Over 150 Students Celebrated “Friendsgiving” with the Smith PT MBAA!

by Catharine Montgomery, a DC Evening 1st Year Student

It may have been a chilly night in D.C., but it was warm in Hawthorne as 150 students took a break from studying to learn about other’s MBA experiences at the first “Friendsgiving.”

On November 17th, the University of Maryland Smith School of Business’s Part-Time MBA Association’s (PTMBAA) idea of joining MBA students from schools in the area came to fruition. Along with UMD, current part time MBA students from George Washington School of Business, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, Kogod School of Business at American University and Johns Hopkins Carey Business School came together at the first ever Friendsgiving, a DC-Area MBA Programs Networking Night.

As the music played and the drinks were poured, students expanded their networks by making connections with professionals from other part time programs. Students chatted about work/life balance, how their MBA is helping them achieve current and future goals, life after graduate school and the various differences in class schedules. The Friendsgiving event also provided MBAs with a chance to discuss their lives outside of their respective campuses.

This networking event provided students with a relaxed environment in which to network, dance and meet outside the classroom. Students deal with different aspects of life, events such as Friendsgiving are a great chance to let loose as well as gain some professional development tips. In addition, students came to realize how big the MBA network is throughout the DC area; it’s just a matter of making those connections.  

“I think the event was very well run,” said Mark Costello, second year Baltimore track representative. “It was nice meeting students from other schools as well as UMD students from other campuses. It was evident that no matter which UMD campus we attend, we are one Smith. I had to take the MARC train to get to the event, and it was well worth it.”

Not only was the Friendsgiving a great opportunity for local part time MBA students to network, but for UMD students at the Shady Grove, DC and Baltimore campuses to get more acquainted. The community of Smith students is invaluable to the part time MBA experience. A big aspect of that community is UMD’s PTMBAA, which is a representative, governing body for students at the Smith School. The PTMBAA speaks as the coordinated voice of the students, serving as a liaison to the administration and faculty.

The Friendsgiving will surely be the first of many in the years to come as the PTMBAA continues to create opportunities for collaboration.