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 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.

Apr 212016

safa final headshotMeet Safa Ali, a first year student in our Shady Grove Part Time MBA program!

Where do you work?
I’m a consultant for Deloitte Consulting in the federal practice Information Management.

Why did you choose Smith?
Smith is a recognized school in the country ranking in the top 20 with notable faculty, flexible class schedules, and effective career advancing resources.

What has been your favorite part of the Part Time MBA program so far?
The best part is the network that I’ve built inside and outside of my class and meeting such talented and unique individuals. We started out as classmates and now have become very close friends and part of a strong support system for each other.

Do you belong to any Smith clubs?
Yes, I’m a first year Track Rep and the VP of Outreach for the Shady Grove campus.

What is your best tip for juggling the work/life/MBA balance?
Time management is a skill you have to master. Set aside a daily and weekly schedule, and prioritize your deadlines and tasks. This will help you stay sane and on track. Without a schedule, you will find yourself out of sync and overwhelmed.

What does your typical work/class day look like?
I work Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM and have class two nights a week from 6:30-10:00 PM. The nights I have class are the longest, but I have the rest of the weeknights and weekend to recover and recoup.

Safa - skiing

What is your goal for earning your MBA?
My goal for obtaining my MBA is to increase my business acumen, build my network, and achieve higher education which will not only develop me professionally, but improve my personal caliber.

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

What is your favorite book?
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Do you have a favorite movie?
Silence of the Lambs

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 wish I could have applied earlier and sat in on classroom observations. This would have helped me prep better for graduate level studies.

Apr 142016

Are you planning to be a DOUBLE TERP?
If so, you are eligible for some exclusive benefits when applying for the Smith Part Time MBA program!

Benefit #1: A Double Terp Part Time MBA Scholarship
Beginning with the Fall 2016 entry, a one-time $10,000 Double Terp Scholarship is available to alumni of University of Maryland, College Park, who are newly-admitted into the Part-Time MBA program. Be sure to indicate that you are a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park on your application for admission.

Benefit #2: GMAT/GRE Waivers
Smith School alumni qualify for an automatic waiver of the GMAT/GRE requirement with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Those with a GPA of 3.0 – 3.49 may also be eligible based on work experience and other application requirements.

University of Maryland, College Park alumni may be eligible for a GMAT/GRE waiver depending on submitted materials including coursework, GPA, resume and work experience.

Benefit #3: Express Processing
Smith School and University of Maryland, College Park alumni receive express processing of their applications and quicker admissions decisions.

Apply today to the Part-Time MBA program!

Contact our admissions department at (301) 405-2559 to learn more!

Apr 072016

Julie teaching session

Are you starting to research MBA programs in the area? Are you getting confused on which school is which? Do you understand the differences between Smith’s Weekend MBA and Evening MBA programs?

Sign up today for one of our Part Time MBA Information Sessions!

Our information sessions are a great first step to your MBA research! Each session offers prospective students an overview of our Part Time MBA programs and our application process. Our sessions are available at all three of our Part Time campuses: the University of Maryland Biopark in Baltimore, the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, and the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Click here to register for an upcoming Information Session!

Mar 312016
Julie Dellinger - 2015 headshotI’m working on my application and I’m not quite sure who to ask for my recommendation. Is it best to use past teachers, employers or my friends? 

As part of your Part Time MBA application, we only accept one recommendation… so, as the Grail Knight said in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “choose wisely.”

The best choice for a reference is someone who has supervised you and worked with you on a daily basis. While the name of your company’s CEO may be impressive, if they don’t know who you are, how can they recommend you as a good applicant?

Past employers can make good references, as long as they are recent. However, more than two or three years in the past usually means a significant difference in your responsibilities. If you’ve worked at your family business it is best to avoid asking a family member to write your recommendation, as there is potential for bias. If you are a recent graduate who does not have a professional reference, you can ask a professor.

Please be sure to speak to your contacts before completing the online recommendation form. Once you enter their email information, a message will generate automatically which can be a bit awkward if you haven’t spoken to them yet!

Set up an appointment for the two of you to get a cup of coffee or lunch. Use this opportunity to bring a copy of your resume and remind them of your completed projects and accomplishments. Communicate your goals with the MBA and your career so that they are prepared as much as possible to write your recommendation.

Also, if your application deadline is quickly approaching and you still haven’t seen that your recommendation letter has been received, be sure to follow up with your reference.

Julie Dellinger is the Associate Director of Part-Time MBA Admissions at the Smith School. You can contact her directly with your Admissions questions at (240) 565-2117 or

Mar 242016

iWatch image for blog and flyer

As a way to get word out on our fantastic PT MBA blog and @SmithPTMBA twitter account… we’re picking TWO winners to receive an Apple iWatch!

Here’s how to enter in THREE easy steps:
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!)

Winning entries will be collected from now until August 31, 2016. On that day, we will use a random number generator to determine two winners.

Good luck!

Mar 172016

TestudoOur Part Time MBA program at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business climbed into the top 20 in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, released March 16, 2016. The program is No. 19 overall and No. 11 among public schools in the publication’s 2017 Best Graduate Programs guide, compared to No. 26 and No. 16, respectively, from the previous year.

U.S. News and World Report bases the rankings on statistical data from each school, along with expert opinions from academic leaders and business professionals, including corporate recruiters. View more Smith program rankings here.