to continue to empower young women in the sports industry. Before moving to Washington, D.C., King studied Management and Nuclear Engineering at West Point for 4 years, and then medically retired from the Army. She went on to receive her B.S. in Liberals Arts from Excelsior College. Rebecca grew up in Wisconsin, but now calls Maryland her new home.

Angela Granum, Shady Grove Evening MBA Program

Angela Granum
Angela graduated with a BA in International Studies from the University of Wyoming, where she was named the Spitaleri Outstanding Graduating Woman for the class of 2006. She also has an MA in Latin American Studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. After graduate school, Angela joined the U.S. Department of Commerce as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2009. During her four years at Commerce, she served as a program analyst at the Economic Development Administration and as an ICT industry analyst at the International Trade Administration. Angela currently works in the Program Effectiveness Office in the Office of Operations at the Food and Drug Administration. She coordinates efforts related to strategic planning, organizational health and culture, and risk management across FDA’s centralized shared services. In her free time, Angela enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, and spending time with her rescued black lab.

Virgilia Zabala, Baltimore Evening MBA Program

Virgilia Zabala
Virgilia Zabala graduated Cum Laude the Univeristy of Florida with a B.S. in Food Science & Human Nutrition, with a focus on dietetics. Through her extra-curricular involvement at UF she developed a strong interest for working with underserved communities, locally and abroad. She attended a 3 week international service trip to Nicaragua- that trip opened her eyes to public health and drove her to continue my studies in that field. Thus, Virgila enrolled at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was selected to become part of the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, obtained a Master of Science in Public Health, and also completed her practicum to become a Registered Dietitian. Upon graduation, she focused her efforts locally to improve the health status of low-income pregnant women and children in the community by working as a nutritionist at the Johns Hopkins Women, Infants and Children program. Recently, Virgilia switched jobs, and is working with the University of Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, through which she deliver nutrition education presentations to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients at schools and community centers in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County.

 

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. She is thoroughly enjoying her first year as part of the DC Weekend Cohort.

Apr 022015
 

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of March. This month’s winner is…Zoya Awan!

Zoya’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 March, you still have 5 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.

Mar 262015
 

class size image

Have you ever been curious about who exactly makes up our Part Time MBA program classes?
Well, here it is by the numbers!

Academic Profile
Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.3
Middle 80% GMAT range: 550 – 650
Employers Represented: 210
Undergraduate Universities Represented: 125
Countries Represented: 32

Demographics
Average Age: 28
Women: 39%
Diversity: 34%
Military: 10%
Average Years Post-University Work Experience: 5 years

Industries Represented
Banking/Financial Services: 13%
Government: 11%
Consulting: 10%
Non-Profit/Education: 9%
Aerospace: 7%
Construction/Real Estate: 5%
Military/Active Duty: 5%
Energy: 4%
Information Systems: 4%
Entertainment: 3%
Healthcare: 3%
Law: 3%
Manufacturing: 2%
Telecommunications: 2%
Human Resources: 1%
Other: 18%

 

* All information is for our 2014 PT MBA Class.

Mar 192015
 

Megan AllumsBy Megan Allums, a second year PT MBA student.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked from prospective MBA students or people outside the program is “How do you do it?” Well it might seem daunting at first to manage a career, classes at night and something that resembles a personal life all at the same time, but it is possible! Here are a few tips and theories I have to juggling it all.

Calendars. Prior to starting school, I was able to manage my social obligations, appointments, etc. primarily by memory. My first fall in the program, I quickly became accustomed to scheduling everything with Google Calendar. I would recommend that anyone with a busy schedule, buy a calendar or get familiar with your phone’s calendar. It is an easy way to get organized!

Prioritize. When you are short on time, you have to make decisions between studying, friends, family, exercising, etc. Often I have to make a decision between studying for class or spending time with friends. It’s a tough balancing act because I want to be prepared for class, but I also need to make time for my life as well. Determine your own personal balance and use your calendar as a check to see if one thing is outweighing the other.

Take some time for yourself. Whether this is scheduled or spontaneous, you have to remember to take care of yourself. Once a month I try to take an afternoon or a morning off to do whatever I want to do. Sometimes it’s working out, getting my nails done or even sleeping in. It helps me relax and recharge. It also helps me be a better student, friend, and employee.

Learn to disconnect. I am definitely guilty of being completely dependent on my phone. For example, checking my email seconds after I wake up and still in bed and having anxiety when my phone dies. I try to turn off my phone before I go to bed and have a cup of coffee prior to checking any emails. Small steps I have found that reducing my dependence on my phone also reduces my stress level. For me, I have found it makes me more productive during the times I am working or studying.

