Sep 252014

harrigan picBy Erika Harrigan, Assistant Director, PT MBA Career Coach, Baltimore campus

When was the last time you had an interview? If your next employer called, would you be ready? If you had an opportunity for a promotion at work, would you have a strong updated resume readily available? If you ran into a corporate executive at your target company, would you know what to say?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” there’s a chance that some bad luck might be headed your way. Opportunities come around all the time, but we have to 1) recognize them and 2) be prepared for them in order to create the luck we want – Good Luck!

Good luck is not something that’s out of reach or reserved for a special few. It’s something we all can take advantage of if we follow a simple formula.

Good luck = Opportunity + Preparation*

At Smith, there are many opportunities that you can leverage to build your skills, fill in gaps on your resume, gain global experience, and meet key people. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, you must first be aware of them.

Once you begin your course of study, be sure to check your Smith email for important messages. Read the weekly MBA Career Terp Talk to learn about upcoming events, open positions, visiting employers, and advice that will place you on the path to career success. Check out the plasma screens on campus. Develop relationships with your classmates, professors, and Smith staff. Interact with your track reps, or better yet, become one! Be aware of opportunities outside of Smith as well. Maintaining your network, reading business journals, and joining professional associations are just a few ways of doing that.

Be prepared for opportunities by meeting with your career coach to learn how to create an effective results-oriented resume, receive a mock interview, or practice your pitch. Let us help you learn how to network effectively, research your area of interest, contact alumni, or build your own personal board of advisors who can provide you with industry insight and information. With proper preparation, you can even create your own opportunities and tap into the hidden market of opportunities not publicized or even created yet!

So, are you prepared?


* The formula is a variation of an original quote attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca (ca. 4 BC to AD 65).

Sep 182014

By Edward Lavino, Ed.D, Director of Admissions, Part-Time MBA Programs

While it is likely too late to start in an MBA program in the fall of 2014, it’s not too early to consider your application for the fall of 2015. Most MBA programs open their applications for fall 2015 in early September. Here are five things you should be doing to prepare.

1. Know your professional goals. What do you want to achieve with your MBA? Why is now the right time? Which schools have the best resources to get you where you want to go? Consider the experience you already bring to the table, a school’s resources, and where the graduates of that program have recently gone to combine your strengths with the school’s strengths to meet your objective.

2. Research your options. What sort of student experience do you want: full time, part time, online, executive format, an in-class experience, blended (part in class, part online), etc. Know that there are many options out there and these terms may mean different things at different schools. No format is right for everyone and each format has its benefits and challenges.

3. Test Preparation: Will you take the GMAT or the GRE? Many schools accept either exam. Some don’t require an exam. If your target schools accept either exam, put your best foot forward by taking the exam your practice test scores are the highest in.

4. Select a deadline and treat it like a work project. Don’t sit up until 3AM the night the application is due to finalize it. Set firm dates to have sections complete and review your full application before submission. You will be less likely to include mistakes and/or omissions on your application if you are awake and focused when you hit “submit”. There could be scholarship money available at earlier deadlines, so pay attention to each school’s application cycle.

5. Consider your recommender: You are hand selecting someone to speak on your behalf to the admissions committee about you. You need to trust that they are going to represent you well. Prepare them. Invite your recommender to coffee and give them a copy of your resume. Remind them of important projects that you have completed that are great examples of your strengths and encourage them to mention those projects on your recommendation. Concrete examples always help make stronger recommendations. And make sure you let them know what deadline you are targeting.

Sep 112014

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

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

Applicants typically receive their decision within 30 days of the deadline. For more information, visit our website.

Also, don’t forget to attend one of our Part-Time MBA Information Sessions before you apply to learn about our program and the application process!


*Priority deadline to be considered for Part-Time MBA Scholarships


Sep 022014

The August contest winner is…. Nathan Swayne!

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

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

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

Congrats everyone!

Aug 282014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 212014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 142014

harrigan picBy Erika Harrigan, Assistant Director, PT MBA Career Coach, Baltimore campus

Are you interested in a certain field, but would like to learn the inside scoop before making the transition?  Perhaps there’s a particular company that catches your eye and you’d like to learn more about its corporate culture.

