Over 50 applicants to the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business spent Saturday, November 12, 2011 at Van Munching Hall for the school’s annual Diversity at Smith Day hosted by MBA Admissions. The event is one of Smith’s signature events to attract top talent by providing a full-day of in depth exposure to the MBA experience at Smith.
After sharing breakfast with current students, attendees listened to a keynote address by Cathy Morris, MBA 2002 and VP of the Internet Group at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Morris spoke about her experience at Smith as a career transitioner, which reflects the experience of many MBA applicants, and how the Smith MBA helped her make the change and prepare her for success. She emphasized the importance of building team management and collaboration skills and praised the collegial environment at Smith. The keynote was followed by “mock classes” taught by Smith faculty on current business topics in their classes and research.
The Smith School enrolls approximately 550 full-time, part-time, and executive MBAs in any given year. Besides helping applicants get to know the Smith community, which comes from a variety of industries, functional experiences, ethnic backgrounds, and countries, the event introduces applicants to services such as the Office of Career Services and the unique opportunities available through The Smith Experience, a hands-on practicum involving MBAs in real projects and managing real dollars.
Kecia Hansard, associate director of MBA Admissions, was pleased with the outcome of the event, noting that participants consistently rate the event very highly in evaluations. “Often it is from panel presentation or a lunchtime conversation where an applicant hears about a club or a career trek or a niche in an industry that gives them an A-HA moment!” Hansard says. “Or after the mock lectures – this year with professors Paulo Prochno and Cindy Stevens – you can hear students say ‘the next time I deal with this at work – I have better insight!’— That is an immediate take away!”
Stephen Huie, MBA Candidate 2012