Cut yourself some slack. There are going to be times where it may seem like too much or maybe there are simply not enough hours in the day. Understand that you cannot be perfect at everything all the time and don’t be too hard on yourself about it.

Megan Allums is a second year Part Time MBA degree candidate at the Smith School of Business. Megan is a financial analyst with over six years of experience working for the United States Army. She is focusing on international business, strategy and data analytics in her MBA studies. Megan currently serves as VP of Professional Development with the Part-Time MBA Association. She has used her position to develop long lasting student-alumni networking events like the PTMBA Golf Tournament.

Mar 052015
 

Thank you to everyone who entered our PT MBA contest in the month of February. This month’s winner is… Samantha Houtz!

Samantha’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 January or February, you still have 5 more chances to win.

Here are some of our favorite #WhySmithPTMBA tweets from February:

Feb - social media 1

Feb - social media 2

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.

Feb 262015
 

Rahul ShahBy Rahul Shah, a third year Part-Time MBA/MFin dual degree candidate.

On Thursday, November 6th, the Global Equity Fund made their annual trip to New York City. The Global Equity Fund is a student-run investment fund made up of 20 PT MBA and MFin students. For school credit, students manage $500,000 from the university’s endowment, investing in Global Equity ADR’s. We research companies, build valuation models and pitch investment opportunities to the team. The objective of the New York City trip was to meet with Asset Managers and other practitioners in the field of investments. It was a great learning experience that all members benefited from.

Taking an early train from Union Station, our first meeting was at BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm. Students met with the Global Head of Event Driven Equity Strategies, Mark McKenna. This new division of BlackRock focuses on global events including M&A arbitrage, divestitures and management changes to lock in a profit. Mr. McKenna shared a presentation highlighting the investment strategy, historical returns and examples in practice that was very educational. We also discussed his professional career, starting as a Nuclear Engineer, and how his path led him to where he is today.

The next day, students woke up early and went to the New York Stock Exchange for the opening bell. We first met with John Tuttle, NYSE Head of Corporate Affairs, and learned about the history of the exchange. I was amazed to learn about how operations, the building and surrounding area had evolved since their inception in 1817. After the opening bell, students had the opportunity to speak with different market makers on the floor of the exchange. The market maker we spoke to explained her functioning role in the NYSE, how she carries out her tasks, and different challenges in her position. Having been on the floor for 20 years, she witnessed a lot – the rise of technology, multiple crashes, and a work force that went from 5,000 on the floor to less than 500.

After leaving the NYSE, students went to Annaly Capital Management, the largest Mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust firm in the world. We first received a presentation on this specific type of investment firm, learned about the mortgage securitization process and other aspects of the industry. We then met with multiple employees, including their Capital Markets Manager, Portfolio Manager, Head of MBS Trading and Chief Technology Officer. It was very interesting to get such a broad perspective on their operations. We were also able to ask questions and received great tips on how to advance our professional careers in investments.

Global Equity Fund Picture

Group Photo 02

Overall, it was a very educational weekend. I met with top practitioners in the field, built a stronger relationship with my fellow Global Equity Fund members and enjoyed a wonderful weekend in New York City. It was great to see the knowledge from my coursework applied at such high levels of strategy and investments, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this experiential learning opportunity.

 

Rahul Shah is a third year Part-Time MBA/MFin dual degree candidate at the Smith School of Business. Rahul currently works in Finance at Aetna Healthcare, but is fully committed to a career in the non-profit sector after finishing the program. After graduating from undergrad, Rahul worked for an NGO in the urban slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Since returning to the US, he has been active in community engagement efforts and a wide variety of DC area non-profits. Rahul currently serves as VP of Community Development with the Part-Time MBA Association and as Community Service Chair for NetSAP-DC.

 

Feb 192015
 

AndreaWoodHeadshotBy Andrea Wood, first year PT MBA student at the DC campus.

Our week-long global experience in Professor Bennet Zelner’s course, “Doing Business in Chile,” began with immediate immersion on our first full day with a cross cultural learning activity and scavenger hunt, how to shop like a local at La Vega Central market. We were divided into randomly assigned teams with an intermediate to advanced Spanish speaker from the cohort as the team lead and a local guide from the walk, bike, and wine Chilean tour company, La Bicicleta Verde.

Each team was provided a list of locations or stores inside the vast colorful market to photograph or fresh ingredients to purchase during the allotted time. Following completion of the scavenger hunt, teams gathered at Huelquen winery to try our hand at creating two items we came to see frequently during the week, pisco sours, a traditional Chilean cocktail, and pebre, a Chilean condiment resembling salsa, made from spices, olive oil, tomatoes, and other vegetables.

chile 1

View of the market stalls in La Vega Central market, the perfect location for a cross cultural learning activity and scavenger hunt in Santiago.