As a Part-time MBA student at the Smith School of Business, you have the opportunity to meet with people who work in many different functions, fields, and companies – including some of the functions, fields and companies that you might be considering.  I’m not referring to faculty, alumni or even the companies that recruit from Smith even though those are, of course, very valuable resources.  What I am referring to is the vast network of working professionals who will be sitting in your classes at the Baltimore, Shady Grove, and Washington DC campuses, as well as the students in the cohorts before and after you.

Add this network to Smith’s world-class faculty, its staff, alumni and business partners, and you will have an incredible amount of connections that you would never have had if you did not come through the doors.   Make the connections early on and maintain them for a lifetime.   You never know where you or your colleagues will be in three, five, or ten years.  That’s the beauty of the Smith network!

Not a fan of networking?  Your career coaches are here to help you build this important skill that will benefit you throughout your career.  Feel free to schedule an appointment with us once you start.

Aug 072014

by Julie Dellinger, Assistant Director of Part-Time MBA Admissions & Social Media

We’ve had a busy few months with our newly admitted Part Time MBA students – s’mores roasting, classroom visits with Experience Smith, baseball games and more.Well, in July we strapped on some rented shoes and went bowling!

Our DC students hung out at Lucky Strike, our Shady Grove students bowled at Bowlmor and our Baltimore students knocked down some pins at Mustang Alleys. Each event was a fun chance for the new students to get to know each other before orientation, as well as chat with current students and recent alumni.

Thank you to everyone who rocked, rolled and bowled with us. Good luck to our new students on their upcoming orientation and first semester!


Jul 312014

The July contest winner is…Lisa Davies!

Lisa was chosen by the random number generator and she is the winner of an iPad mini. If you entered the contest in January, February, March, April, May, June, or July you still have ONE  more chance to win. If you haven’t entered yet, you can check out the contest information here and enter today!

How to enter in 3 easy 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

You must complete all three steps in order to be entered in the contest!

Here is last month’s winner, Travis Covington with his prize:

Travis Covington - June kindle winner

Jul 242014

By Bob Goodman, 2012 Graduate of the PT MBA program. This post was originally published last year.

So, Math Camp — what is it? Do you need it? Is it painful? Just to give you an idea of where I stood when I took it, I’m a software engineer, so I had a quant background. But I hadn’t taken a math class since college, so I felt a little rusty.

After taking it, I felt it was a pretty good overview of the math you’d need for your MBA classes. There’s a quiz included with the flyer on Math Camp, it’s worth looking at, since it’ll give you a decent idea of the kinds of things that are covered.  Even if you can’t make Math Camp, you should probably at least study up.

The kinds of topics they cover are:

  • Arithmetic, Sets, Counting Rules
  • Probability
  • Random Variables
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Differential Calculus I
  • Differential Calculus II
  • Compounding and Discounting
  • Annuities and Perpetuities

Annuities and Perpetuities are especially important; they probably weren’t covered in your undergrad math class, and they’re used a lot in your MBA classes, so pay attention to that one.  Your professors in the core classes you take first semester are going to assume you know the things from Math Camp, so be ready.  Camp last for three days, and costs $350.

Bottom line, if you don’t do a lot of math in your day-to-day work and don’t want to have to jump into things cold, Math Camp’s a good idea. The lectures are done by Professor Lele, who’s a good guy that you’ll probably have classes with.

There are a few things they don’t tell you that you’ll want to know.  Firstly, if you’re not familiar with College Park campus (which is where Math Camp is held), it is not within walking distance from the Metro. There’s a shuttle usually, but over the summer it doesn’t run on weekends, so check the Shuttle-UM site to see if you need to make other arrangements.  Also be aware that the building where they do the classes has the air conditioning turned down when they do Math Camp, so dress for summer. By the last day even Lele was in shorts and sandals.  By the way, if you’re wondering what kind of calculator you need, they say you need a financial calculator, but I was fine with the TI that everyone uses in high school.  The work load isn’t bad, some lectures followed by a few problems they give you to practice.

Overall it’s a class worth taking. Even if you have a math background, it’s better to know you’re ready than to hope you’re ready; when you start in on a finance class you’ll want to be straight on all your math skills.   And you’ll make some great contacts with your fellow Smiths from the other cohorts that will last through the program and beyond.

Robert Goodman is a 2012 graduate of the Smith PT MBA program.  A project management and IT professional, he has worked in both the financial and government contracting arenas in the DC area.  He currently is a managing director at Advanced Valuation Analytics and CTO of MBA Cocktail, a start-up focused on bringing together MBA students and alumni for networking and career advancement.