Work Hard and Play Hard at Smith- Mengfei

Hello everyone, I’m Mengfei Li, a first-year Master of Marketing Analytics student at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. I am so excited to share my experience from the last three months at Smith.

This term is really intense for students in the Marketing Analytics program. For example, we have a course called “Action Learning Program” which requires us to apply the concepts we have learned in the program to a specific problem that is faced by a client and produce analytics research output that is managerially relevant. It is different from our past projects because we used simulated data to analyze, and a database that comes from real-world clients. We worked in groups, got our hands dirty and the amount of work was massive. Specifically,  we had to deal with a data set that consisted of 119 variables and over 390,000 observations. Despite these challenges, we worked consistently. My team was very proud when we applied what we learned in the classroom to solve the real-business problem.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Besides intense study, “Terps” at Smith also enjoy various activities. February 15 was the Spring Festival in China and was hosted in the lounge of Van Munching Hall. My classmates and I wrote Chinese Calligraphy to celebrate the New Year. We made a Chinese knot with materials and instructions provided. Because of these activities, international students had a lot of fun and felt at home.

Finally, I want to introduce a new initiative at UMD called Wags for Wellness. Wags for Wellness can provide a great outlet to support those students’ emotional wellbeing by connecting with lovely pets. This idea came about because whenever I feel stressed and exude anxiety, I would have animal-assisted activities. In stressful occasions, I would be able to interact with the cute dogs and feel love, connection, companionship, and stress relief. In addition, for many students starting college and making a new home at the University of Maryland means saying goodbye to their pets (until they are able to return home again).

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