Dec 182014
 

Big 10 logos

To celebrate the University of Maryland joining the Big Ten Conference, we are offering a special “Big 10” scholarship for Part Time MBA students who enroll in the Fall 2015 program!

Who is Qualified?
Those who graduated from a “Big 10” school with a 3.0 or higher GPA.

University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin, and Johns Hopkins University (Affiliate Member).

Scholarship Amount:
$2,500 towards first year of tuition.

To be considered:
Submit your complete application (including GMAT or GRE scores) by the priority deadline of February 2, 2015.

Questions?
Contact the Part Time Admissions Team at (301) 405-2559 or ptadmit@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Dec 112014
 

Gina Reillyby Gina Reilly, recent graduate of the Smith PT MBA program.

When I arrived at Smith, I had visions of completing a journey that would set the stage for success in my next role. Well, not just set the stage but catapult an eager business student into senior level management with offers thrown at my feet like roses at the end of an operatic performance. So eager was I to reach that next level, that I accelerated my track, completing my MBA program a full year early. In devising a flexible, adaptable and if necessary, scrappable strategy and timeline leading to offers prior to graduation, I needed a team in my corner.

Around the completion of year one, I met Jeanette Jordan (Smith MBA 2009) who I immediately connected with and felt compelled to put on that team by recruiting her as my mentor. Her exact response to me was “Mentor? How can I mentor YOU?! You’re already a Director, what could I possibly have to teach you?” At the time, I didn’t know exactly how she would fit into my strategy. As it turns out, Jeannette specializes in career transition, and would become a powerful force guiding me through the process of self- discovery, self- celebration, becoming a “conference commando”, establishing a success circle with recent alumni based on the Lean-In format, and an all-around coach.

Recognizing the importance in having a diverse roster where each player has a specific role that adds to the strength of the network, I added Suzanne Lamoureux, Assistant Director, Office of Career Services – Supply Chain Management; Sharon Strange Lewis, Director of Graduate Alumni Relations and Swapna Arora (Smith FT MBA 2015), who interned with Amazon, to the squad.

With all of the strategizing and construct, I still wasn’t quite prepared for how the real career search would look and feel. I had taken a leap of faith and left my stable career during the program, to make room for greater opportunities and allow for early graduation. So I gathered my team and embarked upon the search that would end with roses at my feet. What I did not know, was that this journey could and should take months for the specific roles I was looking for, how misaligned my career search timeline would be for the accelerated graduation date, that there would be LOTS of rejection (and a lot of that would feel personal when in actuality none of it would be), that timing and who you know really would be crucial, and that staying focused even when you are ready to give up and settle for ANY job would be key. I also wasn’t quite as aware of the reputation I’d left or was leaving in my wake. Having organized events where I noticed need, volunteered at various symposiums, attended mock interviews, competed for spots to represent the University of Maryland in case competitions, establishing connections with professors (and genuinely nurturing those before the start of classes and after their finish) in addition to being present and active in discussions and thinking outside the box in how I connected myself with the larger Smith community, I had established quite a backing for myself. That became evident when I saw unsolicited recommendations made by my classmates, heard of recommendations made by professors, and witnessed the first hand effort of those going out of their way to help land my next role.

I applied to no less than a hundred positions by the time Suzanne was able to get my credentials in front of the MBA recruitment team for Amazon. I had recently applied to an ops role with the company when I caught wind of the approaching deadline for the Pathways Operations role. Armed with my extensive resume, a strong professor’s recommendation (who not only had me for class, but also served as my case competition coach) and her own evaluation and recommendation having interacted with me at the same competition, Suzanne Lamoureux successfully placed me in front of the right recruiter at the right time. Having gotten through to companies at a time when there weren’t roles available, that were on a hiring freeze, or being weeded out early on as a result of the “buzz word” the search process, I realized the importance of timing and connection.   From there, as I began to go through their assessment process hoping for an invitation to interview, I leaned on my network again in addition to the normal research. Both my alumni and Career Services connections had gone through interview processes with Amazon and were able to guide my focus on pertinent information and the appropriate time spent prepping for each round. Largely, that advice came as reminders to relax, know your story, know their story, and link the two.

