Smith School Hosts Inaugural Business Summit in Baltimore
Baltimore’s Biopark was abuzz on Friday, May 4, 2012, at the Inaugural
Smith School Business Summit. Hosted by the University of
Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, the event brought together more
than 250 people, including Smith School students, faculty, staff, alumni, and
Baltimore-area business leaders for an exciting night of networking and
collaborative thought leadership.
Created and organized by MBA students and the Office of
Career Services (OCS) at Smith, the summit was designed to “celebrate the
professional experiences and synergy that can be achieved by connecting our
campuses, clubs, faculty, staff and companies in our own backyard,” said Jeff
Kudisch, managing director of OCS.
The summit began with an informal networking reception, at which 17 companies
in the Baltimore area, including BB&T, CareFirst, Constellation Energy, Force 3,
Howard Bank, M&T Bank, Merkle, McCormick, USAID, and Wells Fargo, were
After networking, Dr. Oliver Schlake, Smith School Tyser Teaching Fellow and
senior business consultant and entrepreneur, formally kicked off the event with
his keynote speech “Why are We Obsessed with Creativity When Things are Going
the Wrong Way?”
Schlake explained to an enthusiastic audience that creativity emerges in bad
times because in good times “answer A works. There is no need to question the
status quo as there is nothing to gain from breaking the rules. There is no
immediate payback.” Schlake argued that in bad times, although companies are
searching for creativity, they can actually hinder creativity through time
pressures, talent loss, short-term survival fixes and an enormous fear of
failure. “Our true challenge is to be creative and recognize creativity in good
times,” he said.
Following Schlake’s keynote, attendees participated in five expert panels,
which explored current trends and issues in healthcare, finance, organizational
culture, product life cycle, and sustainability. The panels were moderated by
Smith School faculty, including Lisa Harrington, Michael Faulkender, Cynthia
Stevens, David Godes, and Melissa Carrier.
The Baltimore Business Summit was a big hit with attendees: “It engaged all
aspects of business networks and helped build relationships within complementary
parts of business,” said Alex Matov ’07, a BGE employee and part-time Smith MBA
Another attendee and one of the night’s panel speakers, Mike Longacre of BD
Diagnostics, said the summit helped build the Baltimore community by providing
cutting-edge, first-hand knowledge of the current issues in the marketplace. The
first-of-its-kind event ended with a formal networking reception.
Rachel Hester, Marketing Communications Coordinator, Office of
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the
University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations in North America and Asia.