With only one full semester of coursework completed, the global experience contained a few revisions to the second year experience, primarily switching from the consulting project to a company brief and video presentation of a particular company with a group of peers. Our group was selected for Fundación Origen, a sustainable education center, offering a unique opportunity for at risk youth to study at the agroecologial school, learning not only about agriculture and the effects of agricultural practices on the environment, but also about the whole self, bettering oneself for a peaceful, fulfilling life.

The success of the school is demonstrated in its zero percent dropout rate, revealing the commitment of the teachers and administrators to the mission of the organization and the students who enroll. The research aspect of the global experience course created excitement for our group as we anticipated visiting the school and learning more about their other projects, including the Peace Institute and Villa Virginia Hotel.

Upon arriving at Fundación Origen we saw beautiful fields with vegetable gardens, chicken and goat pens, and mountains in the background. At the end of the tour of the facilities, our cohort enjoyed a delicious meal made from many of the ingredients found on site, including goat cheese and fresh greens.

chile 2

Exploring the farm at Fundación Origen.

While I greatly enjoyed visiting the organization our group had researched, further excitement came when learning about the other companies through videos prepared by our classmates prior to our arrival in Chile and through the company visits or guest lectures. The other companies included Tasty Beat, a prepared foods grab and go restaurant, which many of us tried one evening for dinner;  Banchile, a Chilean bank and financial services company; Karun Shades, creator of wood framed sunglasses, originating from fallen Patagonian trees; Mondelez International, a snack food company; Agrosuper, a producer and distributor of pork, poultry, salmon, and processed foods, which we visited for a tour of the facilities; Verano Capital, a renewable energy developer; and Kingston Vineyards, a Chilean winery located in Casablanca, which was a beautiful location for the farewell lunch.

After hearing from professionals from each of these companies, our class gained insight into some of the challenges of doing business in Chile and the growing industries and new opportunities in the country, including Start-Up Chile, which is an entrepreneurship and innovation promoter through the Chilean government.

chile 3

Relaxation and learning at the family ranch of Kingston Family Vineyards in the Casablanca Valley.

 

The last day and a half was spent in Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, coastal cities with a unique artistic culture. The walking tour of Valparaiso immediately revealed the differences between the capital city of Santiago and the seaports, taking us along winding cobblestone alleys, passing local artisans and jewelers, and up graffiti streaked stairways, eventually leading to panoramic views of the hills and the water.

chile 4

Graffiti and colorful houses spotting the neighborhoods of Valparaiso.

 

This short visit to the coast marked the end of the global experience as a cohort; however, a few of us continued our Chilean adventure to Patagonia, complete with treks, a glacier tour, and horseback riding.

chile 5

The beginning of our Patagonian adventure.

 

Andrea Wood is a first year part-time MBA student in the weekend program at the DC Campus. She works as a Financial Analyst at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Prior to moving to the Washington, D.C. metro area, she completed a dual master’s at Carnegie Mellon University in arts management and the University of Bologna (Italy) in innovation and organization of culture and the arts. Previously she worked in marketing, communications, and graphic design. Andrea is intrigued by data and people analytics and is excited to expand on this knowledge base through experiences at the University of Maryland. 

 

Feb 122015
 
DC career fair pic

 

More than 115 of Smith’s working professional students and alumni from all 3 Part Time MBA campuses attended the inaugural 2014 Working Professional Networking and Career Expo at the DC campus on Friday, December 5th.

The companies in attendance included Deloitte, Under Armour, Oracle, McGladrey LLP, Hewlett Packard (HP), FINRA, Raytheon, Global Trade Strategies LLC, Xerox and more! The employers were excited to tap into the Terp Talent that exists within the Part-time MBA, Executive MBA, and Online MBA populations at Smith and look forward to continued future engagement.

Companies were impressed with the talent of our students they met during the expo. One recruiter remarked “I met at least 25 people here today that we are interested in talking with to learn more about how they might fit with our company.”

According to student survey and coaching feedback as of January 31st, more than 40 students had been contacted by employers. Many students have been interviewed as a direct result of the career expo. Students were excited to meet companies right here on the D.C. campus with one participant commenting “The event was great. The companies that showed up were reputable companies that had a wide variety of positions.”

This is truly a building block for many great opportunities to come for our Part Time MBA students. Companies and students are excited to engage with one another and we look forward to our next career expo event!