As prospective students, we had various reasons for choosing the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a common theme running through those decisions is that of connection and community. The Smith network is strong, protective, far reaching, creatively aggressive, incredibly responsive and reciprocates the energy you invest. Looking back on connections made during my program and through this search process, I’m amazed at those I have on my front line and the lengths to which they have gone and will go in my name. My Smith network positioned me in front of the right people at the right time, polishing my presentation of self to a level that I was able to really relax and be confident for the rounds of interviews that followed the initial assessment and screening. As a result of establishing and nurturing this professional network through Smith, I was able to begin the process that would secure the offer from Amazon that I’d been looking for – an ideal fit, an ideal organization, ideal role, ideal salary, ideal location, and I am ready.

Gina Reilly has over 10 years experience in management-level operations in a variety of industries.  She recently completed her MBA at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, where operations, logistics, change management and supply chain were her areas of focus. Prior to this accomplishment, Gina spent over 7 years leading school-wide operations for a charter school in its start up phase and a bilingual elementary school in the District of Columbia.  During the completion of her MBA, Gina was an active member of the Part-Time MBA Association where she served on the Professional Development Board. Ms. Reilly utilized her position to conceptualize and implement innovative programming to close identified gaps in skill sets and access such as The Girls’ Gamble – Poker and Business, and the Smith Family Gamble.  Gina recently accepted an offer from Amazon and will be moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee as a member of their Pathways Operations Team.

Dec 042014
 

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

Last Spring semester, I served as a Strategy Consultant through the Center for Social Value Creation’s non-profit consulting program, ChangeTheWorld.org. My team and I consulted to Accountability Lab, a social justice non-profit with programs in Nepal and Liberia. It was a semester long project that proved to be a very valuable experience for all those involved. By the end, I had built up my network within Smith School and the non-profit sector, gained technical knowledge and consulting skills, and contributed toward the impact of our client’s organization.

The application process began with a list of non-profit organizations that had a strategic need or initiative ahead. These non-profits covered a wide range of cause areas and missions, all of which were very meaningful and important for our society at large. Each organization’s needs fell within 5 functional areas – finance, marketing, strategic planning, operations and information technology. I was most attracted to Accountability Lab due to their mission of keeping power holders accountable, their presence in the developing world and the strategy-related project we were responsible for.

I was ultimately matched with Accountability Lab, my top choice, and a team that included part-time MBA, online MBA and Master of Finance students at Smith School. We had our initial meeting with CSVC’s Program Manager to learn about the tasks at hand, resources available, discuss the timeline of the project and elect our team lead and client liaison. Throughout the project, the Program Manager offered great support to the team, checked in on our progress and ensured that we were on track to success.

I greatly enjoyed working with Accountability Lab and contributing towards their important and meaningful mission. We were responsible for helping them replicate their model to enter new countries, and our actual deliverable was a handbook for them to use on the ground. This required us to learn everything about their operating model, standardize their processes and compile it into an easy-to-use document. As resource strategy is always a challenge in the non-profit sector, we also analyzed their revenue model to help them develop creative and sustainable revenue streams.

Since we all worked full time in addition to business school, we utilized Google Hangouts to have our meetings remotely. We also met regularly with the Associate Director of Accountability Lab, who was in Nepal throughout the project. The distance and time zones were no major hurdles with our use of technology, and each meeting was very productive. Our team leader had developed agenda’s for each meeting and sent out minutes afterwards so we knew our next action steps.

Mid-way through the semester, our team also attended the ChangeTheWorld symposium. This was an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the work we had completed at that point and gain more feedback in the process. This was attended by other student consultant teams, Deloitte consultants and even Accountability Lab’s Executive Director.

After we presented our final deliverable, Accountability Lab was extremely impressed with our work and stated that we went above and beyond their expectations. They encouraged us to retain contact with them since we all had developed a thorough understanding of their organization. As an active volunteer, it was very rewarding to assist an organization whose mission I was deeply aligned with. As an MBA/MFin candidate transitioning to the non-profit sector, the experience truly reaffirmed what my passions are and where I want to take my career professionally.

