PT MBA Alumni Spotlight: Monica Bautista

Monica 1Meet Monica, an alumni of the Smith Part Time MBA program! Monica graduated from the DC Weekend MBA program in May 2016.

Where do you work/what do you do?
I work at USAID as a Ebola Program Advisor. I manage eight projects that focus on repairing the health system in Liberia that was damaged by the 2014 – 2016 Ebola outbreak.

Why did you choose Smith’s Part Time MBA program?
I chose Smith because I loved the diversity of the people in the program and the opportunities available for experiential learning. I also really appreciated that all the staff, students, and faculty I interacted with were so warm and welcoming; it felt like I was joining a big family.

What was your favorite part of the Part Time MBA program?
I appreciated the flexibility of the program, the ability to learn from talented professors, but my favorite part of the program was the friendships I made. I really liked my consulting practicum experience too!

What was your goal for earning your MBA and did that goal change or stay the same through your Part Time MBA experience?
My original goal was to switch careers and industries immediately and maybe even move to a different state/country. During the course of the program I changed jobs and so did my husband so my goals for MBA changed as well. I decided I wanted to stay in the field of international development, and continue to be based in Washington, D.C. That being said, I did just start working with Julie Neill, one of the UMD Career Coaches, to figure out my next career move.

Monica 2Since graduation, how have you leveraged your MBA degree?
I got two promotions within my organization in 2016, one immediately after graduation and the other five months later. I also look at challenges that come up at work and in my personal life from a different perspective. Lately, I’ve been thinking about starting a little side business and my MBA will definitely come in handy.

Did you use Smith’s Career Services to find a new job?
I used Smith’s Career Services in the very beginning to first understand how to better shape my MBA experience. At a later date I used Career Services to think more critically about what I wanted to do post-graduation. Now, one year after graduation, I’m working with Career Services to figure out my next big career move.

What was your favorite Part Time MBA class?
My favorite class was the strategy course taught by Anil K. Gupta, he kept us engaged and on our toes. My second favorite course was Creativity taught by Oliver Schlake, I really welcomed the opportunity to think outside of the box.

If they made a movie of your life, who would you want to star as you?
Jessica Alba! She’s Latina, runs her own business, and does a lot of great work outside of being an actress and entrepreneur.

What is your favorite book?
I LOVE The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. It’s a true and heartbreaking story that focuses on cultural competence in healthcare and is a must-read for anyone working in diverse communities.

Monica - 2

Do you have a favorite movie?
I don’t have a favorite movie, but the last movie I saw was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and it was great.

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?
Take the time to better understand all the resources and opportunities available to you via Smith and the University of Maryland, and get to know your professors better too.