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.

 

Nov 202014
 

Meaghan MurrayBy Meaghan Murray, PT MBA student in the DC Weekend program

Hello everyone!  I wanted to reach out to the community with some thoughts about the weekend MBA option.  I am currently a student in the Saturday cohort at Smith School of Business at University of Maryland.  I had originally planned on doing the evening program because it was the only schedule I’d ever heard about from friends already enrolled in MBA programs around the country.

During the application process I attended as many information sessions as I could so I could make a well-informed decision about where to earn my MBA.  At one of these sessions I met a second year student who did his first year in the Weekend MBA program; as he described the benefits of the program, I realized it fit perfectly with my life and I instantly discarded the idea of doing week day classes.  It is really SUCH a good deal and I’ll tell you why!

Now, as a student, I never have to rush to DC from work or deal with work week traffic, I can determine my weeknight schedule and when to study, I only have one day of class per week instead of two, I get to bed at a reasonable hour before early morning meetings (not possible for 40% of the work week doing the weeknight option), and I get all of this with the exact same professors and quality instruction!  Another important point is that, in addition to students with families, Saturday classes attract folks that have busy work weeks that may include after-hours functions and networking events.  For week days that after-hours events are not occurring, weekend students still have the option of taking classes on a week night if a conflict comes up on a Saturday.  The professors are INCREDIBLY accommodating of packed schedules and understand we are busy people who have to make hard choices.

One of the criticisms of the weekend program is that people don’t want to lose their weekends… which I find really silly frankly.  To the contrary, we have students who are single and others who have families that prefer this schedule… not to mention the weeknight students will have to study on weekends anyway so they may as well get course credit while they’re at it!  Classes start at 8:40 am which allows me to sleep in until 7:45 if I want and still enjoy ample time to get to class.  Bottom line: the weekend option for a part-time MBA offers the best of all worlds and I personally would choose the weekend option ten times out of ten.

One last thought is that Smith is the only school in the DC area that offers such a convenient option!  This is a hugely distinguishing characteristic that sets Smith apart from its competitors and is a significant point I personally used to make my decision.  Fortunately, there is room for growth still in the Weekend MBA at Smith so if you know someone interested in the program, share this information with them!  It may help them as much as it helped me!

Good luck!

Meaghan Murray was born in Laguna Hills, CA where she lived until graduating from Laguna Hills High School in 2004. She moved to Annapolis, MD to attend the United States Naval Academy where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics and a commission in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. Meaghan moved to San Diego, CA to serve two tours on warships at the head of an Engineering division on USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52) and later the Combat Systems Department on USS SAN DIEGO (LPD 22). Her qualifications include the Surface Warfare Officer pin, two Officer of the Deck letters, two Combat Information Center Watch Officer letters and Gas Turbine Engineering Officer of the Watch. Her significant operational activities include humanitarian assistance in Haiti and missions with the Chilean, Peruvian, Argentinean and Russian navies. Now, Meaghan works for United States Cyber Command as a Cyber Planner. Her interests include current events, politics, running, Notre Dame football and exploring Washington DC.

(This article was originally posted on December 12, 2013)

 

Nov 132014
 

Geremy BassBy Geremy Bass, Baltimore PT MBA graduate

I left Smith’s PT MBA program with a shiny new degree, a great strategic consulting job with a large, national firm, some very close friends who attended my wedding one week after graduation, and several strong relationships with professors and faculty. I feel smarter at work, more well-rounded at home, and am proud to have put in the significant effort required to successfully complete the program. Though everyone’s experience is different, I can only hope that most students share in my sentiment. If not, they should take a long look at their approach, because the problem likely stems more from themselves than from the program itself.

So with that, I’ll leave you with 10 crucial tips I gathered from my 26 months in the Smith program:

  1. Get to know professors – these relationships will prove to be extremely valuable both during the courses and after graduation.
  2. Be honest with groupmates – it’s perfectly fine if a classmate can’t contribute much, but he needs to make that clear from the get-go.
  3. Embrace change – it will continue to happen well after students leave the program.
  4. Go to the gym before class – there’s a nice gym in the BioPark building that’s free for students, and that extra energy can be essential for case discussions that push up until 10 p.m.
  5. Volunteer to present in group projects – people will get to know students’ personalities, talents, and abilities if they are visible.
  6. Take weekend classes in DC – knocking out a few credits in a handful of class sessions is worth it every time.
  7. Consider taking classes over the summer and winter breaks – maintaining a consistent schedule keeps students in the same mindset, and less break time translates into graduating faster.
  8. Attend as many social events as possible or arrange your own – even with hectic schedules, networking with classmates over beers is often the most valuable use of time (my core group went to Camden Pub at least once every two weeks).
  9. Engage guest speakers after they present – businesspeople who come to share their knowledge with classes are usually good networkers by default, and getting their contact information and a putting a face in their heads can only be positive.
  10. Reach out to alumni and take advantage of all we know – whether it’s professors, logistics, or job contacts, we are current students’ best resource.

I hope these tips were helpful and the Smith experience is as positive as mine was!

Geremy Bass is a Washington, D.C. native who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland before finishing his Masters of Business Administration from the Smith School of Business in 2013. His extensive background in marketing, strategy and business led him into his current role as a strategic planning and management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Geremy is an outdoorsman, music aficionado, avid hockey fan, fitness enthusiast and Renaissance man who resides in Baltimore and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

 {This article was originally posted on the PT MBA blog on 2/64}

Nov 062014
 

Winstonn Tubbsby Winstonn M. Tubbs, PT MBA Candidate, December 2014

The journey to my internship at Marriott International this past summer started the day I stepped foot on campus in the Fall of 2012. The journey was untraditional but seems to be more common among MBA candidates these days. I started my career by supporting my brother’s boutique digital marketing firm, Digital 21. It was a valuable experience and I could see myself working in the digital space long term. I was forced to wear many hats, which comes with the territory at any small business. I then took an unexpected detour and joined, BB&T. Once I completed the company’s competitive Leadership Development Program I was placed in to the field as a Business Deposit Specialist where I managed the performance of commercial deposit products. I was wedged between several lines of business and was able to learn from some very experience professionals.

After four years of challenging and humbling work it was time to transition in to my true passions, Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. I knew that an MBA could help me accomplish that goal. The Robert H. Smith School of Business provided a strong network and curriculum that would help reinforce my skill set and expand my knowledge. However, I discovered early on that a career change required more than a strong skill set. Employers want to see that you have direct experience in that field and previous accomplishments. I would eventually leave my job in business development and advising jobs to create an LLC and provide freelance consulting work while I pursued summer internships for the Summer of 2014. Marriott has always been one of my favorite brands with in the Travel and Lodging industry. Companies in the industry face so many unique challenges and I wanted to solve them (help provide solutions). I spent over a year networking and was fortunate to receive an offer from Marriott to work in their eCommerce and Global Distribution Strategy groups and support a Global Proof of Concept that would launch later that summer with a purpose of shifting customer behavior to book through direct eChannels.

From my first day I was treated as just another member of the team. To begin I read through stacks of PowerPoint decks and sat through several meetings in order to get up to date on the project. Once I was up to speed I spent the summer wearing many hats again to help ensure the project stayed on schedule. My work ranged from analyzing booking and online display data then sharing my findings and recommendations, producing an animated video, designing surveys, developing training material, and acting as a liaison between several stakeholders.

In addition to the work, I was able gain exposure to several departments. I used each opportunity to meet and learn from people in digital marketing, marketing analysis, consumer inisghts, revenue management, project management, and internal consulting. I was able to learn their responsibilities and understand how they fit in the organization. I was also able to gain great insight in to their function and the overall industry from their perspective.

Throughout the internship I was about to forge great relationships that I knew would last well beyond the term of the internship. I am schedule to graduate December 2014. As I continue my job search, Marriott will definitely be at the top of my list. I hope I am at the top of theirs as well.

 

Winstonn Tubbs is specializing in Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship and is currently pursuing a global career in strategic management and digital marketing. In addition, he is  exploring new venture opportunities. Winstonn also serves as the Vice President of Marketing Communications for the Part-Time MBA Association he is focused on improving both content and delivery of PTMBAA marketing communications. In his free time, Winstonn enjoys playing basketball, traveling the world and pretending to be music and movie critic.

Oct 302014
 

TestudoIt’s the dawn of a new era for Maryland athletics and Testudo will no longer try to out-cheer the familiar Blue Devil or Cavalier.

With Maryland’s move to the Big Ten, he — and the rest of us — should get familiar with a whole new slate of fellow mascots, nicknames and history. So while we won’t be bumping chests on the court or leading the football team onto the field, it’s best to know whom exactly we’re rooting against this fall!

Here’s a guide to our new rivals:

block-i

Illinois
Known as the home of the Fighting Illini, the school retired its mascot, Chief Illiniwek, several years ago and is known mostly by its striking orange “I” on a blue background.

 

Football vs. Bowling Green State University, 09/14/13_Mike Dickbernd

Indiana
This school doesn’t have an official mascot besides its team name, “Hoosiers.” Don’t know what that is? Us either. The term refers to a nickname of uncertain origin for the state’s residents.

 

Iowa - square

Iowa
The Hawkeyes nickname is traced back to “The Last of the Mohicans,” and the school’s athletic events are roamed by mascot Herky the Hawk. The black and gold bird was hatched in the 1940s by a journalism instructor.

 

Michigan

Michigan
Theories abound for how the Wolverines got their long-held nickname, but an attempt in the 1920s to bring real-life versions into the football stadium was quickly abandoned. The school does have its well-known winged helmets and block M design.

 

Michigan State - square

Michigan State
A newspaper editor took it upon himself 78 years ago to call this school the Spartans when he disliked the other entries in a contest. Since then, the armored, puffed-up mascot named Sparty flexes his teams on.

 

Minnesota - square

Minnesota
The Golden Gophers’ name combines the state’s official animal and the color of a championship team’s football jerseys. They are represented by smiling, buck-toothed Goldy.

 

Nebraska - square

Nebraska
The Cornhuskers also earned their name from a newspaper writer, once he decided Bugeaters had run its course at the turn of the century. Herbie the Husker has been an official symbol of the school since the 1970s.

 

Northwestern University Football against Vanderbilt September 8, 2012  in Evanston, ILL.

Northwestern
This school has gone from the Purple and the Fighting Methodists to the Wildcats, cribbing the name from an article that described the spirit of the football team in the 1920s. Willie the Wildcat was originally a much less huggable bear cub.

 

Ohio State - square

Ohio State
Like Indiana, the Buckeyes moniker is derived from a nickname for Ohio residents, but this school has an anthropomorphic version. Brutus the Buckeye is one of the country’s most well-known mascots.

 

Penn State - square

Penn State
The Nittany Lions nickname was born on a baseball trip when a student wanted to one-up the Princeton Tigers. The mountain lion, which once made a home in Pennsylvania, is the costumed symbol for the school.

 

Purdue - square

Purdue
Purdue Pete, complete with spike hammer, is the human representative of the Boilermakers, but the school’s official mascot is actually a replica train honoring its engineering and farming heritage.

 

RUTGERS ATHLETICS: MBB: Rutgers v. Caldwell

Rutgers
Teams at Rutgers, the other new kid on the Big Ten block, were once symbolized by a fighting rooster called the Chanticleer, but became the Scarlet Knights in the 1950s.

 

Bucky Badger

Wisconsin
Located in the Badger state, the school adopted the animal mascot even though the name was meant to describe how miners lived in the winter. The original live badger, which occasionally needed to be tackled as well, was replaced long ago by Bucky Badger.

 

Source: Between the Columns (btc) newsletter, September 2014

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)